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CIW Courses - Worth It?


This is my first post so I thought I had better start off by introducing myself. I'm Jason and I'm 24 years old and I am a Freelance Creative Artworker with web skills in London. Currently been self-employed since February this year and looking for work.

The reason for my post is I'm thinking about exploring a new avenue. I really want to get back into the working environment as a Web Developer or Web Designer.

Whilst I was working for my previous employee I decided to go and top up and fill the gaps in my web skills in Dreamweaver & Flash I learnt at university by doing a Dreamweaver & Flash Masterclass course at Academy Class. I took my new skills back into the studio and since that day I have been confident in creating websites from concept to development.

Here are a few of my examples.

LSA | Lynden Swainston Associates - Grand Prix Travel & Hospitality Solutions

The Underwriting Exchange - Independent Boutique Lloyd's Broker

As you can see I am already quite competent in web technologies to be able to create those 2 examples - HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Flash. really enjoyed coding the CSS in the 2nd link.

My main question being would I be able to get a job in web design with what experience I have or do I need more. Obviously more examples than above.

Can a CIW Course make a difference in getting me in the door faster, such as the Master CIW Designer Certification?

Certified Internet Web Professional | CIW-certified.com

Or should I just save my money and carry on building my portfolio on what experience I have already?

Sorry for the long post but I would be interested to hear what peoples opinions are.




Senior Member
I have always been told that more education never hurts. I completed two courses at a college, and graduated with a 4.0. However that was 10 years ago.

Honestly I think you have answered your own question. With what you picked up in Dreamweaaver, and the building blocks of web design with programs like HTML, CSS, Java and Flash, I think you have enough to get a foot in the door. Those skills are usually always in demand.

Its why I want to get a foot in the door of my career fields as well.:)

If you have not already I suggest you make a profile on a business networking web site called Linked In. I have a profile there myself. Its a great tool for getting exposure and making your skills and experience known, and getting advice from industry experts. You create a profile and you can potentially make a network of other people to get your name out there. You can also join groups targeting a chosen industry, in your case, creative Freelance work. Im a member of one group in particular called "Freelance Creative Media Group" At least take a look anyway.

To Linked In


Senior Member
Don't spend money on courses—they're never any good. Invest a fraction of the course cost on a few good books and you're away.

You're a little way of being up to industry standard but keep teaching yourself and you'll be fine. It's quite evident that the course taught you Dreamweaver and not web standards, as some stuff is pretty lacking. This kinda proves my point that courses are no good—they don't teach stuff properly.


I completely agree with Harry, I would only do a course on getting a pro qualification like an MCSE or something.. not on Web coding or anything like that.. :)
Thank you for the feed back Rhonda, Harry and Chris.

Think the reason why I was asking the question in the first place was because I was doubting spending the cash on another course. Instead I have just purchased a CSS book to add to my collect, shall be my reading over the Xmas break :cool:

Back to your comment Harry on the examples the content lacking web standards, was this to both examples? The LSA is a poor example as it was put together in tables, the other example is CSS as I'm sure you noticed.

What is your opinion on the TUE site? - The Underwriting Exchange - Independent Boutique Lloyd's Broker

Great feedback, cheers :D