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Qualifications

Discussion in 'General Software & Hardware Forum:' started by eddypeck, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. eddypeck

    eddypeck Member

    I've been in the creative industry for 16 years, My highest qualification is a Btec ND followed by a college certificate equivalent to HNC, but not recognised as such. 12 years ago I took an open college qualification in writing HTML, and about 10 years ago did some business training in Javascript. But have done nothing 'formal' since.

    I've been using Dreamweaver since version 1, and I'm employed as a full time senior web designer. I'm in an IT services company and it seems the engineers are forever taking Microsoft exams, but I feel I'm overlooked and missing out.

    I'd like to further my career and am wondering if gaining some extra qualifications might be the way to go. But what qualifications are recognised and worth while?

    I've looked at Web Design Courses | Web Design Training | Internet related home study courses but whilst an Adobe certificate sound like the right direction the course seems to be teaching me to do what I've been doing for the past 10+ years!

    • so how qualified are you?
    • and what importance do you put on certificates?
    • and finally can you recomend any worth while accolades?
    thanks... :)
     
  2. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    From what I've seen and heard a degree at the beginning can be good, but there are quite a few bad ones, I think going back and doing anything like that wouldn't be wise.

    Most people I "know" who own Adobe certificates now do training, and can earn quite a bit from it... but that's a different route to what you are doing at the moment
     
  3. Aarlev

    Aarlev Member

    I work as a Middleweight Web Designer and I'm not really qualified as such. I did a basic Multimedia course but it was more of an introduction course and was trying to cover far too many aspects of design and development in my opinion.

    The only good thing about it was that I found out that Web Design was where my interest was. Apart from that I learned nothing. Mostly everything I know is self taught or stuff I've learned from colleagues.

    Personally I put no importance on certificates at all. Web Design changes at such a fast pace so, for me, the best way to learn new skills is to just do tutorials, try out new things I haven't done before, ask on DF ;), and follow Web Design Blogs etc. The internet is always the most up to date resource, so I don't think I'd benefit much from doing a Web Design course. And as you also mentioned yourself, they teach what you've been doing for the past 10 years anyways. :)

    IMHO It would only make sense if you, as Renniks mentioned, want to teach others.
     
  4. eddypeck

    eddypeck Member

    Thanks, looks like I'll put my efforts into my portfolio and a showcase site of my own.
     
  5. i've thought about getting an Adobe Certificate too.. but decided against it in the end... :confused:
     
  6. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    As far as I've seen experience is worth 100 times more than qualifications.
     
  7. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    Indeed it is.
     
  8. Georgina Kent

    Georgina Kent Member

    Ok - so here's my painful story...

    Went to Uni 10 years ago... did well in typography lectures as that lecturer like me, none of the other lecturers like me and thus my grades when doing their projects were rubbish. Moreover, they HATED my design style - that style is incorporating hand rendered elements (like a hand drawn piece of typography, or imagery then incorporated into design on the computer), so much so, they told me I should be doing fine art instead, as there is no place in 'graphic design' for hand rendered stuff.

    I wish I could go back there and show them all the stuff out there now with hand rendered stuff on it... in your face lecturers! Anyway... the final straw was in my final year, half way through. I'd passed my dissertation, was starting my 2nd semester when I was called in to be told I was kicked out and had to repeat my final year. What a blow... I'd failed a project by 1 point, and what point did i fail? I was told I hadn't attended any meetings, which is what made me fail - but I was actually there for EVERY meeting, sitting next to the lecturer and seeing her write my name in her log book... clearly they wanted rid of me which is what happened.

    It took me a further 2 years to get any response out of them (when the time came to re-sit the year I couldn't afford to go back), I had been emailing them saying that I'd passed 2 of the 3 years and wanted something to show for it, eventually they agreed to give me a Diploma of Higher Education, but nowhere on it does it say I studied Graphic Design, so essentially I'm 12k in debt, have no degree to show for it and no design job. I worked crazily hard at that uni but because I don't have BA(hons) after my name, no design agency want to give me the light of day. And all I want in this world, is to work professionally as a designer...

    And yep, I did look into it, I can't re-do my final year, I had to do it the following year or never, so I'd have to do the entire thing over again, which I can't afford to do, as I have a mortgage.

    So when you ask about whether I rate degrees etc, I'd have to say 'no' in that it's fine if they like you, and 'yes' as you don't seem to stand a chance in this day and age to get a job otherwise.
     
  9. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    I don't rate degrees either. I have an ONC and HNC in graphic design and have worked at various studios around the country since '87.

    Most of the lecturers are stale and set in their ways from what I can remember. To busy ticking boxes and watching numbers to get passionate about the job. There are always the odd few that fire up the spark and you remember those. I still know a few from my old Bath Lane Art College Newcastle days and I get 'em a pint in if I see them out. Bless.
     
  10. Becky

    Becky Member


    Sounds about right. I have an ONC and HNC plus some experience. Whilst I've had one studio not even know what an HNC was, most are more impressed by the experience and work, and saw the 'bit of paper' as an added extra.

    I have to agree with the teaching too to some extent. I still wonder about being told that it was ok to create/edit a logo into Photoshop (I knew it wasn't right and dug my heels in and kept my work in Illustrator).

    Saying that if I'd have gone into design straight from school, I'd have probably gone and done a degree, however I am glad I didn't :)

    I think it's about finding the right balance. For Web work, the fast pace that it moves at you need to be self motivated and on top of the changes, not being taught from text books. Since design is more about passion than anything, if you don't have self motivation or desire, no piece of paper is going to help you with that or your portfolio.
     
  11. Thewholehogg

    Thewholehogg Active Member

    I've never had to show any qualifications at job interviews. I wouldn't even know where they are now.
     
  12. Becky

    Becky Member

    I did at a recent interview. But the woman was horrible anyhow, didn't know what the qualifications were and was generally rude. Her loss :)
     
  13. Jimlad

    Jimlad Well-Known Member

    In the 80s and 90s people could get a foot in the door easier than they can now. and now those people have decades of EXPERIENCE!

    Starting out these days you need a degree and a willingness to work for free just to get up the front path, never mind in the door.

    So people with experience, they don't rate degrees, rightly so. But those without need something to get them started.
    Although another thought occurs to me. I got my first creative job from the work I did after uni, not done FOR anyone, just work I had because I draw and draw and draw. They didn't really even want to see my uni stuff.
     
  14. berry

    berry Active Member

    I've got an A level art some GCE's and got kicked out of my Foundation Year Art at College and failed to get into University for a degree. I got a job as a Junior Artist/Dogsbody advertised in the Job Centre. Been a Creative Director for 25+ years of my 35 years in the business. I own my own agency and interview cruddy graduates with degrees, but little talent or motivation. So...what was the question?
     
  15. eddypeck

    eddypeck Member

    Thanks for all of your input, great to read so many experiences and opinions. So I thought I'd elaborate on why I was thinking this way...

    I've been in the business for 16 years. The last time I had any kind of formal training or refresher was over 10 years ago.

    I find myself in a job 'stagnating' but in looking for a new role there seems to be a wall of recruitment agents to get past that don't look at individuals or talent, they just enter a bunch of keywords and computer says 'pick this one'.

    Some of my job choices have taken me down a non-conventional route so on paper my experience might not tick all the boxes.

    Previously I've worked for high profile TV and music industry brands (CD:UK, various record labels and Sky Sports); I have a long standing connection with big name publishers (Reader Digest, Oxford, and BBC)

    However the client base of my current employer is quite low budget and my portfolio is suffering because of it, I feel I'm loitering on the outskirts but I want to get back into the thick of it.
     

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