Help on career change please


New Member
Hi all,

My names is steve and and have a real love for webdesign and graphics.I am looking into a new career so i thought of website design and development.

I am looking for some solid advice of people in the know so to speak.I am thinking of attending night college and have found 4 courses that are of intrest.Two are run by a respected institute of tech and the other 2 are run by training companies, also respected.

Heres a quick outline
course 1:Certificate in Fundamentals of Software Development (Minor Award)
course 2:Certificate in Web Design, Development and Maintenance (Minor Award)
leading on to a BSc in IT.
course 3:effective web design
course 4:CIW foundation, design and e-commerce

Has anybody got any advice on which path would be better to follow.I know experience matters and I do plan to build up a portfolio but I need the basic knolwedge before I start.Sorry for the long post but i think this is my last chance to do something i love instead of just plodding along because i have to.

I'd stay away from any college run web design courses. They tend to be 5 years behind the industry and teach old, outdated methods. In my last job I turned away so many CVs from enthusiastic college students who were just not qualified for a role in webdesign in the real world, despite what their college lecturers told them. The web is an always changing, organic medium so the need to stay on top of industry standards means that sometimes, you just have to learn how things are done off your own back by de-constructing other peoples work and seeing how they achieved their results.

Many of todays web designers are in the industry because they were the kids back in the mid-late 90's cutting and pasting code into their Geocities pages, finding out what works and what dosen't. Learning by doing is definatley the way to go when it comes to the web.

If you're serious about a career change, go for a design course that covers the basics; design history, Typography, page layout, etc. Then take what you've learnt and see what you can apply to the web. As a webdesigner, you'll benefit in the long run. I'd even suggest that you go down the route of a marketing course. I find myself applying the marketing knowledge I was taught in Uni on an almost daily basis.
I agree wit Pete. College courses are terrible. Quick courses that teach teh fundamentals will do the job better as long as you have the initiative to teach yourself using w3c tutorials,

Tutorials @ W3C

Practice, do websites for your business, for fun, for friends of a friend, anything. Your sites will improve and you can have a really good solid enjoyable career after!