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Hello and a question or two!

Discussion in 'CIW Certifications' started by pazz5, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. pazz5

    pazz5 New Member

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    Hey guys,

    As many radio station callers often say...long time listener, first time caller!

    I just wanted to say hello and some opinions from people all across the board, new users and experts alike.

    Basically I was in a dead end job, just out of uni and I really wanted to gain some qualifications in a field which I enjoyed; when I stumbled across skillstrain.. now the package which was 'sold' to me sounded the bee's knees. I would be in web design in 18 months with a 'guaranteed' job. This sounded too good to be true but I went for it and I am thouroughly enjoying it.

    Having said that, I am still only on the foundation material but I know to expect in the next few months and am looking forward to what lies ahead.

    However, this is where my questions come in, having been reading up on these forums and other places.

    Does this qualification open up any doors which weren't availiable to me otherwise? Has anyone else qualified via skillstrain and found it difficult to find a job? What jobs should I be aiming for?

    Personally I feel I have a pretty strong CV but I needed that extra qualification to get into the IT world and do something I enjoy doing. I just hope I havent spent all this money and time on something which wont help me in the long run.

    Again, thanks for reading and hi from me!!
     
    Certifications: BSc Business Information Systems
    WIP: Master CIW Design manager
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Welcome

    First I would like to say good luck with the course and job hunting.

    Second I would like to say take what skillstrain have said about getting you a job in 18months with a pinch of salt, as most training providers will offer this get your cash and then say something like 'we can't get you a job because you are not in the correct geograhical area'.

    I don't know much about web design so I can't help you with that.

    I just hope you haven't spent money on a false promise, good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    First - Hi and welcome to CF!

    What cert are you actualy going for? If it is a recognised cert then it may help a bit.

    However - the most useful thing to land a job is to have a portfolio of the work you have done. A good portfolio will speak far louder than any number of certs.

    To be good at web design implies you can design - which is very hard to test for a cert.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  4. pazz5

    pazz5 New Member

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the replies.

    I am doing the Master CIW Website manager (self study) which covers a fair bit including XML, CSS, HTML, XHTML, Java, JavsScript, Perl aswell as networking, databasing and SQL etc etc. Along with this I am teaching myself (and having a lot of fun with!!) photoshop.

    In hindsight I still would have decided to do the course even after reading some of the negative posts regarding skillstrain, I am not going to rely on them to find me a job.

    I have been looking around at various web designer jobs and a lot of them require a few of the above skills but also ask for other skills such as ASP and .net experience. Are the skills I gain in this course transferrable to things like ASP and C++? If not, what jobs do you suggest are a good starting block to get on the ladder?

    I am searching for jobs such as 'website designer' and 'java programmer' but could you point me in the direction of some entry level job titles I can look at?

    Cheers for the help if possible, best get back to my study!

    James
     
    Certifications: BSc Business Information Systems
    WIP: Master CIW Design manager
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I'm not a programmer but my opinion is that learning general programming skills will at least somewhat transfer to .NET and ASP platforms. Take a look at Microsoft's Beginner Developer Center to get some ideas and free tools relative to .NET and ASP:

    http://certforums.com/forums/thread17714.html

    There's also the Free Windows Vista and .NET 3.0 E-Learning Portal to consider:

    http://certforums.com/forums/thread18687.html

    The links above lead to news items here on CF and contain links to the resources I've mentioned. Good luck.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    To try and add ASP.NET and C# (C# is preferred to C++ for use with .NET it seems) to this will be quite a lot of work! :biggrin

    I don't know the course, but from some of the things mentioned on here there isn't a lot of depth in each of the main subjects.

    Java is used quite a bit outside of the Web world, so you would need to be fairly good at it to land a job just advertised as 'Java Dev'.

    As Trip has said - if programming 'clicks' for you then adding another language isn't too bad.

    As for looking for jobs - I'd try and do some websites part-time, nag friends and family to do theirs! You need to build up some examples of your work. Nobody is going to employ you as a Website developer at any level above tea-boy without some examples of what you can do! :biggrin

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  7. pazz5

    pazz5 New Member

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    Thanks again guys,

    Yeah I am currently building a portfolio of designs and am buying a domain next week. I will have a basic template for now then improve it as I gain the skills, to show the development over the coming months.

    I think my plan is to plod along for the time being as it's too early to be applying for jobs which will utilise this certification but I'm determined over the next few months to get myself on the IT ladder.

    Thanks for the help again and happy new year to all!

    James
     
    Certifications: BSc Business Information Systems
    WIP: Master CIW Design manager
  8. nellyp123

    nellyp123 Byte Poster

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    Hello mate, i haven't posted on here for some time and it is always nice to hear someone in the same boat as us!!!!
    Basically....you are studying web design...right!!!
    Well.....what you need to do is answer your own question....."do i wanna be a web developer or web designer???"
    Being a web designer means getting to know programs such as Photoshop, Flash, Fireworks, Illustrator, dreamweaver.....and thats without html, css, javascript, Actionscript(flash).
    You need to look at yourself to see if you have either good art skills or good logical skills. Because there's people out there who wanna be a web designers, who struggle to become what they want to become because they just can't design (have no art skills).
    But i am sure there is people out there that will prove me wrong!!?
    But if you possess good logical skills...then learning web development is the better option. .Net isn't easy as i have tried to learn it myself last year, but to be honest it bored the life out of me. I needed something i could see asap while developing it and flash was the one for me.!!
    I have been learning actionscript and flash 8/CS3 for the last year and it is blows my mind as what i can do with whatever imagination i have. Also i have been learning photoshop and illustrator along the way.
    And it doesn't matter how many jobs that i have applied for....i still get asked if i have a online portfolio!.
    It has took me well over a year to be confident to say that i know html, css and programs such as flash, photoshop and dreamweaver. And by February i should be very confident in using both illustrator and actionscript as well as html and css, and i am sure that my online portfolio will look better then any of my certifications that i now hold.!!!!!!!!

    all the best... neil
     
    Certifications: CIW Professional
  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I'm so glad someone else has said this! I'm asked so many times about web design - but when I ask what design skills they have I get a blank stare!

    I *know* I have no design skills - and I keep well away from that aspect. But I do know the software behind the web apps. If a client has a half-way decent designer I can usualy work with them to get a decent result.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  10. nellyp123

    nellyp123 Byte Poster

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    I do agree with you there harry!
    If you know the software well, then you can certainly create some great designs. Like dreamweaver for example.
    If you know that well and have basic knowledge of mark-up language then you can't really go wrong. But designing a company logo with either flash or illustrator is really left to people with good art skills.
    That's just my opinion and it's what a few people have said that i know who have tried web design and ended up becoming programmers or network engineers.
    But going back to the question that was asked...."what can the ciw cert do for me"?
    In my experience...that is....when i have applied for work hoping that my certs will do most of the talking. I was a bit startled by the fact that no one ( potential employers) hadn't even heard of CIW. It was when i started to put my portfolio together that i had phone calls and interviews.
    My advice...and i have said this before on the forum.......is to treat your exams and certifications as personal goals, not as a ticket to a job. Build up your skill set by practicing and then build a portfolio. Start building a web site right now, use this as your portfolio and add to it as you learn. Also one thing i noticed with CIW is that you don't learn alot. Honestly, when i passed my site designer exam, there was no way i could have just walked straight into a job, even at junior position. If someone would have asked me to design them a web site there and then, well i would have shat me self. The two most important things to know in web design is (X)HTML and CSS, content and presentation. CIW teaches you the bare minimum of CSS, and not once did it mention specificity or inheritance, which is very important in learning CSS.!
    It's only now ( four months down the line) that i have gained enough skills to be confident working as a web designer. In that time i have learn't Flash and Actionscript, photoshop and CSS all from online tutorials and books.

    So, having a cert wont get you a job but it will certainly help. But it's your portfolio that will help the most, that web site that you started three or four months ago has transformed into a glittering showcase of your web design skills!
    And having alot of time and motivation to learn the web apps such as photoshop, flash and illustrator is a must as there is a hell of a lot to learn as you probably know!?

    One other piece of advice that i will give which was given to me a few months back, is not to try and be jack of all trades!
    Find something that you enjoy doing and get bloody good at it.

    There's work out there for graphic designers(learn photoshop and Illustrator), there's work out there for HTML developers, there's work out there for search engine optimisation (SEO)
    Personally, i love using Flash because my first love was cartooning ( worked as a freelance cartoonist) and flash is ideal for cartoons.
    So, i am going to learn as much as i can about flash and actionscript and then apply for a job working as a flash/Actionscript developer.
    Have a look at www.lynda.com for some very good tutorials on all things web design.

    All the best, neil
     
    Certifications: CIW Professional
  11. pazz5

    pazz5 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice again guys,

    I think I have been probably jumping the gun when it comes to jobs etc as I have only really just started this course.

    You raised a good issue Nelly about designer vs developer and I suppose time will tell which path I decide to go down. I do think I have a good eye for art but sometimes have trouble expressing it. Hopefully the more I play about with photoshop the easier some things will get but developing definately comes easier.

    I will hopefully be buying a domain in the next few weeks so I can show my portfolio and how it develops month by month.

    The certifications are definately person goals more then anything but I also hope they can help me further my career and my desire to become a developer. Im 23 so I suppose theres plenty of time for me yet.

    One last question about a point which comes up a lot. When I decide to start applying for developing roles I won't have any actual work experience to show to an employer bar the portfolio, degree and certification. Now, my plan was to start applying now for entry level jobs such as helpdesk and IT support roles. If I was successful do you think a helpdesk role would help me get into developing? I ask that as I see helpdesk and developing at a completely different end of the spectrum.

    Thanks again guys, I'll keep you posted!

    James

    p.s. Nelly, do you have a site or any projects you have completed which I can have a look at, would be interested in seeing some of the things you have described.

    p.p.s lynda.com is great, will deffo be signing up to that.
     
    Certifications: BSc Business Information Systems
    WIP: Master CIW Design manager
  12. ouzbel

    ouzbel New Member

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    Hi Pazz, I completed the CIW Web Master course through skills train in november and the promise of a job would seem to have been nothing more than a ploy to get me to sign up!

    I did however learn some useful tips and tricks in the course and have decided to turn my attention to learning CSS and photoshop for the time being, as well as starting a few personal projects to try and build a portfolio which will hopefully enhance my chances of getting a new job!

    Hope the studying is going well 8)
     
    Certifications: CIW Web Master
  13. DJDave

    DJDave Bit Poster

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    I'm doing the CIW with skills trian, and though it has helped my a bit the course can be very boaring and make you switch off for a while.

    I also have to learn myself with other books and web pages to help me along the way. I have still not made up my mind on what I want to do I love designing and I love building sites and making them work.

    The course is not bad and they said to me oh you get a job at the end and if you don't pass the course is done again free. I thinking having the time again I would learn myself then do the course.
     
    WIP: CIW
  14. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    As has been said there are often distinct roles in developing a web site, these are mainly but not limited to :-

    Administration - Databases, IIS, Apache, Networking, Clustering, LDAP/Account managment, Cache Devices etc.
    Design - Illustrator, Photoshop, Dreamweaver etc
    Client Side Development - HTML, Javascript, CSS, Flash
    Server Side Development - ASP .Net, C#, VB.NET, Perl, SQL, Java, JSP, Servlets, PHP, Flex etc

    Just as basic knowledge of Photoshop does not make you a designer, the same goes for the rest, you will be expected to know your area inside out. You don't really need a portfolio to be in admin or server side development. You can also specialise, some people do nothing but flash or nothing but javascript of course they will still understand alot of the other stuff.

    I've personally never seen any demand for any level of CIW qualification, its quite an overcrowded market since the dot com boom, many people have cut their teeth on CGI and apache and other stuff over the past 15 years, again meaning experience is more important than certs.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  15. pazz5

    pazz5 New Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I don't and have never expected an easy ride and only consider this course (and my degree) as a foundation to build upon which will hopefully help me to apply for some entry level jobs upon completion.

    My original questions were :-

    Does this certification open up any doors which weren't availiable to me otherwise? Has anyone else qualified via skillstrain and found it difficult to find a job? What jobs should I be aiming for?

    Im quite sure a cert will help me get into an entry level position without any experience then if I applied for a entry level job without a cert.
     
    Certifications: BSc Business Information Systems
    WIP: Master CIW Design manager
  16. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The cert will make you look more attractive to an employer if the other applicants don't have certs or experience. Look for entry level programming jobs.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  17. harpistic

    harpistic Byte Poster

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    I've got to say, I've never received a job vacancy asking for CIW. In fact, I've just searched for it on Jobserve and found no jobs. The vacancies I receive are about specific skillsets - PHP, ASP etc (I delete them, so I don't have any handy).

    I've just looked through the course details on Skillstrain and it seems to be more of a foundation course - as in, heavy on networking, but not enough focus on web technologies. It might suit you for an entry-level job somewhere, but you'd definitely be best of complementing your study by signing up for a webhost like Dreamhost and building as many sites as you can on the side to develop and expand your skills.

    From what I can see, demand is moving towards content management systems, which means less need for JS/Perl/HTML - but more call for developers as opposed to designers :sunny. As your course is giving you a strong IIS foundation, then it might be a good idea to work on ASP and take it from there. The good thing about web work is that freelance work counts towards your CV, so working on sites which give you experience with ASP etc will be invaluable. Also PHP, as there's a lot of demand for it right now, and it's free.

    Nelly raised the issue of developer or designer - it sounds like you're more interested in what websites can do as opposed to how they look?

    And a strong resounding No! to helpdesk work being a first step towards web work!! Unless you treat it as a source of income while you build up your portfolio and then quit... :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: Pet Geekery
    WIP: cure for insomnia
  18. PhoenixAngelique

    PhoenixAngelique Byte Poster

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    I'm new here and 50% of the way through the CIW Master course, have not yet needed any tutor assistance either and want to wish anybody considering it, do it if you're serious it's far from easy and those that've already jumped in I look forward to talking with you and good luck with it :)

    I've only read the top few posts so far, but hee's whatI'm feeling from people...

    Is the qualification recognised? It's HUGE in the states, and it's growing still within the UK.

    Is the course worth it? Personally I'd say yes...BUT you do need to be applying the skills you're learning to build your own site(s) help to those that help themselves etc. Employers ask for proof you can do what your piece of paper says you can.

    Skillstrain actually work with companies/recruitment agencies so that they can get the best possibility of getting you the job they "promised" - they do also say that if they can't get you a suitable position within 2 months of course completion then you get a course fees refund.

    I think with Web design the key to finding a job role is number one a portfolio (as with ANY design industry) and two, flexibility - that includes relocation, which I have no personal issue with as I intend to emmigrate.

    The issue with where do i specialise...well it's upto you if you choose a speciality or do the all round thing (although my personal opinion is that anyone who has enough creative tendancy to invest several thousand pounds in a course to assist that creativity would really get very bored and dissatisfied VERY quickly if they then chose to specialise - I know I sure would).

    http://www.ciwcertified.com/jobroles/default.asp

    Try that link though.

    PhoenixAngelique
     
    WIP: CIW Master Website Design Manager
  19. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You must be talking about a different set of states, because it's not very well recognized in the US. Employers here want to see a portfolio of sites you've designed... not a certification that shows that you know what a <p> tag is.

    To be honest, it's the only certification I've got that I don't list on my resume or signature.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  20. harpistic

    harpistic Byte Poster

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    I have to agree with you - I just searched for it on Dice and found one job only - .net specialist in Houston. Um.
     
    Certifications: Pet Geekery
    WIP: cure for insomnia

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