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How do I start to learn Web Design?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by whimsy, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. whimsy

    whimsy New Member

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    Hello!!!

    Am very new to all this forum stuff and have only just signed up. I have read through a few forums from this site and feel this is the place I can get some honest answers!!! My forums is long (sorry!!! :oops:) but I would really appreciate advise!

    I would like to pursue a career in Web Design. I have computer skills in MS office, but that's it! - no knowledge what-so-ever to do with web design.

    Where do I start?

    I have looked into £5950 courses with Advent for a CIW Masters, I have to do a CompTIA Course 1st though.

    I have looked into £1960 courses with Redwood for a CIW Masters, I have to do a ECDL course 1st though but they who guarantee employment within 2 weeks of finishing the course (or money back), either with themselves or with a company.

    I have looked into £1300 home-study courses through Distance Learning for a CIW Masters.

    I have looked into £300 courses for Web Design Meastro to gain a NOCN Level 2 Diploma in Website Design & Construction (NVQ Level 3 equivalent).

    And there are courses on just Adobe Dreamweaver and Flash.

    I am not sure what the best route is, as most of you say CIW isn't really necessary and you can learn allot from just picking up a book on the right stuff and doing tutorials online.

    I am not particularly well disciplined to rely on myself doing things by a certain time if I just got the books and did online tutorials (3 kids kinda get in the way and are a great excuse), so I think a course would work better for me - but which one????!!!

    I have contacted 6 prospective employers and NONE of them have heard of CIW - unbelievable!!! One company being E3 Design, Bristol who are pretty big.

    So am I wasting time and money doing a CIW at all? I have heard it's pretty heavy reading, whereas the Web Design Maestro course is 20 lessons and your marked on your course work rather than an exam.

    Phew - glad I got that lot of my chest!!!

    Thank you so much for reading - I really look forward to your replies. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: CIW Site Designer
  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hi and welcome to CF!

    The first question is: Do you want to be a designer, or principally a programmer?

    If you want to be a designer you have to have the ability to design things! For example - I can't design well at all, so when I get involved in web pages I do the techie bits to someone else's graphics.

    You will find that a nice portfolio of web sites that you have done will be worth far more than any CIW cert. Which is why many companies aren't interested in CIW.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  4. whimsy

    whimsy New Member

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    Many thanks for your message Harry. I really appreciate you advising.

    What do you suggest I do to start learning how to design?
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: CIW Site Designer
  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    D'oh UKDarkstar beat me to it. You may also want to check out Adobe's Certified Associates range of certs. But like hbroomhall already said in the Web arena of IT a great portfolio is worth alot :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Actually, it's not so unbelieveable. Web design companies don't care how many certifications are after your name... they care if you can design Web sites. And you can prove that by submitting to prospective employers an e-portfolio of Web sites that you designed.

    The reason why certifications are more respected on the techie/admin site than they are on the Web design or programming side is because Web designers and programmers can prove their skill by showing their designs and/or their code. However, network admins and computer techs can't really prove their skill by bringing bringing in a computer they built or a network they successfully administered.

    So... if you want to be a Web designer, learn to design Web sites.

    Yes, the kids are a "good excuse"... but if you ***really*** want to be in IT - if Web design TRULY appeals to you - then you'll WANT to make the time for it, and you'll do it. A course isn't magically going to make you disciplined... it'll simply force you to attend class at a certain time of THEIR choosing. So why not save the money and force yourself to study between certain hours every night or all night on certain nights each week? Shut yourself away in a different room, or go to a coffee shop, or a library, or wherever. In truth, that's no different than the "discipline" a class gives you. And if you need guidance... that's what WE are for. :)

    Truly, if someone's mindset is, "I have paid a lot of money for a course, therefore I must attend the course" is what motivates someone to be in IT, they should really evaluate whether IT is for them. Learning isn't done when you get your first IT job... in fact, that's just the beginning. At some point, you'll need to enhance your skillset, and many companies aren't going to spend the money (or the time) to send you to a training course. Better learn HOW to self-study now, at the start. :)

    Hope this helps. Welcome to the forums!
     
    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!
  7. nellyp123

    nellyp123 Byte Poster

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    Personally......... i would print this out if i where you and read it every time you think of using a training provider! This quote has probably saved you five grand!!
     
    Certifications: CIW Professional
  8. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I'm willing to take donations of 1% of the cost of the training course... :p heeheehee
     
    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!
  9. nellyp123

    nellyp123 Byte Poster

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    Alright alright! you've had your moment....don't milk it!!!!! lol!
     
    Certifications: CIW Professional
  10. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    D'oh... Trying to under cut me? on a previous thread I said 50% :lol:

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  11. whimsy

    whimsy New Member

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    Guys (and Gals?), you have helped allot, many thanks. I told Advent to "sling their 'ook", so no £5000 pay out now!!

    I had a look at the W3 website and have now started the HTML tutorials, I'm going to give that a go and dedicate some time to it.

    Bye for now.
     
    Certifications: CIW Associate
    WIP: CIW Site Designer
  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    A man's gotta eat! :biggrin
     
    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!
  13. mickaveli2001

    mickaveli2001 Byte Poster

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    I see you stay in Kent? I don't know if England have a government funded scheme or not but here in Scotland we have the ILA, which is a government scheme that provides funding for people who earn under £18,000 a year

    You should look into open learning colleges, and ones that provide self study (if attendance isn't an option) paying thousands for a course if you want to be a web designer is ridiculous.

    I know a guy who has worked for, or should I say "designed" for Columbia Records, Sony Universal Music Group and loads more companies and individuals, and he has 'skills' in various different things like Macromedia Dreamweaver, Macromedia Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, GoLive, swish and so on. You say you know Microsoft office applications, so learning these other applications would be a benefit, and probably easier for you. First thing I'd do is try to learn some basic HTML though as a good starter point, even if you bought a book or something just to learn the basics of HTML code, and then go ahead with learning the applications.. You don't need to give a training provider thousands, you can learn them yourself, or even contact a local college, or do that ILA thing I was mentioning earlier (but the English equivelent) as a lot of those courses you may be able to get for £200-300 which is ideal because ILA give you £200 annually for further education (I've got £200 still, and havent decided what course to spend it on, as I'm currently self learning CompTIA A+)

    Being a web designer is different than anything else because when going to an employer for a business job or where ever you would present a CV, or a NRA folder with certifications inside it, and qualification awards etc... It's your designs, and website print outs, and portfolio of work that are your awards, and what your CV is, not some CIW qualification, which wont really mean much out in the bigger world - as you've now noticed, and may only be of use internally getting a job with the training provider.. Training providers tend to wayyy over-charge you, for materials, and to be able to have the 'advantage' of e-mailing them, while giving you a homeade certification, when all you need to do is learn most yourself, or at a local college if you get funded and go that route... Afterall the only support you need is right here, this forum is probably quicker than your training providers
     
    Certifications: NC Communication/Computing
    WIP: A+

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