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Web design exams

Discussion in 'CIW Certifications' started by Mix'Creations, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Mix'Creations

    Mix'Creations Nibble Poster

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    After the Ciw Web design exams, are there other areas (cert's etc) that we should look into?

    Thanks
     
    Certifications: 1D0-510) CIW Web Foundations Associate,
    WIP: On route to Guru
  2. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    At one point, Adobe had a set of certifications for using their "design" products. I can't say for sure that they're still available, but that may be something to look into. That being said, the best way to get a job as a designer is to create a portfolio of your designs that you can show potential employers. I don't know of many companies that place a higher value on certifications than they would on actual designs.
     
  3. gosh1976

    gosh1976 Kilobyte Poster

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    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCDST, CCENT, MCTS: Win 7 Configuring, CCNA
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I wouldn't bother with any certs if it's web design you want to get into.
    It's a huge field, so it really depends on what you fancy doing or what you are good at - and then practicing.
    You might want to get into some design package or other - Adobe has already been mentioned - but I think you'll be better off trying to get 'good' rather than getting 'certified'.

    Alternatively you might want to get into something like javascript, CSS or asp etc.

    Just don't plan your development around what certifications you can do.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. Mix'Creations

    Mix'Creations Nibble Poster

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    Just curious realy.So is the CIW cert the main Web design cert?. I am getting knowledge and practice from all sorts of areas.. mostly through books and videos tuts.

    I use the Adobe creative suite cs5 a lot, every so often others..

    Editing templates for feel and practice etc...

    Thanks:eek:
     
    Certifications: 1D0-510) CIW Web Foundations Associate,
    WIP: On route to Guru
  6. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    FWIW, I've never actually seen a company that was specifically looking for CIW certifications (and I have the master CIW certification, so I was hopeful that it would be beneficial).
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  7. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I think the CIW certs are fine for their level, there's a lot of useful information in there.
    Unfortunately, the one thing they don't teach you how to do is design a website.

    The ability to design a website isn't really something you can test by multiple choice exam, which is where the problem lies, I guess. It's often more of an art than a science, and the only way you can get good at it is to practice and learn.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  8. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

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    I was in the web design industry for 6+ years and belive that too many people want to be web designers without stopping to think exactly what that role involves, likewise, too many companies hire web designers without knowing exactly what they want that person to do.

    Take a typical home grown web designer, he/she’s done a few websites for friends and family, and are now proudly wearing a badge on their chest that says “IM A WEB DESIGNER – HIRE ME”.

    Now take a typical company, they may have paid out for a website in the past that didn’t work out as well as they wanted (i.e. they weren’t immediately engulfed with orders from peoples all over the world and they are not currently deciding to buy out Microsoft or Google), and now they want to get an in-house web designer who can fix this for them.

    The problem is that a web designer typically does exactly what the title suggests – they design websites that look good. But what the company need is a web manager, who can design and develop websites, a web manager would typically know all about how to market a product/service, know the legal implications of doing business over the web, know about SEO, social networking for brand awareness/protection, etc...
    Here’s what I would suggest if you are serious about getting into this game (and not getting kicked out as soon as the new website does not do everything every manager wants).
    • Web Designer – portfolio & art degree or equivalent HNC
    • Web Developer – portfolio & programming / computing degree or equivalent HNC
    • Web Manager – Portfolio, Marketing/Computing Degree and CIW Certifications
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
    WIP: MCSE
  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Repped for goodness. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  10. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

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    I just re-read my post and I sound like a complete know-it-all ar*e, sorry, (I should stop posting before lunch).

    Anyway I should have concluded by saying to the OP that CIW certs won’t really get you anywhere until you start looking at web manger type jobs, as these are the types of jobs that require in-depth knowledge of subjects covered by CIW, such as server specs, security, legality, etc… and most web designers will work with a web manger who will address all these issues for you.

    Web designers need to know how to create good looking websites that address issues such as cultural differences, usability, scalability, etc…

    The more you optimize a design and learn about usability, conventional design, etc… the more your sites will start to look the same, as you would have already explored most avenues of user interaction and found a model that works well for your particular style. The constant challenge of being fresh and inspiring yet implementing all your gained experience of usability and best practice becomes more difficult as you gain more experience/knowledge. Most web designers naturally progress to web developer at this stage.

    The MCPD: Web Developer 4 Cert is also a handy one to get, as it shows potential employers that you can integrate their existing .net software into their new website or intranet site.

    To earn this you will need to pass 4 Microsoft exams.

    • 70-513
    • 70-516
    • 70-515
    • 70-519

    Basically web designers are employed based on their art, web developers are employed based on their coding skills, and web mangers are employed based on their business, marketing, skills.

    If you start off as a web designer for 3-4 years, then progress to web developer for another 3-4 years then progress to web manager you should be a fully seasoned pro who is in high demand and can command an obscene salary.

    So if the OP wanted to be a designer, I would recommend he/she concentrate on their portfolio and maybe pursue a part time HNC in art or graphical design at his/her own local collage, then after a few years (before your artistic flair dries up) move into web development and do a top up to a computing degree then move into web management.
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
    WIP: MCSE
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Eh? :blink I don't think you sound like a "know-it-all ar*e" at all. I found your post to be quite interesting and informative. After all, you've been in the industry for six years... who better to give advice than someone who has "been there, done that"? Repped.
     
    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!
  12. Mix'Creations

    Mix'Creations Nibble Poster

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    We just want to design Web sites for a living lol
     
    Certifications: 1D0-510) CIW Web Foundations Associate,
    WIP: On route to Guru
  13. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

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    Thanks Jonny & Boston

    I've done most things in the computing world (I’ve been a self employed web designer, I've owned a PC repair & sales shop, I've been a computer programmer, in-house web designer, e-commerce manager, 2nd line hardware support, network engineer, etc..), I've made tons of money and spent it just as easy, but right now I'm in my 30s with a wife, mortgage and a baby due soon, I'm happy with my 9-5 and paying the bills. The world of employment is tough - too many good candidates and not enough jobs, you have to stand out, or work for yourself.

    Its fine to start off doing a few websites for small business at £100 a go, and some people make a good living out of it, but you don't need any certs for that, you've just got to be a better sales person that the next/last sales person that tried to sell them a website.

    If you get bored of that and decide you want to do this as a job (and earn a regular income, and still have weekends and holidays to yourself) then you'll be up against some serious stiff completion in the employment market, the qualifications I’ve listed may not be in the job requirements or advert, but the other candidates you’ll be up against will have them, CIW certs are similar to comptia certs (not on job adverts but listed on CVs).

    Build your portfolio and work on your own brand if you don't like working for someone else, or struggle to get your first web designer job, you can always explore this self-employed freelance business later.
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
    WIP: MCSE
  14. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Its actually pretty rare for designers to be good developers and vice versa, there are multiple roles as mentioned
    and no set out career path or progression, sure you could take that route but you might not.

    The three tracks can be totally seperate, there is no reason for many to cross train and you need not, 'dry up'. What tends to happen is after 15-20 years people become less tech/detail focused and want to move into management and concentrate on business/soft skills.

    In reality many web managers/e-commerce managers come from a business background and learn a few bits of light tech info like the CIW covers, they are not real techs or programmers.

    Many designers as you state come from an art background, many do their work mostly in Photoshop.

    The developer category is also more complex, you tend to get front end web devs and back end developers. The front end web devs work on user experience and translating the design into a working site, they specialise in Javascipt, HTML, CSS, Flash, AJAX, JQuery etc.

    Back end or server side developers can work on many types of systems, in the web space they typically work building the page dynamically from multiple sources, sometimes a CMS and DB, often they add shopping cart, email, workflow, settlement, type functionality. They tend to work with one main stack, this could be LAMP, Wintel/.NET, Coldfusion, Java/JEE/Weblogic, Ruby/Rails etc.

    Back end developers usually have some front end skills also but its not their core skillset.

    Each stack will in turn have many components/skills, for .NET it would be something like C#, SQL, ADO .NET, HTML, JavaScript, ASP .NET, Core .NET Framework, IIS, SQL Server, JQuery, XML, XSLT, SOAP, WCF, MVC, Windows, LINQ, Silverlight, Entity Framework, etc.

    Other roles can also exist like architects, testers, administrators(server and network), project managers, business analysts, marketing, these roles still exist in the web world as well as in non web development.

    Scalability is really a senior developer or architects job, only a small amount is front end such as page weight etc. Security is likewise not really the domain of the e-commerce manager.

    Certification as mentioned is not the answerr to a good career as a developer or designer as I have mentioned in the past.

    In general do not pursue MCPD unless you are already a .NET developer, its definitely not for designers at all.

    Sometimes in smaller companies you get to 'wear many hats' or perform multiple roles, its not uncommon for designer/front end web developer/web manager/web admin to be covered by one person. However they are unlikely to excel in all areas.

    CIW foundation is largely nice to know information, its not going to hurt, but as mentioned does not and can not test for the core design skills you need. You are better off with an art or design course for design. Then you need to supplement that with some front end developer skills if you want to be a designer / front end developer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  15. Mix'Creations

    Mix'Creations Nibble Poster

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    Did graphic art @ college when i was 17.Ill just take/pass the 5 exams.. just cause they are part of the syllabus, but i already knew that my skills would eventually outshine anything on paper stipulating that ive completed and passed any course.:thumbleft

    menti creative!
     
    Certifications: 1D0-510) CIW Web Foundations Associate,
    WIP: On route to Guru
  16. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

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    If youve got grapic design thats great, you should be fine, just get a great portfolio together everything else will fall into place and let your career develop organically. Do the CIWs but don’t rush, they won't have any impact on your career as a web designer until you move up the ladder.
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
    WIP: MCSE

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