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Your thoughts?

Discussion in 'CIW Certifications' started by jimjim, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. jimjim

    jimjim New Member

    Hi All

    I'm James, 19, from Yorkshire and am wanting to turn my hobby into self-employment/employment as a precursor to self-employment. I've designed and created my own sites since the days of Macromedia Dreamweaver v3.0 and have a keen interest in technology, computing, the internet and business.

    I'm approaching this course with the following in mind:

    1) It won't guarantee me a good job without experience and a varied portfolio
    2) It's not the be-all and end-all and i'll need a lot more experience, study and certifications to be successful

    I just have a couple of questions before I take the plunge and quit the day-job:

    • Has anyone else studied Master CIW Designer through ICS Learn? It costs £1,200-ish including Exams and Self-study resources (Similar contents and cost to CIWs own self-study kits) which I think is pretty good vs. Advents £4,500 for more or less the same.
    • After I get certified, would it be a good idea to completely teach myself - through constructing my portfolio/buying Sams/For Dummies books - the CIW Enterprise Developer certification as well? I want to be in a strong technical and creative position when I start working for myself
    • For people who were in a similar position, what could you recommend?
    Certifications: Certificate in Financial Planning
    WIP: Possibly CIW Master Designer
  2. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    I achieved the Master CIW Designer certification many, many years ago. And although I have limited experience designing Web pages, the exams were *extremely* easy. Really, it was nothing more than knowing a few tags and knowing some keyword terminology. Assuming the difficulty level hasn't changed much, I wouldn't think you'd need a course.

    That said, if you've got a good portfolio, you don't even really need the certification. Companies don't want web designers with letters after their name who know a few buzzwords... they want web designers who can design Web pages. And you can prove that with a portfolio.

    In truth, the Master CIW Designer certification is the one certification that I don't even bother listing in my sig or on my resume.

    I'd also advise that you don't quit your day job until you've secured employment elsewhere. Dropping your job just to pick up a course is a sure-fire path to long-term unemployment.

    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!
  3. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    I too did CIW Designer many years ago.
    I found it pretty interesting.
    It tends to focus on less of the technical issues and more on general stuff that you ought to know.
    Quite enjoyed it really.

    Can't comment on either of the providers you mention, but CIW can be a bit tricky to self-study as they make their material really difficult to get hold of if you are in the UK.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    Hi and welcome to CF!

    My main thought is this: In today's climate *Don't quit the day job*. :biggrin

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  5. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    Spot on advice there from Harry!

    Forget the CIW/Advent/ICS sh1te and look into the following:

    Flash CS4
    Dreamweaver CS4
    Actionscript 3

    Get a yearly membership with Lynda.com for approx $350 - dunno what that is in £ - and download their Video Based Training stuff! It'll outclass ANYTHING that the training companies can offer!
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  6. jimjim

    jimjim New Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I think a lot of confusion over the CIW Master Designer course comes from the fact that it shouldn't really be marketed as a Technical certificate: the course is more geared towards a general understanding of end use and ways to get there (well that's the message I get from a recent email ICS sent me). It's a shame salespeople are pushing it to me as a be-all and end-all course.

    Your posts have also highlighted my need to brush up on technical knowledge not in the course. Am I correct in thinking books/lynda.com courses in XHTML/HTML, XML/XSLT, X3D, CSS, Javascript, AJAX, Actionscript, ColdFusion, .Net, Flash AND most importantly demonstrating my knowledge of those subjects by creating a technically diverse portfolio will give me a good start in my employment?

    Also, is there anywhere I can blag/pick up a decent priced copy (legal or otherwise) of CS4? Or, has anyone had any success with Open Source equivalents? (KompoZer instead of Dreamweaver; GIMP instead of Photoshop etc)?
    Certifications: Certificate in Financial Planning
    WIP: Possibly CIW Master Designer
  7. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    That question has already been answered by BM. You also need to brush up on current web technologies. For instance, HTML is old hat and XML and XHTML...well...I'll let you figure that out.

    Hmm...you're looking to pay £££££s on a course but you'd rather skimp on buying 1st class software? Makes no sense.

    I think you need to find out WHAT software web developers are using.
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  8. nellyp123

    nellyp123 Byte Poster

    As drum-dude say's, go and sign up with lynda.com and you can learn all most anything there is to know about web design!

    I did the CIW course last year, it taught me enough to get me feet wet. But it was other resources where i learn't the most.

    Certifications: CIW Professional
  9. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    Great links there nelly! Cheers
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    No expensive tools or courses are necessary to learn web skills, thats the beauty of the net.

    HTML is still relevant, its the basis of XHTML and most of the web.

    There is no shortage of resources on the net, w3schools is a good start as is google :wink:

    Lynda stuff is good as mentioned.

    Do yourself a favour and get Firefox, Firebug and WebDeveloperToolbar.

    I'd forget Dreamweaver just get Notepad2 or Textpad or similar.

    Woah there ! One step at a time, learn HTML, Javascript and CSS first, read about other tech and then make a decision on what to learn next.

    People normally specialise in only one serverside technology in general. There are multiple possible career paths, not all paths will require all skills, do you want to be a designer or a developer ?

    Real knowledge and skills count more than any pieces of paper. Delivering quality product on time is all that really matters.
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. nellyp123

    nellyp123 Byte Poster

    From what i have experienced by applying for dozens of jobs over the last year, is that the prerequisite's of a junior web designer is to be proficient in (x)html, CSS and Adobe photoshop. Anything else is a plus.

    The biggest mistake i made was to think that my certs would do most of the talking. But it's only since i got my portfolio up and running... www.neilrpearce.co.uk , that i started to get more offers, or should i say more interviews.

    Hope this helps? :D
    Certifications: CIW Professional

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