What Major for Web Designers? Developers?

This question comes up a lot. It was asked of me recently:

I’m currently in high school and interested in possibly becoming a web designer in the future. I’ve already taken a web development class and recently won an award for a website I made, which made me more confident about getting into this field. I have two questions. What kind of degree is best? IT? Computer Technology? Art?

Two things:

First, because you get a web design ‘award’ doesn’t mean squat. In fact, those get handed out like candy. Unless you win a Webby, don’t bother caring about it.

Second, the Bachelor’s Degree is the most overrated product in America. Seriously. If you want to work in a corporate environment, fine, go piddle away your money at a degree that won’t teach you anything you couldn’t already Google. And it won’t teach you what you need to know, either. Like how to run a meeting or deal with lousy clients.

If you want to work on your own, skip the degree and just do some work on your own. No client ever asked a freelancer or a web agency, “Great, you’re hired! But can I see your degree first?” In fact, most web agencies would rather hire someone with talent over a degree. If it came down to two people and one had a degree and the other had a great portfolio in comparison with no degree, I’d take the guy with the better portfolio.

As a bonus, any web class you took in high school or a community college probably wasn’t that great. At least here in Indiana, the quality of most programs isn’t up to par because of inadequate technology, software, hardware and time for the teacher to keep up with the latest standards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.