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Loy

Courses on web design Worth it ?

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hi Guys and Girls

 

Quick bit about myself used to work in IT 7 years ago former MCSE in NT, 98, but been out of IT now for a while so way behind the times,

 

Been looking into getting back into IT with something a bit more fun and creative so Web design really sparks a interest for me.

 

now i have been looking at college courses at my local tech college and it offers evening course with a city and guilds diploma which to me sounds very rubbish not going

to get company's kicking your door down with jobs.

 

i have been talking to national IT learning centre about their courses which are Adobe based. now this sounds much more up the street i was looking for ACE certification

Cr4, with dreamweaver a product i have heard of for many years.

 

now the Nation IT learning centre course is a home based study with the exams at the end when u are ready, they offer some instructor based training if you get stuck and 24 hour phone support. at a cost of £4500 roughly

 

Looking at Adobe's website they seem to have there own home based learning disk's 35 pounds per program or 200 for a web designer cs4 complete tutorials and there exams are about 130€

 

So my questions

1. has anyone else ever taken one of there courses?

2. has anyone used the Adobe tutorial disks ?

3. do you think just maybe getting some books maybe starting with Html and working my way through css php dreamweaver fireworks etc etc is a better way to learn.

 

thanks in advance for all help

 

loy

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Formal qualifications aren't a necessity but sometimes they do help people more than if they'd taught themselves. There's no reason why you shouldn't just buy some books and learn how to do it, but there's also no reason why you shouldn't do a good course. I've made the 'good' bold because colleges all over the UK are saturated with courses that are unsuitable for learning website design, and don't really teach you anything that you need to know, some even just showing you how to use WYSIWYG editors (Dreamweaver etc).

 

Personally, I haven't had any formal qualifications in website design and up until last year was doing it for a hobby. I have to say, once website design becomes your profession, you will progression 1,000% faster than you ever before :).

 

My advice is: throw yourself into the deep end, just go for it.

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you'll learn much more from just jumping right in. personally i feel that paying any money (apart from on some good books) is money down the drain. the thing to bare in mind with web design and development is there are a lot of bad techniques to learn and it can be hard to know which are the right ones to learn. a course should make this simpler but in my opinion it does not. try websites like http://www.sitepoint.com/ to start out with - i personally feel they are well written articles for beginners and such sites have the power to teach you more than any course i've ever heard of.

 

finally, while it may be true in many other disciplines that people say to avoid courses as a matter of pride (in boasting their self-taught profession) - i honestly feel the self-taught route is the most valuable and efficient in this industry. everything is much simpler with a ground-up understanding.

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ive done a home learning course on webdesign - dreamweaver cs3 i paid roughly bout £2500 for it passed all my assesments with A merits and i honestly never learnt a thing sure i can build a website using dreamweaver and i no the basics of HTML and CSS but its nothing i couldnt have got from a book or online for FREE

i am starting college in august to do HND interactive media and web design but just purly because i just dont have the time to sit at a computer for hours and learn it all my self as i have a wee boy so being at college will just give me a timetable to stick to lol

 

but good luck with whatever you choose but my advice stay away from home learning courses that are just after your money

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Welcome to WDF!

 

two things that you should note:

 

1. "Web design" courses

Many courses still teach outdated methods, or only teach you how to use a WYSIWYG editor. Rarely do they teach you how to hand code well structured HTML/CSS, and deal with accessibility/usability, which is what a good course should teach.

 

2. Reliance on proprietry software

Be careful of the "Adobe effect". Sure you can go into a classroom and learn how to use specific software but that won't really teach you how to develop a web site. When it boils down to it what software you use shouldn't matter, it's what you do with it that counts :)

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I signed up with a home study course called CIW Web Manger. Alot of money (over £3000) and is a waste of time. Your better off learning from resources on the net as far as im concerned.

I cannot comment on other courses, but from my experience, they are not usually worth it.

 

I went for an interview the other week and they didnt care that I have CIW qualification!

 

Good luck tho.

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welcome to the forum.

 

In my experience, the courses are nothing compared to the experience you can get actually getting stuck in.

 

The headfirst series is brilliant for learning, so take a look at Headfirst HTML and CSS (with xhtml). Its fairly up to date (as far as books go) and is quick paced enough to teach you and for you not to get bored halfway through.

 

If you get the chance, ask a local company if you can work alongside them on a work experience type role (unpaid if needs be, the experience is invaluable) Where are you from? there may even be someone on here wiling to give you that chance.

 

Reaper

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Save your money and jump in at the deep end.....

 

Make use of all the free resources out there on the tubes, such as HTML dog for learning html and css. Gimp as a graphics program. All you need for writing is a copy of notepad (or equivalent) which is already installed on your computer

 

Then you can always post on here if you get really stuck :)

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I did a web-design course by the Open University, and to put it bluntly.. it was crap.

All it taught me was how to use a WYSIWYG editor. And learnt no code from it at all. I even complained to them about it saying how I learnt nothing from it and all they could say was that I must be too advanced for that course :mellow:

 

But now I am at Uni studying Interactive Media Production (with Rob), and have learnt A LOT from doing it. So if you were looking at maybe doing at course at Uni, I would recommend it.

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I am also doing the CIW design Managers course and yes it is very out dated and yes the support is pretty non exsistent! BUT!! I had already tried useing the resources available online and decide I was going to teach myself but found I was getting in a mess deciding which avenue to work on first ie Flash, Javascript, jQuery HTML XHTML...etc etc.

 

I realised I wanted to learn all of it but need some sort of structure so that I knew I would get to learning all I wanted to eventually. Now I was lucky because my work offered to pay for my course as long as I dont just leave for a while and help them update there website.

 

So I m still doing the course because whether and employer is bothered about CIW or not at least when I go to an individual how dosen't know anything about websites but knows they want one. it will at least prove that I have studied somthing and so should have at least a basic knowledge. But I am also/mostly following tutorials etc online to learn stuff more up to date.

 

My advice, in retrospect, is have a go picking stuff up of all the great resources available on the net. if you find, Like me, that you need the structure of a course or would just prefer doing a course then go to a nearby college and see what they offer because the one thing I do wish I had was some one such as a tutor who I can speak to face to face and pose questions and discuss issues as they arise.

 

so good luck hope that you do well and I hope that rather long reply is helpful. :)

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12 months ago I was faced with the same decision. I was considering the NITL (National IT Learning Centre) and the HLC (Home Learning College) and very nearly signed up with one of them. The thing that put me off was that there were lots of things on the courses that I aleady knew (ie Microsoft Word / Excel etc) and then I read on forums that a client does not ask you to create a website because you have good qualifications, but because you have a good portfolio.

 

However I felt that as I hadn't done any studying for 20 odd years I needed some kind of structure for my self-discipline rather than reading books and watching videos.

 

Therefore I did 2 x online courses through a UK University: Introduction to Web Design, followed by Intermediate Web Design. Each one cost me about £ 110 and lasted 12 weeks with an assessment at the end.

 

It's one of the best choices I made.

 

In the introduction I was taught all the basics of hand-coding and was able to produce a 6 page website. In the second this was expanded uopn and now I am a fully paid up member of the "CSS" club.

 

I actually do use Adobe Dreamweaver now, but not because I need a WYSIWYG program, I just find it is very quick at filling in all the boring stuff I already know. But I am glad I've learnt hand-coding.

 

I'm still learning but have now done 5 websites for people in my local area (and more importantly I have been paid for them!!). Now I'm onto PHP / MySql, but I'm so glad I didnt shell out a couple of thousand pounds for something that (with books / software) cost me less than £ 500.

 

Hope that helps?

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Seems like the over riding feeling here is teach yourself, which is exactly what I've been doing. Then again, I've always been like that, I'll learn what I need to get whatever needs doing done. And along the way I usually pick up extra little things that a course may not teach (for better or worse).

 

Some people might not be like that and need that extra push of paying for a course and having a schedule to get it done and some don't. It's whatever would best suit you and who you are.

 

I've found the self-learning road works best when you have something to work on in the first place. So my advice would be think of something you like and build a website for it. Starting with planning out it's structure, content and rough design all the way through to finish. Not only will you have something interesting to work on but you will be learning without realising it.

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Thanks for all the great replies, i was really swaying towards learning myself and saving the money.

 

time to get myself a new p.c. and a bigger screen then my little laptop and get myself started.

 

thanks again for all the replies

 

no doubt will be stopping in here again to ask more questions as time goes by.

 

loy

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I'm doing a course at the moment in flas & dreamweaver, its an odobe one and u gain a diploma at the end. I wouldn't say its the best though it taught me the odd trick in dreamweaver i didn't know about and css was good.

But tutorials and so on work just as well.

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