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  1. #1
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    Considering College

    I've been copying/pasting this alot of different places, so forgive me if it's somewhat off-topic at points.

    I just finished my junior year in high school, and I'm beginning to look at colleges. Right now my desired area of focus is split between two areas computers and sound/video recording/editing. Obviously, at this board my questions are about the former.

    At this point, I've primarily only dealt with web development (and minor web design, but I'm not very naturally artistically inclined, I have considered attempting to develop that skill though). HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and I dabbled in XML, ASP, and VBScript all very briefly. Outside of that, I've done a bit of batch file programming (just simple stuff for the most part) and I began playing with Pascal and Python but never found the time to get very far into either.

    Also, I think computer security seems interesting, but I have no clue what to look into at colleges for that. Offensive or defensive, doesn't matter to me.

    I'd like to major in web development, but I haven't found many colleges that offer that as a major. Are there other similar majors I should consider instead of this?

    Does anyone know of any colleges with good web development courses? (or any other similiar courses I might be interested in) I'd also love to hear about what college you attended for this and how the classes were and such.

    Are there other majors that might match my interests that I haven't thought of yet?

    If I don't stick to web development but expand into other computer fields, what else is there to consider? (I've considered software programming, for instance)

    I'd prefer a Christian college (my faith is an integral part of my life) and would also prefer a smaller college, but I'm open to secular and large colleges as well as long as they teach me what I want/need.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

  • #2
    Regular Coder
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    If you want best of both worlds you can be a media developer this will give you the opportunity to play with programs that require editting and audio, flash, but also scripting and coding using AS, JS and potentially some server-side stuff.
    Andrew Sharman
    Web designer, developer and programmer.

    If you found my post helpful, why not give thanks! :)

  • #3
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    Web development (and any music-related field) is an odd career in that a college degree doesn't do you much good at first. I actually majored in Music but ended up in Web Development, so I have a bit of experience to draw upon.

    The problem is that IT in general (whether you're in hardware or software) says that experience is king. College will teach you some basics, but you likely won't get anything other than an entry-level job with just a bachelor's degree - unless you do a lot of freelance work or intern somewhere while you're in school.

    You could try to start working as soon as you're done high school and have 4 years of experience when your friends are ready to graduate... plus you won't have student loans to pay off (if that's an issue). You'd have the added benefit of having tried things in an office environment and THEN decide what you might want to study because you know you'll like it.

    I don't normally discourage kids from going to college, but in IT it's somewhat unnecessary. It sounds like you have a good understanding of web development, so you could easily get hired at a small web development shop and start building your resume. They might even pay for you to go back to school later on.

  • #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnoringFrog View Post
    I've been copying/pasting this alot of different places, so forgive me if it's somewhat off-topic at points.

    I just finished my junior year in high school, and I'm beginning to look at colleges. Right now my desired area of focus is split between two areas computers and sound/video recording/editing. Obviously, at this board my questions are about the former.

    At this point, I've primarily only dealt with web development (and minor web design, but I'm not very naturally artistically inclined, I have considered attempting to develop that skill though). HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and I dabbled in XML, ASP, and VBScript all very briefly. Outside of that, I've done a bit of batch file programming (just simple stuff for the most part) and I began playing with Pascal and Python but never found the time to get very far into either.

    Also, I think computer security seems interesting, but I have no clue what to look into at colleges for that. Offensive or defensive, doesn't matter to me.

    I'd like to major in web development, but I haven't found many colleges that offer that as a major. Are there other similar majors I should consider instead of this?

    Does anyone know of any colleges with good web development courses? (or any other similiar courses I might be interested in) I'd also love to hear about what college you attended for this and how the classes were and such.

    Are there other majors that might match my interests that I haven't thought of yet?

    If I don't stick to web development but expand into other computer fields, what else is there to consider? (I've considered software programming, for instance)

    I'd prefer a Christian college (my faith is an integral part of my life) and would also prefer a smaller college, but I'm open to secular and large colleges as well as long as they teach me what I want/need.

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
    I'm returning as well. What I am going to do is do visual communications + graphic design, because they cover a broad range of material and the job opportunities for this degree seem pretty decent.

    At my college, they will help you develop a portfolio and you will go over business courses, business law, etc.

    My plan is to do the 2 year, try and get an internship in the summer, and then go from there. If I can land a decent job, or get my own freelancing going, then I'll see about the possibilities of a four year.

    Other things which I have been doing, is looking at what skill sets land people good entry-level positions.

    If you want to go more for the freelance edge though, then consider upping your skill sets in Frameworks, the Grid, Prototype, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, MySQL, etc. Also I would do basic networking certificates such as CCNA and/or MCSE (you can download the materials, but research these before you go about setting up a curriculum. dont do cram sessions. in reality the topics of the CCNA cover about 1 days work of a network administrator, also ... if you do CCNA do A+ as well, and Network+, if youre going for a MCSE track the CCNA counts as one prerequisite, it's good to broaden your horizons and skill sets especially in this economy).

    You also want to see if the courses will cover pagination, typography, prepress, etc.

    These should help you land a decent job in 2 years.
    Last edited by varg; 06-11-2009 at 12:20 AM.

  • #5
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    I just graduated a year ago with a degree in TV broadcasting. I also went to a smaller Lutheran college in Indiana. I love video editing, but don't like the thought of working for a TV studio: I want to do film. Ergo, I'm a freelance web developer (and intern in Germany).

    I recommend getting some kind of degree. A 4-year degree might not be worth it, honestly my college didn't even have anything close to a web design degree. The experience of college is important in itself, but don't over estimate the power of a degree in the IT field. I would think you should look at schools that do fast track type degrees and a full university.

    I also went because I wanted a liberal arts degree, where I could take courses in all kinds of subjects. I also learned German and Political Science. So the question is will you regret going to a college and not getting the full experience? I found ways to improve my web design skills on my own, I was the webmaster for several clubs and organizations, and even taught some students in the IT department video stuff. Opportunities are there if you look for them and ASK for them when you visit.

    Its because of those experiences that I have been able to attract more work than I can handle, as well as made a lot of connections with other people my age who have a lot of potential. Networking is important too in web design.

    In the end, its your choice and your life. Your best option is to do what you feel fits your desires the best, which your 'professional' life is really only a portion of who you are. One thing I learned in college was who I am. Sounds corny, I know, but I know people from my high school class who just left high school, got married, and now live down the street from their parents. That is fine, but I know some of them only care about working. And that is a shame to me, life is about so much more, so keep that in mind when you think about all of this.
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.

  • #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremywilken View Post
    I just graduated a year ago with a degree in TV broadcasting. I also went to a smaller Lutheran college in Indiana. I love video editing, but don't like the thought of working for a TV studio: I want to do film. Ergo, I'm a freelance web developer (and intern in Germany).

    I recommend getting some kind of degree. A 4-year degree might not be worth it, honestly my college didn't even have anything close to a web design degree. The experience of college is important in itself, but don't over estimate the power of a degree in the IT field. I would think you should look at schools that do fast track type degrees and a full university.

    I also went because I wanted a liberal arts degree, where I could take courses in all kinds of subjects. I also learned German and Political Science. So the question is will you regret going to a college and not getting the full experience? I found ways to improve my web design skills on my own, I was the webmaster for several clubs and organizations, and even taught some students in the IT department video stuff. Opportunities are there if you look for them and ASK for them when you visit.

    Its because of those experiences that I have been able to attract more work than I can handle, as well as made a lot of connections with other people my age who have a lot of potential. Networking is important too in web design.

    In the end, its your choice and your life. Your best option is to do what you feel fits your desires the best, which your 'professional' life is really only a portion of who you are. One thing I learned in college was who I am. Sounds corny, I know, but I know people from my high school class who just left high school, got married, and now live down the street from their parents. That is fine, but I know some of them only care about working. And that is a shame to me, life is about so much more, so keep that in mind when you think about all of this.
    My experience has been about the same as yours has, also. I have studied a lot on my own, and used college as a place to network.

    What I needed is available at the college (I use the university printing press for my business cards, print brochures there and use some people from their graphic design team once in a while), and I am meeting a ton of great people who have the potential for me to build my own network of future professionals.

    My experience has been, that at a small college you have more of an opportunity to meet people your own age if you're a returning adult, but a bigger college help you 'get lost'.

    It all really depends on what your intent with life is.

    A degree will open many possibilities (i.e. teaching), as well as connections, and help you gain the experience of your peers.

    Web design, development and life, in the end is only a medium for communication. If your college doesn't have any web design classes which are up to par (most don't, and can't due to the limitations of brick & mortar buildings) then shoot for some kind of degree in communications.

    Broaden your horizons, open your mind, and then the work will come.

    -------------------------

    Another thing that I might add, is that a lot of companies are starting to realize that certifications and degrees don't always make the best employees for the job rolls, but humans do.

    If you honestly believe that you can do a job and a company that you are interested in is hiring, go ahead and apply. Add your college at the bottom or on the second page of your resume.

    Get really good at answering interview questions for the job rolls which you're applying, and identify your strengths, weaknesses and goals. See how they fit with the company and your position, identify relevant skill sets, and go for it.

    the interview process is probably way more important than any course material in which you took, because you can always take certifications later to identify these skill sets.
    Last edited by varg; 06-13-2009 at 12:00 PM.

  • #7
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    Well, I have taken up Multi Media Arts and I have learn about all these stuff. Just try to look after if they are offering it in the college near you.

    Best of luck
    Last edited by oracleguy; 06-16-2009 at 07:51 AM.


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