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Get a Career in Web Development

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The following question was asked on yahoo answers:

How to get into Web Design and Development?

I’m am taking a certificate in Web Design and Development from an accredited online university. Will I be able to get into the industry with this? Can someone comment on their experience on wages with the certificate and your experiences afterwards?

My Answer:

Education makes up 2 lines of a 2 page resume. It takes up 1 minute of a 30 minute interview. That should give you an idea of how relevant school material is in the real working world.

School is ok for learning the fundamentals, but it is by no means the deciding factor on whether you’re employed or not.

I’m a web application architect who’s hired people before. If you want to impress an employers, do the following:

1) have a good portfolio of projects – if you have no work experience, then put together volunteer projects for your friends. Employers will be impressed by your commitment and sacrifice. Tell employers straight up, “I haven’t worked in a company before because I’m at the beginning of my career. But I work hard and I have potential as evidenced by my portfolio of charitable web projects for non-profit organizations, family and friends. I am always willing to sacrifice for my career and for the company I work for.”

2) network with people in the industry – go to conferences and events and meet professionals in the field. Tell them you’re a student, and you want advice on how to improve your skills.

If you do items 1 and 2, you will have no problem getting a job. By the time you graduate, you may even have enough experience to start your own web firm.

Written by John Lai

March 6th, 2009 at 12:39 am