Job change can get very frustrating, as there's so much to think about.
...and straight-forward information can be tough to locate. With thousands of career hopeful's under our belts, we realised we should put together a starting guide for those that are still searching to find their ideal path.
Learn more by left-clicking on the button titles...
Everyone expects to see a web site address when they look to find out about a company. A website is an essential tool for all commercial organisations - whether they're small to medium or span the globe.
Corporate web sites have many roles - they inform, teach, promote and sell all from one URL. Rather than trawling around the shops to do comparisons, growing numbers of customers now search on Yahoo or Google to find what they want.
Obviously more websites creates a need for more talented and skilled people to design and build them. If web design is something you'd like to get into, you'll need to train and get your certifications. You can do this via a college or training provider, either by going in-centre or studying at home.
Don't decide what's right for you by just looking at one or two training organisations. Assess how each teaching method will fit in with your lifestyle and budget, and of course look at the quality of the training material.
Your training program must equip you with a good level of proficiency to be competent in industry.
Before we go any further it may be worth pointing out the difference between a web designer and a web developer. A web developer will need to know how to write programs and software to take care of the invisible aspects of the website. This information covers the work of the web designer, who will largely be involved with the pretty bit that we can all see!
People with flair and imagination often make good web designers. Plus it's very useful to be good with people, because you'll find there's a lot of contact with the customer. Usually a client will have their own suggestions for the image their site should portray. The web designer then has to interpret their wishes and build a site to specification that not only looks great, but also flows well and is easy to navigate.
Good web designers can also steer the client towards using the latest tools on the site that fit into their price range.
Professional web designers need to know how to use different Adobe software packages. These are now the most universally accepted packages for use in industry today, and prepare students for various Adobe certifications. Study both Adobe Dreamweaver Creative Suite 4 and Adobe Flash Creative Suite 4 - they are two of the most useful products you could know. Creative Suite 4 is referred to as CS4. It has superseded CS3, so try to avoid learning the old versions. Becoming proficient at Dreamweaver will allow you to deliver your creative ideas onto all mobile media. However, if you add Flash to your Dreamweaver skills you'll be able to bring those pages to life. Together you will have the two best design tools available to train in.
Alongside learning the appropriate skills, all web design students must put together an online catalogue of the pages and sites they've personally created. Any prospective employer will want to take a look at what you've already done, to see if your style and standards match their expectations. If you wish to train to work as a freelance Web Designer, then certifications may not be necessary. If however you are looking to achieve professional status, ensure your training will lead to either Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), or Adobe Certified Professional (ACP).
Don't sell yourself short though by limiting your skills to just the stuff we can see on the screen. To have that competitive edge, you're advised to take on training that covers other disciplines as well as Dreamweaver and Flash. For example it's a good idea to be taught about how CSS and HTML work, in case you have the need to 'debug' sites or streamline them. Then some teaching on dynamic or extended HTML and PHP Programming will help you to start getting to grips with dynamic sites. Thirdly, look for some teaching on your course about e-commerce websites and how they work. Finally (although school is never over for the student of the internet!) there's the moveable feast that is Search Engine Optimisation.
It's perhaps the most essential tool in your arsenal; training will give you some grounding on how to optimise the websites you build to feature well on the Search Engines. Even the best looking site in the world won't be a commercial success if customers don't know that it exists!
Web Design has really taken off with the phenomenal growth of the internet worldwide. Becoming trained and certified will mean that you can build your future and be a part of it. Images and text are currently being updated with video content and sound, and soon we're likely to see further progressions.
Enjoy a worthwhile and progressive career by getting on board with this thrilling technological evolution.