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What are the pros and cons of a computer science degree for web desing/development career?

  • # January 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Hi

    I am currently a college student and I am planning to go to university this September, to study computer science.

    I am quite passionate and enjoy working with stuff like web design and digital graphics. I have mostly learned the skills and knowledge of HTML and CSS independently in my spare time as I found a lot of interest towards it.
    I also have a lot of skills in using Photoshop- creating logos, editing photos etc.which I really like. College studies have also helped me to develop my skills and knowledge in these areas further.

    I also find interest towards programming/ coding such as PHP for web development- which I have recently started learning/exploring the basics of. And other stuff such as software programming in visual basic which I have started learning in college.

    In the future I want to be a web designer and developer as I really like both of the subjects.

    As I hear and read a lot that in web design/development a lot of people are self thought and in some cases university degrees and not that important. As I have already achieved a lot of my skills in this area through self-learning based on my own interest I guess I would do fine.
    From the other side people keep telling me that with a degree it is much easier to build a career and earn a decent wage.

    So I really need advice for what I should do. If I was not to go to university what would the down sides be and vice versa.

    What are your thoughts/advice?

    # January 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    First, you don’t need *any* degree to do this professional. I work in an office where the majority of people haven’t completed university and the ones that have did it in a completely unrelated field.

    Furthermore, if you’re leaning towards being a web designer and a front end developer (you just said ‘developer’, so I’m not sure which side of the coin you’re looking at), then a Computer Science program will not help you learn any of those technologies, *especially* design. It will teach you certain disciplines and there are lots of transferrable skills, but a computer science degree is geared towards programming or back-end development, building applications instead of websites (even though that line is getting quite blurry).

    > From the other side people keep telling me that with a degree it is much easier to build a career and earn a decent wage.

    Those people are wrong, in my opinion. I’d say *’easier’* is debatable, especially depending on what type of career you’re really looking to have.

    # January 4, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I agree with @TheDoc. I’m currently completing a double degree in Media Arts / Computer Science and can honestly say that the majority of my learning has taken place independently on the internet. If you intend to take up a career in front end development or web design, then I think that independent learning and practical work/work experience would be a far better education/path to a career.

    However, if you are looking for a career in back end development, then university is definitely a good option. The courses that I’ve taken in database design, programming languages and information security have been informative and practical.

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