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New Poll: Is Your Degree Related To Your Job?

Published by Chris Coyier

The full question is:

If you have a degree from college and have a job, is that degree related to your current job?

It's pretty common to hear about folks who have made their way into the web worker world from some completely unrelated field. Hear enough stories like that and you might start thinking nobody who works on the web actually went to school for it. But is it true? How will real poll numbers look?

To clarify a bit, "degree" can mean any kind of degree from associates to PhD. The "tangentially" option means that you went to school for something that sort of relates to what you do now, but not exactly. That's how I would vote, for example, because I went to school for Art focusing on ceramics and graphic design, which I find tangentially related to web design, but not directly.

If you don't yet have a degree or a job, this poll ain't for you, but I'll do something more all-encompassing next time. Poll is in the sidebar of the site.


  1. Permalink to comment#

    Mine is directly related. I always wanted to work in design and development and my degree in New Media Design and Imaging definitely relates to my field. I have a wide range of skills that I use because of my program.

  2. Permalink to comment#

    Yes. I have a degree in Visual Communications. I worked as a Paste-up Artist for several years moved to Designer, and then moved into Pre-Press for several major printing companies. Eventually becoming Pre-Press manager for some of them.
    I now work as a Lead Web Designer for a large Health-care org. Graphics have come a long way since 1984 when i started College.

    • I think print design from 1984 would be considered a tangentially related field. I don’t really consider press work related to web design but that’s another topic I suppose.

    • The question asks if if your your degree is related. A degree in print design is very much related to web or graphics design, considering the fundamentals are all the same. I also feel that pre-press is also related to web design. Although their canvas’s are different, your are essentially doing similar things.

  3. Mine is :) I have an honours degree in computing science (specialising in internet technology and web design) and I am now a web designer for large company and run my own sideline web business… jobs a goodun!

    It helps picking a degree of something your ‘interested in’ over something ‘you think would make a good job’.. that’s the only advice I can give, do what you love!

  4. Yep, I have a degree in Management Information Systems and build applications that suit various businesses needs.

  5. Permalink to comment#

    My background and Bachelors were in Management of Information Services, I had to go to a technical college (while working in IT – as a web server and systems admin) to get an Associates in Web & Graphic Design.

    I wish the ‘4-year’ colleges were offering programs more tailored to web design/development but I think it’s going to take a few more years before it becomes a real option. The web is a relatively new field in the broad sense of career options, and anyone who has worked at or attended a 4-year college knows they move slowly. Plus the fact that professionals in the field need to have some maturity in the market before they can get into higher-ed as teachers will limit the options for the time being.

  6. My degree is in Illustration. However, I’ve never used it professionally. Started doing Graphic Design right out of college. It helped that all of my electives were Graphic Design courses, and I had a decent design portfolio upon graduation.

    Then I started doing web design a little over two years ago.

  7. Well, I have a degree in Religion, with minors in both communications and studio art. At least one of the minors is tangentially related.

  8. Permalink to comment#

    Media technologies – involved everything from print, audio and video technology to 3d animation and of course all kinds of computer stuff. Would count that as directly related to web developer…

  9. Got my bachelor’s degree in Information Technology (which still seems to me to be a very vague major, at least at my Alma mater) and I work as a webmaster (hate that title) at a state-funded regional educational agency in Pennsylvania (an Intermediate Unit, for anyone familiar with the structure of the education system in Pennsylvania. While the degree I received wasn’t entirely focused on web design or development, we did have several courses on the subjects, especially in the track I chose to follow.

  10. Permalink to comment#

    I have a BA, Rhetoric and Professional Writing, with a focus in Math and Computer Science. You could argue that it’s not remotely related (English degree?), however, it’s incredibly useful for my profession as a coder and internet marketing advisor, because we spent a lot of time on reflexive design – meaning the fit between content and layout. That degree also lets me help clients with content issues.

    The web, and the related jobs it generates, is really varied. I think you can likely create a “tangent” relationship between most degrees and the resulting job :)

  11. Permalink to comment#

    Most definitely not. I found that science was a bit too slow and plodding for me. But the techniques and ideas I learned have served me well. The scientific method works just as well when troubleshooting code as when looking for why fish are dying in a lake.

    Same with learning about breaking big projects down into smaller components.

    Oh yeah, the beer was pretty fun to.

  12. My degree is Music and Sound Recording – my job is in publishing and my hobby (and future career) is programming/web. So no, not related :)

    Having said that, the technical side of my degree has been really useful for learning to program, and playing with Matlab and Max/MSP was what first got me into programming.

    • MikeH
      Permalink to comment#

      .. What he said ..

      I’ve got the same degree, from an arts school, and pursued that for several years. Deciding to keep my wife and have a family comes with deciding to make choices that can lead to other work. I enevitably ended up in CAD design and IT work, now doing IT and web exclusively.

      I miss the music but appreciate what I do now.

      Oh – and the family was worth it.

  13. Permalink to comment#

    I did a degree in computer science, however there wasn’t much practical, with only 1 semester having a programming course. I’m a web desiger now – not sure if learning about how images are compressed directly relates to my career, but it certainly hasn’t hindered me.

  14. Permalink to comment#

    Nope. Not even close.

    I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. The “B.S.” definitely fits.

    For about 9 years, I worked as a drafter in a couple of different industries. First architecture and most recently at a land surveying company.

    For the past two years, I have been working as a project manager/estimator/catch-all at a construction company. At least that is my day job. It is killing my soul, so I started doing web design on the side.

  15. Steve
    Permalink to comment#

    I never went to university, but what I’m working on now wouldn’t have been what I wanted to study – mainly because I struggled on it at a lower level. I would have graduated 16 years ago and it has changed a lot since then (talking about a computer sciences degree) and probably not a great deal of it would still be relevant other than the fact it was a Degree

  16. Degree in Geography, now working in web design and SEO consultancy. In fact, I have never had a job that even remotely related to Geography :~

  17. My degree is in Electrical and Electronic Engineering but the web developing for me started as a hobby. Then became a job after getting into a job in IT. Then after that I have moved to a full time web developer role. My Electrical degree has just taken a back burner…

  18. My BA is in English. I was originally going to be a highschool English teacher. But I changed my mind after my first semester of Grad School. I’m a web developer and do a lot of SEO and social media work for my company. Surprisingly, particularly with social media stuff, my degree, and love of writing, comes into play quite often. Although I can’t say it’s directly related.

    • Permalink to comment#

      Hey! Same here. BA in English with minors in Creative Writing and Classical Studies (Greek). However, I’m eventually going back and doing the grad school thing after my wife finishes. After graduating, I actually worked as a Security guard in South-central Houston for a year before getting into Web design and development. cheers.

  19. I have a degree in maths with computer science, so pretty much related to my job as a web developer!

  20. Josh
    Permalink to comment#

    I have an A.A.S. in Networking and Communications.

    I started out at Best Buy as a member of the Geek Squad (I know, I know…)
    and ended up at a help desk at a large corporation. After 2 years of that I was offered an opportunity to get into web development.

    My love is design and interface.

  21. Dan
    Permalink to comment#

    Got a degree in CS… So I have a strong foundation in data structures, database and algorithm design, and all the other fundamentals. I did 1 very basic web app in smalltalk.

    Knew ABSOLUTELY nothing about web development when I got hired so for the last year and a half I’ve been pouring over blogs / books / screencasts every night. Definitely would not label myself a novice at this point but I have a ways to go until I hit a point where I can justify exploring areas other than web development if only for academia’s sake.

  22. I have my B.S. in Psychology and yet I’m a systems analyst for a health care company …go figure?!

  23. Permalink to comment#

    I have a degree in Philosophy and a PhD in Informatics Engineering. The angle is pretty wide so my degrees are related to my job :)

  24. I have a TON of friends who are working in jobs that are completely unrelated to their degrees, many of them working as a web developer of one sort or another. I think it’s pretty common these days, so much so that it’s common to hear people say that you don’t need a degree at all.

    I actually have a Computer Science degree, and while my focus was on 3D graphics programming, I did end up pretty close to the mark with a systems administrator/application developer job.

  25. When I was in college during the late 1980s, personal computers and the internet were still in their infancy. I majored in journalism/mass communications with an emphasis in radio/TV/film. Both the writing and the creative thinking skills are crucial to my work as a web designer. The programming and graphic design skills came much later.

  26. Permalink to comment#

    Ive got a degree in Networking and also a degree in webdesign.

    Currently got a Networking job in the hospital and I recently started freelancing so I got some extra work in the evenings.

    I hope to someday swap to full-time webdesign but that’s only a dream since I got a nice stable/paid job :)

  27. Permalink to comment#

    My degree in Computer Science is completely unrelated to my job regarding Technical Project Management with support of hardware and networking.

    The degree less than 10 years ago featured Modular 2 for programming whilst Java, C, Perl or Python would have been far more useful. Project Management and modern hardware, coding languages and concepts would have been far more useful.

  28. Yes, I went to school for New Media Design & Imaging (BFA). There’s a foundation in art and graphic design for the first 2 years, and the last 2 focus strictly on web design and motion graphics. By virtue, this requires some knowledge of HTML/Actionscript/PHP, I just took more focus in that and now do that as my career (though there’s some design decisions here and there). Used to do IA, which is where most of my design background came into play.

  29. Permalink to comment#

    I actually did a degree in music, then became a pretend lawyer (legal caseworker) for a while before finally settling on web design and development – although throughout that time I was always drawing and tinkering with websites.

  30. Permalink to comment#

    My studies are not related to design. I have a degree in economics and I am self taught in the field of graphic design.

  31. Permalink to comment#

    I’m computer engineer – and I’m web developer at my own firm. Yes, my degree is related to what I do.

  32. Yes, I went to college for Multimedia / Web Design, now titled New Media / Interactive Design. I’m currently a Senior New Media Producer & Architect after about 6 years into my career. I have had many friends from art school that either failed out or never really tried to make in the industry and currently work at places like Michaels Arts & Crafts. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but they could have done without the 80k in debt and went right to Michaels.

    I think if you are truly passionate about what you went to school for you can make it happen. Not everyone can come out of college and have their dream job, but if you work hard and put in the time and effort it takes to slowly work your way up, you can achieve that dream position your looking for.

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary”
    ~ Vince Lombardi

  33. I went to study Classical Philology for an year or so in University after 5 years of studying it in highschool, then I accidentally studied 1 semester Archaeology.

    After all I finally managed to get on studying one of my biggest passions – Filmmaking. As for the other passion – designing for web, I’ve never had any education for it, but have been developing websites since my teen years, and now I’m almost making a living of it :)

  34. Permalink to comment#

    Ok, here’s a unique one. I have a degree in adventure tourism (ski guiding, mountain guiding, white water rafting). One of my jobs is somewhat related to that, I work for an insurance company offering insurance for tourism operators based on my background. But…I’m also starting a web app development company that’s entirely unrelated.

  35. Bachelors Degree in Management Information Systems since I was persuaded to not take the Graphic Design path in college… Learned much more on my own in first year out of college and through CSS-Tricks than all four years combined.

  36. Eric
    Permalink to comment#


    I have a PhD in Particle Physics and do web dev and programming. They are only tangentially related since Berners-Lee ‘invented’ the web at the same time I was doing grad research at Fermilab. The first web page I wrote, IIRC, was written in SimpleText on a Mac IIci with a 21″ monochrome monitor and I think we used a pre 1.0 release of NCSA Mosaic as a browser.


  37. Somehow. I am finishing my bachelor in Fine Arts and I hope I can study typography in coming years for master studies. I guess I can say there are some relations between Art and web design. Don’t you think?

  38. Permalink to comment#

    Nope. Flunked out of my first two semesters because I didn’t go to class.
    Dropped out of high school when I was 17.

    • Permalink to comment#

      ..more about my uneducation:

      <li>have only read a book on anything related once (Head First: HTML/CSS) and really didn’t learn anything from it</li>
      <li>bulk of what I know is from w3schools and screencasts from various sites like this one</li>

    • Permalink to comment#

      Love that the bit about me being uneducated is displaying tags. Thought unordered list tags would be “regular HTML stuff”. :(

  39. I double majored in Art History and Studio Art.
    I got a Master’s in Social Work.
    I got another Master’s in Art Therapy.

    Years later I taught my self web design.

    None of these degrees have helped me as a web designer. But, all my practice as a therapist has made me excellent at dealing with all the crazy stuff clients throw my way.

  40. Permalink to comment#

    I have a degree in Urban & Regional Planning. Fortunately, my degree focused a lot of attention to design, layouts, graphic communication, computer graphics as well as critical thinking, critical writing and project management. I think these skills definitely help me to do my job. Back in 1992 nobody but computer majors knew anything about building webpages, and the only web browser was Mosaic, so all my technical skills have been self taught.

  41. Permalink to comment#

    Got a degree in Mathematics, and while I could argue that just about anything is an application of mathematics, I’d say it’s a “no”, since I’m a web developer :)

  42. Laura Hogarth
    Permalink to comment#

    I did a joint honours English Literature and Philosophy degree, so not really related to web design! I suppose all those essays gave me an understanding of semantics and structure though, and logical thinking has come in handy too.

  43. Permalink to comment#

    Mine is directly related. a BSc in Visual Communications (Interactive Multimedia) and a MSc in Advanced Computing (focus on software and web development)

  44. Jessica
    Permalink to comment#

    I have a certificate in Print and Web Design, and I’m a web designer. I don’t if that completely applies to the degree thing, but I definitely went to school for what I do.

  45. Permalink to comment#

    Sort of –

    2 degrees in Entrepreneurial Management and Journalism. I work as a graphic designer and front-end web developer. Not directly related per se, but both tie into running a freelance operation and marketing

  46. Permalink to comment#

    I have a BS in Architecture and practiced for 14 years before hanging out my shingle three years ago as a graphic and web designer. The design and project management fundamentals transferred, the only differences being those technical — and with substantially less liability at that.

  47. LibyanDesigner
    Permalink to comment#

    No, not at all.
    I’m an M.D. Doctor, some how I found myself amazed by web 2.0 world, so I’m 75% physician 25% web designer/developer.
    I bet you I’m the luckiest man in the world, what do you think?!

  48. Lorrin
    Permalink to comment#

    No, my degree is an anthropology but I am an internet marketing manager.

  49. Permalink to comment#

    Nope – I have no degree :)

  50. Permalink to comment#

    Yes, my degree is in Interactive Media Design which covers everything I do and love to do.

  51. Untit1ed
    Permalink to comment#

    Not related, moreover degree was a waste of my time.

  52. Permalink to comment#

    Not at all, I have a degree in Industrial Design but my passion is this: Web Design/ Development and related topics.

  53. I have a degree in Graphic Design and have been a Web Designer for 2 years now – so yep very related – it definitely helped!!!

  54. Rafa
    Permalink to comment#

    Mmmmm… I’ve studied Computing Engineering, in spain, and now I’m: unemployed for 2 years!

  55. Eamonn
    Permalink to comment#

    I have two ‘qualifications’ – a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Civilisations and History, and a Diploma in Animation. Neither of any use in any way. At all. Good times though – I can even vaguely remember some of them!

  56. Permalink to comment#

    I can’t really say my degree and job relates. I got a degree in PGA Golf Management & Marketing. I have been working at a golf course full time but study more and more web relate techniques so I can get out of the business. I don’t mind working more hours if they are at my house. But a driving two hours a day plus eight hours of work including weekend & Holidays…. It just doesn’t cut it for the barely above minimum wage compensation they provide.

    PGA Golf Pro turned Website Designer. Gotta love that change. I’ll keep the PGA status so I can golf for free across the US. It has its perks.

  57. Brian
    Permalink to comment#

    Yes. I have a BFA in Graphic Design. I work in house for a commercial real estate company as the creative director. I also have a solid freelance company running pretty smooth.

  58. I went to college for Church Music. I then ran a design/dev studio for five years, and now am the senior designer at appendTo. I’d have to say “No, its not related” :D

  59. Jen Smith
    Permalink to comment#

    Not at all. I’ve got a BA in Japanese studies, with minors in History and Japanese language. I got into graphic design/web design as something to do while looking for jobs, and it stuck.

  60. Permalink to comment#

    Yes, I have a BFA in Digital Media. Now I work as a lead designer and also do front end development work.

  61. Matth
    Permalink to comment#

    A *directly* related degree like “New Media” or somesuch was only an option for the younger set. My college level computer classes in the late 80’s included Pascal programming and other technologies that would become useless just a few years on. :) Thank god I didn’t major in computer science. And thank god college is good for more than just “career training.”

    Let’s not underestimate the value of the tangential competencies that come from a college degree or certificate. Most of us would not have been considered for a decent entry level job without it.

  62. Well…my situation is complicated. I have a BS in Meteorology (cue BS-related weather jokes now), so my actual degree isn’t related to my job as a Multimedia Specialist. However, I did complete a Master’s Certificate in Web Design from Sessions, so I guess that counts for something.

  63. Bethany
    Permalink to comment#

    My degree vaguely influences my job. I have a BA in Sociology, and I do production art for an ad agency and web design on the side.

  64. Mike
    Permalink to comment#

    I have my BS in Computer Science and a post-grad certificate in web development. Working in web dev for 8 years now. Gotta say I’m happy and fortunate to have known what I wanted to do with my life when I entered post-secondary.

  65. Kevin Burton
    Permalink to comment#

    I went to college and got honours in Web Development and I minored in Graphic Design.
    I have been working in the Communications (Advertising) as a Web Designers/Developer for 13 years.

  66. RR
    Permalink to comment#

    Studied broadcast and sound engineering. Got into web development while looking for other jobs. Loved it and stayed in the field.

  67. Permalink to comment#

    I’m a PHP programmer. I’ve got a Master of Arts degree in Spanish Philology, so nah, it’s unrelated. However, this year I finished my postgraduate studies in the area of Advanced Information Technologies, which is directly related to what I do. I’m still waiting for my diplomma :)

  68. Not really. My degree is in Aerospace Engineering and I spend most of my time programming with PHP or doing CSS styling. Aerospace does require a fair amount of programming skill to accomplish some tasks, so there is a slim connection.

    Really, I’d say my degree proves that I am capable of learning.

  69. Dee
    Permalink to comment#

    I sort of have a job that is related to my degree. I have a bachelors in Art, and minored in “multimedia applications” which supposedly was for Web design, but didn’t really teach me anything that I didn’t already know about HTML before I went to college. I graduated in 2003, and they barely got into CSS. So as far as the technical side of the Web goes, I’m 99% self-taught.

    For 4 1/2 years, I was an Online graphic designer, which involved making ads for the web for the media organization I work for. I also became the email specialist, and learned everything I know about that on my own. Now I’ve transitioned out of doing banner ads, and am doing more content related stuff, which is allowing me to use more of my HTML skills. I think overall I’ve used more of what I learned in my art classes than my multimedia applications classes.

  70. My degree was in Interactive Media Design and I’m now working as an Interactive Media Specialist, which is a crap title, but I’m doing what I wanted to.

  71. Drew
    Permalink to comment#

    I am almost finished with my Software Engineering degree from the University of Michigan and I am already using the degree to analyze risk mitigation, quality, assurance, project management, defect tracking, change management, FTR’s, and other various documentation procedures.

  72. Nope – my degree is in criminal psychology. Design was always a hobby, until I started working professionally. Been designing 10 years, now i work for microsoft as a ux design lead and psychology is a hobby. :)

  73. Never finished college, but got my start in Web Development through a vocational school. Though I’ve had a ton of on-the-job-training which taught me more than I’d ever learned at the vocational school.

  74. Sort of: I have a BA in Psychology, English & Physics, with a year of post-secondary Fine Arts on top of that. So usability, design, photography, writing/editing, a tiny amount of computer programming (FORTRAN!), research, organizational skills, etc., were all part of my educational background, but the web hadn’t even been invented yet.

    So, kinda/maybe?

  75. Kinda related: a degree in electronics led me eventually into software starting with assembly languages and programming down on the bare metal, then to C/C++ then to PHP & javascript. All this OOP stuff is old hat to us hardware peops – just like plugging chips together!

    • klavdij
      Permalink to comment#

      that makes two of us – started with java,c++ and later on moved to hardware … assembly languages, vhdl,c … my final paper was on cuda :) but im making web sites … (for now) :P

  76. Permalink to comment#

    Early Childhood Education. I was a public school teacher for ten years. Furthermore, my initial idea was to do illustration and graphic design; but I ended up with php and mysql.

  77. Definitely. My degree is in Digital Multimedia with a Live Audio/Studio Recording emphasis. This included many design and coding classes as well as audio. I use both the main degree and emphasis every day.

  78. Completely unrelated! My degree is in Law, yet I design websites and UI & UX for Web Applications every day! I suppose the only use my degree is to me in my everyday job is reading over freelance contracts!

  79. I have a degree computer science and my job is as a web developer, so yes.

  80. Permalink to comment#

    I`m an Geologist! Not to good at any of these tow, but still now working in geology and working in design and coding! :)

  81. Party Yes.
    I studied Computer Science and now I working as a Front End Engineer. I took only one class on Web Dev in School so I hardly learned 0.0001% of what I am doing now. But If I wouldn’t have taken that course, I wouldn’t have got interested in web stuff. so it gave me a platform.

  82. Ahmed
    Permalink to comment#

    haha, absolutely not! I’m an accounting graduate and I’ve been a computer tech for 6-7 years, now a web design and a junior sysadmin. Fun!

  83. Hite
    Permalink to comment#

    My degree is tangentially related. M.S. Architecture & Urban Design and a B.A. Studio Arts. Architecture is the perfect education in a lot of ways for web design. It forces one to figure out what the issues are, organize spaces/content in an aesthetically pleasing and functionally useful way, and deal with frameworks and structures to support the finished product.

  84. Permalink to comment#

    I was very fortunate in that I knew what I wanted to do my junior year of high school…i’ve never looked back.

  85. Permalink to comment#

    I have a degree in meteorology and I’m working as a web programmer. I love the look people get on their faces when I tell them that.

    I took a computer concepts in meteorology class in which we had to put all of our reports on the web. That was my first taste of web development. At my first job out of college (as a meteorologist), I ended up taking over management of the company’s website. That along with the stuff I was doing for myself got me more and more interested in web development.

    When I was laid off from that job in 2004, I decided to change careers. I ended up at a small company where I worked as a developer and have never looked back.

  86. D. cavazos
    Permalink to comment#

    My degree is a BFA in Design and Illustration and I have always worked as a graphic designer/art director. I did have to learn about computers on the job, which dates me, since when I went to school before they were teaching computer courses to artists. I have been a adjunct instructor teaching design and software at the college level for the last 8 years so it did not hold me back at all.

    I am lucky that I have a design background and I am working in the field I love.

  87. Michael Schemer
    Permalink to comment#

    I have a BA in Christian Studies (Ethics) with a minor in sociology. I work in enterprise software technical support for a fortune 500 company.

  88. em
    Permalink to comment#

    I was coached to say my Physics degree taught me critical thinking and problem solving skills ;) I hope I do a little of those in my web dev work each day.

  89. Permalink to comment#

    Not at all – I majored in Political Economy with a concentration on China and Globalization. However, I’ve always had an interest in web design and development, so that’s how I got into SEO, which is what I’m doing now. I’ve still got some love for international politics, though!

  90. I studied Development Economics but am now employed as an in-house web developer for a national company. Coding is second nature to me but i’m considering doing a computer science degree.

  91. Ali
    Permalink to comment#

    My bachelor is Economics and I am a fronted Web Developer in a Football Club in Iran’s Premier Soccer League.

  92. Permalink to comment#

    I did 2 years Multi Media design in Holland, but dropped out.. and one year IT design, again in Holland… but also never finished it because I got a webdeveloper job in Italy (at a company that makes nitro fueled 2 stroke engines.)

    So my never finished education applies directly :P

  93. mitt
    Permalink to comment#

    Not even close. If I ever finish my thesis it will be in education. And I’m a frontend developer.

  94. Yeah its related somehow ,I went to college till graduated with BSIT and now working on a website design company :D

  95. Well, got a foreign languages licence (German + English, I’m French), then a master in webcreation (design + code) and website-localization, and know… I design iphone/android applications. Well, some ergonomics, user-interface and usability basis are still there, softwares too (illustrator/photoshop) but I have to admit I sometimes miss playing around with CSS (so I chose “Yes, only tangentially”)

  96. Kind of, my degree was called “photomedia and design communication” I touched on web design but mostly specialised in video post and motion graphics. Above all the course gave me a taste for digital creativity, the web stuf came later

  97. klavdij
    Permalink to comment#

    coputer science – specialization: hardware… so more related on programing level then design… probably why i still use templates to get design ideas :D

  98. Studied Biology at uni, now been a professional web developer in London for 2 1/2 years – university was worth it, but I’m not using my degree.

  99. My Job is related to my degree, I studied marketing and now i have a job in online marketing, but that is because I pushed hard to make sure I got a job in the same field.

    I have many friends that have come out of university and gone straight in to recruitment, because they want money quick. While it is great that they earn good money (more than me), I still feel I will benefit more, as 3 years down the line, they will decide to quit recruitment, and start a job in their desired field, and by that time i will have 3 years experience in online marketing :D

  100. Permalink to comment#

    I got bachelor degree in finance and master degree in accounting, never go to college to study any design or programming. However, I just so much love my work right now as a web developer; something new to learn everyday.

  101. Yes mostly directly. I have a BA(hons) in Graphic Design and work as a graphic / web designer. It was only until after university when I was trying to promote myself that I starting looking into web design. Now after a few years of learning I am where I am, as graphic/web designer.

  102. Permalink to comment#

    Just graduated so I hope so. BSc(hons) Digital Media and aiming for a career in Web Design.

  103. Yup, Computer Information Systems – am now a web developer at an international law firm. However, I landed the job by chance; actually interviewed for help desk position at the time and was called back in to interview for web dev position. Love the work; so much so, that I started my own thing on the side.

  104. hi,
    I did bachelors in automobile engineering. Now am doing php and wordpress related work.
    so my work is completely different from what i do today.

  105. Yes I habve a MSc in Multimedia Technology and now I lecture in Web Development among other subjects and als do some (a lot of )freelance web development.


  106. Indeed! I have a Bachelors in Graphic Design and a minor in Advertising. Started in print design, layout and production, morphing into web design and recently more involved programming. Fun topic. Thanks Chris. Nice to see how everyone got here.

  107. Yes, on paper. In practical terms, i learnt nothing and spent £20k in the process in a BA in Interactive Media.

  108. Degree in information technology, so related to data and software applications side. LT

  109. My degree is only a vague memory. An Associates in Applied Arts,Computer Science from a community college basically meant you could fix computers. I wanted to be a programmer, studied C and C++… 1997 son.

    15 years later, I build websites. World-class hand-crafted code; carefully created.

    Degree meaningless.

  110. BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry — not even close. I’m a front end guy now.

  111. mine is directly related. I always wanted to so something with colors and coding and www provided me that platform.

  112. Permalink to comment#

    I would have to say no mine does not directly apply. I graduated with a BS in BS.. yup.. Marketing Sales. While sales does help out with everything in life including web design and graphics design I cannot give it a direct correlation.

    Side note.. it is nice to see that I am not the only “old guy” doing web design.

  113. Permalink to comment#

    My degree isn’t related at all. I studied Sports Coaching and Recreational Management! Never got a job in that field. Started out as a photographer (big hobby of mine), then became a newspaper reporter for a tiny paper where I had to also do the ads and layout. Loved that more than the reporting so I got a job as a print designer, which eventually led to self-taught web design.

  114. Permalink to comment#

    I have B.A.s in Foreign Languages (German) and History. I got into web design in 1996 when I got a part-time job at a local ISP as an office assistant. I had been working on my own personal site as a hobby when they fired the teenager they had doing web work and asked me if I wanted to take it over.

  115. Steven Braun
    Permalink to comment#


  116. Permalink to comment#

    I don’t have a job but I’m intent on getting a job to which my degree is related to.

  117. Permalink to comment#

    Went to school for Computer Information Systems and ended up a web developer/designer. Seems related to me, though I originally wanted to be an applications analyst.

  118. Permalink to comment#

    I have a diploma in Multimedia Production and Design, a diploma in open source web development, and a web design certificate. All very much directly related.

  119. I don’t have a degree, but I have a graphic design job doing web and print. Working on the degree part…

  120. Scot
    Permalink to comment#

    Have a BA in Theatre Arts and an AS in Graphics and I’m the in-house graphics guy for a small manufacturing company. In theatre you are taught to make things genuine for your audience. A graphics designer’s job is no different. The way you present the product or company has to be genuine and reflect the company’s heart or your marketing efforts will lacking.

    • Scot
      Permalink to comment#

      …and I am reminded of that every time I do something on the web or in print.

  121. Permalink to comment#

    My degree has nothing at all to do with web design. I did business and graduated about 6 years ago. I just sat around after university being depressed and disallusioned with the world.

    So i taught myself web design and made my 1st site for a client after a few months. I then got my 1st real job and never looked back! you just need to have the dedication and you’ll get there no matter what!

  122. Permalink to comment#

    I did a music degree and am now a web developer / PHP programmer for a living. Mind you, the algorithmic composition / animation units we had to do for my Composition units well and truely got me interested in Techy stuff.

  123. Permalink to comment#

    Studied Website Design & Development and became a website developer

  124. Simon
    Permalink to comment#

    I studied a Bbus with a Major in Tourism. I am now a digital content editor for a backpacking company. I did a 12 month certificate in Web Design during the last year of my degree to build up my web design skills.

    Its sort of related….just not as directly as some.

  125. I studied Art and Design, Graphic Design and Visual Communication I have 5 years experience as a Graphic Designer and 3 years as a Web Designer and Developer. I had no experience of web development when I got my current job.

  126. Anthony
    Permalink to comment#

    This was an interesting poll!

    My degree isn’t related to anything. Well, nothing I can make a living from : )

    I have a Bachelors Degree in Popular Music from the London Guitar Institute.

    Having had to promote myself as a guitarist and the bands I’ve worked with I had to learn how to make websites (badly at first), and it grew from there.

    I am however considering doing some focused course(s) based in web development to compensate for my lack of ‘agency experience’ due to having worked as a musician for the past 10 years.

  127. Keri
    Permalink to comment#

    Not really, i have a degree in Electronics & Computers and I write software for a living, they are close ish, but nothing I learnt in university is used in my work.

  128. Permalink to comment#

    Just like you Chris I got a degree in ART and design (Design & Communication) where many subjects were covered such as textiles, ceramics, printing, painting, still-life drawing, abstraction, branding graphic design, sculpture etc etc etc but certainly no web design or development. The closest we got to it was using photoshop for graphic design.
    Anyway, I still feel it’s a relevant degree because I can draw from the creativity that my degree taught me to understand.

  129. Hey interesting discussion, when I left high school I enrolled on a Graphic Design course, which was great fun. After getting the highest grade on my course and in the college courses history I left and went to university to study Illustration, totally different but still very fun and interesting. After graduating I started looking for jobs in the design industry and started working for Creare Design as a junior web designer and developer, which is not really related to my degree. Web design and developing is a skill I taught myself whilst developing it further at work, which makes me think… did I waste a lot of money on education? As I’m not entirely sure if it helped me get my job.

  130. Fabio Rosa
    Permalink to comment#

    I am an Architect, graduated a long time ago. Is it directly related? Yes and no. All the part related to construction and planning does not help indeed, but the stuff related to visual approach and all the Art classes do make a difference. Because of such background, usually my web work is quite neat and well-structured (pardon the self-indulgent kudos), but reality is that I suffer from a lack of formal knowledge, which would clearly help sometimes.

  131. Permalink to comment#

    Nope. Degree in business management and i’m a web developer. It’s not directly connected but could help out. :)

  132. No,
    I did my degree in Electronics and Communication and I am currently working in Web designing, which is nowhere related to my degree.But I think because of my degree only I came to know about web designing and later on decied to opt this field as my job.

  133. Tawnya
    Permalink to comment#

    BA in Japanese Language & Culture, minor in Asian Art History (could that be related to web design?)–so, not really related. Never used the degree, though. I’ve worn many hats over the years (medical case analyst, teacher, freelance calligrapher, and photographer) but web dev is amazingly complex, so keeps me engaged. Taking some classes at the local U for the more complex languages, but not really planning to get a degree in IS; self-teaching has worked very well for me.

  134. Permalink to comment#

    I’m a Webmaster/Web Developer/Web Designer now. My B.A. is in Fine Art: drawing and painting. My M.F.A is in painting and computer-mediated art. I didn’t do anything web related for either degree but started to pick up some HTML and WYSIWYG applications during grad school while working as a consultant in the New Media Centers at UW-Madison. So my degrees and course work were not specifically for “web work” but I did learn of through grad school

  135. Permalink to comment#

    (funky refresh happened there)… that applies to web work and I learned even more working for the university after grad school which was enough to land me a teaching job.

  136. Permalink to comment#

    BS: Biology. D’oh!

    MS: Computer Information Systems. Fairly spot on.

    PhD: Management of Information Systems, with a cognate in Cognitive Psychology (usability). Spot on.

  137. Jessi
    Permalink to comment#

    This is my first year of working after graduating from school. I got a degree in Visual Communications with an emphasis in Web Design. I started off interning at a web design agency, which I loved. Then I found a job as a graphic artist at a newspaper. I really want to get into web design, so when I was offered an interactive specialist position at the company, I took it. Now I’m in charge of the sales and production of online advertisements. While the sales aspect of the job, is not something I am truly passionate about, this position is helping me gain experience in the online community.

  138. Permalink to comment#

    I haven’t started university yet (next year) although I hope to do a degree in computer science, so that counts, right? ;D

  139. Pratheep
    Permalink to comment#

    Hmm…BSc in Biochemistry

  140. Permalink to comment#

    I’d say only in a round about way… I have BA in Communications (media studies) and I have two-year diploma in computer animation. I ended up in web work as I built websites in order to pay for ludicrously expensive animation degree, which meant my web portfolio was far more developed than my animation portfolio by the time I graduated.

  141. Permalink to comment#

    Not at all. I was a double major in Music and East Asian Studies – I composed, sung and learned Japanese, pretty much. I’d been doing web design since I was a kid and fortunately it is a marketable skill :)

  142. Josh
    Permalink to comment#

    <– no degree here (Working on associates in visual communications), but I work by day as an operations and technology manager of a fairly big company, and I build sites on the side.

  143. BFA in Visual Arts. Painting. With a minor in creative writing.

    My art practice certainly helped with the design bit, but I was dragged kicking and screaming into the development side. Thank goodness I pushed myself in that area. Feels like a perfect fit after YEARS of dabbling in other things.

    And now the web makes the world my gallery :)

  144. Khaled
    Permalink to comment#

    mine not

  145. Permalink to comment#

    Directly, yes. I have a BFA in Visual Communications, with a focus in Graphic Design. Now I do print and web design.

    I wish I’d focused on web, though. It’s what I originally went to design school for, but decided to do graphic design so I could be more “marketable” (our program did some focus on web, in addition to what I learned on my own). But now web is my true love, and it’s hard to break out of my years of graphic design experience.

  146. Ronaldo
    Permalink to comment#

    Working at a marketing agency and doing some freelancing, everything web related (design, development, ui, ia, …).
    I finished my degree 2yrs ago in physical therapy…

  147. Permalink to comment#

    Not for me. BA in History (20th Cent. American Foreign Policy), work in Marketing.

  148. Degree? What degree? The Unversity of Life has done me just fine!!!

  149. Permalink to comment#

    not really event it related, most of the subject on college not used in my everyday job

  150. My degree is ‘non-related’ to Web Development and that’s my full-time position. You don’t need a CS degree to be a web developer, just some determination. In part, I think that it actually has helped me more than hinder.

  151. Konstantinos
    Permalink to comment#

    I don’t have a degree yet but I study Applied Informatics and Multimedia so I think it is related to Web Development…

  152. Joe
    Permalink to comment#

    I have BS in Studio Art with a concentration in graphic design.. I graduated in 1998 so while methods are completely different the theory is all still very relevant.

    One of the problems I see with technology improvements is that the market has become more saturated with designers and photographers who have a grasp of the technology but lack that design theory.

  153. Permalink to comment#

    Just graduated in Interactive Multimedia Design and now working as creative designer in small web firm. Got lucky I guess :)

  154. Permalink to comment#

    My degree right now is related to Web Development, but I had my undergraduate degree in Drama/Theatre before making the choice to get my Masters in Comp Sci.

  155. Permalink to comment#

    I have a degree in Physics and worked for a while in the electronics industry. When I became unhappy with the daily routine and decided to go on my own that’s when the dotcom bubble burst.
    While everyone were running away from computers and internet related fields, I swan against the current because I saw the tremendous potential of the web unlike those who were there during the happy days just for the pay. I still can’t believe back then just knowing HTML was similar to being a computer wizard!!
    Just to conclude I have to say starting an internet business required less startup costs compared to other options directly related to Physics.

  156. I went to school first for photography but got more work using the flash skills I had so I went back for web design now I do almost no design just development barely any photography.

  157. Permalink to comment#

    I guess, “tangentially” (that is my new word for the day). My degree was in Industrial Engineering “and” Management Information Systems. None the less, now I sit somewhere between a front-end designer and a back-end developer. Most of what I know, however, I had to learn on my own or on the job.

    I think if you have a graphic eye, you can pick up Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. However, having a Comp. Science would pay dividends when it comes to really understanding OOP, at least in imho.

  158. Permalink to comment#

    I like to vote on polls.

  159. I went to university to study graphic design, i ended up with a multimedia design degree and now work as a web designer who is training to be a photographer. So i suppose yes my degree relates to my job but what is my job title? web and graphic designer developer multimedia photographer?

    Either way i think you learn more along the way and like to keep my hands in as many jars possible :-)

  160. Permalink to comment#

    Building/developing websites is my hobby. I have a BS in Chemical Engineering and am working toward my PhD in Chemical Engineering as well.

    Chris: I think where you end up is often connected to what you studied. I know that most of the people that I know who studied Engineering either ended up in Engineering or studied something similar.

    The thing is, engineering is so diverse and broad, that you can really apply it to a wide variety of things. For example, one of my friends is taking the LSAT right now for law school. I was helping him with some questions because apparently, studying four years of chemical eng. significantly increases your logical reasoning abilities. Therefore, I truly think that even if you studied engineering and became a lawyer, a psychologist, or what-have-you, it’s still connected through some sort of string. Whether that string is widely and directly visible or not, it’s there.

  161. governmentcontractor
    Permalink to comment#

    Chris I think another good question is how many people have a degree/finished school. I’d say half the people I meet in the field did not.

  162. Isaac Herrera
    Permalink to comment#

    nope. B.S in Ecology Evolution and Molecular Biology. My first job was as a lab tech focusing on Genetics. Found it boring, then discovered HTML. From there I took the logic, reasoning, creative thinking, problem solving and the ability to project data to future events and applied them to the web. Now a lead designer / developer / interactive strategist. Love every second of it.

  163. No i have a a degree and a i am a web designer in software house. because i love designing.

  164. Permalink to comment#

    I am a front-end developer and I have a BA in Philosophy. Ha.

    Not related.

  165. I have a degree in Digital Media, but my emphasis was Digital Cinema and TV Production. Only had one web class, and I got a C-. Love it now though!

  166. I have a BA in Government, but I minored in Arts and Technology.

  167. Iam doing a degree in Food science and Technlogy. It is obviously not related to web design. AM in a worl apart from food

  168. Permalink to comment#

    college is for mindbuilding
    my college is about electrical engineering
    so i work on my field (IT) based on point of view of electrical engineering :-)

  169. Ryan
    Permalink to comment#

    I started the web stuff when I was 12

    Now I’m 17, and I learned it entirely on my own

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