Qualifications - Are they important?

getting a job

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16 Replies - 3462 Views - Last Post: 31 October 2008 - 02:03 PM

#1 elmo-de-warrior  Icon User is offline

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Qualifications - Are they important?

Post icon  Posted 05 October 2008 - 05:17 AM

ok how many of you guys work in web design full or part time with no official qualifications?
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#2 Kingbradley6  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:15 AM

I don't have any qualifications but then again I only do web design and programming as a hobby, it's not my job.

Can you actually get a qualification in HTML or CSS then? I wouldn't mind taking one if you could. I personally think I could do quite well.
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#3 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:09 AM

You can get certifications in anything~ :)

<personal opinion>
Personally, I don't think qualifications are too important. They're just pieces of paper, proving that you can afford to spend a bomb on higher education, and you spent a couple of years poncing about at university, getting drunk.
</personal opinion>

It depends where you're going though, really.

If your interviewers speak the tech stuff, and they see you can do the tech stuff, then you're giving a good impression.

But if your interviewers are those bastards from HR, where they've got no idea about anything in the industry, they're just told what to look for, qualifications are important.

I'm gonna feature this for a bit, I think you're gonna get some good replies. :)

EDIT:
I've also renamed it to be a little more descriptive. :)
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#4 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:59 AM

View Postelmo-de-warrior, on 5 Oct, 2008 - 08:17 AM, said:

ok how many of you guys work in web design full or part time with no official qualifications?


Wait, you can get an official certification in web design? From who, Santa Claus? :P Seriously, anyone get certify anyone in anything. Doesn't necessarily mean anything.

To be prefectly honest, web design, meaning making pretty pages in html, in and of itself is only part of the picture. To actually design websites you must understand a myriad of underlying technologies, javascript, some server language, databases. People may get certified in those.

If you want to work doing websites create a portfolio. Most clients know nothing of what's involved and only want something that looks good to them. If you can show them something you've already done that appeals to them, that's all the certification you need.
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#5 girasquid  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 07 October 2008 - 08:18 AM

I work full time in web development, with no qualifications - that distinction is important, because I can't design at all.
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#8 pemcconnell  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 08 October 2008 - 03:40 AM

I'm the creative lead and senior developer for my company and I can say hand on heart I couldn't give a f@@k how many a b c's are on someone's CV.

I take interviews about twice a month, and have never once looked at someone's qualifications. I go straight to the portfolio and the personal skills section to see what languages they know / have worked with and how they applied it.

Some of the worst interviews I've sat have been with grade A students with loads of qualifications.

Bare in mind that I can only speak for my own company, but friends of mine in design / development management all share the same opinion.

gabehabe said:

But if your interviewers are those bastards from HR, where they've got no idea about anything in the industry, they're just told what to look for, qualifications are important.

...is a very valid point. I know what languages / designs to look for. Pen pushers can only look for qualifications.

If you want my advise, learn as much as you can, never throw anything out, build a portfolio, and prepare an award winning passionate speech about why web design / development rocks your socks

*EDIT*

By the by... The most common cross-language qualification I've came across is the 'CIW' or Certified Internet Webmaster. Imho, I'd rather see someone who took the time and effort to teach him/herself, and push themselves to have a portfolio (doesn't need to be work you've been paid for, but If you can show you have worked with a 'client' before, and you know the process, it will really help.)

AND...

If I'm looking to hire a designer, and they don't have any portfolio / a weak portfolio, they have no chance. Doesn't matter if the CV is written by Leonardo Da Vinci, claiming this interviewee is the next big thing. Sorry designers but the general rule is no portfolio, no job.

Now, if after reading that you're thinking 'well how the f@@k am I supposed to build a portfolio when no-one will hire me?', here's a wee secret...
Designers:
Make up an imaginary company... Imagine they've asked you to design a logo, a poster advertising their new product, and the web site. If you can show that you know how to conduct your business, and you produce something that looks well, it will work just as well as having a real client. Also, make sure any XHTML / CSS you might do is easy to read and ready for a programmer to take. Prepare form buttons etc so the programmer doesn't need to go back to you. Proving you can work in a team is essential
Programmers:
Make up an imaginary company... Imagine they've asked you to develop a web site that they can edit and control (CMS system). Get a free CSS and graphic template from one of those free template sites and program away. The fact that you used a template will give you the opportunity to show that you can work with designers and other peoples code - important in a team environment.

On a personal level, I love seeing that intuitiveness from people and is a definate thumbs up from me.

Remember that there are LOADS of people on this site who are full time designers / server administrators / programmers etc... who were all in your shoes in some shape or form, so we'll (at least myself anyway) will be more than happy to help you's out if you want to break in to the industry. Also, don't forget about those that are trying the same thing as you - why not help each other. If you are a designer, hook up with a developer, or vice-versa. Build a project with them, get them to write about what it was like to work with you, get reviews of your work on D.I.C, print it all out, and you'll find that your 'non-existant experience' isn't so non-existant any more.

Long story short, work hard, learn all you can, save everything, build a portfolio, work with others and simply tell the interviewer why you should have the job on offer.

Wish ya's all the best of luck! :)

This post has been edited by pemcconnell: 08 October 2008 - 09:00 AM

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#9 Footsie  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 09 October 2008 - 01:23 AM

That's a great answer from pemcconnell, very useful.

In my country (South Africa) certifications will get your foot in the door. Once you get your foot in the door however you need to be able to kick that door open and that will only come from skills that you develop.

How do you kick the door open?

With a kick ass portfolio, as has been said already.
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#10 pemcconnell  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 09 October 2008 - 01:38 AM

Thanks for the 'thanks' gabe and footsie :) glad I could help
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#11 ragingben  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 10 October 2008 - 09:09 AM

I know its not web design, but I work as a programmer for a small robotics buisness, and only have a ND in computer studies that I got 5 or 6 years a go.

But then I would consider myself very lucky to get a programming job where I am responsible for design, implementation and maintenance of both microprocessor controls and front end GUI without any higher education level qualifications.

So wouln't recomended relying on getting a job without them, but if you get a break and can demonstrate you abilities to an employer then it's not impossible so go for it!
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#12 Mangotastic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:21 AM

To the OP: In my experience the short answer is 'yes' and the long answer would be something like 'it's not that simple - qualifications are just one side of the job-gaining coin.'

Getting a job isn't easy, employee's get hundreds and sometimes thousands (depending on where your applying to) of applications for a position and they have to read everybody's application. Now - qualifications are one thing you can put on your C.V. to help you get through to the interview stage and the other is examples of previous experience (be it experience or something you've made for fun.) The sad fact is that in the end all the qualifications serve to do is get you through the 'first round' of applying for a job... and perhaps you could argue they help substantiate your knowledge and reliability/dedication as a person.

Once your through to the interview and/or aptitude testing stage this is where you can really shine and sell yourself... this is where you win/lose the job and as gabe mentioned your in luck if you get the real tech guys and not the horrid HR departments.

Bottom line; if you work hard enough you can get a job without any qualifications but it's a difficult road and you'll start from the bottom of a very long ladder but if you have qualifications and no experience then your no better. In my opinion you should maximize your opportunities and play both sides of the coin, get some serious projects done in your own time (like pemcconnell mentioned) and get a relevant degree (make sure you know if you want to work in web design or development because that'll be the difference between an art and computer science degree.)

This post has been edited by Mangotastic: 15 October 2008 - 09:27 AM

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#13 mocker  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 15 October 2008 - 09:58 AM

If you mean web design when you say it, then your 'qualifications' is your portfolio. It is the same with most art/graphic design positions. Portfolio is the most important thing.

With the technical side 'qualifications' (this question really could have been worded better) are more important, because it is a little harder to demonstrate your knowledge and abilities. Portfolio's can still be helpful, but employers don't want to wade through pages of source code with every resume, so qualifications become an important part of the screening process.
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#14 RedSonja  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:35 AM

Here a true story. My youngest sister is not an engineer, she wanted to be an artist. So she only bothered with art O-level and A-level. She got into art college at her local tech, and spent a few years painting rather indifferent pictures. One day she found she had to pay rent and food and stuff, so she dropped out of college and got a job supervising people in a graphics company. After a few years she was department leader, because she was really good at running the place.

Then they sold the company, and the new owners wanted their own people in. The first one to go was my sister, because she has no qualifications to speak of. She applied for lots of jobs, she never even got interviews. So she did the usual McJobs that artists have to do, burger flipping, etc. Now she stays at home with her little kids.

I just about had to staple my mouth shut to keep from saying "told you so". But she was so damned superior about being "an artist."
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#15 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 31 October 2008 - 07:47 AM

It's a little different since I'm more applications than web, but here's a story.

Here's the short version:
Qualifications are important to most, but it's possible to get in, if you have a good knowledge, determination, and a portfolio. (Even if it's small)

Now for the long version, if you want to read my ramblings:

So I'm 18 years old. I don't have the qualifications necessary, because I can't afford university.

Did a year of sixth form, then left to go to a great sounding college course. That course sucked, and I ended up dropping out last Christmas. Since then, I've been looking for work, doing absolutely anything, with no luck.

Shops don't seem to want to employ me because I have aspirations. The industry which I aspire to doesn't want to employ me because I don't have a piece of paper.

Recently, since I've been getting better at programming, I've been applying for programming jobs. Loads of the agencies are really interested, because I have a good CV, I have a small but growing portfolio, etc~ They've even told me I could be earning 20k+ ($40k+)

They put me forward to loads of jobs, which just don't seem to be interested. Why? Because I don't have the piece of paper.

However, since I've redone my CV (click if you're interested) I've had loads of calls.
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#16 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 31 October 2008 - 11:02 AM

One thing I noticed is the Email address, wouldn't it be more professional to have one like Danny.Battison@ThisDomain.com
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#17 gabehabe  Icon User is offline

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Re: Qualifications - Are they important?

Posted 31 October 2008 - 11:55 AM

lol I guess so~

I plan to get another one soon anyway~ I wanna get my own domain name soon (as soon as I get the money, which might be soon because I've got a one-off job tutoring C++)

Most likely end up with Danny@gabehabe.com B)

I fail with names.
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