Need Advice from fellow Pro Web Designers


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 3, 2003
San Antonio,TX
Okay here is my dilema, I'm looking to branch out into my own business and one of the services I want to offer alongside my current skills is web design for a clients-needs. The problem is my web design skills in programs like dreamweaver are maybe just a bit above amatuer, so I really want to learn everything I can about web design so I can build great sites with all the works for clients. So now I'm lost at what direction to go now. I've been looking for a local program in the institutes that would allow me to not only really learn web design and implementation, but also brush up and learn more digital graphic skills like in photoshop and such. So it appears that the closest in town are certificate programs offered by the Community Colleges. They sound like they are thorough programs but seem like they might send me into the wrong direction. I know there is also training centers that certify you in the Macromedia and Adobe apps, but being almost $1,000 a class is way too much for me. So below I'll post the curriculm for 3 local colleges and hopefully someone can help me make an informed decision.

Palo Alto College
-Advanced Web Programming Certificate

ITSC 1301 Introduction to Computers 3
ITSC 1309 Integrated Software Applications I 3
ITSC 1313 Internet/Web Page Development 3
ARTS 2348 Digital Art I 3

Second Semester – 12 Hours
ITSE 2317 JAVA Programming 3
ITMC 1345 Enterprise Development Using
Microsoft Visual Basic.NET 3
COMM 2324 Practicum in Electronic Media 3
ITSE 2313 Web Authoring 3

Second Year
First Semester – 12 Hours
INEW 2334 Advanced Web Page Programming 3
ITNW 1321 Introduction to Networking 3
ITSE 2302 Intermediate Web Programming 3
ITSW 1391 Special Topics: Current Web Design Software 3

Northwest Vista College
-Web Database Programmer Certificate

MATH 1314 College Algebra
ITSE 1302 Computer Programming
ITSC 1305 Introduction to PC Operating Systems
ITSC 1307 Unix Operating System I

ITSW 1307 Introduction to Database Management Systems
ITSE 2317 Java Programming
ITSE 1331 Introduction to Visual Basic Programming
ITSE 1311 Web Page Programming

ITSE 2302 Intermediate Web Programming
ITSE 2371 Web Development Tools
ITSE 2309 Database Programming
ITSE 2356 Oracle Database Administration I

ITSE 2333 Implementing a Database on MS SQLServer
ITSE 2286 Internship - Computer Programming

St. Phillips College
-Certificate of Completion Webmaster

Semester 1
ITSC 1301 Introduction to Computers
ITSE 1313 Internet/Web Page Development
ITNW 1325 Fundamentals of Networking
ITSC 1305 Introduction to PC Operating Systems
ITSE 1305 Web Authoring and Publishing

Semester 2
ITSE 1311 Web Page Programming
IMED 2309 Internet Commerce
IMED 1316 Web Page Design I
ARTC 1302 Digital Imaging I
POFT 1220 Job Search Skills

Semester 3
IMED 2315 Web Page Design II
ITSE 2302 Intermediate Web Programming
ITSE 2313 Web Authoring
ITSC 1264 Practicum: Computer & Information Sciences

Really any advice would be greatly appreciated right now. Thanks


macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2003
Find out what systems and software they will be using. It will be useless if you know what they teach is not the industry standard stuff, and although a lot of stuff is transferable, you'd probably want to learn in a Mac environment if you will be using a Mac in the future, or vice versa.


macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2004
You seem like a pretty smart guy. So let me ask a question:Do you think you are going to be getting any better of an education on a constantly changing subject like web development at any of the places you listed?

I been through it all and wasted thousands of dollars in the process.
I went to Temple U in Philly, then took some community college courses on the side, then transfered over to the Art Institute; what i'm getting at is that I learned so much more on my own than any institution, at least in this field. The 1 thing they do provide is motivation and socialization with others in your field. besides that, you will do much better on your own. If you have the drive and are willing to put in the time, and maybe do a few projects for free or for fun then you will succeed.

Some good places to check out: -take the courses on HTML, JavaScript, and CSS; know the code before you learn anymore guis like dreamweaver. -spend some money and purchase the CSS title. very helpful, and good reference. -smply amazing site to understand the power of CSS -reat FREE site with video tutorials on php/mysql/dreamweaver.

and get a subscription to Computer Arts!!!

All of these resources cost far less than just 1 course, and trust me, you will gain a lot more.

Hope this helps you in your career.



macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2004
I have my degree in Business MIS, which has nothing to do with web design and development. I never thought I would be were I am today, but the interest kept growing until I began my own business. If I were you, I would try by doing first and see how that ends up. I didn't take any classes in web design, and now I teach one at the local college. I can tell you though in my class I teach all real life aspects of web design.


macrumors regular
Original poster
May 3, 2003
San Antonio,TX
Sorry I haven't responded sooner, I really do want to get a bachelor's degree and something, but I am anxious to start my own business. For years I've been free-lancing in video production and pretty much all that I've learned about that field came from me teaching myself and reading training books in Final Cut Pro, and so on. But from the experience I am pretty confident in that line of work. Now I also want to open up my skills to web design because im pretty interested and would like to mix things up a bit with something new to do. I've gone through a Macromedia Studio MX book, and tinkered with the software but thats it. So if I do want to enter into that market, I want to make sure I'm doing things the right way and will be able to meet a clients demands and not just be able to build a quote on quote "basic flat" website, if you know what I mean, with e-commerce, forms, and flash to name a few. But as I think of it, since I don't have a great Art Institute in my town, I might just settle with going with the certificate program at a community college to learn the basics, and on the side get books and purchase the courses to learn the latest software. I'm gonna first just try to visit the program at the college I am currently attending to learn more about their program before I enroll. But thanks for those links, I will definitly check them out. If you have any other advice feel free to throw it right at me. But I still know that along the way if I have any questions on web design there are plenty of friendly, knowledgable people to help me out. :cool: