The self-taught vs. formal education argument has been debated hotly for a while now. Both sides have avid supporters and detractors, constantly going away at it. However, if there’s anything to take away from this, it’s that nothing is as clear cut as it could be.
For your consideration, here are five things to know before studying web development in college.
You Can Enroll In An MOOC And Reap Practically The Same Benefits
Massive open online courses have gotten more popular and with good reason – they became better at what they do.
They grant an opportunity to learn at own pace and from the comfort of one’s home. And the fact that people are no longer attached to a specific place carries over to the next associated perk – anyone enrolled in these types of courses won’t have to spend years going through the motions of structured education.
MOOCs have grown in competence and are capable of providing a thorough learning experience.
Even though it’s up to you to practice with newfound knowledge, many courses already offer additional files and exercises for you to pick apart.
Think of an MOOC as your coding boot camp, the place where you will learn and apply new skills.
Udacity, Lynda, Coursera, edX, OpenSap, and others have great web design courses, and overall price of admission for those is peanuts in comparison with a regular college.
Is it the more difficult route? Perhaps. One thing is for certain, however; it’ll obviously cost a lot less in comparison with a 4-year degree.
Self-taught doesn’t equate to bad. If anything, it clearly shows that the person in question is dedicated enough to learn everything by themselves or with limited outside help, and that speaks volumes.
Curriculum May Lag Behind
Many courses found in universities often teach outdated information. By the time you finish your freshman or sophomore year, new developments will have taken place, and you’re back to square one.
It’s easy to be left behind, and this fact alone makes it an aggravating experience. As in, having to deal with old, irrelevant code and theories. And you’ll have to write a lot and maybe find a site to get this custom written papers.
As a result, what you’ll end up doing is that you’ll have to learn by yourself in order to have relevant knowledge once you graduate.
Changes occur way too often when it comes to web design, and school curriculum doesn’t adapt to accommodate that.
Possible Assistance With Future Employment
Degrees do provide a bit of job security, in a way. The DIY route can be quite unpredictable for most web designers.
The majority of companies tend to favor diplomas over a well-made portfolio and actual ability to code. That may have become a part of their HR practices. As in, making sure that the potential hire went through all the motions, had all relevant training and is capable of pulling their own weight within the company.
There’s another statistic of note, people without degrees face difficulties when searching for jobs and average salaries do reflect that. According to an infographic by WebDesignerDepot, in-house web developers earn $97,000/year on average, while freelancers only pull in $45,000/year. That’s quite the disparity.
It’s normal for companies to not even consider someone for a position without a web design college degree, even if the person in question is every bit as capable.
Cost Of Attendance
Another thing in need of closer examination is the overall cost of a study program. Simply put, education is an investment. Do you have the means to front the money for it?
Then maybe consider that route. If college courses teach relevant stuff, the experience may well be worth it.
If not, self-teaching is the way to go.
College Will Give You Valuable Social Experience
Even though the definition of ‘valuable’ can be interpreted differently, it’s safe to say that universities and colleges are an ‘experience.’
Not just a learning one at that, it will definitely help those of you who tend to be a bit awkward to come out of the proverbial shell.
Practical carry over is debatable. Technical difficulties in education can occur and some skill sets will be useful. While others, not so much.
It’s up to you to pass judgment and figure out whether you need to attend a college for designing web applications or not.
Even though college can be beneficial and really fun, you’ll still need to put in the additional effort and teach yourself the basics as well as in-depth web-development stuff if your college is not up to par with the technical side of things. Either way, be prepared for a rough ride.