Question by Robert: Future Web Designer…Questions?
I will be a junior at a university this upcoming fall semester majoring in Digital Technology & Culture. I think my main area of interests has to be between Web Designing and Graphic Arts, but I’m more focus onto Web Designing a bit more. I have a few concerns, and heads up before I graduate with a Bachelor:

1) In the next few years, I will be graduating with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, how will I be able to get a job? I am planning on doing some interning, but should I also keep some sort of a portfolio with my works for future sake? And what are designing firms looking these days? Employers with great, fresh ideas? Someone who is fluent in the language of “Web Designing”? Or how about someone who already has clients? Remember, I will be graduating with a degree with no job experience in designing what so ever.

2) How should I go and make my portfolio? Should I print it, or make an actual website with stuff that I created?

3) It is best to be fluent in Web Designing and Graphic Arts?

Best answer:

Answer by Kris L
My husband took a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in Fine Art … but he went to a ‘junior college’ for one year to learn about ‘Web Management.’ He was hired before that year of classes was done, to teach Web Design … and he did that for five years. He’s now the Web Developer for a company that does ‘advertising display’ (store windows with pictures, and the huge ‘cloth pictures’ that hang off of tall buildings) …

Start working on your portfolio NOW, do it as a ‘website’ and keep it ‘current’ …
You’d do better working as a ‘web developer’ in another field, as my husband does, than working for a ‘strictly computer company.
Interning is a GREAT JOB … if you are a good intern, they may want to hire you full time. If not, it’s a good bit of ‘real job’ experience for you, but it doesn’t pay much.
If you want to take ‘private clients’ that is up to you, but if you do that be sure that you keep a ‘copy’ of the website as YOU designed it, and not at the ‘client’ may change it … but also keep a copy of the client’s changes, and be able to tell people the ‘differences’ and why some work, and others don’t.
You may not get a ‘good job’ at first … but if you ‘hang in there’ and keep working, even doing stuff ‘for free’ for charitable organizations, you’ll soon HAVE enough experience to get hired.
It would be best to be ‘fluent’ in Web Design and Computer Graphics … Graphic Arts isn’t ‘quite’ the same thing … it’s more the type of ‘advertising’ that goes into magazines and on television.
If you have any ‘real art’ (Fine Art) of your own, put that into your portfolio too … even if it’s not ‘computer stuff’ it will show the prospective employer or client what you can ‘do’ artistically.

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3 thoughts on “Future Web Designer…Questions?”

  1. Some thoughts on your questions:

    If you get an internship, make sure it is payed, or extremely prestigious. Ask a lot of questions while you are there, remember you are there to learn.

    If you’ve got your own clients, just let your employer know you have good experience working with customers. Otherwise, keep your own clients to yourself.

    To answer question 3: I studied Photography for two years then worked in the “real world” for a while, I taught myself a lot about graphic design over the years, and am now working towards an architecture degree. I use every scrap of info I’ve learned in each discipline. So yes, you should have a strong background in design too, particularly user interfaces, typography and working with grids. However, you should also pursue any other interests you may have. They wont be a waste, they will help give your work more personality and a stronger aesthetic.

    also, you should create a web and printed portfolio. The portfolio should focus on your graphic and artistic work, the web should show your understanding of building logical systems, and solving problems: it shouldn’t look to fancy.

  2. 1.) Robert, you will be able to get a job if you have a decent portfolio and come off as an educated asset in your interview.
    None of us have much experience coming out. This will be to your disadvantage with the amount of job choices, but you will eventually find a company that is looking for an entry-level with limited real world skills. After job #1, your foot is in the door. Employers want smart, competent employees that can do their jobs with minimal supervision. If you already have clients, keep that to yourself and continue to service your clients even with your “real job.” One day you may want to start your own business with the outside client base that you have grown.

    2) Regiser a domain name. (, get cheap hosting ( and then host a very small personal website that only has your online resume,
    a little about yourself and a portfolio of whatever you have done. If you have nothing for a portfolio, consider using class projects as real-world experience and consider using a couple of your current clients as both portfolio pieces and references.

    In the web field it is best to be a hybrid web designer and developer. This person will design the way the site(s) look,
    manage statistics, manage domain name records, manage hosting, manage customer requests, setup email accounts associated with the domain name, work with programmers to create dynamic pages, integrate java/flash/databases and whatever else is necessary to make the site work. In addition to design, you will want to familiarize yourself with a web programming language. (ASP, ColdFusion, PHP,etc.) and learn how to do basic website-to-database connections. Although this is mostly for programmers, as a designe/developer you will typically train to be the lead on these projects. Don’t fret however Robert, learning much of this stuff comes over the 1st 5-6 years in the field. No one expects anything from an entry, but nice looking design solutions and professionalism. Be advised that as a web person, if you do not expand your skills annually, you may become expendable to the next guy/gal who does.

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