A good web design education teaches courses on technology, solid design principles and the art of communication as a designer. When it comes to being a web designer, there is no formula for success, but there are some things you can avoid that will hinder your success as a designer while still in school. A degree or certificate can open many doors for you if you take the proper precautions before you graduate.
Neglecting Your Portfolio
Have you finished a project in one of your courses? Add it to your portfolio! It is important that you build up your portfolio throughout your web design education because this will ultimately help you land a position and make you job-market ready. If you neglect your design portfolio, employers and clients will be hesitant to hire you just on the premise of your web design degree or certificate. Being able to prove that you took your education seriously by producing well-designed work is important – it shows you have drive, passion and potential for your career.
Not Using the School’s Resources
Your school probably has many resources that are readily available for you to take advantage of – so do it! Many students don’t use these resources, such as job boards, counselling services, etc. because they are too nervous or scared or they think they know everything already. While attending school, it would be in your best interest to have a design counsellor evaluate your cover letter and resume, help you practice your design interviewing skills and advise you on other tips and advice you need to know before you graduate. They services are at your disposal, and if you make the time to use them while in design school, you will be leaps and bounds ahead of your classmates.
Becoming a Perfectionist
Having high expectations about yourself and your skills is good, but you’re still learning, so don’t be so hard on yourself. All web designers go through a stage where they feel their work isn’t “up to par” with other designers work. Don’t fall into the trap of being so much of a perfectionists that you procrastinate or don’t publish a design portfolio. The whole idea of attending web design school is to allow yourself to become more comfortable with your skills and how you like to work as a designer.
Obtaining a web design degree or certificate certainly can open doors for employment, but it won’t necessarily land you a job. You never know you will give you your next job – this is why it can be very important for students to network with professors, mentors and classmates that may provide you with a position in the future. Forging relationships and connections in the design industry can prove to be one of the most beneficial things you do before you graduate. Being active on Twitter can also help you develop relationships with others.