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Getting into web design with the wrong degree.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I really blew it in undergrad and wound up with a psych degree and a 2.7 cumulative GPA. I changed majors from music to psychology rather arbitrarily after I washed out of the music program. I've now determined (after a long process that I won't get into) that I want to get into web design. I was hoping I could find some people here who have knowledge of the field and could give me general advice regarding what routes to consider, given my background.

Outside of a couple of basic comp sci classes maybe 5 years ago, I have no knowledge of any kind of programming at all. I am 27 years old. My previous job experience is limited to food service, a 4 month stretch in car sales, and a year and a half of being a successful mid level pot dealer. Income from this last job has allowed me to be unemployed for the last three months while planning my next move.

I have a good eye for design and I am a very artistic and visual person. I have a great appreciation for a good user interface and I like to work with my hands to build and improve things.

The only idea that I really have right now is to go to the local bullshit tech school and enter into their program for web design, and I can't help but think that there's going to be more to it than that.
post #2 of 6
Have you thought about getting into Marketing? Get a job working for a web-based company (or at least one with a very strong web presence) and go from there.

A Physc degree works (or at least worked) well in Marketing, and if you get your foot in the door, you could take night classes to build up your programming skills then transition into that role at a later date.

I've got a cousin who makes a decent living in web design/marketing, and really .. he doesn't know much programming. Spends most of his time researching local music talent, then setting up basic websites. There are so many GUI based tools (Adobe CS, Dreamweaver, etc.) that you can at least get started without much programming skills.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Marketing doesn't sound bad, I just feel like there are going to be a lot of people vying for those jobs who are much more qualified than I am (at the moment). I need to go back to school and get something going.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mehhhh View Post

Marketing doesn't sound bad, I just feel like there are going to be a lot of people vying for those jobs who are much more qualified than I am (at the moment). I need to go back to school and get something going.
That's the wrong attitude to have. Degrees are not everything. People switch careers 4-6 times throughout their lives so that means that they deviate from what they learned in college eventually.

A lot of the stuff I learned in undergrad, or even grad were not utilized in my job...and my job is in the same field I went to school for.

I know people with Engineering degree in marketing, business degree in Human Resources, etc.

If you want to go back to school to further educate yourself, by all means...do it. I'm all for education. However, if you're not sitting on piles of money, you may want to run a cost/benefit break down first.

I'm about your age, I turned 27 years old in November. I just completed my 2nd master's degree. I will probably switch careers sooner or later. I don't know how that will go, but I will be an optimist about it. I would think internships are out there for you as well, even if it's unpaid. All firms would like free help. Hands on experience is something a lot of employers want because real life problems don't involve scantrons.

Good luck.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm not worried about being good at whatever I get a job doing, I'm just worried about being able to get the job in the first place. My resume is comparatively thin and I haven't had a job in two or three months.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mehhhh View Post

I'm not worried about being good at whatever I get a job doing, I'm just worried about being able to get the job in the first place. My resume is comparatively thin and I haven't had a job in two or three months.

First thing is to get a job, really just anything that isn't flipping patties.

Second thing, is to see if you can do Web Design. At the lowest level you will be dealing with clients and from experience, its the shittiest job in the world. Clients expect you to be able to create things to the effect of Apple.com or Yahoo.com within days. Reality is it can take quite a while. They also expect to pay you next to nothing for it.

With a degree in Psychology, i have seen people do everything from being a Financial Analyst to a Medical Professional. Your degree is not much to help you, get your foot in the door somewhere, make some connections, talk to people and share your interests, but take care to listen to their interests as well. Manage that well and you'll be able to find tight openings as they open up and eventually move into them.

Its much much easier to find a job while in a job, than while you are out of a job. I didn't believe this at first, but after I started working, I started getting offers 1.4-1.5x my current salary just about every 6-8 weeks, just through a simple phone interview, I never had the intention of taking these jobs, mainly because the money isn't what interests me, its the work experience. Although, it does help me to be able to develop my interview skills.

The main point is this: Solo client based Web Design, avoid it, unless you are working with a firm that does marketing and web design for business/corporate clients. Get a job, internship, volunteer, something. Build a network of connections, join LinkedIn. Find out what job you want in 25 years position yourself into a track that gets you there. Here's mine: I want to be the VP of Polo Ralph Lauren operations.

I was a Tax Analyst for a F500, and I am currently an FA at a F500, my next role I want is a Managerial Consulting role. I would like to take that experience and obtain a MBA. I want to get into the industry either through a different company or a lower role in RL. I want to transform myself through that role and portray my value. Henceforth, I am working towards that career goal in a direct approach.

Its okay to have several interests that may snag you on the way, but its important to have one clear cut goal in mind and an idea of how to achieve it, this is where LinkedIn will help you a lot. Find people who do work at jobs you want, and see what they accomplished to get there.

I know this is long, but I hope it helps, or gives you an angle to view this in that you haven't already.

if you are really having trouble try http://www.americorps.gov/ I've heard they are decent experiences and is a better starting point that no starting point.
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