The Vocation of Web-Development
This quote is directly from the blog post titled “You don’t need a college degree to be a great coder” found on ReadWriteWeb on 1/7/2012 :
"Programming isn’t accounting. It requires creative thinkers and problem solvers, people unlikely to thrive in the confines of a college classroom. So why do hiring managers apply traditional methods to a nontraditional job?"
Last week, one of my students brought up the fact that web development has become a vocation and less of a science however, when applying for positions in organizations it’s still a requirement to have a degree. I thought this was an interesting observation and a very really one.
This comment lead me to stumble upon a blog article about the very subject and I must say I concur…. Why do you need a college degree to be a web developer? This may sound strange coming from an college instructor, however, I find that the skills needed to be noticed and hired for most development jobs, are not taught in traditional classrooms.
First and foremost, you must be a creative thinker and problem solver. With that said, it’s not enough to be a good designer or artist. You need to be able to think somewhat logically.
Secondly, you need to have a good professional network. Without the right people in your network, you will not get noticed by potential employers or even pick up contracts…why? because the right people don’t know who you are or you what you can do.
These two points alone are survival skills that are not emphasized in today’s traditional academic courses. The average compuer science graduate or information technology or information systems graduate may not be able to break into a career in web development, for missing at least one of the two skills I already mentioned. It’s as if their degrees are working against them, but they also have the terrible trifecta of also, not having enough hands-on experience to adequately perform the duties of a web developer.
So where are students getting it? And what is the actual valuation of their degrees?
As an instructor of web-development in a non-traditional school, I am fortunate to be surrounded by students that are looking to gain skills that will make them employable. I feel this incredible sense of responsibility as their instructor, and am compelled to give them the tools they will need to compete in today’s economy.