What is studying web design/development at uni like and is it worth it?

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basicallyshrek
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pls impart ur widsom thank u

Is it worth it in terms of finding a long term career?
What kind of assignments do you get?
Do you enjoy it?
Is it a strict career path or can you go on to do other things with that degree?
Is it hard? How many languages did you need to learn?
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basicallyshrek
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winterscoming
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I studied Software engineering at Staffs Uni, although I've got a pretty good idea on the differences between the web design-vs-development degrees which Staffs have on offer (and I'd expect the differences are the same at most universities). A lot of 'core' modules are shared between software engineering and web development.

At a basic level:
  • Web development is a software engineering discipline which involves some visual design aspects
  • Web design is a visual design discipline which involves some software engineering aspects.

In other words,they're related to each other, the difference is in the emphasis on design vs technical skills. Both will naturally involve learning front-end technical skills for creating digital web content (JavaScript, CSS, HTML):
  • Web Design would tend to focus on topics surrounding usability, accessibility, visual communication, aesthetics and maybe some graphic design.
  • Web Development would tend to focus on technical skills for building web functionality including back-end technologies (e.g. Java, PHP and SQL).

Both are vocational couses and you could expect them to be more heavily project-based and coursework-based. Different universities have different modules and assessments so it varies.

It's particularly important for web designers to build up a decent portfolio of finished design ideas and being able to show that you can follow something through from its conceptual stage right the way to the end and to get your ideas working, and be able to iterate on those ideas until you're happy with them. Attention to detail is important.

Web development focuses on technical skills and problem solving, so a portfolio is important there too as a means to showcase your ability to cope with writing web applications which typically involve a whole range of tools and languages in order to be a 'full stack' developer. Web developers need to be competent in both front-end and back-end technologies, as well as being able to cope with other Software engineering issues such as build, deployment, debugging, source control and testing.

Both degrees are specialised, although Web development being a variation on Software engineering involves a lot more technical skills which are more readily transferrable into other programming-related careers. In reality there isn't much of a gap between web development and general software engineering aside from the tools and languages you focus on..

It's typically harder with any design-related discipline to get yourself noticed and stand out from the crowd - typically you'll find people from non-technical backgrounds also competing for web design jobs; it's a more competitive market and the bar set by employers tends to be higher.

In both cases it's a very good idea to seek a course which involves a 12-month industrial placement if possible - any real-world experience you can pick up will be valuable to your graduate employment prospects.

Obviously any degree which specialises in an area means you're most suited to a narrower field when applying to graduate jobs - e.g. you'd have a harder time getting into a networking or cybersecurity career from web development.

However you can always re-train yourself if you want to do something different at the end (e.g. taking a Masters degree, or enrolling in some distance learning courses/MOOCs/etc). If you're more interested in a technical career path then web development would be a better starting point than web design, being that web development is closer to a generalised computing degree.
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basicallyshrek
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(Original post by winterscoming)
I studied Software engineering at Staffs Uni, although I've got a pretty good idea on the differences between the web design-vs-development degrees which Staffs have on offer (and I'd expect the differences are the same at most universities). A lot of 'core' modules are shared between software engineering and web development.

At a basic level:
  • Web development is a software engineering discipline which involves some visual design aspects
  • Web design is a visual design discipline which involves some software engineering aspects.

In other words,they're related to each other, the difference is in the emphasis on design vs technical skills. Both will naturally involve learning front-end technical skills for creating digital web content (JavaScript, CSS, HTML):
  • Web Design would tend to focus on topics surrounding usability, accessibility, visual communication, aesthetics and maybe some graphic design.
  • Web Development would tend to focus on technical skills for building web functionality including back-end technologies (e.g. Java, PHP and SQL).

Both are vocational couses and you could expect them to be more heavily project-based and coursework-based. Different universities have different modules and assessments so it varies.

It's particularly important for web designers to build up a decent portfolio of finished design ideas and being able to show that you can follow something through from its conceptual stage right the way to the end and to get your ideas working, and be able to iterate on those ideas until you're happy with them. Attention to detail is important.

Web development focuses on technical skills and problem solving, so a portfolio is important there too as a means to showcase your ability to cope with writing web applications which typically involve a whole range of tools and languages in order to be a 'full stack' developer. Web developers need to be competent in both front-end and back-end technologies, as well as being able to cope with other Software engineering issues such as build, deployment, debugging, source control and testing.

Both degrees are specialised, although Web development being a variation on Software engineering involves a lot more technical skills which are more readily transferrable into other programming-related careers. In reality there isn't much of a gap between web development and general software engineering aside from the tools and languages you focus on..

It's typically harder with any design-related discipline to get yourself noticed and stand out from the crowd - typically you'll find people from non-technical backgrounds also competing for web design jobs; it's a more competitive market and the bar set by employers tends to be higher.

In both cases it's a very good idea to seek a course which involves a 12-month industrial placement if possible - any real-world experience you can pick up will be valuable to your graduate employment prospects.

Obviously any degree which specialises in an area means you're most suited to a narrower field when applying to graduate jobs - e.g. you'd have a harder time getting into a networking or cybersecurity career from web development.

However you can always re-train yourself if you want to do something different at the end (e.g. taking a Masters degree, or enrolling in some distance learning courses/MOOCs/etc). If you're more interested in a technical career path then web development would be a better starting point than web design, being that web development is closer to a generalised computing degree.
thank you so so much you answered pretty much every question i had <3

I have a couple more questions if that's okay? Have you heard of creative computing and if you have what do you think about it? Do you know what studying that is like?

Also, how have you found software development? Would you recommend those wanting to go into web development to do something like software development instead because of the wider range of jobs available?
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username738914
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(Original post by basicallyshrek)
pls impart ur widsom thank u

Is it worth it in terms of finding a long term career?
What kind of assignments do you get?
Do you enjoy it?
Is it a strict career path or can you go on to do other things with that degree?
Is it hard? How many languages did you need to learn?
we live in an age where you can go to squarespace or striking.ly or wix and make a decent website.. low touch web dev/web design is pretty much obsolete.

nowadays you're either a software engineer/developer, a product/UI designer, a UX designer or a data person.

to do any of those roles you need rock solid fundamentals that are relevant to the role. in software engineering/development that's stuff like data structures and algorithms, logic, systems design/architecure etc; for UX it could be some basic behavioural economics, psychology, marketing, etc; for UI/product design it could be design thinking etc.. you get the picture.

best thing to do is pick a discipline and learn the fundamentals (either through a degree or on your own time) then make stuff with a few different tools.

Posted from TSR Mobile
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basicallyshrek
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(Original post by Princepieman)
we live in an age where you can go to squarespace or striking.ly or wix and make a decent website.. low touch web dev/web design is pretty much obsolete.

nowadays you're either a software engineer/developer, a product/UI designer, a UX designer or a data person.

to do any of those roles you need rock solid fundamentals that are relevant to the role. in software engineering/development that's stuff like data structures and algorithms, logic, systems design/architecure etc; for UX it could be some basic behavioural economics, psychology, marketing, etc; for UI/product design it could be design thinking etc.. you get the picture.

best thing to do is pick a discipline and learn the fundamentals (either through a degree or on your own time) then make stuff with a few different tools.

Posted from TSR Mobile
Yeah ngl this was something I was considering, I know web development can be competitive and you dont really need a degree to go into it but I was thinking it would give me a lot more time to develop my skills? and probably more motivation too with all the assignments and stuff...

It was something I was considering anywho but I've just found out there's courses in creative computing which is right up my alley so I'm probably gonna go for something like that instead.
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