Once you have taken design courses and built a portfolio, put that portfolio on the Web and contact IT recruiters. Designers still in demand Once you have taken design courses and built a portfolio, put that portfolio on the Web and contact IT recruiters.
Dear Molly: I’m thinking of taking computer graphic design and Web development courses. The problem is, most courses offered are taught on PCs, while my company mostly operates on Macs. Do you think I should go for it? Are there still broad career choices in computer and Web design? It seems as if most companies are mainly searching for programmers.
Molly says: Go for it! The programs you want to learn about look and work almost identically on a PC or Mac. I speak from years of experience working with both platforms. Function is the same–you’ll find mostly niggly differences in keyboard shortcuts, which are usually listed in the help files for the programs.
You won’t be wasting your time learning graphic and Web design programs. While there is a lot of publicity about programmers, it’s also very difficult for companies to find people who really know how to use design software. Thus, these companies tend to do without or quietly work through recruiters to fill these kinds of slots.
Once you have learned enough about these programs and have some experience, sign yourself up with IT recruiters who specialize in placing computer design employees. Start identifying companies in your area that do the kind of work you like to do, and send them your resume and a small digital portfolio.
You might even want to put a digital portfolio on the Web and then list the site with various search engines. That way, anyone searching the Web for a designer would be more likely to find you. If they like what they see in the online portfolio, they could contact you for contract work or permanent employment.
To learn more about these kinds of software programs, what you can do with them and related jobs, visit these sites: Adobe Systems, Macromedia, and Borland Software Corporation. While you’re there, look for free (or nearly free) training and development seminars these companies often offer.
Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]