worth doing an HNC in computing for web design?

  bazawaz 05:48 10 Jul 2008

Hi.the course Im starting in september covers web design,visual basic and networking,from there I was hoping to progress on to an HNC web design course.
However my local college has decided to restrict progression options from my course to HNC networking and HNC computing for no apparent reason.
the thing is Im not so intrested in software development and not sure if HNC computing covers web design.any opinions/info?

  Taran 08:33 10 Jul 2008

HNC in computer platforms/software engineering covers very basic web design. You get to learn a little bit about web technologies/languages and do a web project which can count as part of your final marks (your final result depends on compiling a number of the best module marks you gain throughout the course).

If the HNC is in computer platforms/software engineering then it certainly isn't geared towards teaching web development/design as its main focus.

That said, you can use the skills you will learn to help you along the way and, if you choose to, you can opt to do a web based project as your chosen final software project.

The way you evaluate requirements, plan, document, write, test and otherwise demonstrate good software engineering practice will all be key to your final result, but there is nothing stopping you from going that way if you choose.

There is quite a bit of flexibility in the HNC computer platforms/software engineering course and although some modules and topics are a must, you can always decide for yourself what to do for your final, and if you prefer the web then you can use this as an excuse to build on web skills. Your tutors should be happy to help where needed.

Essentially you will get an overall grounding in networking including topography, servers, switches, security layers, server operating systems (a good HNC course will include Windows and Linux) and you will also spend a lot of time on Visual Basic and good database design including data normalisation, mostly using Microsoft Access.

You should find your tutors more than willing to help if you start asking web based questions, but maybe not if it's in the middle of a Linux server lecture...

I used to teach HNC/HND HNC in computer platforms/software engineering for my sins, and the first lecture of a new intake with me would begin with setting up dual booting Windows/Linux computers. It went downhill from there...

Good luck with things no matter which way you go with it.

  bazawaz 22:08 10 Jul 2008

thanks for the info.

  Forum Editor 22:49 10 Jul 2008

between web design and web development, and it's an important one.

Lots of people think they can design web sites, and quite a few of them of them can do it pretty well. A few people do it extremely well. Being able to design a web site doesn't mean you can develop it in a technical sense however, and many a designer doesn't have much of a clue when it comes to understanding how data driven sites work, or the complexities of running an e-commerce shopping cart that's linked to a fulfilment house.

Site design is becoming easier, as fourm member has mentioned, mainly because today's software has simplified things enormously - there are thousands and thousands of easily customised templates available for a few pounds apiece, and someone who has a flair for layout and colour coordination is more or less guaranteed to produce a decent end result.

If you have innate design flair you don't really need any formal qualification to be able to make a start as a web designer - just put a few sample sites on a server and set about drumming up some business. You'll be in competition with an army of people like yourself, but that's the way it is nowadays - it's the age of 'anyone can do more or less anything'.

If, on the other hand you think you could make it in technical site development it might be worth taking a more formal, structured approach. Lots of web designers are working in tandem with developers to produce visually appealing sites that have lots of server-side technology behind them, and that may be the way to go for you - someone who understands databases and scripting can do well as a freelance.

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