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Do You Need A Web Programming Degree?


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In this video blog, Stefan talks about the importance of a web design degree. He also gets into which programming languages will make degrees more important.




For more information on web programming, check out the Complete Web Programmer Package.


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  • 2 months later...

Glad you liked it.


Besides a bunch of new training screencasts, I have a few videos that will deal more with the employment and business end of web design and programming.


... It is not enough to just know how to build a website, it's good to know what it takes to secure work.



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You are right about student loans. This is what I found out:


The bad news about Student Loans in the USA:

  • There is no bankruptcy protection
  • There are no Statues of Limitations protection
  • There are no Truth In Lending requirements
  • There is no protection from Usury (excessive interest)
  • Income (such as wages and Social Security) can be garnished to repay the loans
  • The amount of student loan debt is far greater than credit card debt.
  • It is difficult to get a deferment; it can only be done by Forbearance. Interest still accumulates.
  • If the loan goes into default, which could happen with just a few months of non-payment--a rough spot in someone's life, interest can go to 20% or higher. In 3.5 years, the original loan amount doubles, and in 7 years, the amount quadruples.
  • There will be several loans to make payments on. If they are consolidated, the original low interest rate is lost.
  • If the loan defaults, in addition to the principal and outrageous interest, more debt in other forms can be added. These include
    • Penalties
    • Fees, and
    • Collection Costs

    [*]There are so many horror stories of lives destroyed by student loans. http://studentloanjustice.org/victims.htm lists some of them.


There is some good news, though:



The link above explains the Income-Based Repayment (IBR) of

Student Loans program. There is a cute, short animated video

giving an overview. The link to the repayment calculator may be helpful.

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Do you need a college degree? Great question. My thoughts:


You can be an entrepreneur. You will NOT need a degree.

In running your own consulting company for small businesses,

you can provide the following services (what you don't yet know--outsource

for cheap on Fivver.com or via the classifieds on WarriorForum.com or other

similar places):

  • SEO (organic search engine optimization -- online marketing)
  • SEM (search engine marketing via paying for advertising)
  • Getting the business listed on GooglePlaces and free directories
  • Creating a Facebook fan page
  • Getting followers on Facebook or Twitter
  • Adding content to web sites
  • Creating a mobile site
  • Creating a web site or improving existing site
  • Creating a logo and header graphics
  • Email marketing
  • Reputation management (monitor comments--get bad deleted)
  • Video creation
  • List building
  • Creating a system for inventory mgt or billing
  • Creating a data entry form that ties into their database
  • Create reports
  • Create a simple app
  • etc.


You can get a job in the Corporate world. You will need a degree.


Degree? A test you can do right now:

Go to dice.com, click on Advanced Search, plug in

within 50 miles of your zip code for a main search, and for the keyword part:

"any" (instead of "all") of the following: php, javascript, html, css

(plus whatever else you know). Look at the "job requirements" of each result to

determine how often a college degree is needed.


If you do decide to opt for a 4-year degree, take required classes at a

community college--it is much cheaper--and then transfer after getting

a two year AA degree. Work as an intern while attending college to get



Finally, you can teach yourself via killersites.com (and other resources such as books)

as a full time (non-paying) job, really working at it and thoroughly learning,

and when you think you can truly offer value to a company, try to get a job.


If you can't get hired because you don't have experience, see if putting together a

portfolio helps.


If you still can't get a job, work for free as an intern or volunteer.


Some people advise "getting your foot in the door" by doing other stuff, but I think this

can backfire by diminishing your value. Besides, how office does the help desk person get

promoted to web developer? Probably not often. (Although, if the company offers free training or

college, that's another story.)


Finally, if all else fails, there is place online where you can order a fake previous

job employment reference along with a recommendation from your "manager". (Sometimes,

you have to do what you have to do to survive. If you haven't been there, don't condemn it.)

(Note: Do not fake education. Do not say you can do things you can't (unless it is something

super simple, like Excel, that you can learn between your interview and hire date.)


Stefan, if you can provide the means for us to create a portfolio, that would be awesome!

Even just guidelines on how to go about creating one, and what would be good to put in it, would

be helpful.

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