Expert advice for readers' career problems
I have worked on the IT service desk for just over two years and want to pursue a career in web development. I am near to finishing a course to become a web designer. How can I get into web design?
The solution: Build a portfolio of website work
Just to clarify, web design and web development are quite different roles within an IT department.
Your experience suggests that you have a more technical approach and would be more interested in the development of the applications driving websites rather than the graphical design of web pages.
In this case, the MCad (Microsoft certified application developer) is the better qualification - it is fairly high level and you may require training in-house before enrolling on this course.
The MCad course will teach you the skills to develop, deploy and maintain Microsoft applications for Windows and the web.
Because of the demand for web developers, you should talk to your employer about experience you could get internally. It may be a case of offering your services for free until you have proven your interest and capability in website development. This internship will allow you to build a portfolio while doing your job so that you have something to show to help you secure the role you are aiming for.
If it is web design and the creative aspects of websites you are interested in, you need to offer to help out on smaller projects to develop a portfolio of work that will win you a paid position.
Solution by Robert Chapman, chief executive at The Training Camp
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This was first published in June 2007