Is web design education failing us?

Paul Boag

Many complain that web design education is failing to prepare new graduates for working in the industry. But is it fair that graduates blame their courses if they fail to get a job?

Web design education seems to be a divisive subject. Many prominent figures within the web design community have expressed concern about the quality of graduates coming from university courses. The feeling is that these courses trail years behind Industry best practice, making graduates Ill-equipped for the world of work.

Of course this is not a problem confined to web design. Employers almost always complain that graduates don’t have the right skills. But, it is not just employers that are complaining, many students are too.

Some students feel they are being taught out of date techniques and that crucial skills such as building personal brand are not being taught at all. Many are beginning to wonder if higher education is the right decision or whether they should go straight into work.

Not that everybody shares this opinions. Some vehemently defend their course, feeling it teaches them everything they could ask. Others believe that any course can only take you so far. That it falls to you to get out their and build the relationships and get the experience required to build your career.

Education affects us all

The state of web design education affects us all. As prospective students it decides whether you go on to take part in higher education. As a graduate it dictates whether you get a job. And as an employer it impacts whether you can find good staff. Even those of us who do not fall into the above categories still feel the impact of education because it dictates the quality of the entire sector.

The question is whether the current education system is doing its job or not. This is something I would like to discuss on the podcast. Our debate topic is therefore:

This house proposes that web design higher education is failing in its role of producing quality graduates prepared for working life.

What do you think about this one? Are you currently a student? If so, do you feel you have been prepared? Are you a graduate and did your course help you find your first job? If you are an employer, do you feel the system is providing you with the staff you require? What exactly is the role of education anyway? Are we expecting too much from it?

Let’s discuss all of these questions in the comments.