Why everyone should have web design skills, according to Continuing Studies students at Emily Carr University

Aug 30 2021, 9:34 am

Digital skills — from graphic design to web development — have never been in higher demand than they are today. It’s a growing field that shows no signs of stopping.

To boot, it’s an industry populated by top paying and, often, super creative jobs that involve designing websites, animating TV shows and video games, doing special effects, and creating concept designs.

Emily Carr University’s Continuing Studies (ECU) is offering a slew of Web + Digital Design courses geared towards helping students gain the fundamental knowledge needed to jumpstart their careers — without having to undertake a lengthy degree.

Through its offerings, aspiring illustrators, animators, graphic designers, architects, industrial designers, and many others can get a sense of which disciplines they enjoy most and grasp the basics.

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This fall, ECU’s introductory and intermediate-level Web + Digital Design courses will be available online.

Excitedly, the school will also be welcoming students back to campus for a selection of in-person courses in all areas of art, media, and design.

In preparation for the new school year, we caught up with a couple of students who recently completed some of ECU’s Web + Digital Design courses to get the full scoop on what to expect.

Heba Al Tabbaa, who came to Vancouver 11 years ago from Amman, Jordan after graduating with a degree in computer sciences, was in search of a course that would allow her to combine design with her computer science background.

“It was a great educational experience for me,” says Al Tabbaa of ECU’s Adobe InDesign course. “All the skills I learned can be applied to the web development field and coding sites.”

Ultimately, the course allowed her to “enrich” the design components of her web design work. “My favourite part was learning new techniques and being able to apply them right away — and showing my work to my daughter and impressing her,” she tells us.

In the case of Selam Hailemariam, an aspiring web developer who currently works in finance, the introductory courses on web development and design were the perfect entryway into the burgeoning field.

While, at first, she was concerned she wouldn’t have the requisite knowledge to keep up with the workload, she quickly found the courses covered all of the rudimentary software and skills she was looking for. Plus, the support of helpful instructors who made themselves available after classes to review course material and answer questions helped make the experience a success in her eyes.

According to Hailemariam, the courses provide you with “the most important things you must learn to get started with your career. Then, the rest you can build on with practice.”

Next, Hailemariam plans to take her learning a step forward by registering for ECU’s intermediate courses in User Interface and User Experience Design and Javascript in the hopes it will help land her a job as a junior web developer.

She credits the flexibility of the Continuing Studies courses — which she took on weekends — for allowing her to balance a busy work and family life with her course load.

When we ask Hailemariam why she chose to go into web development, she says, “It’s challenging and fun.” In a world that’s becoming increasingly tech by the minute “everybody should know a bit of coding and web development skills.”

As it becomes a necessity for more and more jobs, she felt it was an option that would broaden her career prospects and allow her to get in on Vancouver’s booming tech industry.

On a similar note, Al Tabba encourages prospective students “to take courses that interest them, even if they don’t directly relate to their field or profession.”

“It will help broaden their knowledge and skillset — and will be enjoyable at the same time,” she says.

To advance your digital design skills and take your career to the next level, you can register for ECU Continuing Studies  Web + Digital Design courses here.

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