Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Summative Blog Entry – As one door closes…

Looking back to the first week of the course in September 2006 I wrote a post entitled “Formative Statement”. In this post I discussed where I was at the time but more importantly where I saw myself in 2 years time. As the 2 years is now up I feel it is now an appropriate time to evaluate just how far I have come over the duration of the course.

In the “Formative Statement” I wrote:

"My aims are to complete the course to the best of my ability and gain a good grade. After completion of the course I would ideally like to go to a local University for one year and hopefully achieve a degree"

Going to University was always something that I was determined to pursue as I felt that having a degree would allow me to obtain a good job. I felt this way for the majority of the course but towards the end of the second year I began to have second thoughts. The first thing that changed my thinking was when I visited an open day for a local university. I spent the day there to see what they did, how the courses were taught and how much support students were given. After the open day I couldn’t help but feel that it just wasn’t for me and I began thinking do I really need to top my qualification up to a degree?

After mulling things over I was happy to hear that we were being visited by recruitment agency Orchard Suits to give us advice on gaining employment. I found this to be a really interesting visit and helped to clarify certain issues that I had. One thing that stuck in my mind was that the majority of potential employers see little difference between a degree and a HND. My mind was made up and I immediately started looking to find a job and amending my CV to give me the best chance possible.

Another important blog post I wrote was at the end of the first year of the course. This post was entitled “First Year Review” where I set myself several targets for the coming year and beyond.

In the “First Year Review” post I wrote several goals including:

“Gain merit grades for 3 assignments. It may be difficult to achieve merit grades right away as the criteria will change making it harder to achieve these grades, hopefully though I will be able to achieve these later on in the second year.”

I am delighted at the fact that I have been able to achieve Merit grades in every assignment that I have done so far in the second year. I have pushed to achieve Distinction grades in all these assignments and I don’t think that I am too far away. I am optimistic that I will be able to sign off in style and achieve a Distinction for my last assignment “A14 So Limitless and Free”.

Another goal I set myself in the “First Year Review” was to:

“Build a site completely using CSS as this is a vital skill to have judging by the reports that we have had from previous students who are now in employment”

As CSS was something I had very limited experience with I am pleased that I am now comfortable and confident using it. Learning different technologies is something that I have really enjoyed during the second year and I never imagined that I would be able to learn as much as I have. Throughout the second year I have experienced PHP, JavaScript and XHMTL along with CSS. As these are all industry standard technologies I think that this illustrates perfectly just how effective this course is at preparing you for employment in the trade.

This past year has been by far the most challenging period of my life so far but I think that the experience I have gained is invaluable. I am now looking forward to my future in the industry and this is due to the numerous things I have learnt over the two years of the course. I would urge anybody with an interest in making a career for themselves in web design to seriously consider taking this course.