Web Designer vs web designer

As an educator and mentor I try to set the expectations of my students. Part of my job is to focus them so they can get the most benefit from the program and have a realistic view of where they will be upon graduation. One way that I do that to help them understand that I’m not preparing them to be “Web Designers.”

Web Designer can be a title. It can also be a skill set. I am a web designer yet my title is Assistant Professor. In addition to my being a web designer I am also an instructional designer. I have worked in industry as a Program Assistant, where I wore many hats. One of the hats I wore in that position was as a web designer. About 30% of my time was allocated to designing and maintaining the program web site.  The rest was distributed across clerical, database maintenance, event planning, desktop support, administration. I want my students to understand that you don’t just bring “one thing” to the table. Web Design is only one tool in the toolbox. My expertise in web design is an asset as an educator.  It makes me more valuable. If students can understand that difference, they can put their learning in context and won’t limit themselves when seeking positions in industry.  Understanding their strengths can give them an edge during an interview.