Should You Go To University?

One of the many big decisions in you life is should you go to university?. This can be a tough decision and it’s one I have made. I have some strong thoughts on what you should do, so I would like to share them to maybe help you make you decision.

The First thing would be make sure you are doing the subject you would like to do for a career. I actually did lighting design in college and nothing to do with coding. I enjoyed it in school and I enjoyed it more in college, then I always knew I wanted to go to university. I would like to say I wanted to go so much all because I am for better learning and higher education, but then I would be lying. I wanted to go to university because it looked crazy fun in all the films and as it was stereotypical to me. I always thought that if you had the option to go to higher education then you should take it. Once you get a degree then employers just fall down to you feet, well that’s what I thought. With my college degree and a lot of hard work I made it in to University and the adventure began.

University was great fun and I met a lot of new people, which is one of the reason I would say to go. The first year you are constantly having fun and doing little work. You grades do not count this year so as long as you pass then you are good. The second year is where it starts to count, so your nights out get less and the long nights begin. This is where you need to start working harder, which only gets harder in the third year. This doesn’t mean it gets rubbish, it just get more challenging and as everyone else is doing the same so it doesn’t seem so bad.

For the fun and experience of meeting people I would do university again, but for what I got out of it I am not so sure. I gained a lot of skills for Lighting and Design, plus much more. While doing the projects I learned some general organisation skills, time management and how to survive long working days. I then also in my course learnt more useful skills like business , electrical wiring and more that have helped me in my general life plus new career.

Unfortunately this for me counted for nothing. I had plenty of interviews because of my 2 years in college and 3 years in university doing the practice was literally practice to employers, which didn’t matter to them. All the interviewers kept saying that they thought I knew a lot and had great skill, but… they want real life experience. In the field for lighting design they say you can learn everything from a book, but it will not give you the knowledge of working in real life. You need to have the experience of working with real clients, real project and real jobs, which is not what I got from University. Some people did do it out of class, so they got jobs and some started from the bottom then worked their way up. I then not say it is impossible to get into a good position straight from University.

I didn’t do that, instead I found a new passion and that was coding. With this new passion I worked hard and then even harder. I started to learn C++ to create a login module, that would show employers that I am willing to work to get where I want to be. With a bit of luck I go picked up for a web development job and started learning ALL the skills for web development. From here I have continued to work hard, learn more and be more. This showed me that maybe I didn’t need university and that if I didn’t go I would be 3 years further I my career than I am now. I have used minimal skills from University to get to where I am and this will continue to where I want to be.

So my life and experience worked out that although University was great fun it didn’t help me in my career and if anything set me back 3 years where my friends have gain further in their careers. After working hard for a few years I have got further than I had from university. Though I do know people who have got a degree in their chosen field and made use of it, plus I have been told some employers just like the fact that you have a degree. It shows that you work hard, you can write a lot and all the general skills I talked about before. So I wouldn’t say it is a waste of time or money.

If you are undecided about if to go or not I would say to look into if you need a degree first. You can have fun anywhere, but you can’t make a job anywhere. My Lighting Degree got me nothing in my field, but a computer programming degree could have go me everything. I would say do your research first and a make sure it is what you want to do. You can either have a great 3 years learning your career or you can have 3 years set back.

Please share you experience below to help other go forward.

The web developer freelance quick tips

Money makes the world go round and so for bringing some extra cash in I tried doing some freelance, but failed. This isn’t a moan that freelance doesn’t work or it’s crap. I am doing this to give some of my faults and experience to other people that are freelancers or want to be freelancers.

The main reason I failed was because I was trying to run multiple jobs, not just freelance but also my day job. When you start doing this you either need to take small jobs or have this as your only job. If you have a client you need to give them the full attention as they will also want jobs done fast and to a good standard.

Some other the things I failed on where you can succeeded in are things like below.

Detail

You need to get as much detail as possible. I asked a few questions at the start, but it was only when I started the job, I realised there was much more detail I should have got. You need to know everything, because once you accept the job it is your pay day on the line. If the client doesn’t like you asking so much then maybe there is a reason for that and you shouldn’t go with them.

Pricing

It is hard to give yourself a price, especially when you don’t know what other competitors are charging. I compermised to get a job, which turned out to be hudge so I got under paid for the work I did. The best way is to find a value you would charge per hour, and then workout how long the job would take. You can Google around to see what others in you field think is fair as well.

Resources

Make sure that the client can give you all the resource you need if it is needed. Problem I had was a client didn’t want to give me access to some files. I could do the job still, but it took much longer and was much harder. If you need something to make the work go better then make sure you have it else your just shooting yourself in the foot.

Fail to prepare is to prepare to fail

Before you even think of proposing to a job, make sure you have the time, resources and ability to do the job. It is never good to accept the job and waste the clients time or your own time. On the other hand you should always challenge yourself to better yourself, but make sure it’s not too above your weight or it could be a loss of client and pay.

So if you think you are up for the job then go for it. Make sure you follow these tips and listen to other freelancers to gain knowledge from them as well. The more you do it the more experience you will get and then you will become the teacher.

If you have another tips for freelance then feel free to comment below and share your wisdom.