Interviewee

Molly E. Holzschlag

What skills and technologies should colleges and universities teach students who want to be web designers and/or developers? Why?

This is an extremely difficult question to answer due to how fast things grow and change on the Web. I do believe that core education in general computers, networking, basic design, a bit of media studies and a bit of programming concepts would be a good start.

Should students be educated in both web design and development or just one? Why?

I believe the general studies portion of a two or four-year curriculum should be multi-disciplinary, as described. Students can then determine a specialty area, but getting education in “both sides” of the fence is very important if for no other reason than giving that individual the language and concepts necessary to work effectively in a team-based environment.

If you could create your dream curriculum for web design and development, what courses and information would you include? Why? What courses and information now in such programs would you eliminate? Why?

This is such a huge question for a person who writes curriculum. I can’t give you an easy answer to this! I think in most simple terms, for a standard four-year curriculum, two solid years of general studies with plenty of IT and design components, and then specialization based on the individual’s interest.

What type of projects do you want to see in a recent graduate’s web design and/or development portfolio?

Honestly, more than a portfolio, I would be evaluating prospective employees based on the following criteria: General awareness of the Web, social networking and culture, strong spoken and written language skills, and here is the key: Enthusiasm and commitment to life-long learning. Everything else can be taught, and will be taught, over and over as time goes on. Therefore, it’s the broadly educated, open-minded, and self motivated individuals who would get my attention.

How can colleges and universities keep web design and/or development curriculum current and relevant?

Again, this is a difficult issue. The rapid change and fundamental interdisciplinary nature of the Web makes creating curriculum very difficult. We really need a great deal of change within educational environments to allow for this interdisciplinary kind of skill.