I miss it. I miss having the freedom to do things wrong. I miss detailed lectures about engaging topics. I miss the discussions about typography, design and semantic code. I miss having a road map of my future. I miss being amongst like minded peers and being under the guidance of a trained professional. I miss it.
I've written previously about education and what it means to me but unlike before, i'm not going to try and force my thoughts. I'm not going to dissuade those who believe education isn't working for this industry. I'm just going to explain why education is important to me, why I value it and why it is the reason I am where I am today.
Education is far more than a simple word. Education is opportunity, training, discipline, improvement and many more. The education I received didn't just teach me about web design. It woke me up. It shook me into existence and gave me a back bone.
Lot's of online discussions about digital/web education specifically tend to get negative fast. They seem to favour online learning and champion self learning. The only reason I know how to self learn and develop is because I was taught on my course!
Don't misunderstand me. I use Treehouse quite a lot and was quite active when I was a student but do I really believe that I would have a job in the industry based on just Treehouse? No. No I don't. Treehouse was simply a resource to me. I would read a book, use Treehouse, follow along with Codeschool during self study. There would be no way that I could join the industry based on watching a few online tutorials. Some can and have but it isn't for me.
Getting a job in the industry is far more complicated than simply knowing how to design and build a website. I needed far more than knowing how to write code. I needed a push. I needed to feel safe. I needed other people around me who felt the same. I needed to be guided.
When I was a student I had access to some of the best web professionals and had the chance to visit a design studio. Real world experience of building websites for clients was another opportunity. All of these added to my education and helped me land a job in the industry.
Some people feel that they are too good for education. There are those who are simply scared. I was once one of those scared people. I felt that I could easily learn everything myself on the job. I knew I wasn't writing magnificent code and my designs were a bit naff but I thought with a bit of time, I would get better.
Education prepared me for a career. It guided me and helped me land my first job. It made me fall in love with code and the web. It helped me realise what I wanted to do with my life. Do you think I could have done all of that by watching online tutorials?