What do they do?
A creative spark in his boyhood propelled Ankush Dawar to be what he is today. “When I was in Class III or IV, my parents enrolled me for painting classes at Triveni [Kala Sangam]. I learnt painting for eight years. Whatever I am is because of my background in fine arts,” says Dawar, 29, who floated a website design agency in 2000, based in central Delhi.
A commerce student in high school, Dawar did his Bachelor’s in industrial relations and personnel management at Delhi’s Dyal Singh College and, except for writing exams, seldom went to college. Instead, he used the time doing creative and technical courses at private institutes. He joined Triveni’s photography course “to become creatively sound”. Creativity matters more than educational certificates in this virtual world, though a salary survey suggests that degrees do pay well.
For the imaginative and competent, the options are many. From multinational corporations to film stars, from neighbourhood property dealers to NGOs, almost everyone now wants an online estate. The opportunity is “so big”, says Dawar, especially with the spread of cross-platform technology, e.g. websites now also need to be customised for mobile browsers.
A lot of big companies outsource web designing to freelancers. So, a designer can work from home as well. S/he can create his/her profile on certain websites to draw more orders. Dawar’s agency, with five employees at his home-cum-office premises, not only designs websites but also creates work for others, farming out jobs like content writing and web security. A web designer who wants the safety net of a job can work in advertising and graphic design agencies, e-learning companies and multi-media/animation firms. “The major consumption (for web designers) is in these,” says Tirth Raj Sah, founder of a web design house in south Delhi.
A web designer who is starting out should not become impatient even if s/he manages to get only a low-paying job, Sah suggests. That is just the stepping stone. A student might have done a course but there is nothing so important as on-the-job learning.
Sah stresses that aspirants need to learn Web 2.0 as 80-90 per cent of foreign companies outsourcing work to India require this capability.
. Lots of imagination, willingness to experiment and learn
. Ability come up with original, creative ideas for a brief and bring them alive on the web
. Ability to sit at the computer for long hours
. A fun-loving attitude
How do I get there?
After Class 12, you can join a web-designing course offered by various institutes. You need to learn about the web, HTML (HyperText Mark-up Language), PhotoShop, softwares like Dreamweaver and Flash, CSS (Cascading Style Sheet, for managing content formatting) and at least one programming language such as ASP, ASP.NET or PHP.
Pros & Cons about this career
. You get to learn the latest technology
. Interesting, creative job
. Most of your time is spent on the computer