Web Professional Degrees: Interview with Vicki Westergard, St. Petersburg College

Greeting WOW members and Web Professionals everywhere!

Today’s podcast is a continuation of our coverage of Web professional education. There’s been a fair amount of discussion on this topic of late and it’s been our goal to report on how those that practice in the field and those that hire Web professionals feel about the topic. If you’ve been following along with the series, then you’re aware that many recognized professionals within the Web space feel that the Web profession lacks the respect that it deserves and point to the lack of quality educational resources as the primary cause.

For today’s podcast, we will conclude this series with an interview on the topic of college degrees for Web professionals. If you’re practicing within the Web profession for any length of time, then more than likely you’ve learned your skills on your own. If you’re like me, you may have a degree in another area and picked up your Web skills along the way or you may be super smart and have the luck of mastering all of the topics on your own. Either way, the Web profession could benefit from degree level programs in my opinion and for those that are just now getting into the field it may be a differentiator and even mandatory down the road. For today’s podcast, I asked Vicki Westergard Director, Web & Instructional Technology, St. Petersburg College St Petersburg, Florida, to weigh in.

Check out today’s three minute podcast on the Web Professional Minute website.

Today’s Web Professional Minute is sponsored by Peach Pit Press. Peachpit has been publishing top-notch books on the latest in graphic design, desktop publishing, multimedia, Web design and development, digital video, and general computing since 1986.


Bil Cullifer: I am on the phone with Vicki Westergard, Director Web Instructional Technology at St. Petersburg college and [Inaudible] collaborator for a number of years. Good afternoon Vicki your time and thanks for agreeing to the call.

Vicki Westergard: Good afternoon Bill, I am happy to be able to talk today.

Interviewer: I appreciate that, Vicki you and I go way back we have talked numerous times about web professional education. You teach within the community college environment and you are a leader really a web professional at the highest caliber and you have been around the scene for a while. I would like if I could to have you comment on the latest article spreading around about web professional education and the quality of web professional education or perhaps even the lack of. What do you think of the notion of degree level program for web professionals? Do you think that business market would require or demand or would prefer the college degree for Web professionals?

Vicki Westergard: I know I would and this is why, because I have a had a lot of interviews with people who were may be they come in fresh out of high school and they have [Inaudible] they are either good designers or they are good programmers and many of them even though they are young have been doing it for a number of years, but what is missing is that understanding of business communication writing for the web you know there are a lot of things that they need to know that have to do with you know business etiquette, project management I mean, that is another big thing that people need to understand is, how to manage a project and that is the piece that is missing that I think they can get in degree program where they can go in and have some you know composition classes or even technical writing you know something like that, it can really round out their skills and give them the ability to produce a much superior product.

Bil Cullifer: Thank you for your time today Vicki. I certainly appreciate your perspective and for all of your support over the years.

Vicki Westergard: I am happy to talk to you anytime Bill and you know I wish the [Inaudible] organization all the best in the years to come I know you are always flexing and growing and trying to you know find your place and all of the best.

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