Does web design have a future in 'high wage' countries? (was RE: [thelist] RE: Template Monster [WAS: A Beginner Freelance Question])

YoYoEtc yoyoetc at
Fri Jul 23 15:22:04 CDT 2004

This is a very interesting thread and one that really hits home with me.

A year or so ago I was unemployed.  The unemployment office told me I 
qualified for H1B training (this is supposed to be where the government 
uses some of the H1B visa fees to train U.S. citizens in the same skills 
they bring in from other countries).  I had been interested in web site 
design, so I signed up.  The course was a pure joke.  Lowest calibre of 
teaching you ever could find.  It was a three-month, two nights a week 
course and it lasted five months. I came away with next to zero from it. I 
did vow to teach myself, though, and that is what I have done. I have 
learned more from these lists than I ever learned from a f2f class.

Anyway, isn't it ironic that at the same time the government professes to 
be helping the unemployed by using funds from the HN1B programs to train us 
that they begin shipping jobs overseas and bringing down the salaries of 
people in the IT field.  Once again, I do not have a new field to go to 
because of this.

About the only thing I can do now to make web design worthwhile financially 
is use it to supplement any other full-time employment income I might have. 
However, that still leaves me with having to retrain - once again - for 
full-time employment.

What a joke! Apart from that, though, there is nothing more demoralizing 
and distressing than being on this retraining merry-go-round.

At 03:35 PM 7/23/2004, Joel D Canfield wrote:
> > Do we of the high wage countries have a future in this field? And if
> > so, what will it look like?
>I've also given this quite a bit of thought, which is why I'm getting a
>realtor's license. I'll take we and database work if it comes along, but
>I don't have the time to get and maintain cutting edge skills, and
>that's where the future of web dev is, in 'high wage' countries.
>I suspect beginners will always be able to sucker someone into a $49.95
>site, and there will be a certain amount of work for folks at my skill
>levels, but not enough to live indoors and eat regularly. The
>freelancers will fall more and more into very specialized categories.
>How can a generalist compete with a specialist? A PHP expert can always
>do the job faster, cheaper, and probably better than I. Someone who
>works with shopping carts every day can certainly outperform someone who
>only does it occasionally.
>We've had quite a few discussions on this list about encouraging
>prospects and clients to demand the best, in order to improve the
>general quality of the web. Once the average web client knows the
>difference between bad design and good design, it's a small step to
>appreciating the difference between good design and great design.
>I really love web and database work, but in the last year, I've realized
>I don't have the time to develop *great* design skills, and I don't want
>to spend the rest of my life struggling with mediocrity. As is common in
>economic circles, web dev will polarize into inexpensive, badly designed
>sites, and expensive, well-designed sites.
>Perhaps if I could decide on a single thing to become an expert in, I
>could still see myself in the picture.
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