PCC / News / November 26, 2007

State approves Web development degree

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Ron Bekey working with a student

Ron Bekey working with a student.

The college has offered classes in Web site development and design for many years, but students couldn’t earn a two-year degree. All that will change this winter term.

The state of Oregon has approved the college’s new Web Site Development and Design program as a two-year associate degree in applied science. In addition to the degree, the program now offers a one-year certificate in Web site development and two short-term certificates. The program is housed under PCC’s Computer Technology division.

"It’s a great opportunity for students to get more in-depth training in an exciting and rapidly evolving technology," said Ron Bekey, instructor in Computer Applications and Office Systems. "We’ve had a Web site certificate for five years, but we’ve had students asking for more. We’ve developed more Web-related classes for our students, and it was time to create a degree that allowed students to pursue greater depth in their training and prepare themselves better for the job market."

The Web Site Development and Design program is located at Cascade, Rock Creek and Sylvania campuses. It targets students and working professionals who wish to specialize in Web site creation, design, programming and maintenance. The skills learned from these classes can apply to designing and building personal and business Web sites.

"The program is designed so that students can work through the certificates and degree where each one is a ‘stepping stone’ to the next," added Bekey.

Completing the program means students are qualified to develop professional Web sites, create dynamic applications to present, and collect and utilize information. After finishing the program, individuals will have the necessary skills to develop and manage Web sites and to work as developers, designers, or entrepreneurs.

Organizations of all kinds hire Web site developers and designers to design, implement and maintain their online presence – and the demand is expected to keep growing long into the future. Students can find jobs in large corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, government agencies, or as independent contractors. An ideal candidate working in Web site development or design has enthusiasm for the field and the ability to engage with new and rapidly changing technologies.

"It’s a great program for anyone with enthusiasm for the Internet or Web-related technologies," Bekey said. "They should have an aptitude or enthusiasm for the Web and it doesn’t matter if they are more design-oriented or math-oriented; classes start out with the basics so all that is required to get started is knowledge of basic computer applications."

In PCC’s Web Site Development and Design program, students will get the foundation of building dynamic professional Web sites in a hands-on environment. The state-of-the-art technology and software will help students learn the newest ways to create an accessible, interactive online experience. Students also will gain practical work experience through their participation in Cooperative Education projects during the program.

"There are thousands of jobs related to the Web out there," Bekey said. "Following the recommendations of our advisory committee, we’ve structured the program so that everyone gets basic training in both development and design, and more in-depth training in one of these areas."For more information about the Web Site Development and Design program, call (503) 977-4393 and ask to set up an advising appointment or have a brochure sent to you. Additional information is available online.

About The Author: James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »