Why isn’t Web Design taken seriously academically?

student_computerlab During my undergraduate studies, I supposably attended one of the best schools for journalism. Yet while the other newspapers and magazines were closing down due to a diminishing readership or switching to an online presence, my journalism curriculum continued to emphasize print design. Why not slowly incorporate web design courses? Now I’m not suggesting that print design is not important, in fact it’s one of my specialties. In fact it influences web design in many cases. At the same time I believe that it is irresponsible to ignore the breakthroughs in the field and continue to prepare students for an obsolete job position. Professors suggested that their students take web classes but never brought the idea before the dean. Many grads are walking out of alma maters with little or no knowledge of the web. During my undergrad, I did take a few classes in web design but I must admit they were not quite worth the money. Many of the classes were online and many of the professors only knew one or two programs outside of the program that they were teaching (i.e. Dreamweaver, Flash) yet you had to utilize all of the CS programs. Much of what you learned in those class settings needed to be supplemented with Flash, HTML or Java online tutorials. In fact in order to find those classes, a student had to know someone else who had taken the courses. The office was hidden in the back of the education department’s library. The classes could only be taken online. Yet almost every graphic design posting/listing I’ve viewed states that the applicant must know at least a little HTML, Flash and/or jQuery. Lately, I’ve read on other posts that many graphic designers received their undergrad in something related to design but they had to teach themselves web design. Why is that? Why doesn’t the academic system put more funding into providing professors that are better prepared to teach students programming languages and web design? Why can’t they be incorporated into classes? It’s doesn’t have to be immediate; it can be a gradual change but American institutions need to stop ignoring the updates that are happening in today’s print design industries. What do you guys think?

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