I was chatting in the hallways with Stephanie Sullivan at SXSW. She is a premier Dreamweaver expert, active at Community MX, an author, and an excellent web designer. But, and here’s the ‘but’ that matters to college HR departments, she doesn’t have a degree. Therefore, the most knowledgeable person in her whole geographic area (Stephanie herself) in the subject of Dreamweaver is not allowed to teach Dreamweaver at her local college.
This trend to exclude real world experience and industry expertise is not limited to the state where Stephanie lives. I’ve seen it elsewhere, too. Perhaps that explains why college course work doesn’t seem to be able to keep pace with the latest knowledge and what industry considers best practices in web design.
I suggest that in a fast changing field like web design where technology changes are rapid and constant, using people with real world/industry expertise is a good idea. Heaven knows that full-time college faculty have very little time to spend on keeping up with technological change. Maybe the need to accept industry experience isn’t true of disciplines like history or math, but in terms of web design, it seems like an important idea to embrace.