Erikk Ross

Web Design & Interactive Media

Web Design & Interactive Media Instructor
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Erikk Ross

Never stop growing, never stop learning. Erikk Ross , Web Design & Interactive Media Instructor , The Art Institute of Pittsburgh — Online Division

Was there a defining moment when you knew you were destined to become a creative professional?

My father encouraged my brother and me to use the household computer when we were growing up. He taught me how to use the boot settings and memory configuration to install and play video games. That sparked my growing interest in programming and design.In high school, I took a media arts class and started to use Photoshop and Illustrator to create digital art. I enrolled at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, where I combined my love for computers and my interest in digital media to launch my career as a web developer.

How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?

I manage a small team focused on web development, database administration, and geographic information systems administration for Lake County, Florida. We build advanced web applications that help streamline processes. My team recently finished a web-based application that tracks sales tax revenue. That’s one example of the real-world experiences I share with my students. I stay up to date on the latest trends in web design and development to help prepare them for what’s coming next.

What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?

I’ve had the opportunity to write several classes in the Graphic & Web Design program area, including Introduction to Programming. Many students are a bit leery of the word “programming,” but they relax once they see how the material is set up for their success. Through guided exercises and detailed lectures, they’re are introduced to basic programming concepts via lectures, guided walkthroughs, or video tutorials. 

How does collaboration contribute to students’ success?

That’s the way most companies and workplaces operate, so we make sure that students from various disciplines work with each other on a range of assignments and projects. This experience of leaning on each other adds value to their education and helps prepare them for the real world.

What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?

With confidence in your work and the drive to do more, and you’ll succeed.

What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?

Job offers rarely come to you, so put yourself and your work out there. Have a professional online portfolio and resume. Never stop growing, never stop learning.