Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 184.108.40.206
Regarding further learning, there is little or nothign you can't teach yourself oniine simply by following tutorials, or if you want buy a book. Once you learn things work to perfect them.
There are people who are just out of college or uni with IT qualifications, this doesnt prove to an employer that you can actualy do the task. Having a portfolio full of high quality sites shows that you are up to the job.
Just my thoughts.
You may need to buy some books, you may benefit from some classes or tutoring. The academics are important, but there is a lot of room in how you learn.
Having your own websites (commercial or personal) will give you an entry point to most questions that could come up from somebody looking to hire you. Why you went one way not another, what the options were.....
Don't 'scattergun' and try to learn everything IT. Not many people know it all. Those that do often don't have a lot of depth in most areas. There are plenty of specialties (like servers, security, or Photoshop) that you could learn 24/7 for a long time and still not know it all.
For a broader range of skills, and actually buliding websites, solid HTML, CSS, PHP, reasonable Photoshop, SEO, marketing, will be a more than an adequate start. An ecommerce site that ranks highly and makes money, and maybe a personal content driven site that is built to 'authority level' with nice traffic are worth more than any certificate. Proven success gives you a lot of clout - and the confidence that a client/employer needs you more than you need them. It won't he necessary to say so.
I got fired a year ago from a company that I made the mistake of building without an equity stake. Built a company that I didn't own and got tossed out just about the time it should have been to cash in. Made a couple of foolish (stupid)'trust' decisions. No problem. - live and learn. I am good at what I do - and hire out the rest
When I countered with an offer to buy the company the co-owner (wife) about lost her mind. It was a cash offer that they should have taken. Turned out that I was truly a 'lowly employee' that was supposed to mind his place - forever.