Many employers seek web designers who have formal education and training. A degree or certificate can give you an extra edge when applying for a web designer position. Associate and bachelor’s degrees as well as diplomas and certificates are available. Many employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree. The major employers in the field are marketing firms and advertising agencies. A lot of companies have their own web designers.
Some web designers are self-taught and do quite well in the web design field, however learning in a structured setting has advantages. These include getting advice from highly skilled teachers and interacting and learning from other students.
What to Look for in a Web Design Program
Students should look for programs that focus on graphics and layout. Students who learn classical design techniques and skills and learn how to apply them to web pages will stand out as web designers. Most companies that hire web designers are looking for people who are visually artistic. Students should study color theory and composition. Unfortunately, many web design education programs focus primarily on building web pages and not the artistic aspects of the occupation. Students should also inquire if the web design program includes training in web video technology.
Numerous schools offer on-campus and online web design programs. While in school students should create a diverse portfolio to present to potential employers. Students need to keep screen shots and color prints of their designs.
Web Design Associate’s Degree
A web design associate’s degree program provides the skills needed to create compelling, user-friendly websites. They provide web design basics and provide training in multimedia applications, audio and video applications, interface design, site development, content writing and animation. They also cover electronic publishing, flash, image maps, layout design, the basics of programming, Java Script, CSS and HTML code.
Web Design Bachelor’s Degree
Web design bachelor’s degree programs offer the basics (listed above) as well as more advanced concepts. They typically include the skills needed to manage websites. Many of the programs have a strong focus on graphics. Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs can obtain jobs in design management, game design and advertising.
The cost of a web design degree varies by school. A community college may charge $200 or less per credit and vocational schools may charge upwards of $350 per credit. An associate’s degree from a community college which may require 60 credits to graduate will cost over $12,000. Students may also have to pay for books, supplies and software.
Important Questions about Schools
- Has the school been provided accreditation by an agency which has been approved by the the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education?
- Does the program include an internship?
- What are the school preferences of prospective employers?
- Does the school provide the newest versions of technology and equipment?
- What is the total cost of the program?
- Are the credits earned at the school transferrable to other schools?
- What types of financial aid are available?
- Does the school provide job placement services?
Talented web designers are in demand. Students can take a convenient online associate’s or bachelor’s degree program or a more traditional on-campus program. A formal education in web design is highly beneficial when looking for a job in the field.