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Web Design – Overview

Uses in Today’s World
People with a web design degree can specialize in all aspects of creating websites. This requires planning, post-production, research, advertising, and controlling the media on a website page. Designers learn a variety of computer languages (also known as code) that make text and images available for viewing. While graphic design focuses on images that get an idea out to the world, web designers make it so those images can be seen across various platforms.

Time to Graduate
Like most programs in the graphic art world, web design takes an average of four years to complete a Bachelor’s degree. There is also the option to spend up to two years completing an Associate’s degree. This allows a head start in the web design business but only so much advancement can take place before more education will be needed.

Curriculum Available
The typical coursework an aspiring Web designer should expect will have classes in Web development, graphic design, digital illustration, visual communication, and JavaScript. Classes that aid in teaching skills to create user-friendly websites with digital images, sounds, and interactive designs are a requirement. It is also wise to enroll in marketing classes to learn to make products easy to find and appealing.

Average Employment Rates/Salaries
Web design is a sought after specialty for many employers as they turn to marketing their ideas and products online. This occupation is expected to have an average growth rate in the next decade, but this statistic is also somewhat misleading because a large portion of employees within this industry works independently.

The average Web designer is expected to bring home $44,410 at the end of the year. Additional education can raise that average significantly in some situations. The lowest paid web designers averaged $25,200 last year while those at the top of the industry were closer to $90,000.

Advanced Degrees in Web Design

Types of advanced Web Design degrees
A Master of Fine Art in Web Design and Development is an option for those who want to have the highest level of certification. This type of degree will qualify an individual for advanced job roles in Web development and computer graphic design. Likewise, it is also a path to upper management for some candidates.

Time Involved
A typical MFA can be completed in as little as four or five semesters. This generally averages out to two years.

Benefits of an advanced Web Design degree
An MFA in Web Design is made to ensure students are possessed with the skills and tools they need to complete at the highest levels. As a way of showing their skills to future employers, the student’s thesis will consist of targeting an area/aspect of web design and creating an impressive website.

The Working Environment for Web Design Graduates

Types of Jobs
Web designers have the option of working for a company as well as being their own bosses. The job titles they can wear vary. Professional Web Designers focus on the look and feel of Web pages. Professional Web Programmers work on CGI, scripts, and programs that make the website work as well as keep the servers running. XML Developers worry about advanced programming.

The Average Web Designer’s Daily Routine
The large part of any web designer’s day will be spent in front of a computer screen; everything that they will participate in is already available at their fingertips. From Instant Messaging colleagues and associates to answering emails form clients, web designers practically live at their computers. Of course, the vast majority of the day is dedicated towards designing new websites as well as checking in on older ones.

Personal Skills Necessary
There are certain skills every Web designer will need in order to be successful. HTML is probably the most important thing any designer will need to know; this will give them an understanding of how the web works and allow them to speak its language. CSS is another computer language skill Web designers should speak fluently as it determines the look and design of a Web page. Knowing how to use Flash is a primary skill for developing programs. SEO should be known by anyone building a website as it is affected by HTML, image quality, and content. A good design sense is also highly valuable. Also, project management is a major skill as Web designers have to manage their time wisely and be able to stay on track.

Web Design – Summary

A degree in Web design provides an education in producing high quality Web sites. With a large portion of the population operating strictly online and more joining every day, a career in this field offers a constant market for future job opportunities with major corporations, specialty design firms, and freelancers.