Website Design Degree: More Than Just Surfing the Web

Web design schools

With 68.7% of US households having access to the Internet in 2009 (NTIA) and online spending reaching $227.6 billion in 2010 (ComScore), the web is continuing to expand its reach. As the Internet increasingly becomes a reliable source of information and marketplace for businesses, there will be a growing demand for web designers and developers to create navigable, user-friendly websites. If you are on the Internet all of the time and can identify what makes for a positive user experience, consider taking your web surfing skills and turning them into a career with a web design degree.

Web Design Degree Options

Web design is the study and practice of constructing both functional and aesthetically pleasing websites. Web design degrees are structured to give students a well-rounded experience in the production, design, and maintenance of websites. For individuals interested in pursuing a web design degree at the undergraduate level, you could choose between a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree, where you will be required to take general education credits in addition to web design courses for a well-rounded education. There are also certificate programs in web design, which will provide a more focused curriculum over a shorter period of time.

Many employers prefer bachelor’s degrees, and so often students who have opted to earn a certification or associate’s degree in order to enter the workforce quickly will then return to school to earn their bachelor’s degree at a later date to improve their chances for promotion and future employment. Additionally, some schools offer web design degrees that are suitable for individuals who have already received a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field.

As part of your web design degree, you will likely receive instruction in the elements of both programming and creative design. Various programming languages, like PHP, HTML, and CSS are an important and basic part of the web design degree curriculum, along with image and animation software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and multimedia applications like Java and Flash. It is essential for any business to design a reliable web server infrastructure, and so web server technology is also often an area of web design that students will study.

Web Design Salaries

Salaries for those who have combined web development training with their web design degree should have the most favorable opportunities for employment, as web design positions require not only a good eye, but a strong technical background. In addition to web design, other computer majors which can lead to a career as web designer include, graphic design, web development / programming, and digital multimedia studies.

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary stats for web designers exclusively, graphic designers, who work on both print and web designs, earned $42,400 in May 2008, with the highest 10% earning more than $74,660. Other positions related to web designers are web developers and webmasters, for which the middle 50% earned between $54,330 and $90,740 in 2008.

Getting Started

If you would like to become a web designer, why not start today? From full-time, part-time, and online programs, there are a variety of web design degrees available to choose from. Search our site to find the best computer school for you!