Online Degree Programs for Web Design

Many of today’s most innovative fields require both creative intuition and technical skill. Web design is no exception. Web designers create and maintain websites, from developing the user interface to updating the site as company needs change and programs improve. Individuals interested in a career in web design can choose from online Web design degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, though the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that most web developers and graphic designers (which includes web designers) hold a bachelor’s degree. No matter the degree level, we recommend applying to accredited online degree programs. Given its inherently online nature, web design programs are often offered 100% online, though there are both fully online and hybrid degrees so you can find the best online degree programs that work for you.

Online Associate Degree Programs for Web Design

If you’re interested in learning more about web design but you’re not sure if you want to fully commit to a four-year program, an online degree program at the associate degree level might be a good fit for you. In addition to general education requirements, classes may cover the basic tools and software all web designers need to know to create a compelling user experience. This includes HTML, CSS, Dreamweaver, Flash, JavaScript, and Photoshop. From there you might also enroll in more advanced courses concerning technical software and marketing practices, such as mobile platforms, social network applications, and search engine optimization, and internet legal issues, such as copyright and trademark laws. Upon completion students should be prepared for entry-level work as web designers and web developers, as well as prepared for continued study at the bachelor’s degree level.

Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Web Design

Online bachelor degree programs in web design and web development may feature many of the same topics and concepts as associate degree programs This may include how to create and maintain websites, UX design and interface usability, and how to maximize the effects that online applications and websites have on different groups, such as public and private companies, government and municipal agencies, and non-profit organizations. At the bachelor’s level, students may also choose a concentration in a specialized area, such as website design, web server design, software development, or digital commerce and e-business.

Online Master’s Degree Programs for Web Design

Though the bachelor’s degree is the norm for most web design and web development jobs, online masters degree programs may allow students to pursue more specialized study and conduct research, as well as continue their training in an ever-evolving field. They may focus on the newest computer programs and build a foundation in art and design to pursue careers in new media. Courses at the graduate level may include web and interactive design, digital imaging, mobile applications, responsive web, infographics, digital typography, and motion graphic design. To graduate students may also be required to complete a master’s thesis or portfolio project. Students interested in pursuing a master’s in Web design might benefit from accelerated online degree programs. They would be able to earn their bachelor’s and master’s more quickly than it would take to earn both on their own, saving them both time and money.

Online Degree Programs in Web Design in the Work Place

Web design or web development aren’t catch-all terms as it might have once seemed. As the new media industry has expanded and evolved there are many opportunities for students graduating with web design and web development skills. For example, they could become interactive web designers, user experience designers, information architects, motion graphics designers, visual designers, user interface designers, or imaging specialists. Professionals in these occupations may work for news publications, marketing agencies, design firms, or in computer systems design. A significant number may also work freelance. According to the BLS, 29% of graphic designers were self-employed in 2010.

Thanks to increased use of the Internet, the job outlook for web designers and web developers is promising as more designers will be needed to create content for websites, portable devices, electronic publications, and video entertainment media. It is also a competitive field. According to the BLS employment of graphic designers is expected to increase by 13%, while employment of web developers is expected to increase by 22% from 2010 to 2020. The best prospects will be for graphic designers who have website design and other interactive media experience, and web developers who have knowledge of multiple programming languages and digital multimedia tools, such as Flash and Photoshop. However, keep in mind that job prospects will depend on your own work experience and education.