In a web design program, students learn to combine their artistic talents with technologies that help them create functional, appealing websites. A degree gives them an edge in this highly competitive field. It also gives them confidence to market their abilities to prospective employers. Different degree programs exist for students who want to learn web design. There are traditional and online programs at every educational level. Some programs focus on general web design while others allow students to specialize in information technology, database management, multimedia, mobile applications or Internet marketing.
Associate’s Degree Programs
Web design is typically studied at the undergraduate level. Many students choose to pursue an associate’s degree. This requires them to complete between 60 and 72 credit hours, which usually translates into two years of study.
There are three types of associate’s degrees: Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS). The AA degree provides a broad liberal arts education and the credits transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. The AS degree offers business and technical courses that are also a good foundation for a bachelor’s degree. The AAS degree focuses on the practical aspects of web design and it intended for those who want to enter the workforce after college.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs
At the bachelor’s degree level, web design programs teach advanced programming skills that build on the basics. Four-year degrees are often called web design and development degrees.
There are two types of bachelor’s degree programs: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Bachelor of Science (BS). The BFA degree teaches visual communication through fine arts courses. It is a good choice for students who want to work in digital art and design. The BS degree focuses on technical management with business and technology courses. It is ideal for those who want a web design and development career.
Bachelor’s degree programs require students to complete between 120 and 130 credit hours. Most students finish in four years. Typical courses include design aesthetics, art history, information technology and business. Students learn advanced programming, advertising, communication and project management.
Master’s Degree Programs
Twenty-first century web designers need technical skills and a visionary mindset. A master’s degree in web design prepares them for the future of Internet technology. In addition to computer programming, master’s degrees allow students to build a strong foundation in art and design.
The best example of a graduate level web design degree is the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) with a concentration in web design and development. Students learn to program websites and develop content. They also learn about information systems, network administration and e-business.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web designers earn an annual income of more than $75,000. Their jobs are expected to grow up to 22 percent by 2020 due to the rise of e-commerce. It is certainly a field to consider.
A web design degree at any level gives students a good foundation on which to build a career. Even after the degree, continuing education is necessary to keep up with the technical advancements that impact the industry. Web designers are always learning and growing, and the job outlook is great. For the right person, it can be the career of a lifetime.