Web design refers to the development of new content for sites on the World Wide Web. Every website you have ever seen required a designer. Designers who work with Internet content must deploy a dynamic mix of creative and technical skills rarely seen in combination elsewhere. Some online designers come to the profession from a traditional artistic background they then combine with the software knowledge required to bring new sites to life. Others are dedicated technical personnel who study subjects such as typography and color theory to become capable designers.
How Much Do Web Design Professionals Get Paid With a Degree?
Web designers experience considerable variation in pay depending upon a wide variety of factors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the median salary for this and related occupations at around $75,000 annually, but this figure can be misleading. Web designers may be paid less or much more depending on their skills. They may receive compensation according to an hourly rate or earn bonuses based on the projects they complete. They may dedicate all of their professional hours to working with an established company or may easily expand their income with weekend projects. An entrepreneurial spirit is helpful in maximizing a designer’s income potential.
What Careers Are Available for a Web Design Professional With a Degree?
Web designers will generally work with a design or marketing firm or directly with a large company that has specific needs for its online presence. Professionals who choose to work with a marketing firm will generally have a wider variety of smaller projects. Those who work with a national or international brand will be responsible for working on larger and longer projects. Large companies will often provide a higher rate of compensation, but the environment may be more stressful. Those who prefer to manage their own hours and income opportunities may decide to go into business independently. While this leads to some variability in one’s income, it also gives the designer great creative control over the types of projects he or she chooses to do.
Why is Distance Learning a Good Choice for Web Design?
Web design is a profession that requires the ability to work independently to realize a creative vision using technology. While designers may receive input from others, it is largely up to them to capture the essence of what the site is meant to convey. During a career in this field, much of the day will be spent at a computer in contemplation of how to reach a site’s goals. Distance learning strengthens critical thinking skills associated with this career while also giving the student access to expert advice in managing technical and artistic challenges. With its video and audio demonstrations, the online environment also makes it easier for students to understand how an instructor uses different design programs. In a traditional environment, such demonstrations can be very difficult to understand.
Tuition, Scholarships and Other Issues Related to Distance Learning in Web Design
Tuition in the field varies widely. Individual classes that lead to a Web design degree may be available for as little as $200 for a few weeks of material. Students should be wary of any program that requires tuition in excess of about $20,000, since there are many alternative degree programs out there. There are relatively few scholarships in this field, but student discounts are common. These can reduce the cost of design software by hundreds of dollars, giving students a distinct professional advantage before they even graduate.