A web designer combines technical, creative, artistic, and marketing elements to create Internet websites. The web designer uses software languages and tools combined with graphic design and marketing techniques to create web applications that work effectively for clients. He or she identifies a site’s users, determines the site’s information content and organization, and creates pages that will appeal to the users.
Opportunities for web designers
With the explosive growth of the Internet and online commerce, nearly every business needs a website. Web designers provide websites and pages for high-technology companies, entertainment providers, shopping malls, restaurants, e-commerce businesses, and self-employed individuals to name just a few. A web designer may work for an advertising or public relations agency, a law firm, a manufacturer, and many other types of businesses. He or she may also choose to join the 30 percent of web designers who are self-employed, providing web design services to small businesses and individuals.
Web designer educational requirements
Although you can obtain entry level employment as a web designer with an associate degree, many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree. Web design combines computer and programming skills with traditional design, graphic arts, and marketing. Colleges, universities, and technical institutes across the country offer web design and development degree programs and certifications. A typical curriculum will provide basic degree requirements as well as specialized courses including these:
- Flash, html, and basic programming
- Graphic art
- Consumer marketing
- Color psychology
- Marketing and public relations
Both on-campus and online degree and certification programs are available.
Web designer job outlook and earning potential
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies web designers in the category of “Information Security Analysts, Web Developers,and Computer Network Architects.” This category is projected to grow by 53 percent, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. This growth will be needed to accommodate increased Internet traffic, expansion of Internet services, and increase in Internet users.
The following are some of the higher-paying states and regions for web designers:
- New Jersey
- Silicon Valley (San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara)
- New York (White Plains, NY-NJ Metro)
- Washington, D.C. area
So if you have an aptitude for computer programming and a feel for design, enrolling in a university or technical institute degree program for web design could be the first step towards an interesting and well-paid career.