Web Design Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Web Design Degree

Earning a web design degree provides individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary to organize information, communicate ideas, and shape marketable Internet branding. There is no educational standard necessary for employment as a web designer though most employers prefer candidates to possess the minimum of an associate’s degree to qualify for employment. Web design degrees give students a great understanding of the technical aspects of web design, from computer programming, design, visual communications, while cultivating artistic abilities. A web design degree gives students the ability to use and understand technology, project and produce website concepts, design navigation techniques, layout web pages using HTML, typography, color, graphics, and other elements, create designs using various software like Photoshop, Illustrator, and other programs, modify and organize content, and update or maintain client websites. A web design degree allows students to advance as valuable team members who work to increase communication, build, design, and manage websites, and leverage brand identity on the world wide web.

Many colleges and universities have developed innovative, online web design programs to meet educational demands of students managing family or job responsibilities in addition to pursuing a degree. Online programs are a great choice for students unable to attend on campus instruction due to non-educational obligations like geographic location, work responsibilities, or family commitments. Online degree programs provide students with virtually the same educational experiences as traditional, on campus programs. Online courses also provide students with the added benefits of a more personalized degree and increased flexibility of course scheduling. Online classes generally consist of groups of 25 students with 24 hour access to course materials, instruction, and information. Additionally, online courses give students one on one access to instructors and other class members. Online degree programs are generally the most convenient, affordable, and rewarding paths to educational, personal, and professional success.

What Students Learn Within A Web Design Degree Program

Students pursuing a web design degree gain the knowledge necessary to develop, program, maintain, and modify web content for a variety of clients. Web site development, programming and design careers require teams of qualified professionals to assure the communication and marketing needs of clients are adequately expressed, strategized, and marketed. Most students expand skills and knowledge necessary for employment through associate’s degree programs.

Courses at an associate’s level include: fundamentals of web development, digital imaging with Photoshop, computer competency, interactivity and interface design with Flash, web scripting and Javascript, accessibility and usability of computer competency, web design with Dreamweaver, technical communication, web production management, digital photo retouching with Photoshop, computer illustration with Illustrator, advanced digital imaging and illustration, desktop publishing with InDesign, principles of animation with Flash, introduction to Podcasting, digital video production, motion graphics with after effects, digital cinematography, web development with PHP and MySQL, advanced ActionScripting with Flash, site management and theme design, two dimensional design, drawing, E-commerce, C++programming language, Java programming, fundamentals of sound design for media, English composition, psychology of human interaction, introduction to philosophy, principles of health and wellness, cultural diversity, foundations of psychology, and foundations of personal finance. Graduates who complete associate degree programs in web design advance to entry level employment or higher degree programs.

Classes at a bachelor degree level include: English composition, art history, mobile media design, college Algebra, networks and server structures, principles of production process, human computer interaction and usability, geometry and measurement, fundamentals of physics, intellectual property and law, web standards design, web standards project, psychology of human interaction, Flash fundamentals, Flash design and animation, project management and assessment, concepts of object oriented programming, Flash ActionScript techniques, deployment of Flash projects, rich media optimization, project management and assessment, scripting for web applications, interpersonal communications, history of visual communication, introduction to backend development and framework, mobile device deployment, project pre-production for the Web, the business of digital media, figure drawing, polygon methoding, advanced methods of computer graphics, digital photography, advanced HTML coding with CSS, advanced applications of digital and experimental art, advanced applications of digital and experimental art, storyboard development for digital media, digital video and audio, introduction to business, project planning and documentation, internet business models and e-commerce, digital publishing, color theory and techniques, digital media assembly, multimedia technologies, introduction to 3D arts and animation, server side scripting, dynamic content management, advanced composition, American literature, Contemporary world literature: 1900 to present, human uses of the environment, contemporary world religions, comparative politics, introduction to critical thinking, ethics, introduction to human biology, and principles of economics. Graduates from web design bachelor degree programs may advance to employment or complete master’s level studies.

Master’s level classes include: algorithms; complexity theory; artificial intelligence; advanced artificial intelligence concepts; machine learning; computer architecture; planning, execution, and learning; machine learning; computer systems; optimizing compilers for modern architecture; programming languages, type systems for programming languages; semantics for programming languages; semantics of programming languages; advanced operating and distributed systems; networking; contemporary visual design and communications, web and interactive design and production; print design and production; motion graphic design; photography and imaging; typography; digital video; digital audio; hand coding HTML; action scripting; and PHP and MySQL server-side scripting. Graduates from a master’s degree program often qualify for various upper level management and design positions or may advance to doctoral degree programs to qualify as experts.

Courses at a doctoral level include: Java programming; web application development; graduate reading and research; computer architecture; computer networks; machine learning; advanced topics in operating systems engineering; type systems for programming languages; advanced topics in programming languages; mobile and pervasive computing; multimedia databases and datamining; special topics in software systems; current research issues in computer systems; computational molecular biology and genomics; performance modeling; scientific computing; computational photography; physically based character animation; computational models of neural systems; v-unit in computer science; foundations of electronic marketplaces; computer science colloquium; immigration course in computer science; ethics; research methods; analysis, design, simulation, and modeling; software usability; metrics and risk analysis; and methods of security in distributed systems. Graduates from a doctoral degree program qualify as experts and work as instructors or researchers within educational institutions and facilities.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Web Design Degrees

Web design graduates receive a solid, versatile educational basis for long term career success. Graduates from web design programs acquire the technical skills regarding design, communication, and business necessary for employment as professionals within the dynamic realm of design. Web design graduates qualify to work within a variety of industries. Graduates who complete associate’s degree programs generally work as entry level web designers, graphic artists, or assistant web producers. Graduates with bachelor degrees often work as website designers, graphic artists, media integration specialists, web publications specialists, and production artists.

Graduates with master’s degrees often work as design managers, website designers, web producers, independent consultants, creative directors, web producers, creative directors, interactive designers, information architects, motion graphics designer, print designers, video designers, user interface designers, technical directors, or user experience designers, developers, or researchers. Some graduates with master’s degrees may qualify as instructors within vocational schools, colleges, and universities. Graduates with doctoral degrees often work as computer consultants, operations research analysts, or as instructors within colleges and universities.

Salary Range For Graduates With Web Design Degrees

Graduates who complete web design degree programs have earnings reflective of educational level, organization of employment and related work experience. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports earnings for qualified graduates vary tremendously. Most web design professionals earn a median annual salary of $51,690 to $66,310 annually. Graduates with advanced degrees who specialize training, gain work experience, and establish their design skills often have higher earnings in comparison to graduates with less training and experience. Graduates within entry level web design jobs often have salaries beginning at $38,000 annually while graduates with advanced degrees and specialized training generally earn as much or more than $111,950 annually.

Career Outlook And Advancement Opportunities For Web Design Degree Graduates

Job growth and career opportunities for graduates with web design degrees are anticipated to be excellent as technology expands and more businesses continue to increase their web presence. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) predicts job growth in the field of web design to increase by 30% at a much faster than average rate through 2018. The BLS also reports that web design graduates may expect heavy competition for jobs due to the volume of applicants in relation to the number of available jobs, particularly at an entry level. Graduates with a strong background in the technical elements of web development are anticipated to find an increased employability, as well as graduates who establish their work with style, creativity, and talent.

Most entry level graduates advance to positions with greater responsibilities upon gaining one to three years of work experiences and establish their reputations. Graduates with advanced degrees who begin their careers within managerial or supervisory positions often advance to freelance consulting, research, or instructor positions. The BLS reports approximately 25% of all web and graphic designers work as freelance consultants within self owned positions upon gaining adequate resources, training, and funding.

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