Getting a Web Design Degree: What are My Options?

If you want to earn a Web design degree, you have many options available to you. Depending upon your goals, you can earn anything from a certification to a diploma to an associates, bachelor’s or doctoral degrees in design. Each option provides its benefits and downfalls, so it helps to understand these choices before you dive into a college career.

Usually a Web designer strives for certification when that designer needs to learn a new software and become certified in that software. Additionally, many companies now require some Web designers to obtain certification as a criteria for obtaining jobs. Sometimes, an employer will pay for that certification, which is a bonus for any employee. Web designers may obtain certification if they feel it would help gain a raise or a job. Many self-taught Web designers often obtain certifications to prove their worth as well.

The associate degree in Web design usually is a two-year degree that provides Web designers with basic knowledge in design software such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop and more, and classes in typography, design, color use and composition. Many self-taught Web designers might find some classes boring, as they may know most of the materials. However, some schools may offer “life experience” credit if the Web designer knows the class material and can pass a test that pertains to a given class.

The associate degree is valuable for anyone who wishes to have a degree to add credence to a resume. Additionally, if the Web designer wishes to pursue more education in the future, an accredited A.A. (Associate of Arts) degree can allow the designer to bypass many basic courses in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree, or B.A.

The bachelor’s degree is ideal for any Web designer who wishes to pursue a career in management, or who wants to teach high school or some vocational classes. This four-year degree usually offers the basics in Web design and visual communication as well as pursuit of a specialization in Web design, such as animation, game design, programming, visual communications, business and more. Often, Web designers are expected to wear more than one hat, so the B.A. in Web design can prepare the student for this possibility.

Web designers who obtain a B.A. in Web design often branch out to work or study in careers such as desktop publishing, media, or computer science and database management . A four-year degree often provides more options and choices for the student, and those choices may alter a student’s career goal.

Finally, a Web designer can pursue a doctoral degree, usually in design, visual communications or media. A person who pursues the doctoral degree usually desires a position as a professor, a manager or as a researcher or writer. A PhD in design usually takes two years to accomplish beyond the B.A.

Often, a student interested in Web design may find that the A.A. works up to a point, even with experience. But, it’s a great start in obtaining a higher-paying job. That same designer may, after a few years, return to school to obtain a B.A. The B.A. is well worth the time and money, as this degree is an investment in a Web designer’s future.

Featured Online Web Design Schools

Web designersWeb design is a career field where persons with experience and expertise are in high demand. In order to get this expertise, you should consider enrolling in an accredited institution. Below is a list of top web design colleges where you can earn an online degree in graphics design or Website design.

American InterContinental University

American InterContinental University offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in visual communications with a specialization in Web design. This degree prepares students for many career possibilities, including Web designer, digital artist, Flash designer, and more.

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The Art Institute Online

Art Institute students learn the foundations of advanced design, the importance of usability and the programming languages necessary to execute a variety of static and interactive applications. With a strong portfolio students in this program may find entry-level positions with web and multimedia firms and corporations.

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Kaplan University

Kaplan University prides itself in having flexible schedules for those working professionals busy with their current jobs. At Kaplan's design school, students will learn all of the skills they need to pursue or further a career in Web site design.

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Sanford Brown University

The Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development program provides creative and technical education with a focus on advanced studies in programming, database management, and web administration while incorporating the basic theories of graphics, text, and interactivity for the web.

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