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Guide to Starting a Career in Web Design

Web design is a dynamic career path that can open the door to a myriad of job opportunities. Web designers work for small businesses as well as large corporations. They also have the ability to work from home in a freelance capacity. The key to succeeding as a web designer or developer is to gain the education and skills necessary, and establish a professional portfolio, to impress potential employers and future clients.
As technology continues to become a focal point of eCommerce and marketing, web designers are in high demand. O*Net Online states the anticipated job growth through 2020 is between 20 and 28 percent, which is higher than the national average.

The following can serve as a guide if you are interested in pursuing a web design career.

Finish high school.
Even if you are a freelance web designer, prospective clients are going to want to see your resume and portfolio. A high school diploma or GED is a recognizable symbol of completion and most people will want to see that badge of distinction listed in your education history. If you are currently in high school, take as many computer and graphic design courses and you can to hone your skills. You may also be able to earn industry recognized technology-oriented certifications.

Get your degree
While a degree isn’t required to get a job as a web designer, O*Net states that an overwhelming 90 percent of those who work as professional web designers and developers have some college experience, and 63 percent have at least an associate’s degree. Bryant & Stratton offers an online associates degree program in Interactive Media Design. This two-year program allows students to continue working full-time while they pursue their online degree around their schedule. Our program provides the education and training required to be well-versed in web design industry technology, including Macromedia Director®, Photoshop®, Illustrator®, Adobe Flash ®, as well as XML, XHTML, PHP, SQL, and Unix. Your degree shows employers you are serious about your career path, and will also allow you to develop your professional portfolio, with solid evidence of what you are capable of.

Build your portfolio
Unlike many professional careers, where work history and a reference are all a potential employer has to evaluate prospective candidates, those in the web design field must have samples of their work to showcase their abilities. The more you can build your portfolio, designing websites, using your projects from school, or working for friends and family to address their web needs, the broader your professional portfolio will be. Graduates from Bryant & Stratton College have free, unlimited access to our Online Career Services Center, which includes the ability to build your professional portfolio, in addition to career advisement and referrals to potential employers.

Make sure you attend career fairs in your area. Bryant & Stratton hosts job fairs regularly to help our students network with professionals as well as others in their career niche. When you network with other web designers and developers, you will be able to both teach and learn from each other. You will also be available to work on other web designers’ projects when they need outsourced assistance. Likewise, once you are an established designer, you’ll have a pool of talented people at your disposal when you need them.

For more information about pursuing a web design career, contact the Admissions Office at Bryant & Stratton College.

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