Associate in Applied Science (AAS): Web Design Degree Overview

Oct 10, 2019

An associate's degree in web design or web development is a 2-year course of study in the fundamentals of digital art, leading to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS). Students in this program are taught basic graphic design techniques.

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Essential Information

AAS candidates learn skills such as 2-dimensional modeling, digital typography, and graphic identity. They are also introduced to the industry's staple software and programming languages, such as Adobe Illustrator, JavaScript, XHTML, and Adobe Dreamweaver. Prior to graduation from one of these two-year programs, students may be required to create portfolios highlighting their individual design projects and participate in web development internships in professional settings.

Prospective web design students must hold at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. A placement test may be necessary for applicants who have not taken the SAT/ACT exams or scored too low in certain sections.

Associate of Applied Science in Web Design

Students in these programs must take certain core technical and design courses and fulfill general education requirements. These core courses may include:

  • Website design
  • Programming
  • Digital media
  • Graphic arts
  • Desktop publishing

Popular Career Options

While some jobs call for both programming and design skills to execute effective websites, those responsibilities are more often split up. Graduates of AAS in Web Design degree programs typically go on to pursue a variety of entry-level positions focused on the design and appearance of a site, including:

  • Assistant designer
  • Layout artist
  • Assistant art director
  • Production artist

Continuing Education

AAS graduates who plan on moving into management and advanced web design positions may be required to attain a bachelor's degree in web design or a related field. These individuals will find it helpful to ensure that the bachelor's degree program of their choice is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Based on reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for graphic designers are projected to increase by 3% from 2018 to 2028, representing little or no change, while web developers are expected to see 13% growth during the same time period, which is much faster than average ( In May of 2018, the BLS reported that the median annual salaries of graphic designers and web developers were $50,370 and $69,430 respectively.

AAS programs in web design give students the chance to study both design and technology. Graduates can pursue entry-level work related to either field or go on to get a bachelor's degree in web design or a similar subject in order to move up to higher career positions.

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