Becoming a Home Page Designer
Home page designers, sometimes called web designers, webmasters, or web developers, create, upload and maintain websites. Home page designers might meet with clients to determine project scope and requirements. These professionals then use computer programming languages, software, and their design skills to create user-friendly and appealing websites. This occupation often entails working seated at a computer for many hours on a regular basis.
|Degree Level||Associate's degree most common; bachelor's degree helpful for career advancement|
|Degree Field||Computer science, programming, or another similar field|
|Key Skills||Critical- thinking, written and verbal communication, reading comprehension, decision-making, and problem-solving skills; familiarity with industry technology|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$64,970 (for all web developers)|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET Online
Earn an Associate's Degree
Aspiring home page designers may consider enrolling in an associate's degree program in web design, web development or a related program. Students enrolled in these programs begin by taking courses in computer basics and fundamentals. As students advance their studies, they may begin taking more challenging classes in web animation and multimedia design. These upper-level courses can offer students the opportunity to create websites from conceptualized designs.
For those students enrolled in a two-year program, it is important for the curriculum to include coursework that will provide the necessary skills for employment after graduation. In preparatory classes students should also learn HTML languages as well as industry software, such as Adobe, graphics and imaging software.
Often a component toward the end of a degree program, students can build a portfolio that serves as an overview of their talents and skills acquired during their education. Aspiring home page designers will utilize their portfolio in their job search.
An internship program can provide prospective home page designers with the opportunity to acquire professional experience and build upon their skills. Students may find that the experience also allows for networking opportunities.
Find an Entry-Level Position
Aspiring home page designers can look for entry-level jobs following graduation. Most companies look for applicants that have the necessary skills and knowledge to create, design, and develop websites using a variety of complex industry software, languages, and programs. Designers in this field may work independently or as part of team with other developers or analysts to begin gaining the experience that is required by most employers for more advanced positions.
Obtain a Bachelor's Degree
Prospective home page designers may want to consider a computer-related bachelor's degree program if they want to pursue a position that involves management responsibilities or to simply increase their job opportunities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs that include supervision of workers may require a 4-year degree. Undergraduate studies may require students to submit a final project, which often includes planning and building a fully-functional website. Students considering self-employment may also consider enrolling in business administration and entrepreneurship courses.
Candidates may consider designations such as the Web Design Specialist or Web Design Professional designations offered by the Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW) program. Certification generally entails completing corresponding courses and credentialing exams. Certification from vendors, such as the Adobe Certified Associate or Adobe Certified Expert in a specific application like Adobe Photoshop or Dreamweaver, are available based on completing a qualifying examination.
Become a Project Manager
Web developers can advance in their careers to become project managers, otherwise known as IT managers. These professionals hold positions that guide policy in computer systems for a company.
In summary, home page designers, often call web designers, can often find work with an associate's degree in a computer science field as well as relevant entry-level experience. However, bachelor's degree programs and voluntary certification can help towards career advancement.