There are a few, mostly for-profit, schools that provide online bachelor's degree programs in Web design and development. These programs may be completed entirely online. Students learn about networking, Web development, database design, animation, Web architecture and website security. Students can work on Web design projects from home, but they may need to purchase specific computer supplies and software. The program usually ends with the completion of a portfolio that individuals can present to potential employers when looking for Web or graphic design work.
Certificate, associate degree and master's degree programs are also available in the field. Other relevant majors include digital design, interactive media and graphic design.
Bachelor's Degree in Web Design
A bachelor's degree program in Web design or development teaches students how to create websites that meet clients' needs, are aesthetically pleasing, and are simple to navigate. Students learn by using the latest software technology and accepted industry standards. Some schools require that applicants have an associate's degree in a related field, such as graphic design or technology.
General Program Information
Using a browser, students can access the Web and log in to the school's course-management software. From there, students can access their lessons and communicate with their instructor and classmates. Classes may be delivered via CD-ROM or as video over the Internet. Therefore, students' computers should have significant space and memory, as well as a fast Internet connection. Some online degree programs require students to take tests in person at outreach centers or with a proctor.
Students take a combination of general education, elective, core technology, and Web-specific classes. For bachelor-level Web design programs that require students to have an associate's degree, it may take just an additional two years for a full-time student to complete the required 126-130 credits. For students without prior college education, the program usually takes a full-time student four years to finish.
Courses in Web design usually focus on getting students familiar with industry-accepted standards for design and functionality, commonly used Web programming languages, and Web development applications. Students gain plenty of hands-on experience by working on exercises, problem-solving and website projects.
Building Basic Websites
Students learn how to design and build a simple website using the latest Web development tools. This class also focuses on basic scripting, styles and layout technologies.
Creating Multimedia Websites
This course covers video, sound, text and animation for creating dynamic websites. The pros and cons of different Web development software are discussed, and students become familiar with using the programs through hands-on activities. Students often produce a website for their end-of-the-semester project.
Focusing on Web technologies, such as Ruby on Rails, Java, Perl/CGI and PHP, students learn the ins and outs of client- and server-side programming. For a final project, students frequently code, test and launch small websites.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), within the graphic design arena, job seekers with Web design experience will have an advantage. The BLS also predicted that Web developers with programming skills would be in demand between 2014 and 2024, with an estimated job growth of 27% for all web developers. The median pay for web developers was $64,970 per year in 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Master's degree programs in Web design are not common, but they do exist, as do some online versions of these programs. Web design baccalaureates who want to deepen their knowledge and skills without an extensive commitment can pursue certification through software vendors in the latest Web development software or Web programming languages.
In online bachelor's degree programs in web design, students gain skills in Web programming, software technology, and Web security, among other things. Graduates may pursue a master's degree in the area or find entry-level work in Web development.