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Distance Learning Web Design Diploma and Certificate Programs

Research online web design courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

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Essential Information

Web design students learn how to use HTML, JavaScript, RSS and Flash to create online content, such as websites, images, videos, blogs and hypertext. Distance learning and online programs may lead to an undergraduate or graduate Certificate in Web Design, Certificate in Web Development or a Diploma in Web Design. These programs are available at private online schools as well as community colleges and four-year universities. Online requirements typically include certain software and minimum technical standards for a home workstation.

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Certificate in Web Design or Web Development, or Diploma in Web Design

Some certificate programs offered through continuing education departments may not have any prerequisites or firm admission requirements, as they do not grant any college credit. Those diploma or certificate programs that do offer college credit usually require students to be a high school graduates. However, prospective students interested in a graduate-level online program must have earned a bachelor's degree to be eligible for admittance.

Online courses in Web design can last from 10 to 14 weeks. Distance learning programs in this field focus on teaching students how to create dynamic, functional and creative websites. It is desirable for students to have a basic understanding of HTML; however, this may be learned through online courses as well. Courses and required hours for a Web design certificate can vary between schools and programs; complete programs are often designed to be completed in around a year.

Course Topics

Typical online classes in Web design may include:

  • HTML
  • Multimedia graphics
  • JavaScript
  • DHTML
  • Website databases
  • Website design
  • Programming
  • Rich Web development

Online Learning

Unlike on-campus programs, asynchronous distance learning programs can often be completed at a student's own pace. Without a set day and time to meet, students in a Web design distance learning program log on to their course during convenient times. Rather than classroom instruction and assignments, students use tools like e-mail or Blackboard, a content management system, to keep in contact with the instructor for their online class or program.

Some schools have partnerships with companies in order to provide design software access to students while they are enrolled in the programs. In these cases, students must be sure their home computers meet the tech requirements necessary to run such software.


Career Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Web developers could expect to see job openings increase 27% between 2014 and 2024. Those with skills in a variety of design tools and programming languages are expected to have the most favorable job prospects.

Individuals with Web design diplomas or certificates can look for positions as Web masters, Web designers, Web database administrators or programmers. Many Web design professionals are self-employed or contract with organizations as needed. Individuals in the marketing industry may also be interested in online Web design programs as interactive media is a continuing trend in marketing communications.

Continuing Education Information

For those interested in pursuing further study, some distance learning programs allow students to transfer credits to a 4-year degree program like a Bachelor of Information Technology or other related bachelor's degree. Graduate students in Web design can earn a Certificate in Technology and Communication. Graduate certificate programs combine communication skills and theories with concepts in visual communication, Web design and new technologies.

Regardless of your educational and technological background, you may find an online certificate or diploma in Web design that can meet your needs. Diploma or undergraduate certificate programs provide introductory training in the field, while graduate certificates cover more advanced topics so that graduates can pursue higher-level careers.

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