Today, there are very clear-cut requirements set forth for those interested in becoming web designers. You will need tenacity, gumption, and experience, as well as a nice portfolio and the right type of education. Professional web designers are responsible for both the look and feel of the most popular websites on the net.
They are not to be confused with coders or programmers, who create the framework and structure of websites. Instead, web designers decide on what colours and fonts to use, how each site’s navigation will be structured, and have the most decided impact on how websites flow.
Here is some information on the educational path you must take in order to become a highly regarded web designer.
A Quick Introduction to Web Design
The beginnings of web design came upon once the web as it is known today was established. The very first websites were super simple, consisting of just a few lines of code. Since websites were not complex and very seldom included any type of graphics besides perhaps a few pictures, web designers didn’t actually exist. Then, background music in the form of midis, banners, and different fonts started to appear. After a while, major brands began employing people who would go on to become web designers to create the look of the professional websites. Now web designers have a full-time job making websites both beautiful and functionals.
What Interested Web Design Students Should Know
Upon knowing that web design is the field of study that you want to get into, you have to know where to start. If you have already designed at least a couple of websites, then it should be very easy for you to fall right into things. You will have an easier time completing your school application and you will know what is going on at the start of your classes.
Comparing Web Design Schools and Programmes
You can complete a certification programme that will enable you to tout yourself as a web designer, or you can go to college with a concentration in web design and earn a degree. Different schools have not only different requisites to get in but also different classes and levels of difficulty. No one can tell which one will be best for you except yourself.
Considering Web Design Course Length
Some prospective students want to get out into the work field, get a job, and begin working right away. Taking a web design certification course will help you to do that. At the same time, you will be more proficient if you actually earn a degree in web design. You can fully expect to get more job offers and be offered a higher starting salary after graduation by going this route.
All About Web Design School Reputation
Another factor that all prospective web design students need to concentrate on is the reputation of the schools they want to attend. Only well-established schools have a good reputation. Look at schools that can provide post-graduation job placement help and statistics on employment rates for past students.
Applying to Web Design Schools
Although you may know what school you are interested in attending, you can’t make any further decisions until you’re actually accepted. You have to submit an application and be prepared to receive an interview. The best colleges will be highly selective about who they accept and limit the number of students allowed to take web design geared courses.
Enrolling in Web Design Courses
Though being accepted into web design school can be somewhat stressful, the work doesn’t stop once you get in. Schools generally offer web design major courses such as:
- Coding 101
- Colour Theory
- Web Animation
Most students are also required to take courses in similar and related fields, such as writing, drawing, and coding languages. Ensure that your course load is well balanced and contains all of the classes that are bound to help you attain post-graduation success. This is also when you will have to consider whether you will be going to school on a part-time or full-time basis.
Getting Practical Experience
It is not required that you graduate or have any type of certification to start working as a professional web designer. In fact, there are many self-taught professionals that undertook freelance work for years before going into school. It can be very helpful to start looking into what employers want while still attending school so that it will be an easier transition into the work world full time.
Building a Web Design Portfolio
For one, you will need adequate web hosting in order to have a web design portfolio online. It is suggested that you get your own domain and a cheap web hosting package with lots of room to grow. As your portfolio expands, you will not necessarily want to take down older examples and past projects. If anything, it will be great for potential employers to see your work has improved, changed, and evolved over time. Look for web hosting packages that include:
- Technical Support
- Control Panel
- Maximum Website Uptime
Making It Through Portfolio Critiques
Near the end of your time at school, you will need to start showing your work to others. You might even need to take an entire class meant to aid you in creating a portfolio by participating in peer reviews. During these classes, you will spend part of the time consulting with professors to help put together a great and well-balanced portfolio. During the remainder of the class, each student will be given the opportunity to present his or her work and receive feedback from others. This will be a tough time because you will be faced with criticism, perhaps for the first time as a professional. At the same time, getting feedback will give you the courage you need to deal with picky clients in the future.
While it is possible to be a web designer and never take any type of class, for the most part, employers and big companies want to work with professionals who have a degree. A lot is changing in the web design world, and professionals need to know what tools are available to create the best work. Going to school for web design is also helpful when you want to network and keep your skills up to par.