Can I work while studying for my associates degree in web design?
Many students need to work while earning an online associates degree in web design. The best jobs to look for are those in the industry, so that you can gain hands-on experience before graduation. Look for openings with reputable local web design companies, or those with telecommuting options. Entry-level design jobs often require experience, so you may find yourself in an administrative assistant role, at least temporarily.
A paid internship can provide income while helping you learn the ropes. You might intern for communications, advertising and printing companies, helping to create e-mail templates, images and animations. Or, you might intern for a web development firm and learn how to build websites from the ground up.
A job or internship takes hours out of your week, leaving less time for learning. However, the right job will complement your education, ultimately making you more employable after graduation. Design is a visually-demonstrable skill, and many employers want to see a portfolio. A position that allows you to showcase your skills can prove invaluable later on.
Pursuing your web design associates degree online rather than in a traditional college setting makes it easier to accommodate a job, since you have the freedom to choose your classroom hours. As an online web design student, you also have the opportunity to display your work to fellow students and network 24 hours a day via discussion boards and forums. This social aspect can be advantageous in your job search.
What are common assumptions about students who choose to get an associates degree in web design?
Many assume that technology is a man’s field, and that women are less likely to enroll in an associate degree in web design program. It is true that the media tends to focus on the male designers, and females don’t enjoy the limelight as much. However, the truth is that an online associates degree in web design is just as appropriate for women, and that females can reach the top in this industry.
Some people may stereotype web design students as artsy folk, and this is partially true but does not tell the whole story. Web design does require a certain level of creativity to work with images, video and digital audio; however, you won’t achieve a traditional or online associates degree in web design unless you are detail oriented, build solid math and computer skills and stay organized. If you are on the flaky side, success will prove difficult.
This leads to another stereotype of the antisocial tech geek pursuing a web design associate degree online, pasty and isolated while crunching code. The truth is that web design is appealing to anyone who enjoys creative work and staying on top of trends, and most students don’t fit the “nerd” profile. Plus, online web design programs attract students with outside obligations that make traditional on-campus routines difficult. You are more likely to turn to online learning because you have an active social life, not a nonexistent 1.
What is the hardest part of the application to an on-campus or online web design associates program?
Applying to a web design college with open admissions will require a form, a copy of your official transcripts from high school, and an application fee. Some schools require a copy of your diploma. If you took a GED, you will need proof of your score. Some schools without open policies also require proof of a minimum SAT score.
Most schools will ask you to take a readiness exam, which will likely be the most time-consuming part of the process. Most application materials only take a few minutes to prepare. However, readiness exams can take hours to study for, and the tests themselves can take an hour or more to complete. These tests evaluate reading, writing and math skills, and sometimes science knowledge. Reviewing old high school notes and exams can help you prepare.
The procedure for applying to a web design associates degree online is similar to that of an on-campus program, and you will need to provide the same materials and test results in most cases. In addition, you may also need to register for an Internet-based service, like Blackboard, before you will be able to access assignments. While you will not likely be tested for computer knowledge, you may need to take some prerequisite classes before you begin your degree coursework.
Are there any brick-and-mortar colleges that offer an online web design associates degree program?
With a few exceptions, you’ll usually find an online associates degree in web design at a community, junior or vocational college:
Anne Arundel Community College, near Annapolis, Maryland, offers hybrid and online classes as part of their Publication and Design on the Internet program, which is essentially an associate degree in web design. The school is fully accredited and has won dozens of awards, like the national Innovation of the Year Award in 2011.
Brigham-Young University, Idaho, or BYU-Idaho, is a brick-and-mortar university that offers an associates in web design via distance learning. Brigham Young is a private school founded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The Brigham-Young name holds a certain level of prestige, and although the Idaho school is a satellite campus, the name may be impressive to students and employers. The original Brigham-Young is in Provo, Utah, and there is an additional satellite school in Hawaii.
Seattle Central Community College also offers an associates in web design, and has online class options for this degree. You can start the program in any quarter, and you will learn about databases, design and authoring. The school is part of the Seattle Community College District, and has an open admissions policy.