Are there any books that I can read to help me decide if a web design degree is right for me?
Reading books can help you make an informed decision before committing yourself to a degree in web design. The right books will also give you an academic advantage before you sign up for a program, or if you are looking into online web design degrees.
Weaving the Web: The Original Design and Ultimate Destiny of the World Wide Web by its Inventor by Tim Berners-Lee is a great starter book and will give you an overall sense of the function and potential of the Internet.
The author created the world wide web himself, and therefore has unique insight to share. With an understanding of websites in the grand scheme of contemporary culture, you will be better equipped to decide if this is the right field for you.
Another excellent read is The Non-Designer’s Web Book by Robin Williams and John Tollett. Despite the title, both beginners and professionals can reference this book for ideas. It details design basics like images and animation and gives overviews of the latest technological tools. As a potential web design student, this book will help you get a feel for the trade in language that will be relatively simple for you to grasp.
You can gain insight into visual images, as well as find inspiration by reading Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative by Edward R. Tufte. This book offers instruction on image arrangement, and includes methods of working with numbers and words to present concepts in an appealing way that is easy to navigate.
What are some online resources that will give me ideas about how to use a degree in web design?
You can find useful information about web design degrees online through several associations and blogs. Because this is a relatively new field, there are fewer established organizations. However, it is a rapidly growing career choice with many professional outlets to explore.
The World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) is a 12-year-old nonprofit community for all web professionals, including designers. The WOW website has a job board that you can peruse to get an idea of what is waiting for you after graduation. They also foster communication between web designers, which can be especially helpful if you are pursuing an online web design degree.
The International Webmasters Association is another respected organization for web designers and other Internet professionals. The nonprofit created the web’s first guidelines for ethical and professional standards. They have local chapters that you can join to meet people already working in the field. Again, this can be quite useful if you are getting an online degree in web design since web design online colleges typically offer fewer opportunities to meet professionals in person.
The Design Instruct blog is another resource that can help you keep up with the web design industry and pick up a few extra skills. The blog is aimed at web and graphic designers, and offers tutorials, advice, inspiration and ideas. They also have giveaways on a regular basis, which may be appealing if your degree program is emptying your bank account.
What organizations accredit on-campus and online web design degree programs?
The field of web design is only as old as the web itself, which was created in the 90s. Therefore, accreditation in this area is limited. However, some of the best web design degrees are accredited by at least 1 industry-specific organization, and many employers value an accredited degree.
The World Organization of Webmasters accredits a handful of associate degree options, including online web design degree programs. Accredited schools include Illinois Central College, Harper College, Solano Community College and several others. If you are interested in distance learning, Solano offers an accredited web design online degree.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NSAD) is a much larger accrediting body that covers all areas of art and design, including some web design programs. NSAD recognizes 309 colleges, universities and other schools that offer associates, bachelors and postgraduate degrees in web design as well as certificate programs.
Is a degree in web design recession proof?
The job outlook for web designers and developers is encouraging according to the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics, which expects a 22% job growth rate between 2010 and 2020. This above average job growth rate puts web design careers among the more recession-proof occupations you can pursue.
As online sales continue to grow, more and more retailers are setting up shop on the Internet. Each of these retailers will need a website and most will hire a designer to create it for them. You may also find web design jobs in the government sector, or at colleges and universities. Given the variety of options, the web design field is unlikely to dry up, no matter how bad the economy gets.
A traditional, on-campus degree is often the most respected, making it easier to find a job in a recession. However, a top web design degree online can also make you highly attractive to employers. For example, Southern New Hampshire University offers an online masters program, and Texas A&M University has an online educational masters degree in design and technology, which will qualify you to teach web design.