Where will I work in my web design career?
You can find jobs in web design at a wide variety of companies and organizations. However, you are more likely to work for a computer systems design service than any other business, as these companies employ about 18% of the web design workforce. You are almost as likely to be self-employed, like 17% of web designers, either working as a freelance web designer or by owning your own company. There are also many web design positions in telecommunications, finance, insurance and management companies.
Working for a computer design service, you will create or update websites using content systems and digital media. If you opt for a freelance career in web design, you will also need to use your customer service and marketing skills to build your client base, and to provide analyses and solutions to meet your customers’ needs.
While much of your daily interaction will be with a computer screen, you will occasionally need to coordinate with management teams, developers, information security analysts, computer network architects and possibly with website users. There is a good chance that you will be able to telecommute, particularly if you work for yourself.
How long does it take to find a job in web design?
As Internet use and e-commerce continue to expand, it should not take long to find a web design job if you have a degree and a portfolio. There is high demand for web designers of all types, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 22% job growth between 2010 and 2020, a rate significantly higher than the average of 14%. Given this data, you may begin your web design career immediately upon graduation. Expect web design jobs to come more easily if you are skilled in multiple applications such as Photoshop, Flash and social media.
Web design jobs tend to have more lax education requirements than other areas of computer technology. As long as you can prove that you are a skilled web designer, you will be able to find some type of work. You may land a job with no more than a high school diploma, although you will need an associates or bachelors degree for more prestigious work. Online degrees are sufficient in many scenarios, and distance learning from established brick-and-mortar web design schools are appealing to many employers.
How have web design careers changed over the years?
Careers in web design have only existed for the past 20 years or so, since Tim Berners-Lee shared HTML with the world in 1991. Before then, your design work would have involved printing presses or typewriters instead of computers.
In the early 90s, you would have designed web pages with text only; now, you will use second, third and fourth generation computer technology to create icons, animations, colorful backgrounds and other graphics. With the e-commerce boom, you have more opportunities with retail websites than ever before.
As technology continues to advance, so too do web design careers, requiring you to learn new software and techniques. Back when design technology was relatively stagnant, the skills you learned in college were enough. Now, you will need to acquire new skills to stay competitive. You are also more likely to incorporate social media sites like Facebook and Twitter into your designs.
As a result of ever-changing technology, some schools have begun offering web design certification for professional growth after your degree program. Certification programs can enhance your career opportunities while teaching you new and evolving skills
What are the top employers for web design jobs?
The most popular types of employers may vary by region, but include the government, prepackaged software companies, computer systems design companies, Internet retailers, information retrieval services, telecommunications companies and computer processing companies. Web development companies and educational institutions pay slightly more than other employers.
The most popular web design employers in the U.S. are the Army, retailer Crate and Barrel, The Lincoln Financial Group and Virginia Tech University, according to Payscale.com.
Your employer’s location will also make a difference in your paycheck. When it comes to salary, the best web design employers are in Seattle, Washington and San Francisco, California. You can expect to earn $13.40 to $77.75 per hour in a Seattle web design job, or from $11.96 to $72.72 per hour in San Francisco.
Your salary will vary according to your education level and experience as a designer. A bachelors degree or higher will result in a greater salary, and many web design employers will accept online degrees as readily as traditional ones. This is especially true if you studied online at a reputable brick-and-mortar school.