Are you considering making a major career change? Do you have a creative side that you tend to keep under wraps? You might be surprised to learn that the field of web design and development is predicted to grow by more than 20% in the next five years.
If you are good with computers and ready to take the leap, getting a degree in web design can launch you into a new world. Most employers are looking for candidates with an Associate's degree or Certificate, and there several options for a web design career.
We'll take you through several of the most popular careers in web design and development and help you figure out where you can excel.
If you've got a part-time hobby as an illustrator, you could be a great candidate for a career in graphic design. You'd have to get familiar with a few computer programs and get some experience with how websites are programmed and designed.
As a graphic designer, you're not locked in to working for one employer. You can go freelance and accept projects as you see fit. If you've still got a day job that you don't want to leave, go ahead and do some illustration or logo projects on the side. That way you can figure out whether you enjoy graphic design.
Graphic design goes far beyond designing logos. You can develop the entire look of a website and help companies reach their clients more efficiently.
Graphic designers might develop printed advertising materials, organize advertising campaigns, and run social media accounts. You will work closely with writers, the marketing department, and upper management. Learn more about website design trends here.
Website design is trending more and more towards minimalist designs that are easy for the customer to interact with. New businesses want to "brand" themselves and develop a recognizable theme to their websites. That's where you come in, as a UX analyst.
UX stands for "user experience" and businesses constantly strive to improve customer satisfaction on their websites. Satisfied customers will spend more money, and websites that are easy to use will have higher rates of engagement.
If you've done A/B testing before or have experience as a financial analyst, you could fit well into the role of a UX analyst. Well-designed websites drive sales, and you will have ample opportunity to run tests and develop user profiles.
As a UX analyst, you could work directly with C-level executives, graphic designers, and writers. Most companies want to see that you have a degree in web design and that you have sales experience.
If you're considering switching careers, you might have more options than you realize. You might be surprised to find that your employer is willing to fund your education and help you move up in the company. Another option is to shadow one of your co-workers until you learn the ins and outs of your new position.
No list of website development careers would be complete without a nod to copy writing. While it's possible to get started without a degree, most companies want to see that you've done significant coursework in web design.
You'll need to know the principles of online marketing, how to incorporate "keywords" into your writing, and how to interface with customers. If you want a web design career that you can do from home, you should try copy writing.
Recent studies show that about 40% of all companies allow their workers to work from home at least part of the time. You may find a full-time, in-person job as a writer, but there are also work from home options from companies all over the world.
No matter where you work, you'll typically work with an editor or content lead as your supervisor. You could also find yourself working directly with graphic designers and UX designers.
Another great career in web design and development is app development. If you've got a logical mind and a flair for computer languages, you should definitely get your degree in web development.
App developers use their creative and logical skills to develop software solutions for businesses of any size. You might be tasked with creating a database for a non-profit, for example, that allows the marketing department to target certain demographics. You might also develop a GPS-based program that allows customers to easily find retail stores.
There is a lot of potential for growth with app development. It's a lucrative field that is always in high demand. You're going to need to be familiar with HTML, CSS, and several other computer programming languages. Taking a degree in web design and development will allow you to get started as an app developer.
As a developer, you'll work with your company's marketing department, upper management, and UX analysts. You can work remotely if you want, and you can build apps in your spare time if you want to keep your day job.
How Can I Get Started on a Web Design Career?
If you're considering a web design career, take stock of the talents you already have. Are you a great writer or an amateur coder? You may be able to get college credit for your work experience.
Next, find a college that meets your needs. You might want to go part-time after work to a local college, or you might want to find an online program. The most important part of establishing yourself as a web designer or developer is to get that degree under your belt.
If you're currently in a web design program, try to get summer internships at marketing and design firms. Employers want to see that you have some experience before they hire you, and interning can be a fast track to a great job.
Changing careers may seem scary, but the long-term outlook for web design careers remains positive. We have a wide range of articles for people who are considering changing careers. Take a look at our blog, and best of luck in your new career!