Interested in working as a web designer? In this article we’ve broken down exactly what a web designer actually does, plus the qualifications and skills you’ll need in order to land your dream job.
A web designer designs and builds new websites, or re-designs existing websites. Typically, web designer jobs require both creativity and technical skills in that the designer needs to be able to make a website functional and user-friendly, but also need to be able suit the aesthetic of the client and make it appealing from a front-end perspective.
Many web designers will have a degree in a design or media subject, such as a specific web design degree, multimedia design, digital media, computer science (although this is less of the ‘creative’ side and more of the technical’, or even graphic design.
Other qualifications you could take include a diploma in creative media or IT.
Do you need a degree to be a web designer?
No, not necessarily. You could be self taught and gain experience via a different route than gaining an academic qualification. However, a degree in a relevant subject can be a good introduction into this career and does reflect well on your resume.
Web designers need a lot of technical knowledge in order to be able to design a website to both look good and - perhaps more importantly - function properly for the user.
Technical skills a web designer needs include:
As well as needing technical skills, web designers do need other ‘soft’ skills in order to really excel in the role. These include skills such as:
To get a job as a web designer, you’re going to need experience. Ideally, you will have a strong resume as well as a portfolio of at least a handful of projects you have worked on to showcase your best work to future employers.
If you are fairly new to the industry and haven’t acquired much work experience yet, you can overcome this by:
Being a web designer can give you a lot of freedom over where you want to work. You could apply to work in-house for a particular company, or you could freelance and take on projects for different brands all the time.
You could work in an office, or you could work completely remotely. Consider what you want for yourself before applying to jobs. Then, some good places to look for connections and job adverts online include LinkedIn, Indeed.com, GitHub, and StackOverflow.
Aside from looking online, don’t be afraid to get your name out there and ask your friends and family for help. For these slightly more creative jobs (especially if you are freelancing) referrals and word-of-mouth can be one of the most effective ways to find work when you are first getting started.
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