How to Get Started With a Career in Web Design

If you love computers and have strong technical skills but also possess an artistic side and a great eye for visuals, web design could be the perfect field for you to bring those interests together. What once started out as an industry for techies and nerds is now a way of life and one of the most lucrative industries for anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

Whether you're a high school student thinking about what to study in college or you've been in the workforce for years and are thinking of changing careers, you may find this field to be both interesting and lucrative.

Web design and content creation services are in high demand and if you have the skills to get the job done, companies are willing to pay big money to bring you onto their team.

Ready to make the move? Here are some quick tips and recommendations on how to get started.

Design or Development?

People often use these terms interchangeably, and there is a lot of overlap between the two. However, for the purposes of education, training and job seeking, you should have a good idea in your own mind of the two different components of website creation even if you end up doing them all.

Design is about how the website looks and how functional it is. If this was your role and no development was involved, you might mock up website designs using a graphics program instead of programming languages.

For web development, you'll need to know programming. In general, it is best to have experience in both of these areas even if you are stronger in one compared to the other. You may want to talk to some people in the industry or research the companies you are interested in working for to find out whether or not responsibilities for design and programming tend to be separate.


To make yourself as versatile as possible, it's a good idea to have coursework in both graphic design and computer science or a related field. However, the industry has changed and further education is no longer a requirement.

An associate's degree may be sufficient for some employers, and you could arguably even teach yourself web design and start your own business, but if you want to be truly competitive, a bachelor's degree is best. You might be concerned about how you will pay for school.

A large portion of students opt for federal student loans which can then be refinanced. Purefy explains that by refinancing federal student loans, you can combine all your loans into one — saving you the headache of managing multiple payment amounts and dates. Furthermore, refinancing also provides the opportunity to get a better rate for those who qualify — allowing you to save big on interest costs over the course of paying back your loan.

Many people use a combination of grants, student loans, scholarships and money they have saved or earned while they are in school. Even if you are not eligible for federal need-based student loans, you may be able to take out private loans. This can be an excellent investment in your future.

Understand Design Principles

Even if you are only at the stage of thinking about going into this industry, you can start educating yourself about principles of design. You can learn both general principles, such as balance and color theory, and those that are specific to the web.

The unique challenge faced in creating sites online is how to keep the design attractive or even eye-catching if necessary while still ensuring that it is usable. This means you must balance a few things with the aesthetics of the site.

For example, the navigation of a site needs to be intuitive. The site should work well on both regular computers and mobile devices. Start looking at websites you visit with a critical eye. Nearly everyone has had the experience of visiting a site that looked great but that took too long to load or was simply too confusing to navigate.

Build an Online Resume and Site

As wonderful as a strong resume might be, they aren’t as effective as they used to be. A better option is to let your skills speak for themself. If you are great at webdesign, coding or content creation, it’s time to show off your work.

This can be as simple as registering your personal name as a domain and then creating a site that would act as your own resume site. Not only would this provide everyone with your contact information and history, it would also showcase your work in the process.

How to Get Hired in the World of Web Site Design

With more than a billion active websites and blogs in the world today, that is a pretty much limitless world of potential for site design.

Take a moment to run through each of the highlights and recommendations above, then put your expertise and talents to work. Once you have a site in place, then start reaching out to different companies and connect with other brands through social media and freelance design forums.

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