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Web design is an extremely desirable field for young people. With many available and well-paying jobs, as well as an opportunity to work on the cutting edge of the ever-growing internet, it’s no mystery why. Let’s look more closely at the world of web design and development so you can start to decide if the field is for you.

Web design and development is a rapidly growing field, and more and more young international students make the choice to study web design each year. The majority of the jobs pay quite well, employees get to do interesting, varied work in the realm of the internet, and, perhaps most excitingly, the bounds of this relatively young industry are nowhere close to defined. But is a career in web design right for you? To find out, you’ll need to look a little more deeply at what web designers and web developers do and what the career is like.

What is web design and development?

So what is it that web designers and web developers do, exactly? In short, it is these people who create the web pages that we use every day. Depending on what exactly you choose to do in the field, your work could encompass coding, animation, working on a website’s visual design, some combination of the above, and more.

Web design and web development

Web design and web development are terms often used interchangeably, and though they do frequently cover a lot of the same type of work, there is a subtle difference between them. International students looking to study web design and/or development should be aware of these differences. “Web design” generally refers more to creating the aesthetics of the page: deciding how elements should look, sound, and—to a lesser extent—respond to interaction. Dedicated web designers often come from the ranks of tech savvy graphic design aficionados who are interested in using their expertise in the creation of effective, great-looking websites.

Web development, on the other hand, focuses more on the coding and technological aspects of creating a website. Web developers are great coders, understanding multiple coding languages like Java, PHP, Python, and more. If those names sound like gibberish to you, but you’re still interested in web development, don’t worry! You can teach yourself some basic fluency in these languages to see if it’s something that you are interested in pursuing further.

In the workplace

Is a career in web design right for you? In addition to an enjoyment of the basic functions of the job, the answer to that question also depends on the type of place you wind up working.

Web design and development is an important function for any company that has a website, no matter how large or small. That means that international students who study web design and development can wind up in a wide variety of places – a definite plus for those with varying tastes who are looking into the field!

At a small startup, especially a web-oriented one, web designers and developers can have a lot of say in the direction of the nascent business. They will also probably wind up covering more varied duties, given the low amount of employees available at such a place. Conversely, the larger an employer gets, the more web designers and developers will be working as part of a team and be separated into specific specialties within web design and development. Consider what type of work environment is more conducive to you and your work.

Statistical Outlook

Another important factor in deciding whether web design and development is right for you is the job outlook, both in terms of getting a job and in pay. Luckily, the web design world is large, and only getting bigger. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), almost 273,000 people were employed as information security analysts, web developers, or computer network architects in May 2011. The same data estimated a generous average annual wage of $81,670 for that group. So if you’re looking into web design and development, the jobs are there and they pay well.

So is a career in web design right for you? That ultimately depends on a number of factors, including pure gut instinct. But with the above information, you can be better informed and start thinking about whether you’d like to explore this exciting industry!

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