The internet continues to shape the world around us in deeper and deeper ways. As such, the working knowledge required to help shape it has gotten more complicated in recent years. If you’d like to work in web design or web development, your best shot is to get a web design degree.
Why Study Web Design?
The internet touches our lives in many ways, from the news we receive online to the business proposals we share over tablets to the social networking we do on our smartphones. Web design, then, is an exciting prospect for many international students, allowing them to affect and improve the world we live in. But as the internet grows more multifaceted, a web design degree is increasingly necessary for finding work in the field. More and more international students are finding themselves in a web design major every year!
Is a Degree Right for You?
The first thing to consider for your web design degree is what type of degree you’re getting. A traditional bachelor’s degree in web design is surprisingly rare to come by, though some can be found at the physical, on-campus locations or online institutions. The majority, though, will be associate’s degrees or professional certificates, usually granted by a community college or the extension program of a four-year institution.
So what exactly is a web design major good for? First off, of course, it is a great option for young international students eager to learn about contributing to the internet during their initial college education. But, given that it is often a less than four-year commitment, a web design degree is also a great choice for returning students with some education already under their belt. These could be graduates in related fields – business, graphic design, etc. – looking to expand their knowledge of web design to increase their appeal to employers, or even working professionals who want to get a refresher on the most recent trends and techniques in the business.
Web Design versus Web Development
Whatever your reason for choosing a web design major, one of the first things you’ll have to look at in your curriculum is the split between classes covering web design and classes covering web development. Web design means shaping the experience that users actually get on a website, and it involves coursework in user interface, graphic design, certain coding languages, and more. Web development, on the other hand, is building the complicated systems behind the scenes that make the internet work. Web development will include courses on programming, database integration, server-side languages, and more. The balance between web development and web design should be a major consideration in choosing a degree in the first place, and once you’re in you should further tailor your own classes towards whichever one you prefer. Remember that both web designers and web developers need a working knowledge of the other discipline, so take your classes in both areas seriously!
Web Design Curriculum
As for the progression of the curriculum itself, a web design degree will follow the typical scholarly structure of required foundational courses opening up into advanced courses with more freedom in course choice as international students progress. Early courses will set the very basic foundation for skills used in web design and development, covering territory such as English composition, math, and basic art history and theory. The next step is to apply these basics to the fundamentals of web design and development with classes focusing on the basics of programming, animation, and web theory. From here on out students will move into more and more advanced classes. Many web design degrees culminate with a final project that will see a student working either with a group or alone to create their own functional website.
The web design major is a deep and exciting choice of study for anyone entering college and a worthy choice for certain professionals looking to expand their knowledge of how the internet works. Take a look into both on-campus and online programs in the US and see if web design and development is right for you!