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College Major of the Week: Study Web Design

December 01, 2009 By: Category: Study Web Design

If you like art and computers, you might want to consider a career in Web site design. But how do you know if Web site design is right for you? Here are some quick facts to help you decide.

laptop_nicsevents.jpg

Photo by Nic’s Events 

What do people who study web design do?
People who study web design ultimately plan, analyze, and create visual solutions to communications problems on websites. They find the most effective way to get messages across on websites, using a variety of methods such as color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and various layout techniques. Web graphic designers consider cognitive, cultural, physical, and social factors in planning and executing designs for the target audience. Designers gather relevant information by meeting with clients, creative or art directors, and by performing their own research. Web graphic designers prepare sketches or layouts—by hand or with the aid of a computer—to illustrate their vision for the design. They select colors, sound, artwork, photography, animation, style of type, and other visual elements for the design. Designers also select the size and arrangement of the different elements on the page or screen. Designers then present the completed design to their clients or art or creative director for approval. Graphic designers use specialized computer software packages to help them create layouts and design elements and to program animated graphics.

Future prospects for those who study web design:
Employment of graphic designers is expected grow about as fast as average. Keen competition for jobs is expected. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree and knowledge of computer design software, particularly those with Web site design and animation experience will have the best opportunities. Moreover, graphic designers with Web site design and animation experience will especially be needed as demand increases for design projects for interactive media—Web sites, video games, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, and other technology. Demand for graphic designers also will increase as advertising firms create print and Web marketing and promotional materials for a growing number of products and services. Individuals with a bachelor’s degree and knowledge of computer design software, particularly those with Web site design and animation experience will have the best opportunities.

Average salaries for those who study web design:
Median annual earnings for wage and salary for graphic designers were $39,900 in May 2006. The middle 50 percent earned between $30,600 and $53,310. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $69,730.

What should you consider when looking to study web design?
A bachelor’s or an associate degree in web graphic design is usually required for a job as a web graphic designer. Creativity, communication, and problem solving skills and familiarity with computer graphics and design software also are important. Most curriculums include studio art, principles of design, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and Web site design. In addition to design courses, a liberal arts education that includes courses in art history, writing, psychology, sociology, foreign languages and cultural studies, marketing, and business are useful in helping designers work effectively.

Source: Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2009 – http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos090.htm


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