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Best Online Degrees in: Web Design

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Web Design

Value
The best online Web design school for value is Academy of Art, which has a 5.6% return on investment over time, according to PayScale.com. With financial aid, Academy of Art's return on investment increases to 6.0%. Though college programs typically come with hefty upfront costs, the Academy's students are able to reap the benefits of their education over time.

Career Support
Herzing University wants to make sure its students are prepared to enter the working world, and therefore has many services dedicated to helping students develop the skills required by their future jobs. With career services that received an A+ ranking from College Prowler, Herzing University provides resume help, job search assistance, interview practice, and externship opportunities.

Financial Support
Herzing University wants its students to have an equal opportunity to get an education, and therefore awards 100% of its students with financial aid. It is ranked No. 1 on the Online Education Database for its generous allocation of financial aid, and is the winner of the award for best online Web design degree for financial support.

Student Engagement
Herzing University wins the award for best online Web design degree for student engagement. It is ranked No. 39 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best online schools for student engagement and assessment. Herzing instructors respond to emails within 36 hours and track student sign-ins to verify that students are completing their course work, both of which ensure that students are actively involved in their classes.

Disability Support
Loyola University’s disability services win the award for best Web design degree for disability support. Loyola provides information, forms, and the disability service policies on its website, where they can be easily accessed by students at all times. Loyola’s website also clearly states the confidentiality and nondiscrimination policies, and provides information on appealing for accommodations.

Library and Research Support
Champlain College has a thorough library website that provides easy access to resources for research projects and homework assignments. The website also has video tutorials on conducting research, quick help for citing sources, and instant access to librarians through instant messaging. These efficient online library resources have earned Champlain College the award for best online Web design degree for library and research support.

Learning Support
Herzing University is dedicated to providing support for its online students. It has live tutoring and career assistance, according to U.S. News & World Report, as well as student advising and 24-hour access to online library services. Herzing University's student services have earned it the award for best online Web design school for student support.

Faculty Credentials
Academy of Art’s Web design degree wins the award for best faculty credentials. At the Academy, all online instructors must receive training in how to teach online classes. The Academy pays for that training, according to U.S. News & World Report. In addition, 39% of the Academy's faculty members have two or more years of experience teaching online classes.

Alumni Engagement
Full Sail University wins the award for best Web design degree for alumni engagement, due to its dedication to its students even after they graduate. Full Sail alumni have access to a network that provides job search help, professional networking opportunities, and the ability for alumni to interact with each other through online profiles.

Prior Learning Options
Herzing University provides multiple opportunities for students to gain college credit. According to a school brochure, students can gain credit by exam and through military training. Students can also use their past life and work experiences to get credit, by showing what they have learned through various media. By providing so many opportunities for credit, Herzing University is the winner of best Web design degree for prior learning options.

New Online Student Orientation
Southern New Hampshire University’s Web design and development online degree wins the award for best new online student orientation. Its website provides multiple tutorials for students, which are easy to use and open for access at all times. Students don't have to travel to become acclimated to their online classes. Rather, they can learn from Southern New Hampshire University's efficient website tools.

Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design

If the Internet is your virtual Shangri-la and you have brainstormed a dozen ways to improve your favorite sites, then consider a career in Web design. A bachelor's degree in this field will equip students with the tools and technical skills needed to understand the language of web design. Students will learn about both front end and back end development.

The program will teach students how to conceptualize, code, and publish websites. They will design for a variety of platforms, including the web, smartphones, and tablets, as well as learn programming languages including HTML5, CSS, XML, ActionScript, and JavaScript. Students will learn how to think creatively and incorporate the latest ideas, technology, and features into the sites they create. Some programs require 150-180 credit hours, but this requirement will vary based on the program students select.

Class Curriculum

A Web design curriculum will include classes in the math and sciences, as well as design classes in color theory, typography, animation techniques, interface design, and web navigation. Students will learn how to use design software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

  • Principles of Production. This class will teach students how to define the scope of a project, including the cost of the project, the technologies needed, and the time required to complete development. Students will learn how to present the framework of a cohesive Web workflow plan. Topics covered include production process phases, production documentation, production prototyping, and project delivery, archiving, and maintenance.
  • Mobile Media Design. Students will learn about vector graphic design for the mobile phone or tablet. Students will learn how to create graphics by using design, animation, and interactive media software. More importantly, they will learn how to use these tools to design compelling interfaces for mobile applications.
  • Flash Design and Animation. This course examines the process of designing and creating animated content for the Web. Students will learn how to use Adobe Flash and other techniques related to the development of 2D design and animation. Students will create storyboards and learn animation techniques.

Students will complete several projects to build their portfolio, which will prove their skill set to potential employers. Students will also complete a major final project, during which they will create a multi-faced website, doing everything from planning its functionality to producing a polished product.

Building a Career

Students who graduate with a degree in Web design will develop strong computer skills which could lead to careers in IT and design-related fields as Web developers, interactive designers, Web content developers, and front end or back end designers. Depending on the career they choose, Web design graduates may specialize in the layout and visual design of a website, or the back end structure that is its foundation.

According to a survey by Robert Half Technology cited by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Web developers make between $61,250 and $99,250 in 2012. The BLS notes that the median annual wage of graphic designers, which include Web designers, is $43,500. However, individuals should note that an individual's level of experience and education can impact actual earnings.

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