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Best Online Degrees in: Web Design

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Editor's Picks: Online Schools for Web Design

The best online web design school for value is Arizona State University, which named to Kiplinger's Personal Finance's list of the top "best college values". According to the article, ASU is one of the top 100 best values in public higher education for in-state and out-of-state students, as measured by academic quality, freshmen retention and persistence rates, and affordability.

Career Support
Arizona State 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, Arizona State University provides resume help, job search assistance, interview practice, and externship opportunities.

Financial Support
Arizona State 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
Arizona State 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. ASU 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
Arizona State 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. ASU's student services have earned it the award for best online Web design school for student support.

Faculty Credentials
Arizona State University is one of the nation's largest and fastest growing universities and set in the context of one of the country's most rapidly urbanizing metropolises, The Design School is engaging in a new paradigm for teaching and research in the 21st century. ASU faculty is professionally accredited and currently maintains more than 50 qualified faculty members just in the Design School.

Alumni Engagement
The ASU Alumni Association works to forge a stronger alumni and university community. Through the three foundational principles – honoring traditions, advancing the university and enhancing the alumni experience – that guide our work, we endeavor to preserve the university's rich history and enhance the university's future. The ASU Alumni Association connects more than 400,000 Sun Devils across the globe.

Prior Learning Options
Arizona State 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, ASU 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. 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.