Web Design Graduate Programs
Web designers are the architects for all visual elements of a website. They research potential users' preferences and use their findings to develop and execute creative, navigable and visually pleasing web pages. Graduate certificates and master's degrees are available in such areas as digital media, graphic design and information systems design. Sound intriguing? If so, read on to find out more about web design graduate programs and learn about your career options after graduation. Schools offering Digital Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Will I Learn in a Web Design Graduate Certificate Program?
If you have a bachelor's degree in web design or a related area and seek to sharpen your digital media knowledge before entering the workforce, a graduate certificate program may be of help to you. Certificates are available in areas like multimedia design and digital publishing. Program curricula vary widely according to the exact area of concentration, but commonly required courses will teach you how to incorporate graphic design skills into multimedia design. Topics covered in such courses include digital typography, photo retouching, web graphics and site usability.
What Will I Learn in a Master's Degree Program?
Earning a master's degree in web design or a related area will provide you with an in-depth education in all elements of website planning, design and maintenance. Some schools offer Master of Science (M.S.) programs specifically in web, digital or information design, while others allow you to declare a web design concentration within a broader media arts program. Some media arts programs offer Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees with curricula based more heavily in the visual arts. Most master's degree programs mandate completion of a minimum number of credit hours, which can usually be accomplished in two years of full-time study.
Typically, you will need to take between five and six foundational courses in web design, and then you can build the rest of your degree program through the relevant electives that correspond with your career goals. Depending on the exact name of the program of study, these courses may include foundations of information design, usability research, multimedia publishing, digital imaging and media theory. The remainder of your course curriculum will be composed of web design-related electives. Common courses in this area include web design and multiculturalism, streaming multimedia, web animation, database integration and media management. Many programs will also require you to complete a thesis or applied project in web design before graduating.
Are These Programs Available to Me Online?
The graduate certificate programs in web design or similar areas are widely available online. Some master's degree programs in web design are available as well. Online programs in this field are common for part-time students, working professionals and anyone unable to relocate or commute to a campus. Most online programs transmit course materials through online teaching and learning platforms - such as Blackboard Vista and WebCT - so all that's required to complete them is an Internet-connected computer. However, because of the digital nature of the field, additional design-related computer software may be required to complete coursework like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator.
What Are My Career Options?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is generally the minimum required education for graphic and multimedia design positions (www.bls.gov). Earning a master's degree or graduate certificate may provide you with an edge in what the BLS reports as a competitive job market. With graduate training, you also have the option to teach at a school or become a corporate trainer. Common job titles in this field include webmaster, web analyst and multimedia specialist. You could also venture into web development and programming with additional training in database management and information technology.
As a web design professional, you plan and construct websites' visual elements from start to finish. Alternatively, you could focus on a specific area, such as usability research, digital animation or multimedia. Keeping your web design skills up-to-date and practicing the material generally provides you with more opportunities to find employment and access other career options.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: