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Web designers and developers design websites for individuals, businesses and other organizations establishing an online presence. A good web designer can transform a run-of-the-mill website into a dynamic, interesting and traffic- or sales-generating machine. While some aspects of web development and design are learned on the job, most employers expect you to have mastered the basics with formal education. Online associate degree programs in website design and development help you do just that.

Online associate degree programs in web design and development: What to expect

While many online colleges offer straightforward web design degrees and web development degrees, there are a number of other disciplines applicable to this industry, including interactive media design, multimedia and graphic design. In order to actually build websites, however, you should choose a program that hones the following skills:

  • Programming Languages (JavaScript, XML, and HTML)
  • Principles of Web Design
  • Internet Security
  • Telecommunications

Students enrolled in any associate degree program in website design and development should also expect to take general education courses, including history, science, math, English and humanities.

Careers for web design and development professionals

Web designers and web developers are often lumped together. However, web designers are often more akin to graphic designers, while web developers focus on the technical creation and maintenance, or "development," of a web site. While many of these IT professionals pursue bachelor's degrees, associate degree programs in web design or web development are sufficient for some employers -- especially when accompanied by an excellent work sample.

  • Graphic designer positions are expected to grow by 7 percent between 2012 and 2022. May 2014 median annual salary for web graphic designers: $45,900
  • Web developers should see 20 percent job growth between 2012 and 2022. Median annual salaries for web developers in May 2014: $63,490
  • Webmasters differ from their designer and developer cousins in that they focus more on what the BLS once said are the "technical aspects of a website, including performance issues." The term webmaster is not used as much now -- and not at all by the BLS -- as webmasters have come to be known as web developers or network or computer systems administrators or even database administrators. Whereas just a few years ago webmasters tightly controlled the flow and positioning of content on a website, increasingly content is uploaded by many individuals using easy-to-use content management tools. While associate-level web design and web development degrees with applicable certifications are often sufficient training, many employers prefer database administrators to hold a bachelor's degree. May 2014 median salary for database administrators: $80,280

Demand for web professionals is expected to remain high, making web design and development an excellent career for Web-savvy students looking for stable and lucrative work. To learn more about web development and web design degrees, check out WorldWideLearn's Guide to College Majors' sections on web design majors and web development majors, featuring in-depth career and education information for the field.

Learn more about online associate degree programs in web development and design by browsing the colleges below. To learn more about a specific program, simply fill out the form requesting more information and an admissions representative will contact you.

Sources

"27-1024 Graphic Designers," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes271024.htm

"15-1134 Web Developers," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151134.htm

"15-1141 Database Administrators," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151141.htm

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