Whether you are only just beginning an interest in web design or you’ve been at it for several years, there is always value in seeking continued education, such that you’ll be informed on the latest trends in the constantly changing world of the Web. While many will go the brick-and-mortar, traditional university route, pursuing an online degree as a web designer may make more sense for you. Here are a few quick, practical tips you should consider before taking the plunge.
1. Figure out what it is you want.
There are so many online web design education options that it first can be a little overwhelming. But if you initially decipher what it is that you want, then the options limit themselves. Do you want a full Bachelor’s degree, a certificate course, or do you want to simply take some classes to brush up on your skills? It’s your educational experience, so make sure you seek and find what fits best with your current career goals.
2. Do your research first.
As a web designer (or at least an aspiring one), you probably know better than most that doing thorough research is vital when seeking out any sort of help online. One excellent source to test the waters with simply learning new web design skills online before you go for a formal degree can be found here.
3. Be aware of the issues surrounding web design education.
Many of you will not have necessarily received formal training in web design, so it’s important to know that the online community is concerned about the state of web design education today. The general consensus is that the best way to learn is through quality experience. While an online education in web design is more conducive to getting exposure to these kinds of experiences, be sure that any potential program takes a comprehensive, focused hands-on approach.
4. Consider taking courses in general art design as well.
As this About.com article makes clear, sometimes it is useful to learn classical design techniques instead of emphasizing building web pages too much. The reason for this is that while there are legions of web designers who are experts at programs like Dreamweaver, there are relatively few who know the aesthetic components needed to create something that is pleasing to the eye.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of tips, it will get you started on finding courses or degree programs that work for you. Of course, any formal education is not always necessary for a successful career in web design, but it will demonstrate to future employers or clients that you have the credentials. A degree coupled with an extensive portfolio is often the best way to get on track as a professional web designer.