How Much Does Web Design School Cost?
Web Design School Prices
Web design relates to the front-end of a website. This includes the look, feel, and interactivity of a site. Strictly speaking, web design is different from web development, which deals with the back-end of the website (that is, the programming files that make the design come to life). While web designers are expected to have some knowledge of programming languages such as HTML and CSS, their principal duty is to create a design theme for a client or employer that looks great and has an intuitive layout.
Web Designer Career Considerations
If you're confused about the difference between web design and web development, think of it this way: the web designer is the architect (whose concern is primarily aesthetic), while the web developer is the structural engineer (who must make it all work). It's form vs. function; the artist as opposed to the technician. Still murky? This page should clear up any remaining questions you might have.
If you're in it for the money, you might consider becoming a web programmer, as they tend to make a bit more than designers. Not that designers struggle to make ends meet. According to salary.com, the median salary of a web designer in the U.S. is just under $62,000 per year. AIGA, the professional association for design, estimates that designers make $50,000 - $60,000 per year.
Once upon a time, most web designers were self-taught, in part because there weren't many formal training programs. And while people continue to figure out web design craft on their own, many web and multimedia design education programs now exist that can teach students the skills needed to design websites.
Some employers prefer candidates with formal web design training, which can be obtained at the associate's, bachelor's, and certificate level. Depending on the school, there may be a degree offered specifically in web design (or web design and interactive media).
A degree in graphic design, visual design, computer science, communications, art, or even business however, may also suffice. For prospective web designers, a strong portfolio is often the difference between getting a job and not getting a job. So while you might get a degree (any degree) to satisfy an employer's education requirement, you might additionally, in your free time, learn HTML, CSS, and software like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, then put this knowledge to use designing practice web pages.
Formal web design training, moreover, may be less important to freelance designers (who, according to this site, comprise the majority of web designers). If you can land a few initial contracts and grow your portfolio, this may be sufficient to garner future clients.
Web Design School Costs
Please note that education costs vary widely from school to school. The following tuition information is based on national averages. Contact individual institutions for the most accurate tuition costs.
- Two-year (associate's degree) programs cost $3,000 - $3,500 per year
- Four-year (bachelor's degree) programs cost $7,000 - $29,000 per year
- Room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and other costs are not included in these estimates.
- Source: The College Board
- A web design certificate program might cost $1,000 to $4,000 or as much as $5,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of courses and other factors.
- Learn about financing your education at studentaid.ed.gov.
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