It is amazing to think that a few years ago, the web design and multimedia degree (and the work involved in this field) did not even exist!
Web sites are growing exponentially, and almost every business now either has a web presence or is eager to have one. Web designers plan and implement strategies that allow individuals and companies to announce their presence on the web and to draw in followers or customers to their web sites. This is an extremely competitive field and shares some common ground with marketing as well as computer technology, so there is room in this career field for those with business backgrounds, computer skills and artistic ability.
What Do Web Design Specialists Do?
Despite the fact that this field is so new, it is already branching into different areas of expertise. For example, marketing is very important to most businesses that want a website, so SEO specialists work on search engine optimization, or tailoring web sites to rank highly on the various search engines when users put in a search query. Meanwhile, graphic designers create the eye-catching graphics and visuals that interest users in a web site and HTML or programming specialists write the code that allows customers to use the web site, such as shopping cart programs.
Rather than looking at web design as an single field, it may be helpful for those who want to pursue a degree in web design and multimedia to think about the area in which they would like to work. This will also help you choose electives during your training program. If you have a flair for the artistic, you may want to focus on the graphic aspects of web design as well as placement of key elements on web pages. If you prefer the business side of things, look at SEO or marketing classes. If you are a techie, you might want to focus on writing the programming code that goes into making a web site work.
Technically, web design and web development are two different fields, but there are crossovers between the two. Web designers work with the user experience or what a user sees and does when he or she visits a web page. Web developers work with the “behind-the-scenes” aspects of making the web page functional.
How Can I Get a Web Design and Multimedia Degree?
Several schools offer specific web design and multimedia degrees. A typical degree will include classes in basic HTML, graphic design, and working with video and audio components. However, there is no hard and fast rule about the curriculum contained in a web design and multimedia degree, so browse several schools to see which one seems to best fit your needs and wants.
What Can I Do With a Web Design and Multimedia Degree?
One of the great things about this degree is that you are almost unlimited in your choice of jobs. A good web designer can work in many fields and for many different types of companies. You can design for literally any corporation or company that wants a web presence, so your job opportunities are nearly universal.
Because the field is so unlimited, it is difficult to pin down salary expectations or job growth. Multimedia artists are listed under the Bureau of Labor Statistics with a median salary of $58,510 per year and expected job growth of eight percent, while the BLS lists web developers at $75,660 per year median salary and 22 percent expected job growth. In very general terms, web designers who are flexible and can work in several areas of the field are likely to gain higher salaries and more job opportunities than those that limit themselves to one aspect of web design.
Web design and multimedia can be a great career for someone who enjoys working with web-based programs, enjoys marketing strategies, or enjoys creating great web sites for customers.