A passion for the web and a love of computers and computer science are prompting many to get an online masters degree and take their career to the very place that they studied. Many imagine creating fantastic websites for clients while working from home, enabling them to spend long nights at their house, instead of at the office. Becoming successful in this field is really just a matter of picking up the right skills and starting to build a thriving client base.
Working as a professional web designer comes with some great benefits. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is published annually by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a web developer is slightly over $75,000 per year. Moreover, the future outlook of the profession is good. It is expected to grow by 22% over the next decade, which is far faster than the economy as a whole. Therefore, with a little bit of training and work now, learning to master the domains of others is a way to help secure gainful employment long after graduation.
Other careers in the same arena exist that do not require the same level of technical and quantitative skill. Graphic designers are also integral in the process of web design and school programs are seeing graduate placed in jobs in every city around the world. While this profession does not compensate as well (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay is $43,500 per year), the field is expected to sustain average growth through 2018. As far as artistic professions go, graphic design is an excellent choice and supports constant interaction with the Internet, something other art programs do not necessarily offer. Graphic designers are afforded the opportunity to work as part of a team, so collaborative or leadership talent opens up even more possibilities, such as project management and entrepreneurship.
Online degrees present one way to jumpstart either of these career tracks. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, it may be worth enrolling a four-year program. If you already have a bachelor’s degree, taking a few online courses, or even getting an online master’s degree would all better your skills, thereby making you an even more attractive job applicant or consultant. One good way to start your search for the appropriate online program is to look at the US News and World Report’s college rankings, specifically its rankings of online graduate computer programs, or else its rankings of online bachelor’s programs. From there, you can select a program that fits your needs.
There are additional options, which come from direct experience, as opposed to education. Self-study, internship programs, and other possibilities all provide opportunities for prospective designers to learn the fundamental skills of the trade. Any one of these routes can bring you into a great career as a web or graphic designer. The choice is up to you. Your new career is within reach.