Economy & Jobs

Interested in a Web Design Career? Here’s How to Get Started

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Deciding on a career can be a tough process. You want to choose something you enjoy doing, but you also have to consider how you’ll support yourself. Some of the most fulfilling careers allow you to do both, and Web design is one of them. This field encourages creativity, and it can be lucrative, too. Here are some things to consider before venturing into a Web design career.

The Many Advantages of Web Design

Although scientists study the neurological process of creativity, they can’t seem to agree on how it works or why we need it. Cecilia Weckstrom, global head of and Consumer Experience at LEGO Group as well as founder of the LEGO Learning Institute, believes creativity is a basic human need. If you’ve ever created a tower, car, or other structure using only LEGO building blocks, you probably remember feeling satisfaction and accomplishment upon its completion. A Web design career can give you that same kind of satisfaction.

Not only can being a Web designer help you fulfill your need for creativity, but it can also earn you a decent living. And you don’t have to work full-time for one company, either—building a freelance entrepreneurial career is another option. You may get tax incentives, too, depending on where you choose to work. Many states do not subject Web design to sales tax, according to the Houston Chronicle, but you’ll want to check the exact taxation laws of a state before moving. For example, Texas collects sales tax on Web design but exempts the first 20 percent of the charge.

Lastly, because Web designers are in high demand, you’ll have plenty of job opportunities. But how do you get started in a Web design career? Determine an area of specialization, then decide how you’ll learn the required skills.

In-Demand Web Design Skills

Each year, CyberCoders releases a list of the top in-demand Web design skills. The number one skill in 2015 is the ability to code Hypertext Markup Language, commonly known as HTML, which is the base for most websites. Once you learn that, skills in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) allow you to create a site that is visually pleasing. The third top thing to learn is Adobe Photoshop, a digital design program that can take a website from imagination to live creation. Secondary, but still important, skills include JavaScript, jQuery, HTML5 and CSS3, and other programs in the Adobe Creative Suite, such as Illustrator.

While you can learn these skills on your own in a home-based, self-paced program, you might benefit from having a coach to guide you. Some employers may expect you to have a degree in Web design as well.

Best Schools for Web Design

To find a great school for Web design, you have to ask the right questions and evaluate how the school structures its programs. Does it offer online and in-person options? If you’re worried about the cost, see if the school offers scholarship programs, grants, or nontraditional options such as pay-as-you-go classes. You should check college accreditation, too. Your degree is only as strong as the issuing school, after all.

Once you learn the required skills, you can begin your Web design career—and, in some states, enjoy that career tax free.