Can I Become a Web Developer with an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design?

With web design and web development so closely related, many graphic designers or aspiring web developers wonder if they can become web developers with an associate’s degree in graphic design. With the internet such an integral part of our lives today, the need for good web developers continues to grow. Web design and web development both deal with getting a website up and functioning correctly, so many don’t realize that web design and web developing are two separate things.

Web Design vs Web Developing

When a website is created, it is typically put together by both a web designer and a web developer. The web designer is the one that creates the designs and graphics on the website. The web developer is the one who makes the website functional. The web developer puts in codes that make the website do what it’s supposed to do. It’s similar to the work of a home contractor and a carpenter. The contractor puts together the layout and blueprint of the house, but it’s the carpenter that actually builds the home. In this scenario, the contractor is the web designer, and the carpenter is the web developer.

Education/Training Requirements

Becoming a web developer requires knowledge of computer programming and graphic design. Both of these things can be self-taught or learned through many online programs. Aspiring web developers can also learn these things through courses completed in a web design program. While it is possible to become a web developer with an associate degree in web design, many web developers have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree in web development.

Regardless of what type of degree a web developer applicant has, he or she will have to demonstrate knowledge and skills when applying for a web developer job. Some companies may want their web developer to also have web design skills, so the applicant may be required to present a portfolio of his or her work.

Courses in Each Program

A student in a web design program might take courses in scripting technologies; web animation; web development; web application programming; C# programming; Visual Basic; Java programming; mobile application development and information security fundamentals. A web development program might include courses like web design theory; JavaScript with jQuery; cascading style sheets; desktop publishing; DB design for web applications; site design; Visual Basic; electronic commerce and XML. As you can, many of the courses in both programs are similar.

Career Outlook

Online shopping has taken the world by storm the past few years with more online stores than ever before. To remain profitable and attractive to potential customers, online stores must be competitive, and the best way to be competitive is to have a website that’s visually appealing to potential customers.

This bodes very well for web developers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that web developers would see a job growth of 15% between 2016 and 2026. Web developers earned an average annual wage of $74,110 nationwide with wages ranging from $36,830 to $122,320. The average annual wage for graphic designers is $53,280.

Related Resource: Top 10 Cheapest Associate’s in Graphic Design Degrees Online

Individuals with artistic ability and a flair for the dramatics often find designing and developing a website an exciting way to make a living. Whether a student completes a web design or web developer program, the individual will be in the position to pursue jobs in both areas, making this a career choice with much potential.