Earning a web design associate degree opens doors to one of the fastest growing and most creative careers available. The skills gained from an online degree in web design lead to innovative, fulfilling positions that allow creative freedom. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the web design and development field will grow 27% by 2024. The average salary for web design professionals is $66,000 per year.

What are the best web design programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
2 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND
3 Champlain College Burlington, VT
4 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, GA
5 Cerro Coso Community College Ridgecrest, CA
6 Illinois Central College East Peoria, IL
7 Lewis-Clark State College Lewiston, ID
8 Mohave Community College Kingman, AZ
9 Northcentral Technical College Wausau, WI
10 Southeastern Technical College Vidalia, GA

2020 Best Accredited Online Associate in Web Design Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Bismarck State College

Bismarck, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

The third-largest institution in the North Dakota University System, BSC serves over 4,000 students annually. The college provides several two-year programs, including an online associate in web page development and design. After completing this 60-credit program, graduates can pursue bachelor's degrees or entry-level IT careers.

Required courses include introduction to programming, advanced web design, and desktop and electronic publishing. Students also delve into business concepts related to search engine optimization and e-commerce. The program culminates in an internship or a professional portfolio.

Applicants must submit ACCUPLACER, ACT, or SAT scores. BSC offers several financial aid opportunities, including institutional scholarships based on academic merit, leadership qualities, and ethnicity.

2

North Dakota State College of Science

Wahpeton, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

NDSCS delivers distance programs through the Blackboard platform, including an online associate degree in web design and development. Distance learners can complete all coursework online or take some courses in Wahpeton or Fargo.

The curriculum consists of 65-66 credits and includes courses in networking fundamentals, web authoring software, and professional writing. Students also delve into the fundamentals of cyberlaw policy and security awareness. Learners gain practical experience by completing an internship or a cooperative education experience.

NDSCS accepts applications on a rolling basis. Prospective learners must submit ACCUPLACER, ACT, or SAT scores. In addition to federal aid, online students can access institutional scholarships, including awards specifically for STEM majors.

3

Champlain College

Burlington, VT Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 64%

Champlain specializes in career-focused education for working professionals and other adult learners. The college provides more than 60 online certificates and degrees, including an online associate degree in web design and development. Learners gain skills related to back-end programming and creative design, preparing them for careers as UX developers and graphic artists.

Major courses include HTML web page development, relational database design using SQL, and client-side scripting with JavaScript. Students also explore project management best practices. The program features year-round, seven-week courses, providing ample flexibility to participants.

Champlain prefers applicants with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Prospective students must submit a professional resume and responses to four short essay questions.

4

Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Rome, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

Located in Rome, GNTC serves about 5,800 students each year. The college powers distance education with the Blackboard platform and offers an online associate of applied science in website design and development. This program teaches students the core concepts, principles, and techniques of computer information processing, allowing them to pursue advanced degrees and entry-level jobs.

The 64-credit curriculum includes courses like structured query language, scripting technologies, and information security fundamentals. Learners also explore IT analysis and project management. The program culminates in an internship or a capstone web systems project.

Applicants must submit ACCUPLACER, ACT, ASSET, COMPASS, or SAT scores. In addition to federal aid, distance learners can apply for the Zell Miller Scholarship, which the college awards to Georgia residents with exceptional academic achievements.

5

Cerro Coso Community College

Ridgecrest, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Cerro Coso serves over 4,800 students every year. Distance learners can enroll in the college's web professional associate program. The 60-credit curriculum of this AS program teaches students the foundational skills needed for entry-level positions in e-commerce, database administration, and content management.

Core courses include digital imaging, accessibility and UX design, and web production development. Students personalize the curriculum through guided electives, which include options like digital video/audio production and web scripting with JavaScript.

Cerro Coso maintains an open-enrollment policy that does not require applicants to meet GPA or standardized testing requirements. Distance learners benefit from a variety of financial aid opportunities, including the Cerro Coso Promise scholarship for full-time students.

6

Illinois Central College

East Peoria, IL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 39%

ICC is a member of the World Organization of Webmasters Web Professional Academy. The college offers an online associate of applied science in web systems. This 63-credit program delivers a comprehensive and peer-reviewed curriculum that trains students to design corporate intranets and extranets, as well as commercial websites.

Required coursework covers topics like technical communications, web development with HTML and CSS, and web server and web application security. Students also examine content management systems with respect to SEO optimization and data analytics. The program culminates in a capstone experience, in which learners must either sit for the web professionals certified web developer associate exam or complete a comprehensive project.

Applicants must submit ACCUPLACER or ACT scores. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously through Blackboard.

7

Lewis-Clark State College

Lewiston, ID Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 40%

LCSC operates its flagship campus in Lewiston, Idaho, enrolling approximately 3,800 students annually. The college offers an online associate degree in web design and development. Students who pursue this 45-credit degree develop the programming and IT skills needed to work as content strategies, UX/UI designers, and full-stack developers.

Major course requirements include interactive web script and image editing/illustration. Students gain practical experience by completing an internship. Learners personalize the curriculum through five electives, choosing from options like web database technologies, introduction to game development, and e-commerce applications.

Prospective students must submit ACT or SAT scores. LCSC boasts the lowest tuition rates among four-year institutions in Idaho. The college provides several financial aid opportunities, including scholarships and tuition waivers.

8

Mohave Community College

Kingman, AZ Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 10%

Established in 1970 as an evening occupational school, MCC now offers a comprehensive catalog of certificates and degrees, including an online associate degree in web design and computer graphics. Distance learners can complete all required coursework online or take some courses at the college's campus in Kingman, Arizona.

The curriculum requires 60-65 credits and includes courses in business communication, social media marketing, and basic game design and creation. Students gain web programming and data management skills using JavaScript and SQL. The program concludes with a four-part capstone sequence, which includes an internship.

Applicants can fill out a free online form. In addition to providing the lowest tuition rates in Arizona, MCC offers several scholarship opportunities.

9

Northcentral Technical College 

Wausau, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 31%

Based in Wausau, Wisconsin, NTC offers over 190 academic and occupational programs, including an online associate degree in web design that requires 64 credits. Students learn to develop websites, digital media, and integrated technologies that support diverse organizational needs.

Required courses include user experience design, collaborative application development, and content creation and management systems. Learners also develop advanced skills related to client-side/open-source web development. The program culminates in a capstone project. Graduates are prepared to pursue entry-level jobs or enroll in bachelor's programs at one of NTC's 14 university partners.

Students receive personalized assistance from an admissions coach, who helps them navigate the enrollment process and apply for financial aid. NTC awards transfer credits for college coursework, military service, and relevant work/life experience.

10

Southeastern Technical College 

Vidalia, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 31%

Based in Vidalia, Georgia, STC serves about 1,800 students each year. The college offers several programs through distance learning, including an online associate degree in web design and development. Most students earn their degree in five semesters. Graduates can pursue careers as computer networking specialists, IT managers, and game developers.

The 67-credit curriculum includes required courses in information security and scripting technologies. Students personalize the experience through three electives, choosing from options like web animation, open-source programming, and interactive and social apps integration. The program culminates in an internship or a web systems project.

STC accepts applications throughout the year. Prospective students must submit ACCUPLACER, ACT, or SAT scores. The college powers distance learning with Blackboard.

What Will I Learn in an Online Web Design Program?

Web design curricula vary depending on the program's specialties and strengths and the school's resources. Below is a list of core courses found in most web design associate degree online programs.

  • Introduction to web design: This foundational course covers the basics of web design, HTML, and CSS scripting. Students learn about style, typography, and contemporary scripting methods. Mastery of this technology results in high-quality, interactive websites that function properly on mobile devices, tablets, and computer screens.
  • Internet marketing: Students explore practical marketing skills for growing online businesses. They configure information for targeted audiences through email marketing, website planning, search engine optimization, and social media strategies.
  • Web typography: Students explore techniques for styling, typesetting, and manipulating text. They create readable, flowing text and type-based graphics. This course helps students create clear visual communication that is powerful, eloquent, and aesthetically pleasing.

What Can I Do With an Associate Degree in Web Design?

Graduates with an associate degree in web design pursue careers as multimedia or social media specialists for start-up companies or work as designers or media consultants at established companies. Other professionals with web design associate degrees work as self-employed freelancers who set their own schedules and deadlines.

Professionals in this field are often self-starters, have a meticulous eye for detail, and enjoy seeing a project through to completion. Successful web designers follow instructions well, work with others on collaborative projects, and handle constructive criticism.

Graphic Designer

Graphic designers often work in collaborative environments to design logos, original images, and illustrations. Graphic designers typically work on multiple creative projects simultaneously.

Multimedia Artist and Animator

Graphic designers often work in collaborative environments to design logos, original images, and illustrations. Graphic designers typically work on multiple creative projects simultaneously.

Art Directors

Art directors develop the visual style and layout of magazines, advertisements, and product packaging. Some design visuals for movies and television. These professionals work with both hardcopy materials and digital visuals. Many positions require knowledge of current advertising trends, fashion fads, and pop culture to target specific audiences.

Educational Paths for Web Design Associate Degree Graduates

If you plan to pursue upper-level roles, such as senior user experience designer or software engineer, consider earning a bachelor's degree in web design. Many four-year programs accept up to 90 transfer credits from accredited two-year programs. Bachelor's degree programs help students hone software skills and specialize within the field. According to PayScale, the median entry-level salary for web designers is $46,000 per year. A bachelor's degree allows you to pursue higher level positions with median salaries of $103,000 per year.

Professional Organizations for Web Design

Professional organizations create opportunities for both new and established web design professionals. For those earning their web design associate degree online, attending conferences and professional gatherings expands business networks. Annual conferences often include events and workshops for new professionals in the field. These services and networking opportunities help professionals make long-lasting contacts, advance their careers, and keep up with new technology.

Salary Outlook for Associate in Web Design Graduates

In addition to education level, professional experience impacts the annual earnings of professionals in the web design and development field. The table below shows earning potential based on experience level. Graduates with a degree in web design can expect steady salary growth over the course of their careers.

Median Salary by Experience Level

Job Title Overall Median Salary Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 years) Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5-10 years) Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)
Web designer $48,632 $44,000 $52,000 $61,000
Web developer $58,134 $51,000 $64,000 $82,000
Senior web developer $87,207 $77,000 $84,000 $96,000
Graphic designer $42,610 $38,000 $43,000 $48,000
Senior graphic designer $59,645 $51,000 $59,000 $62,000

Source: Payscale

Financing Your Online Associate in Web Design Program

Consider all financial aid options before beginning a web design associate degree online program. Many distance learners receive financial assistance through their school or an external source. Be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to be considered for federal financial aid. Research the variety of external funding opportunities, including scholarships, internships, and grants, for students studying web design.


AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.