Best Online Associate in Web Design Programs
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An associate degree is a diploma that students typically earn from a community college in about two years. An associate degree in web design demonstrates that a graduate has mastered the basics of the field. Students also gain knowledge in general education topics like science, mathematics, and history.
The total cost of an associate degree varies depending on many factors, including what kind of college a student attends. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average total cost of attending a two-year college — including tuition, fees, and room and board — was $11,890 in 2020-2021. Earning an online associate in web design can often be more affordable than an in-person degree.
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Online programs often offer other benefits, including accelerated timelines and flexible course schedules. Students learn the skills they need to become web developers and digital designers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% job growth for these positions between 2020 and 2030. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $77,200 per year in May 2021.
What Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Web Design Program?
Pursuing an associate degree in web design requires students to possess creative and technical skills. Artistic learners who want to master more technical skills can thrive in web design programs. Students typically earn between 60 and 67 credits. Full-time learners with no transferable credits take about two years to earn an online associate in web design.
Web design students gain skills in image creation and editing, content management, web development, and coding. Some programs offer concentrations in areas like web development. Web design specialties focus more on creative subjects, while web development concentrations include more technical courses.
Prospective students may also want to consider what kind of associate degree in web design they will earn. Programs that culminate in associate in applied science (AAS) degrees typically include plenty of hands-on learning, including projects. Associate of science (AS) programs may include some projects but tend to include more theoretical studies.
Many students must complete a capstone project to earn an associate degree in web design. It's important for students to consider which programming languages and design software individual programs focus on. Learners may also consider whether they want their credits to transfer to a bachelor's program.
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Popular Online Associate in Web Design Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Associate in Web Design Program?
Introduction to Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator software is a fundamental part of web design. In this course, students gain foundational knowledge of the program and its applications. Learners master the fundamental tools in Illustrator and complete various projects to demonstrate competency and build their portfolios.
Introduction to HTML and CSS
HTML and CSS are fundamental coding languages for web designers. CSS uses HTML at its core, which is why institutions often teach these languages together. These courses often require students to create at least one website.
Principles of Design
Students learn about theories related to many aspects of digital design, including typography, shape, and color. Classes discuss digital images that capture attention and why they work so well.
User Experience Design
User experience, also known as UX, has become an increasingly important aspect of web design. In this course, learners focus on creating websites that guide users through the digital experience as intuitively as possible. Topics include interactive design, market research, and information architecture.
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What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Associate in Web Design Program?
Applicants must hold a high school diploma or GED certificate to gain acceptance to an online associate in web design program. Learners who do not yet meet these requirements should take and pass the GED test before applying. Many colleges have open enrollment policies for two-year degrees, so applicants can gain acceptance as long as they meet the minimum requirements.
Most colleges require applicants to submit proof of high school graduation or GED test scores, as well as transcripts from any previous education. Some admissions offices also require letters of recommendation. Applicants can ask former teachers, professors, or managers for these recommendations.
In some cases, prospective students must submit application essays. Prompts vary by college but often ask students to write a personal statement and explain why they are interested in web design.
What Can I Do With an Online Associate in Web Design Degree?
A professional with an associate in web design can pursue positions in both technical and creative fields. Some common job titles for these graduates include web designer, web developer, user experience designer, and front-end developer. According to Payscale data from May 2022, web designers make an average annual salary of about $52,550.
Businesses in every industry need websites, so web design professionals work in almost every field. As companies continue to move more of their business online, professionals who can design and develop engaging websites remain in demand. The BLS projects that positions for web developers and digital designers will grow by 13% from 2020-2030, translating to 25,500 new jobs.
Web design and development professionals have a unique opportunity to work for themselves. In fact, according to the BLS, 18% of web developers and digital designers are self-employed.
These professionals design and develop websites for companies, nonprofit organizations, and government entities. Web designers focus mostly on the design aspects of websites, but also have knowledge of coding and user experience. Web designers stay up-to-date on the latest software and techniques through continuing education.
Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $52,550
Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $60,750
User Experience (UX) Designer
UX designers work alongside web developers and designers to create engaging online experiences. They must understand human behavior, design, and technology. Companies often hire UX designers based on their portfolios. UX is an ever-changing field, so it's important for these professionals to stay abreast of industry trends.
Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $75,900
While web designers focus on building new websites, webmasters ensure that these websites continue to work well. They run tests to ensure performance, optimize the website as necessary, and fix bugs. They may also implement new features. Webmasters often work as part of a marketing team and must have in-depth coding knowledge.
Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $57,440
Graduates who excel in digital design may thrive as graphic designers. These professionals design not only websites, but also logos, social media posts, and ads. Graphic designers often work on marketing teams. They can gain career success by continuing to learn how to work in the latest editions of design software.
Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $47,510
Web Design Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Learners who earn an associate in web design can often transfer into a four-year program. Earning a bachelor's degree in web design can help students gain more in-depth knowledge of design principles and coding languages. They can also continue to build their portfolios.
Earning a four-year degree can also open up more career opportunities. Some companies require candidates for web design and development positions to hold bachelor's degrees.
Not every online associate in web design transfers directly into a four-year program. Students who want to go on this path should check with both schools before enrolling in a two-year program. Many public community colleges have agreements with public universities in the same state which guarantee that credits will transfer.
How Do I Choose an Online Associate in Web Design Program?
To estimate the total cost of a program, students should find each school's cost per credit and the number of credits they would need to complete. Some colleges may accept career experience or previous credits, bringing down the total cost. In-state public colleges tend to be less expensive than private colleges. It's also important for learners to consider the costs of online and in-person education.
Students should consider a program's learning format before enrolling. Some online programs require synchronous learning, in which learners and educators meet online at the same time for class. Others rely on asynchronous learning or a hybrid format where classes are completed independently. Students should also consider whether they want to enroll full time or part time.
Even a student who chooses to earn an online associate in web design may wish to consider location when choosing a program. Many public schools determine tuition rates based on a learner's residency status. Some programs also have in-person requirements or study groups on campus.
Learners should make sure that the college or university they choose holds institutional accreditation. This distinction means that a third-party organization verified the school's offerings. Institutional accreditation ensures that students get value from their education and their degree will be recognized by employers and other schools. Credits from schools without accreditation almost never transfer to other colleges and universities.
Students may also wish to consider how the college or university can support them and their academic goals. Online colleges should still offer mentorship, tutoring, internships, and other student services that help learners succeed throughout their time in school. Career services and alumni connections can allow students to launch their careers.
Best Accredited Online Associate in Web Design Programs
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Best Online Associate in Web Design Programs
Bismarck State CollegeLocation
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.
North Dakota State College of ScienceLocation
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.
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.
Champlain prefers applicants with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Prospective students must submit a professional resume and responses to four short essay questions.
Georgia Northwestern Technical CollegeLocation
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.
Cerro Coso Community CollegeLocation
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.
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.
Illinois Central CollegeLocation
East Peoria, ILTuition
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.
Lewis-Clark State CollegeLocation
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.
Mohave Community CollegeLocation
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.
Applicants can fill out a free online form. In addition to providing the lowest tuition rates in Arizona, MCC offers several scholarship opportunities.
Northcentral Technical CollegeLocation
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.
Southeastern Technical CollegeLocation
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Associate in Web Design Programs
Is an associate degree in web design worth it?
An associate degree in web design can help graduates to break into an in-demand field. While online degrees still require a significant time commitment, they are generally more flexible than in-person programs. Depending on a learner's goals, an online web design program is worth the effort. Graduates can go on to earn bachelor's degrees in web design or work in a variety of web-related careers.
Cost is an important part of deciding whether any degree is worth it. Students who attend public colleges with in-state or in-district tuition typically pay less than out-of-state or private school students. The array of technical and creative professional opportunities students can access after earning this degree makes web design an excellent choice for students who want to expand their career options.
How fast can I get an associate in web design degree online?
As with most associate degrees, full-time students with no previous credits take about two years to earn an online associate in web design. Students with previous college credits through testing or experience may be able to complete a degree more quickly. Furthermore, some programs offer credit for life and career experience.
Some institutions offer accelerated programs, in which students can earn associate degrees in as few as 12-18 months. These learners usually study full time all year. Students who choose part-time options and do not have transferable credits should expect to earn their degrees in 3-4 years.
Is an online associate degree in web design credible?
Online associate degrees in web design are credible as long as they come from colleges and universities with institutional accreditation. The diplomas themselves often do not include the word "online," and look the same as the diplomas on-campus students receive. Furthermore, online degrees are becoming more popular and accepted by companies and hiring managers.
Students should consider what skills and software they would learn in a program when considering whether it is credible. Excellent programs teach students how to use industry-standard software and coding languages. These are the skills that employers expect web designers and developers to use.
How much money can I make with an associate in web design?
The exact salary that graduates make depends largely on their career, location, and experience. According to Payscale data from May 2022, web designers make an average salary of $52,550 per year.
Professionals with an associate degree in web design can earn even more if they use their skills to break into UX design. According to Payscale, these professionals earned an average annual salary of $75,900 as of May 2022. Many graduates become web developers or digital designers. The BLS reports that these professionals made a median annual salary of $77,200 per year as of May 2021.
Is an associate degree in web design in demand?
Companies in every industry need websites to compete in the modern business landscape. Because this trend is not likely to slow down, the BLS estimates 13% job growth for web developers and digital designers between 2020 and 2030. This is a significantly higher projected growth rate than the average for all occupations in that time period, which is 8%.
This growth is also fueled by the increasing demand for e-commerce. Websites need to grab consumers' attention and allow for easy online ordering. Web designers and developers will need to make more sophisticated websites to suit these growing business needs.
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