Web design is a growing career opportunity in the tech industry, and it comes in many varieties. Creative people flock to web development because of its design-heavy subfields such as front end development and web design. People with excellent visual skills excel in this position, as it requires a keen eye and artistic touch to create beautiful (and useful) websites. In addition to traditional nine to five positions, web design education opens the door to many well-paid and flexible freelancing options. If you’re interested in becoming a web designer, we have good news—you don’t need to take any college classes or have any previous experience to get started! In this article, we’ll go over how to start a web design career from scratch, even if you have no prior experience in the field!
Education for Web Design Careers
If you’re wondering how to start a web design career without any experience, you’re not alone. While you don’t need a college degree to become a web designer, you’ll likely need to know how to code. Web design is a subsection of the broad web development career field, and the vast majority of these positions require coding knowledge and useful skills in conventional programming languages. Luckily, these coding languages aren’t all that difficult to master—it just takes patience and a good teacher.
Coding bootcamps are an excellent choice for aspiring web designers. In fact, there are plenty of programs that specialize in web design and development. Coding bootcamps usually last between three months and one year, and cost between $6,000 and $20,000. These programs are a proven path into a high paying tech career, and they know it—many coding bootcamps offer income share agreements, which defer the cost of tuition until graduates land a job in the industry of their choice. Income share agreements are further evidence of coding bootcamp effectiveness, and scholarships help make these programs affordable to more people than many colleges.
If you want to design web pages, you’ll likely benefit from a coding bootcamp that specializes in front end development. Front end developers design and code every part of a website that the user sees. These coders and designers must work closely with backend (or server side) developers to ensure all features work correctly. If you can’t find a program that specializes in front end work, consider becoming a full stack developer instead. Full stack programmers learn both front and backend development skills, so they’re equipped to find a job in either position if they choose. Nonetheless, there are dozens of fantastic coding bootcamps that help beginners become web designers in a matter of months.
Applying for Jobs
When you’re finished building your portfolio, it’s time to find a job. Many coding bootcamps offer job assistance, so be sure to inquire about any services you could take advantage of. Many tech companies recruit top graduates from tech companies, so review any offers carefully. Once you’re ready, begin work on your resume and cover letter. Don’t use the same cover letter for every job, as hiring managers can smell copy-paste work from a mile away. Use your resume, cover letter, and portfolio to showcase your skills, and upload your information to recruitment websites for extra exposure. It may take some time, but more than likely you’ll eventually land an awesome job.
If you’re not ready to jump into the workforce, consider using freelance sites such as Upwork to find one-off projects. These jobs often pay very well, and they allow you to bolster your portfolio with real paid work. Stick around the Career Karma blog for more tips and tricks to hack your career.
During coding bootcamp, you’ll likely have an opportunity to build a portfolio. Other than your resume and cover letter, your portfolio is your best chance to demonstrate your skills to prospective employers. A robust web design portfolio should demonstrate your coding skills, problem-solving abilities, and ability to create attractive web pages on various platforms such as WordPress, Shopify (http://www.shopify.com/website/builder), Hubspot, etc. or on only one of them if you want to specialize in one platform. Many coding bootcamps offer assignments specifically designed to help students build an impressive portfolio. Also, many job seekers create a personal website designed to showcase their portfolio. And here’s the cool part—the website itself is part of their portfolio. A modern, professional, and dynamic web design site can set you apart from the crowd and demonstrate your excellent design and programming skills, so consider it as an option when building your portfolio.