Online Masters Degree in Web Design

With master's degrees in web design, you gain tools and knowledge so that you can play as important a role as the programmers that build the back end of a website. A number of schools offer graduate degree programs that help you blend the art and technology of putting together online masterpieces.

New media design relies on many of the principles that graphic design uses to grab attention. Web design is a product of form and function: Online profits relate to the numbers and types of visitors attracted to your site, and how long they stick around -- or how many other websites link to yours.

Exploring master's degrees in web design

Programs may emphasize the creative side of design or the tech side of the business. Master's degrees in web design might cover topics like these:

  1. Advanced studies in user interfaces
  2. Interactive design -- use of color, geometric shapes, readability
  3. Page rendering
  4. Relationship between the front end design and the coding on the back end
  5. Server-side technology
  6. Technical knowledge spanning HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, scripting and code libraries
  7. Typography tools

A graduate program is likely to require a thesis project that displays your independent creative talents, critical thinking abilities and mastery of concepts such as usability, aesthetics and information architecture.

Job outlook in web design

While the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not record data for web designers, it reports that graphic designers earned median annual pay of $43,500 in 2010. The typical entry-level qualification for this career is a bachelor's degree, and the best opportunities are for those with web experience. Jobs in graphic design are expected to grow by 13 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is about as fast as average. This should result in 37,300 new positions in the field, according to the BLS.

Those with a computer science background and programming skills can become web developers, who earned 2010 median pay of $75,660. These developers typically have 1-5 years of experience in the field in addition to their bachelor's degree. For these technical wizards, the BLS forecasts faster than average job growth of 22 percent, 2010-2020.

Online master's degree programs offer a flexible schedule to help you balance digital design studies with an existing professional career or commitments. Web-based studies make sense for a career creating high-quality websites.

Featured Online Web Design Degree Programs

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