The Internet continues its takeover of business, entertainment, and even education. So, it’s no surprise that the job outlook for web design and development is good.
It’s made even better by the accessibility of the field. A degree isn’t an absolute requirement for web design. Self-taught designers routinely land decent jobs or build thriving freelance businesses.
That does beg the question, are web design schools worth it? Answering that question means looking at some of the pros and cons.
A degree is expensive, regardless of your field of study.
A web design certificate can run you over $10,000, though most come in under $3000. A bachelor’s degree typically ranges from $30,000 to around $60,000. An associate’s degree typically falls in the middle somewhere.
For first-time college students, financing can help manage the cost. The cost and time investment is typically prohibitive for those changing careers.
A degree program offers structured learning. You get fundamentals like principles of design, typography, HTML, and CSS before moving on to more advanced topics. You also get an expert who can field most or all of your questions.
College programs let you take courses in related areas, such as:
- business management
Education in related areas can make you more employable or assist you in launching your own business.
Some people thrive in a structured learning environment. The imposed organization lets them build skills more effectively.
Others do better with self-directed learning. They get more hands-on experience with solving the kinds of problems they’ll face as working professionals.
One of the things that can make a web design degree worth it for some people is the opportunities for networking. Odds are good that at least some of your instructors work or did work in the field professionally. They can help connect you with potential employers.
It also lets you network with other students. More than one business got its start with a group of college friends.
Out of Date Information
One of the widely acknowledged flaws in web design school programs is that the information is often out of date.
After all, a software framework can come in and go out of favor before a new edition of a textbook hits the shelves. The effects of specific web design choices on search engine results change on a regular basis.
These programs don’t prepare students for those rapid changes in the field.
Are Web Design Schools Worth It?
It’s a tired answer, but it really does depend on the person.
If you’re college age and need a lot of structure while learning, a certificate or degree program probably is worth it. You can always play catch up on new information.
If you’re a working professional looking to change careers, it’s probably not worth it. The cost and time involved likely make it prohibitive.
If you’re a self-starter, you can always hold web design school in your back pocket while you try self-directed learning.
Looking for some web design tips? Be sure to check out our web-page on mobile optimization.