15 Best Online Web Design Courses, Schools & Degrees

If you cast your mind back 10 years, the Web was an entirely different place. Smartphones were only just surfacing, Internet Explorer was the dominant browser, and RankBrain wasn’t even a twinkle in Google’s eye. In a single decade, the Internet has advanced beyond all comprehension, and the role of web design has had to evolve with it. Thanks to the advancement of hardware and software packages (e.g. Magento and WordPress), web design is now focused predominantly on the design element, rather than complex programming tasks. Designers no longer have to start from scratch with their web applications, which has meant web design has become a much more affordable process. However, the design element has also changed, especially in the last few years, as it has had to accommodate the growth of mobile users with responsive designs that transform across a multitude of devices. Flash is no longer a favored feature, due to the need for quick and easy access to information, and the type of content used has to work with the rapid growth in Internet speeds.

The role of a web designer is a creative one, and one that continues to push the boundaries of modern day website designs. So, if you’ve ever stumbled across a web page that’s blown you away, or you’ve cringed at the lack of responsiveness on a page – web design could be the career choice for you!

Type of Work

When you see the job title, “web designer,” you might visualize one person who’s designing a website from start to finish. And while this may be the case in some instances, you’ll often find web designers focusing on particular aspects of a website rather than the website as a whole. For example, web design can incorporate search engine optimization, interface design, web graphic design, user experience design, and authoring (to name a few).

 

Much of this work is focused on the front-end of a website (the aspect the client will see) with web developers concentrating on the back-end (building the technical framework of the site). As such, a web designer is often heavily involved in making sure a website is usable for a customer, which will require meeting with clients, management, and developers to discuss the website’s needs and design.

Your career path as a web designer will depend on the type of work you want to do and whether you want to work for one company or not. 1 in 7 web designers are self-employed, which gives them the flexibility of working on numerous projects, while the majority of employed web designers work within the industry of computer systems design and other related services.

Career Outlook Statistics

The job outlook for web designers is promising, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an anticipated growth of 27%, which is much higher than the average of 7%. And, as of 2015, the average median pay was $64,970 per year. The BLS also recommend an associate’s degree for securing a role as a web designer, however, with a proven portfolio and creative flair, this might not be necessary.

Types of Courses

The approaches to web design training can vary, with the offer of foundation courses that cover the basics, intermediate classes that practice the art of web design, and advanced classes that help you to establish your own web design business.

 

Self Guided Online Graphic Design Courses

udemy

Whether you’re wanting to design your own website for your business or you’re looking to enhance your career as a web designer, udemy offers plenty of opportunities for you to sharpen your skills. Boasting a great range of courses in a multitude of topics, udemy is your go-to place for courses that fit in with your hectic lifestyle.

You’ll find courses that you need to pay for as well as free how-to tutorials and basic guides. The subjects cover everything from mastering web design in Photoshop to how to run a web design business. And, with each course rated by its previous participants, you can hear what other like-minded students have to say before you take part. A great opportunity to find unique courses that meet your exacting needs and standards!

 

Lynda.com

As an online learning platform, Lynda.com is ideal for anyone who’s looking to get to grips with web design. Whether you’re new to the idea or you’re looking to hone a particular web design skill, there’s a course to suit you. All the courses are taught by web design experts, with over 31 hours of video tutorials available. To gain access to this plethora of information, you just need to subscribe and basic plans start at just $25 a month. You can also trial Lynda.com for 10 days to see if it’s right for you.

Envato Tuts+

There are over 980 video courses available on Envato Tuts+, which can be enjoyed from as little as $15 a month (some aspects are even free). Created by experts, there are a number of web design courses, guides, and tutorials available, which cover motion design, business, accessibility, front-end development, UX design, interface design, and much, much more! You can even delve into specific areas, such as designing a complete website or getting to grips with typography. An incredibly beneficial website that’s constantly updated with new courses for you to get your teeth into.

ed2go

With a network that consists of hundreds of top universities, colleges, and other organizations, ed2go is the place to go for self-guided learning. Each course comes complete with a dedicated instructor, lots of practical information, and in-depth discussions with other students on your course. For the budding web designer, there is a whole host of courses available, covering everything from creating web pages to getting to grips with HTML5 and CSS3. On average, a course lasts 24 hours, spanning over 6 weeks and costing $149 (which is just $6.21 per hour)! Certificates are also issued after completion.

Skillshare

Been looking for expert web design courses you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home for free or for an affordable price? Then look no further than these exceptional courses which are on offer online at Skillshare.com. Taught by expert practitioners, these courses will give you the confidence to further your studies in web design, and give you the chance to develop your skills without having to embark on a lengthy degree or course.

No subscription is required to enjoy the courses on offer here but you can gain access to a wider range of courses by paying $8 amonth. The premium account also gives you offline access to the courses with 50% of the money you pay going towards supporting the teachers of these courses.

Once you’ve signed up, you can start saving classes to your dashboard, and these cover things such as iOS design, how to think like a designer, and how to learn Adobe Illustrator in one hour. And, once you’ve developed your skills so far, you may even want to have a go at becoming a teacher on this platform!

Web Design MOOCs (Open College Courses) and Free Courses

ALISON

With its free, online curriculum, ALISON gives you the opportunity to bring industry-leading web design courses to your office or home. Regardless of whether you’ve got web design skills or not, there are courses that cover a variety of must-have skills for creating and designing your own website. To give you a taste of the courses on offer, here are some of the most popular titles – Creating Your First Website, Building a Web Business, Building an Online Business, and Web Page Development.

You might also want to check out ALISON’s Diploma in Web Design or other related fields (which are also free!), which will give you a comprehensive overview of web design. Once completed, you won’t just have improved your skills but your career prospects too. 

WebProfessionals.org

This is a non-profit organization, also known as the World Organization of Webmasters (WOW) and offers support to organizations and professionals who market, manage, or create websites. They also offer training and education resources, with certifications available for those who want to further their career or teach.

The Certified Professional Web Developer course is based on skill sets, competencies and industry requirements, and provides a great foundation for those who want to pursue a career as a webmaster or web designer. The resources, objectives, and guidelines of the program have been designed to emulate the same learning experience one would find on an experienced college course, with learning objectives and exam descriptions provided.

To gain the certification, students must demonstrate expertise in the legal aspects of web design, website management, website design, web multimedia, web graphics, WYSIWYG and HTML editors, and basic Internet skills.

Home Learning College

Based in England, the Home Learning College offers courses in Web Design Foundation and Advanced Web Design. Accredited by CIW and Adobe, they provide you with all you need to become a certified web designer. The foundation course aims to provide you with all the skills you need to enter the industry while the advanced course is targeted at experienced professionals who what to advance beyond static design. Focusing on the use of a variety of tools and the management and implementation of web design, the advanced course is ideal if you’re looking to get ahead with your career but want to study in your own time in your own home.

 

International Web Association

As part of eClasses.org, the International Web Association offers an ever-growing catalog of online courses which cover everything mobile web design to SEO. These instructor-led classes contain lectures as well as reading and hands-on assignments. All of the classes can be completed in your own time (so long as they coincide with the course deadlines) and you’re able to communicate with your fellow classmates or tutor through the discussion forums. Pricing varies depending on whether you’re a member or not but members do pay approximately $100 less than non-members.

Creative Live

As the company name suggests, Creative Live is all about developing your creative skills to further your career. With tailored courses on Web and UX design available, you can make sure you’re following the right trends, are discovering the most versatile platforms available, and you’re creating the best wireframes in the business. Courses are available from $29, which gives you access to 9 video lessons and a number of other benefits. And all of the courses have been produced by relevant industry experts. Creative Live most definitely comes highly recommended by us!

Coursera

As one of the most popular online learning platforms, Coursera gives you access to courses on almost anything you can think of. What’s more, these courses are often conducted by accredited universities, giving your course even more kudos when applying for your next role. Examples of courses include:

Web Design for Everybody (Basics of Web Development and Coding) Specialization

Created by the University of Michigan, this incorporates 5 courses with specific projects that help you to put your newfound skills to the test. The program covers how to write HTML and CSS3, interactivity with JavaScript, and advanced styling with responsive design. Once these courses have been completed, the final course will involve you designing a minimum of three platforms, demonstrating your ability to create a responsive website.

Responsive Website Development and Design Specialization

Created by Goldsmiths University of London and the University of London in line with industry partners, Meteor, this course delves into everything that’s involved in web development, including front-end coding, UX design, and custom databases. Ideal if you’re wanting to advance your web development skills alongside your design skills, this program will add to your foundational skills by teaching you a range of technologies such as MongoDB, Javascript, and HTML/CSS. More advanced topics are also touched on, including animation, data visualization, and APIs.

Accredited Online Web Design Degrees & Certificates

Academy of Art University – Bachelor of Fine Arts in Web Design & New Media

If you’re looking for a course that combines web design with graphic and print design, this could be the course for you. With classes that are taught by working professionals who can put you in touch with valuable contacts in the industry, this course provides you with everything you need to kickstart your career. And the course is regularly updated to remain in keeping with the latest standards and trends to ensure your success.

The Academy of Art University is the nation’s largest private accredited art and design university. Founded for artists by artists in 1929, the Academy boasts accredited courses in 23 subjects with pioneering online facilities that equip students with all they need to achieve their professional, creative, and rewarding future.

At the start of the program, you will focus on traditional aesthetics and applications that are industry standard for profit and communication. Then, during your projects, you’ll turn your attention to crafting the user experience, communicating with a desired audience, and the functionality of a website. All of the designs you create are supported by scripting languages for front- and back-end web design. And you can also choose to specialize in experience design and usability practices.

If you’re looking for a cutting-edge school that won’t just prepare you for a career in web design but in digital media too, the Academy of Art University could be the one for you!

Sanford-Brown – Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development

As this program has been designed to prepare students for a career in web design and development, this online course is ideal if you want to be an all-round web designer who isn’t just restricted to the front-end.

Focuses of the course include advanced studies in web administration, database management, and programming, while also combining basic theories of interactivity, text, and graphics for the Web. For example, some of the topics covered include programming concepts, digital imaging, markup languages, open source systems, web application security, and content management systems.

Sanford-Brown Bachelor of Science program is a unique learning opportunity for technical and creative people, as it combines electronic and conventional techniques with coursework to offer students a knowledge base that’s well rounded and balanced, which is essential when pursuing a career in this industry.

 

Full Sail University – Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development

The degree program on offer at Full Sail University has been designed to give you the understanding and knowledge needed to create modern web applications and websites. The coursework enables you to combine aesthetic and design techniques with coding and programming to create a well-rounded site. To do this, you’ll be taught how to use the tools of the industry, including non-relational and relational database structures, modern server- and client-side languages, and frameworks that are used in modern web stacks.

Throughout the 32-month online course, you’ll be prepared for your career ahead. This includes building projects that showcase your talent, strengthening your professional skills, and being provided with career development modules. One thing’s for sure, this program ensures you’ve got the skill set needed to expand in this field!

And don’t forget to enquire about the Momentum Scholarship program that’s on offer, as eligible online students can receive up to $20,000 in financial aid.

The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Associate of Science in Web Design and Interactive Media

If you’re keen to focus on the creative aspect of web design, the Associate of Science in Web Design and Interactive Media at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh could be the course you’ve been searching for. With the ability to choose which web design courses you wish to be involved in, you can tailor your degree to suit, and may also choose between programming or graphic design.

The objectives of the program are centered on three key areas – professional presentation, design, and technical. Professional presentation elements include employing professional practices, integrating media elements, and creating professional layouts; design aspects include applying concepts and vocabulary of interactive design, such as developing interrelationships between text and imagery; and the technical parts make sure you demonstrate competencies when using web scripting or authoring systems in interactive development.

The Institute was founded in 1921, is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and boasts one of the highest career placement rates for students. And to make sure the course offers maximum convenience, individual instructions are provided which allow you to review a lecture when you can. A unique web portal and mobile apps are also provided, giving you to access videos, discussions, and your previous work and assignments at the touch of the button.

 

Web Design Resources

 

InkBot Design: InkBot Design is a phenomenal resource for up-and-coming graphic designers to learn more about the history of graphic design, logo design, brand identity, as well as important ideas one might need to think about when designing. Curated by Stuart Crawford—a freelance graphic designer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland—InkBot features amazing, in-depth portraits of highly-accomplished designers that changed the design world.

 

 

Promise Tagemen Creative: Are you looking for sharp, cutting-edge design firm to help intrigue clients and grow your business? Promise Tagemen Creative’s beautiful design and gorgeous layout services will be sure to awe and instill confidence to those visiting your website. In addition to a robust and extraordinary client list, Promise Tagemen Creative also runs an on-site website design workshop, SiteHouse, that will help you learn what separates good design from great design. We highly suggest looking into one of their classes if you are nearby!

 

Type and Title: Type and Title is a gorgeous website from designer Maggie Waller who specializes in handmade, elegant typography-focused design. Type and Title’s portfolio is impressive and her blog provides thoughtful and intelligent meditations on art and how design interacts with everyday life. This website is not to be missed! Be sure to check out the sassy Valentine’s day cards! Additionally, you ought to stop by Type and Title’s Etsy page for some spectacular and inspired design products.

 

Believe Creative Studio: Rosie Martinez-Dekker has almost 20 years of major textile and apparel design experience, which means that Believe Creative Studio is a major resource for designers at any point in their career. Specializing in projects aimed toward babies, kids, and teens, Believe Creative Studio creates inspirational and brilliant graphics, patterns, illustrations, and textiles. Believe CS provides great inspiration and heart for all those designers looking to bring joy into their design.