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Is a Web Design Certificate Worth It?

by NoD Staff | March 20, 2019

Is a Certificate in Web Design Worth It - Sessions College

In the midst of a do-it-yourself craze, aspiring web designers may find themselves asking if a web design certificate is worth it. Everyone needs to answer this question on their own, according to their position and needs, but a certificate in web design is a great place to prepare for an entry-level position in the field.

How can you prove your abilities and knowledge to a potential employer? A certificate is just that, evidence of your competence. Once earned, you can proudly display and advertise it to those you’d like to work for. It will speak for itself and give you credibility and validation. Let’s dive into this a bit more, though.

What is a Certificate Program?

A certificate is a post-secondary (after high school) credential that reflects skill mastery. You can earn a certificate by completing a focused program of study at an institution. These programs are typically designed to prepare you for a specific job or career.

Certificate programs are an alternative to degree programs for people looking to get a step ahead in a professional field. They are focused on narrowly on that field. Degree programs are different in that they will include a broad and varied educational platform, not a narrow concentration in one field.

The number of people completing certificates has increased significantly in recent years. People have noticed the slow recovery in wages since the 2007 recession and are seeking an advantage over their peers seeking employment. Getting a certificate is a great way to stand out.

The Pros of Getting a Certificate in Web Design

There are obviously many pros to pursuing a certificate and a career in web design. Let’s go over a few.

Pros of Getting a Web Design Certificate - Sessions College

Getting the Web Design Job

If you talk to web designers currently working in the field, they will tell you that a certificate in web design will help you get a job. In a circumstance in which two candidates who are competing for a job and are otherwise equal in their skillset and experience except that one has a web design certificate, it should be obvious.

It is possible to begin a career as a web designer without receiving a web design certificate, but if you are serious about your career development, a certificate is a terrific starting place. You can complete a certificate in a fairly short amount of time, typically within months not years. A degree can be a more significant investment of both time and money.

“You don’t have enough relevant experience.” Many people hear that disheartening sentence or one like it when seeking gainful employment.  It is hard to hear that over and over again when trying to pursue a dream. You won’t be told that you don’t have enough experience when you apply for a certificate program. These courses are designed to be your starting point or a way to demonstrate you have what it takes for entry-level web design positions.

Entering a Growing Field

Internet-related jobs, in general, will experience solid growth into the future. This seems obvious to most people as the web creeps into more aspects of our lives. Someone has to build it, right?

As e-commerce continues to grow, employment of web designers and developers is projected to grow, too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developer employment is projected to have 15% growth through 2026.

Feeding Your Creative Side

Working in a web design job allows you to use the artistic side of your brain regularly. You’ll be designing graphics, working with color schemes, and other creative tasks that will help you keep your artistic skills honed. Whether working independently or with a team, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to maintain your creative skillset and fill the need to build something new.

Degree in Web Design Worth It - New Tech

Working with New Technology

One exciting thing about working on the web is all the brand new technologies you have the opportunity to use. These new tools seem to emerge as fast as you can learn them. Design software is constantly being upgraded and improved. Web scripting languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are constantly being updated.  Frameworks such as Bootstrap have emerged to give designers and developers a more robust platform for the creations.

Website designers are limited by their tools and their ability to use those tools. If you’re someone who loves to learn the new tech to improve your ability to articulate your designs, a career in web design is a great place to be.

Becoming Independent

Do you like the idea of being independent in your work life? Though many web designers work for agencies or in-house for companies, there are ample opportunities to work for yourself. This allows you to choose the types of clients you want and make your own hours. With the portability of web work, you have real independence when you are self-employed in the field.

Cost of a Certificate in Web Design

The Cost of a Web Design Certificate

We’ve gone over the many benefits of getting a certificate in web design, so you’re probably curious about the other side of the issue. So, what are the costs of getting a certificate?

How Much Does A Certificate in Web Design Cost?

Costs for complete programs vary from institution to institution. A program at a reputable accredited school can cost as much as $10,000. You can find reputable schools with more affordable tuition, however. Sessions College offers a web design certificate program for significantly lower tuition, and the courses do not require text books, which saves students a lot.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Web Design Certificate?

Aside from the financial cost, there is the cost of time. A web design certificate program will typically take six to nine months to complete. Many students will attend and do their school work while keeping their regular jobs and caring for their families.

Online certificate programs provide students flexibility to fit their lifestyles and needs. There typically isn’t a reason to make major life changes in order to complete the courses.

Is an Online Web Design Certificate Worth It

Conclusion: Is a Web Design Certificate Worth It?

A certificate in web design is a great way to open doors in your professional life. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who regrets earning one. Mentored learning takes your training and abilities to places you just can’t find on your own.

A certificate requires a short time investment and has a lasting benefits for those who earn them. Considering there are affordable online colleges available to students, the investment in a web design certificate is a worthwhile one. There are few things a person can do to improve their career options that require such a small investment.


This post was authored by NoD staff. Notes on Design is a design industry blog sponsored by Sessions College for Professional Design.


This blog is powered by Sessions College, the leading online school of visual arts.

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