Changing your career path is overwhelming to say the least.
Not only do you feel like you’re admitting to yourself and the world that you’ve been wrong about your calling these last several years, but starting something new is scary… especially when you’re voluntarily demoting yourself to the bottom of the ladder so you have to work all over again to work your way back towards the top.
But when you pick the right career path for yourself, which will help you achieve your career goals, the worries and the “overwhelm” are significantly less daunting and bothersome, and you can really focus on achieving your dream position, dream company, and your dream life that comes with a career you know you want.
And with an internet boom that’s (probably) never going to stop booming, web design is a perfect career to switch to.
It’s got a great mix of creative potential, attention to detail, high demand, and decent pay.
If a company has a website, they want it to look good. (And these days, even the smallest one-person companies have websites.)
And if you get frustrated with crappy websites and are dying for more job security, a web design career may be a great decision for you!
So, if you’re still on the fence and waiting for that little extra push to get started on a dream career in IT, think about some of these reasons why web design wins out over other career paths:
1. You’re tired of dealing with ho-hum websites
We act as end users of websites every singe day.
Each time we log into our online email, check Facebook, or do any kind of online research, we act as a website’s end user.
But, for you in particular, acting as an end user can be particularly frustrating if a site doesn’t have great design. You hate senseless navigation, and you find yourself mapping out ideas in your mind on how websites could be made better, more useful, and more intuitive.
2. Creativity excites you – and you’ve got great to attention to detail
In your current career, your attention to detail has gotten you far, and it’ll assist you well with web design.
But fine-pointed details aren’t everything. The great thing about working as a web developer is that some details are subjective, and you’ve got enough freedom with your details to make your mark and put your own spin on the things you create – which is something you’ve been dying to do.
3. You want job security (& a decent salary)
With the advent of technology, a lot of industries are losing the strong footing they once had in the marketplace. (Anything printed, for example.)
Maybe you currently work for a newspaper or magazine laying out and designing the advertising pages, but the fact that you’ve consistently got fewer and fewer ads to fit on fewer and fewer pages is starting to scare you.
You’ve already got a great skill set that can be easily applied to a web design career, so making the leap into something that’s got a high demand and is expected to continue to have significant job growth only makes sense.
The salary’s also decent, ranging from $63,000 to $101,000 nationwide.
4. You’ve always found code interesting, but maybe don’t want to be a full-on software developer
Whether you want to dig your fingers deep into coding languages as a web designer or not, you do find it fascinating that simple commands entered on the backend of one screen can have such profound changes on how things look on the front screen that’s showed to users.
You also think it’s pretty cool that you can put commands together with code to make the designs of a web page actually work the way you visualize them working. You also know that things that work well are so much better for business than things that are just barely up to code.
As a web designer, you can dabble in code as much as you like, without being obligated to only stare at a screen of letters, numbers, and symbols all day long like app and software developers do.
5. You want to have an impact in people’s lives
As a web designer, you’ll be able to create things that last and that many people will use every single day in their work or personal lives.
You’ve got a deep desire to make things that are useful to the world, and you love delighting people with things that are a joy to use (i.e. your design).
6. You were ready for a new career yesterday
Web design is a great career for people who are ready to jump in head-first.
If leaving your current job ASAP isn’t going to hurt your feelings in any way, even if you know little to nothing about web design, you can learn the basics of web design rather quickly!
This gets you ready for an entry-level position in web design! THEN you can improve your skills, education, and on-the-job experience to get promoted from there.
7. You’re nerdy enough to enjoy learning
As a web designer, you’re working with the internet, which means things are constantly, and we mean CONSTANTLY, changing.
Translation: you’ll have to learn about new design trends, backend tweaks, and anything and everything new that can affect on-site user experience. (On desktop and mobile.)
The good thing is, you’re nerdy enough to actually enjoy all this learning, making your career as a web designer something that’s new, exciting and evolving every day! You can say goodbye to feeling like your job is “stagnant.”
Still Have Doubts About Switching to Web Design?
If you know you’d love to be a web designer, but still find yourself with doubts about leaving your current career to pursue this new idea, you’re not alone.
Lots of people struggle with the decision to change careers everyday, but with the right training and support behind them, almost no one regrets it… the only thing regrettable is staying in a career you don’t love.
If you’re thinking harder and harder about switching to a web design career every day, you can request some information on our web design career prep courses and get in touch with one of our career counselors who can help you weigh the pros and cons of the decision you’re making.
Hands down, learning to code is one of the best things you can do for your IT career—whether you want to work directly as a developer or just get a deeper understanding of the nuts and bolts of the apps, software and websites you work with every day.
But choosing exactly where to start with your coding education can be difficult.
Free online courses can be tempting because there’s no required monetary investment and you can work at your own pace, but certifications carry far more weight with HR managers trying to make the best hire for their company—to the point that they’re willing to pay those candidates 9% in their initial job offer.
Learning to Code From Harvard, Google & MIT For FREE
One of the best things about free online coding courses is that some of the most popular companies and top educational institutions are offering them to anyone willing to take the time to sit and go through the coursework.
Harvard offers a free introductory course to computer science online as a series of filmed lectures from the actual class that took place in the university.
Tech giant Google has a free class for learning to develop with Python, and MIT offers three free online coding courses: Intro to Computer Science and Programming, Practical Programming in C, and Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs.
The Catch of Free Online Courses
Free online coding courses are wonderful, for sure.
If you don’t have any coding knowledge and are curious if it’s something you’d like to pursue, they’re the perfect place to learn what you’d be getting into and to get fundamental knowledge to use as a base for more formal education.
The catch is, that while you may learn a ton while taking the course, there’s no exam at the end, and therefore no way to prove your competency in the area you’ve studied. There’s a certain amount of infrastructure required for that, and that’s something you have to pay for.
Affordable Online IT Certifications: IT’s Best-Kept Secret
Certifications, on the other hand, are the best-kept secret of advancing an IT career.
They come from organizations HR managers know they can trust, and since there’s an exam or final project attached to them, the hiring managers you submit your resume to will be confident enough in your abilities to keep you in the stack that gets called for an interview.
In fact, certifications might actually be more powerful (and are certainly more affordable) than four-year degrees.
According to Bloomberg, 70% of coding boot camp students already have a college degree, but decide to enroll to learn code because they’re desperate for better job availability, job security, and a decent salary. Further, they said that nearly 60% see a salary increase that averages around $23,000 extra per year.
In CompTIA’s 2015 report, 5 Reasons Why Employers Look for IT Certifications, “91% of employers believe IT certifications play a key role in the hiring process and that IT certifications are a reliable predictor of a successful employee.”
What Real People Did With Their IT Certifications
Borrowing a couple testimonials from Microsoft about what earning a certification has done for their students’ careers, you can see the impact that studying towards an online coding certification has:
Connecticut-based systems engineer Jason Zandri said,
“They’ve allowed me, a person with just a GED education, the ability to move out of a blue collar job into the professional, white collar field with limitless opportunity and a six figure salary since I was 35 (going on my tenth year of that).”
Teresa Burger, a Texas-based developer, said,
“The job market today is insane: I get job offers every day. It’s a great market for developers. It’s even better if you have your certification because that gives you that one little edge you have against somebody that doesn’t if you’re going for the same job.”
Complete a Code Certification in As Little As 8 Days
The good news is, getting a certification in coding online doesn’t have to take much time at all.
In many cases, you can be in and out of your course in a month or two and earning a higher salary sooner than you ever thought possible.
One of our students, a US Army veteran named Jonathan said,
“I was skeptical at first, but my college professor had been emphasizing the importance of IT certifications in addition to formal education. I am so glad I checked LeaderQuest out! I am loving my new job and am excited about my future.”
Have you ever done a free or paid online training course? What did you think?
Design and development are merging into one.
It seems like a crazy thought at first, but it isn’t really. With web access possible from computers, phones, and tablets of all shapes and sizes, the need for responsive web pages is greater than it ever was before.
And to create nice-looking, user-friendly responsive web pages, design and development have to fit together hand-in-glove. If they don’t, the design either comes across as clunky and cluttered, or the elements on the page don’t work right—and either one can be a death sentence for a website that gets a fair amount of mobile traffic.
In fact, in a SitePoint poll, 70% of the respondents thought designers should have good enough coding skills to help bring their ideas to life and modify how different elements interact, if necessary.
As a developer, you may not be responsible or expected to understand the psychology of color or how branding guidelines play out on a web page, but you will need to understand design enough to know how to make page elements work together when you’re creating a responsive web page.
Why Companies Want the Full Package of Responsive Design + Development
To understand exactly why responsive development is so important to companies, you need to know a little bit about SEO:
Because more than 25% of all web traffic is mobile and some sites get more than 50% of their traffic from mobile devices, it’s important for them to count this traffic towards one domain.
If it counts towards two domains, website.com and mobile.website.com, for example, the search rankings and quality score of their original domain will decline. With the internet’s cut-throat competition for traffic and being number one in search results, most businesses are not willing to suffer this loss.
To solve the problem, they go for fully responsive websites that look nice regardless of whether they display on a desktop computer screen or a smart phone.
Brolik shows an example of what a responsive home page looks like for the Boston Globe in their blog post Responsive Web Design Examples with CSS Tips and Tricks. Using fluid grids, the page looks nice and is user-friendly no matter the screen resolution.
How Developers Solve Display Problems with Responsive Design
There are almost an endless supply of screen sizes and resolutions out there that responsive websites have to adjust to and look good on.
This presents quite a challenge to designers and developers, but renders the possibility of designing and developing a custom screen for each resolution size completely impossible.
Creating fluid grids has become a fairly common way to assess the need for web pages that display elements according to the screen width allowed, along with fluid images and smart mark-up.
And the work developers do to implement responsive design for mobile screens does boost business: O’Neill clothing brand increased their sales transaction rates on mobile devices by 333.33% on Android and 112.5% on iOS after they went responsive.
What Companies Value in Responsive-Intelligent Designers and Developers
Increasingly, web designers still don’t have a very good grasp of what goes on underneath their designs (the code) to make them live and interactive for a user, so it’s important for developers to know some basics of design and display to make responsive designs successful.
In fact, though there are 200,870 positions open for web designers, there are 1,336,300 positions open for web developers – that’s 6.65 times more job opportunities.
Further, there’s a significant salary difference at steak. While the average web designer earns $47,820 each year, the average web developer has a $85,430 annual salary.
Earn Your Certification in Web Development & Land One of These Valuable Positions
At LeaderQuest, we to prepare job seekers for the kind of positions companies want to hire for.
For intermediate level developers, we offer Web Development training lasting 8 days that teaches students to develop and launch modern web apps.
Through our Premier Placement Partner Program, we give all of our graduates increased exposure to hiring mangers, and our customized training plans bend to accommodate full-time workers.
Learn more about which of our web development programs is best suited to your career goals, or get in touch to talk with one of our career advisors to find out the steps you can take to become one of the valuable, responsive design intelligent web developers companies are so desperate to hire.