Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Web Design: Guide to Online Programs for 2023

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Web Design: Guide to Online Programs for 2023
Imed Bouchrika, Phd by Imed Bouchrika, Phd
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

Web design profoundly influences 94% of users’ initial impressions and 75% of the trustworthiness they perceive in websites (WebFX, 2020). Web designers are responsible for constructing unique web experiences, which puts them at the vanguard of technological advancement. An online bachelor’s degree in web design enables graduates to become freelance web designers, company staff members, or in-house designers.

To stay ahead in today’s digital world, nearly three-quarters of businesses (73%) are putting money into web design to draw in more customers. This piece will provide those thinking of taking this route with info on the expense, needs, and classes in web design.

Online Degree in Web Design Table of Contents

  1. Can you get a degree completely online?
  2. Will employers take my online degree seriously?
  3. Are online degrees recognized all over the world?
  4. Online vs. Traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design
  5. How much does an online bachelor’s degree in web design cost?
  6. What are the requirements of an online bachelor’s degree in web design?
  7. Courses to Expect in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design
  8. Things to Look for in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design

Can you get a degree completely online?

Yes, you can get a bachelor’s degree in web design completely online. Online education will support the development of all the skills necessary for designing, developing, testing, and maintaining websites. The nature of the program is almost entirely web-based, therefore the online mode of instruction is a perfect fit.

Many higher education institutions (HEIs) are now offering online degree programs in web design. In the United States, 75% of HEIs use this strategy to attract new students (OECD, 2021). Further, HEIs are offering online courses in all 50 U.S. states (U.S. News, n.d.).

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Will employers take my online degree seriously?

An online bachelor’s degree in web design will put graduates in a more advantageous position than those who did not complete their university education. Research shows educational credentials continue to be of high relevance to organizations. Its value increased in 48% of the surveyed organizations and stayed the same for 29%  (Gallagher, 2018). Further, educational requirements for the same positions in organizations between the years 2013 and 2018 either increased (44%) or stayed the same (31%).

Degree completion remains an advantage for job candidates, regardless of the mode of instruction. The majority of HR leaders (61%) believe that online credentials are of the same quality as those earned in-person (Gallagher, 2018). Moreover, 71% of HR leaders have personal experience with hiring someone who earned an online degree or credential.

Several factors affect employers’ perception of an online degree program. Check out the chart below for a closer look.

Source: Gallagher, 2018

Are online degrees recognized all over the world?

According to Hamilton and Quintan (2021), the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the global adoption of digital technologies by at least two years. Education is only one of the many industries now going digital. By 2026, the global e-learning market is projected to grow to $388. 23 billion from $185.26 billion in 2020. (Research and Markets, 2021).

In the United States, the percentage of students participating exclusively in distance education continues to rise. Ninety-six percent of four-year degree-granting postsecondary institutions are now offering distance education courses and programs (NCES, 2021). Moreover, 1 in 3 students has taken at least one distance education course in fall 2018.

Web designers are largely involved in the rise of the digital economy, including online education. They are the ones responsible for designing and creating online web-based educational resources and learning management systems. They also participate in the branding of universities and have a direct influence on their credibility and reach in the online world.

online bachelor degree credibility

Online vs. Traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design

In a survey conducted last year, students showed a strong preference for online rather than traditional education. Among online college students, more than 4 in 10 agree that their online learning experiences are better than their classroom experiences. Thirty-eight percent of the same set of respondents said that their experiences between these two modes of instruction are about the same (Wiley Education Services, 2020).

Is an online degree cheaper?

Definitely. SR Education Group reports a total education cost of $59,400 and $120,000 for a traditional bachelor’s degree in web design. This means students can save as much as $82,000 by choosing the online path.

Online education also lessens, if not eliminates, expenditure on travel, room and board, and university amenities, among others.

Is an online degree as good as a regular degree?

Yes. As early as 2018, the majority of hiring leaders already agree that the quality of online education is equal to if not higher than what traditional, campus-based learning offers (Gallagher, 2018). In a recent survey, students also showed a strong preference for a fully online education after the pandemic (Inside Higher Ed, 2021).

online education learning curve

How much does an online bachelor’s degree in web design cost?

Pre-credit costs for online web design degree courses range from $320 to $500 while total tuition is between $38,000 and $61,000 (U.S. News, n.d.).

Is an online degree worth it?

Seventy-nine percent of online college students either strongly agree or agree that their online education was worth the cost (Wiley Education Services, 2020). In the field of web design, many lucrative career opportunities are waiting for those who choose to pursue an online bachelor’s education. There is a projected growth of 8% in web developers and digital design jobs between the years 2019 and 2029 (BLS, 2021).

After some years of experience, professionals with bachelor’s degrees in web design may either pursue a senior position in web design or specialize in UX design, where they can earn as much as $117,000 annually (Payscale, n.d.).

In May 2020, web developers and digital designers earned an average of $77,200 (BLS, 2021). Software publishers are the highest paying employers for web designers, giving them an average salary of $132,760.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

What are the requirements of an online bachelor’s degree in web design?

Admission into an online bachelor’s degree in web design will require a set of credentials and equipment, which are also typically required in traditional, on-campus education.

What are the Admission Requirements of Students for Online Learning?

Students need to prepare the following for their admission into an online degree program:

  • High school diploma
  • Transcript of records (Most universities require at least a GPA of 2.0)
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Recommendation letters from previous professors
  • Application fee

Source: Wiley Education Services, 2020

What are the Technological Requirements of Students for Online Learning?

Online web design students will need to invest in the following:

  • An up-to-date computer that can run web-authoring programs and image and video editing software, preferably one with extra memory and a large monitor
  • Mobile devices to check web design’s compatibility on mobile browsers
  • Web design tools and software applications
  • A stable internet connection
  • Digital camera, for capturing images and producing original web designs

Courses to Expect in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design

Web design students are required to earn around 120 credits. Full-time students usually complete their studies in four years or less. During the course of their studies, students will encounter the following online web design courses:

  • Web Languages. HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the building blocks of the web. All web designers are expected to be knowledgeable in these languages. These will be an essential part of most foundational courses in web design programs.
  • Graphic Design. In this course, students will learn the technical fundamentals of using graphic design software, commonly the ones that are part of the Adobe Creative Suite. They will also learn how to work with the elements of design, such as typography, layout, and images.
  • Color Theory. Similar to professionals who pursue careers in art, web designers also study color theory. This course is essential for students to learn how to create visually appealing websites. Making color choices will be part of a web designer’s everyday work. They must understand the psychology of colors and know how to strategically use them to convey the right message and emotions to the target users.
  • Animation Techniques. While this is primarily used in the animation career, web designers also take up this course to reinforce web UI designs. This course will tackle how to create and effectively incorporate animated images in websites. If used in the right way, animation can increase usability and enhance the user experience.
  • Web Navigation. A simple and intuitive design allows for easier website navigation. In this course, students will learn how to structure websites to allow for optimal efficiency and usability.

Adoption of Digital Tools Among Faculty Teaching Introductory Courses

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Source: Every Learner Everywhere, 2021

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Things to Look for in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Design

Below are some things that students should look for in an online degree program in web design:

  • Accreditation. It is highly important to choose an online degree program accredited by the U.S. Department of Education. This will ensure that students will benefit from federal funds and can get financial aid should they need it.
  • Institutional reputation. Earning an online degree from a reputable institution gives individuals a competitive advantage. Thirty-nine percent of online students consider this as their primary basis for choosing a degree program (Wiley Education Services, 2020).
  • Faculty Credentials. An online degree program can only be as good as the one delivering its content. Students would want to ensure that they listen and learn only from the best in the field of web design.
  • Program Coursework. Most employers will prefer candidates that have an impressive portfolio. Students will highly benefit from project-based coursework in web design that will allow them to start creating this early on in their careers.
  • Support Services. Students will highly benefit from institutional support for job placement.

Design the Digital Future

A career in web design offers many exciting challenges, including building websites that make a good impression in 50 milliseconds and designing for a global audience. Currently, there are 1.8 billion active websites and five billion internet users in the world (Internet Live Stats). The impact a web designer can make given these numbers is staggering.

Web designers can positively influence the digital landscape by creating inclusive digital spaces and consciously eliminating psychological and societal biases in their aesthetic choices. Metaxa-Kakavouli and colleagues (2018) emphasized the need for inclusive web designs, one that positively impacts all users: “Subjective standards in interface design leave room for bias; without understanding and controlling for bias, users—especially those from marginalized identity groups—may experience feelings of exclusion or alienation in online environments.”

In both acquiring the technical skills required for web design and understanding the psychology of inclusivity, higher education is the sure next step. And for more and more students today, higher education means e-learning.



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