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Everything You Need to Know to Become a Web Designer

If you are considering a career move towards web design then it is worth knowing exactly what the job entails and what you need to get your foot in the door. Whilst there are plenty of training options out there, many successful web designers are self-taught and have a genuine passion for Internet computer technology combined with a creative flare for user-focused design. Requirements Official qualifications are not always needed to land you a job as a web designer, but you will be expected to produce evidence of your creative and technical skills to convince an employer or client to hire you. Essentially, you need to present an active portfolio of any previous work you have done, be it paid or unpaid, and ideally include at least one or two live sites. A good working knowledge of HTML should be a given, as well as experience in working with a range of coding, scripting and programming. Software Knowledge Working knowledge of the following programs is considered industry standard for many people in web design:
  •   Dreamweaver
  •   JavaScript
  •   Photoshop
  •   CSS
  •   .Net
Further coding, scripting and programming ability in the following is highly advantageous:
  •   CSS, HTML, DHTML and XML
  •   Flash
  •   PHP
  •   Active Server Pages (ASP)
Training Opportunities How you train in web design is very much down to your own preferred method of learning. Whilst there are some jobs that will require specific qualifications, the majority of web design positions are open to anyone who can effectively demonstrate the skills and experience necessary. There may also be opportunities to train on the job, depending on your present situation. Aside from independent learning (which can be easily achieved through the many free online tutorials available), there is also the chance to go back to school and gain any of the following recognised qualifications:
  •  QCR Creative iMedia Levels 1 – 3
  •  QCR ITQ Levels 1 – 3
  •  City & Guilds E-Quals IT Users awards
  •  BTEC Interactive Use of Media Levels 1 – 3
Alternatively, you can go the full hog and get an HND, Degree, MA or even doctorate in numerous courses related to web design. Personal Attributes Whilst you may indeed have all the technical skills necessary to whip up an impressive website in a couple of weeks, you are unlikely to get any work unless you can demonstrate an equally strong set of communication skills. Companies and clients hire web designers because they are unable to do the task themselves. Therefore you should be able to clearly present all that technical knowhow in a way that they can relate to, so as to ascertain exactly what it is they want you to design; why and for whom. The ability to work to deadlines is essential, as is a logical approach to work with good problem-solving skills. Be prepared to take on board any criticism as well as using your initiative; thinking outside the box on a regular basis. Further Points to Consider Digital and online design is an ever-changing sphere with a highly competitive market. As soon as your skills are out of date, you are out of a job. It is therefore the duty of any professional designer to have their finger on the button at all times and to see his or herself as a perpetual student, ready to find and master the next exciting trend in their field. As specialist recruiters in the digital market, JMDigital can assist you with a wealth of knowledge and expertise as well as a collection of highly credible clients. Just call or email us to book a consultation.