If you ever wondered how computer and information technology (IT) professionals create beautiful and functional websites, you may be curious about what you study in an online web design degree program. Aspiring website designers and developers must develop their creative and technical skills as well as their knowledge of business processes. 

Information Technology Courses

For aspiring web developers, attaining the technical skills necessary to make a website functional is the most important part of a degree program. Computer and IT courses make up a good deal of what you study in an online web design degree program. Some common classes students take include database management systems, human-computer interaction and interface, IT research, networking, applied systems analysis, database programming, Internet technologies, software development, security and operating systems.

Of course, programming for the web has its own challenges and its own set of specialized knowledge. Most web design and development degree programs include courses like web server design, website design, web scripting, web portals, and web implementation.

To achieve the more complex website design feats, a developer must understand programming languages. While knowledge of HTML coding is currently the most common requirement, students studying web development may also take courses in JavaScript programming and SQL development. It’s also important for web developers to know how to use multimedia digital publishing tools such as Flash.

Design Courses

If you plan to be a web designer, not just a web developer, you’ll also need to take some courses in visual design. These classes might cover graphic design, computer graphics, color theory and techniques, graphic editing software and web animation techniques.

Multimedia design is something else you will study in an online web design degree program. You might take classes in animation and interactivity, audio and video edition, dynamic content management and writing for the Web.

Business Courses

In the real world, websites aren’t designed just to look good. They serve a purpose, whether that purpose is to educate, sell, or entertain. Most websites serve some sort of business purpose, such as attracting leads, making sales or bringing in donations to a cause.

Web designers and developers work in all kinds of industries, from computer services to professional services, publishing and even education. Additionally, one in seven web developers is self-employed, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. To be able to successfully create functional websites for business, it helps to have at least a little bit of a business background – especially if you plan to run your own web development company.

At many schools, business courses are part of what you study in an online web design degree program. Web design and development majors might take classes in marketing, digital commerce and retail Internet business.

Success in a web designer and developer role requires a combination of computer programming and creative design skills. What you study in an online web design degree program will equip you with both sets of skills.