It wasn’t long ago that brands looking to establish an international presence had to invest in physical outlets. But with shifts in consumer behavior, business has undergone a digital transformation. Brands now use a broad range of digital strategies to reach customers all over the world—and for most, their chief tech asset remains the website.

Whether it’s for business, social media or shopping—every website we visit has a unique design to attract users and make us want to sign up, click or buy. Whether a website attracts potential customers impacts the bottom line of the business itself.

So it's easy to see why web designers are entering a thriving job market with lots of growth potential. Here are the skills you need to learn and the software you should know to get your dream web design job.

Launch Your Web Design Career

Learn how to design smarter websites from industry professionals, 100% online, with the security of a career guarantee when you graduate.

Should a Web Designer Know How to Code?

The billion-dollar question is whether web designers should know how to code or not. Since web design is more concerned with the usability and aesthetics of a website, a web designer actually doesn't need to know coding. They should be more proficient with visual tools like Photoshop, Sketch, and Illustrator.

Having said that, if an aspiring web designer knows a web development specialty like front-end programming languages (HTML or PHP), it’s going to make them stand out as an applicant and will help convince a recruiter that they’re passionate about web design.

Tools Every Web Designer Should Know

Visual representation has the power to become a driving factor in a brand’s popularity and market cut-through. And thanks to a broad range of high quality design tools available, web design has become much more achievable than it once was in the past. Design tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver are a web designer’s best friend. These tools allow designers to create beautiful and highly dynamic websites.

Hiring Criteria for Web Designers

Web design is a competitive field. Since this job is a mix of creativity and technology, it’s a popular field of study for students and emerging professionals. So let’s take a look at what hiring managers expect from applicants.

  1. Excellent Writer and Speaker

In a corporate environment, a web designer never works alone. They need to interact with key delegates such as stakeholders and members of other departments. So having a good command of language is an important quality. In fact, this is what recruiters will most likely be looking for first.

2. Internship Experience

Many newbies won’t have prior experience in the field—but completing an internship has become the new norm. Internships are short gigs and can be done during semester vacations, or full-time if you have completed graduation. The experience gained from an internship will give you a headstart on the corporate journey, and will help prospective recruiters understand your goals better.

3. Extensive Portfolio

Web design is largely an independent job. You don’t necessarily need the help of any other fields to create a great website. All you need to have is a niche that your site will focus on. So it’s a good idea to create a website of your own when beginning to learn web design. This will give you real-time exposure and the chance to close any learning gaps you might have. Creating an online portfolio will make you stand out from the crowd. It not only puts your technical expertise on the limelight but also showcases your passion for web design.

4. Authenticity

Recruiters expect originality from web designers. It’s easy to copy a website and produce a replica. But this can damage the image of the brand among consumers, or worse, face legal issues for plagiarism. As a best practice, a web designer should maintain authenticity in every step of the design process.

Getting Hired as a Web Designer

The web design industry is young and demand for talented professionals in this field is still growing. As businesses continue to adopt new virtual channels to reach customers and sell products, demand for professional web designers will remain high. If you’re creatively inclined and comfortable in the tech realm, the dynamic world of web design could be your calling. All you need to begin is a willingness to learn and an understanding of the business of creating a user-friendly website.

Read more about how to highlight your skills in an online job interview.

Launch Your Web Design Career

Learn how to design smarter websites from industry professionals, 100% online, with the security of a career guarantee when you graduate.

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