Best online Web design programs

November 7, 2016
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Through strategic color, text and image choices, a graphic designer can help set the tone for a website, a product line or an ad campaign – or even an entire business venture.

"Being a designer or art director doesn't mean what it used to, " Rachel Gogel, creative director of advertising and the T Brand Studio at The New York Times, said in an interview with U.S. News. "You're expected to know about print, Web, tablets, social media – it's no longer one-dimensional."

Course Work

Example courses
Advanced digital lab
Typography: information and media
Corporate branding
Color theory
History of graphic design
Concept development

Admissions requirements

Some graphic design bachelor’s degree programs may require or encourage applicants to submit a portfolio of their best visual arts work as part of the application process.

Core classes

Students enrolled in an online bachelor’s program in graphic design should expect to take foundational art courses such as drawing, color theory, design principles and art history.

Digital courses

Online programs also equip students to work in the digital age, as the bulk of career opportunities for graduates involve designing for the Web and mobile devices. Courses such as Web design, interface design and digital illustration can help students develop the skills most employers are looking for.

Portfolio development

Throughout an online graphic design bachelor’s degree program, students will develop a portfolio of their work that they can show to potential employers. The quality of a graphic designer’s portfolio is often a deciding factor when it comes to getting a job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Outlook and Salary

Median salaries*
Graphic designer $40, 000
Senior graphic designer $54, 000
Art director $59, 000
Creative director $82, 000


Many graphic designers are self-employed, and professionals in the field often jump from job to job at a number of organizations.

"It’s completely plausible for a designer to work for a design studio, go into private practice, join a team at an advertising agency, and then partner with a friend there to start a new studio – all in the span of a few years, " Juliette Cezzar, assistant professor of communication design at the New School in New York City, writes on the website for AIGA, a professional association for designers.

But finding a job could be challenging – employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 7 percent through 2022, slower than the average of 11 percent for all occupations, according the BLS.

10 Best Free Graphic Design Programs Software Dow video
10 Best Free Graphic Design Programs Software Dow video
Best Free Graphic Design Program (No Download)
Best Free Graphic Design Program (No Download)
Free online graphic design and watermarking programs
Free online graphic design and watermarking programs
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