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How to become a web designer

Web design jobs are rewarding, creative and engaging for those lucky enough to get a foot in the door of the industry. Unfortunately, for many people, the competitive nature of the industry means that a web designer career is just a dream. In this guide, we'll give you some useful tips on how to become a web developer and how to pursue it as a full-time career.

Training

A good web designer will be well-grounded in all aspects of design and so, will benefit from a good all round design education. This could either be from an art foundation course or from a more specialised graphic design qualification. Web designers need to be competent at layout, photo editing, vector graphics manipulation and some web programming. Becoming a web designer is about more than just graphic design and creative layouts. You will also be required to be able to work in a range of programming environments. This starts with understanding the basics of HTML and JavaScript and even working with dynamic languages such as PHP. Competency Two other important requirements for a web developer are to be competent working with MySQL databases for content management sites and also CSS style sheets. The bottom line with regards to training is that the industry standards are always evolving and no matter if you a trainee or a seasoned pro, it is worth keeping on top of professional development and the latest technologies.

Getting work

Unlike other jobs, the CV, whilst important, isn't the most essential part of getting work. For any design job, the portfolio is your most powerful tool in securing new work. Your portfolio should include examples of your professional web pages designs along with case studies and testimonials from clients. At the start of your career, you may need to undertake work for free in order to boost your portfolio but this will soon pay off as you get your own paying clients. When you are confident with your portfolio, you can choose between employed work or freelance work. In order to work as a freelancer, you will need to have the confidence to get out and secure jobs and you will also need to have a good understanding of business and basic accounting. Regardless of which route you take, you will be rewarded by constantly updating your portfolio and keeping abreast of current technologies.

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