If you naturally gravitate towards computers and consider yourself creative, a career as a Web Designer could be for you.
As a Web Designer, you would design and code websites or applications for your clients or for the company you choose to work for. Web designers are creative and technically skilled. Having a good grip on the vision and principles of the company who hires you is important, as you’ll need to graphically interpret their systems and then technically create a web page that speaks in their voice.
You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school:
- English (language, writing, creative writing etc.)
- Computer Application Technology
- Art or Design
The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in Web Design:
- Rhodes University: Minimum APS of of 45 for acceptance to a degree at Rhodes
- University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (UKZN): APS of 30 – 48
- University of Witwatersrand (WITS): APS of 42+
- Open Window: APS of 22 (English needs to be minimum of 4)
- City Varsity
To become a Web Designer, you don’t necessarily need an official qualification as much as you will need a wide range of knowledge in the web, technological realm. It would broaden your scope to have a degree in web development, design or a degree in communications or a more artistic degree. The skills to become a Web Designer are available, it is just up to you to gain the knowledge, skill and connection you would need. Having a degree or a diploma will always work more in your favour if you would apply to an organisation as a Web Designer.
You will need to have the following skills to succeed as a Web Designer:
- an ability to work with people and even lead a project
- communication skills
- problem solving
- IT proficiency
- attention to detail and accuracy
- awesome creativity
- an ability to capture a vision or value system and create it digitally and visually
- working on the back end of multiple web platforms
More technical skills include: programming, coding, design and graphics, content management systems (CMS).
There is a range of environments that you could find yourself in as a Web Designer. Some of these places of work include:
- Media, creative, design or advertising agencies
- Big brand names, supermarkets and other retailers
- Charities and government sectors
Generally, Web Designers will work the usual 8 hours per day. However, some of the time depends on deadlines and also may depend on whether new developments or projects would require after hours assistance if anything should go wrong.
Freelancing can be an awesome opportunity for Web Developers as all you need is good web connection, your computer, software and your knowledge!
The average salary per year as a Web Designer in South Africa, is around R185 851 with an hourly rate of about R203.
Here are a few things you can expect from a career as a Web Designer:
- Working as a Web Designer will require a lot of screen time. Be prepared to take breaks from sitting in front of your computer, it would also be advised that you look into your posture and protecting your eyes from the screen
- Long hours of high levels of concentration and creativity
- Whether you are office based or a freelancer, you will potentially need to communicate with and connect with your clients to gather all the needed information for a web project
- You may need to work with other creatives and brand strategists, depending on the role you choose. You would also potentially need to work with another Web Designer or developer depending on your particular set of skills and interests
- Keeping up with the latest research, advances in technology and marketing trends (SEO development etc.)