Can you think of a service you use or a business you frequent that doesn’t have a website? Probably not. These days, it’s a necessity for a business to have some sort of web presence to compete with other companies and engage with new and existing customers. For this reason, web designers are in high demand in today’s job market, and will likely remain so for quite some time.
If you’re a high school student who loves technology and being creative, learning the fundamentals of web design may be the perfect blend of these two passions. There are plenty of books and online resources if you would like to independently explore in your free time, and there are also classes you can take to help you get the basics down quickly. Whatever path you take, learning web design in high school has plenty of advantages and can set you apart from your peers.
Books and Online Resources
Books are an affordable and accessible way to learn a new hobby or skill. You can utilize your school or community libraries to try and find these books, or invest in them if you think you’ll want to revisit them as you continue to learn. Here is a list of books that many web development professionals recommend for beginners.
- The Self-Taught Programmer by Cory Althoff: Written by a fellow self-taught programmer, this book describes how the author went from a complete beginner to a professional programmer. He shares tips on landing a job and how to avoid burnout when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
- Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited by Steve Krug: This book explores what frustrates users about certain websites, common mistakes that web developers make, and how to avoid them so that your page can be successful.
- Deep Focus by Cal Newport: This book was not specifically written for web developers, but the concepts within it still apply. The author offers guidance on how to focus better and for longer periods to produce quality work and reach your professional and personal goals.
Reading books about web design is a great way to gain a solid understanding of more fundamental concepts, but the best way to learn a skill is by doing. Research also shows thatproject-based learninghelps people retain information much more efficiently. Additionally, YouTube has some in-depth videos and tutorials that may be helpful—just be sure you’re looking at relatively recent videos since software and trends in this industry change quite regularly. Udemy also offers a handful of free video tutorials that cover topics like web design, WordPress, and Photoshop.
Web Design Classes for High Schoolers
If you’re interested in taking a web design class for high school students, you can check out NextGen Bootcamp’s web design courses for high schoolers. They have in-person web design classes available at their campus in New York City, as well as live online web design and development classes that students can attend remotely from anywhere in the world. Whether taking the class in person or remotely, you will be given expert instruction in a small classroom setting. NextGen also allows students to retake their courses for free up to one year after the original course date.
NextGen Bootcamp offers a Web Design Summer Course with an in-person and live online option. This class contains 50 hours of coursework and teaches students to design and implement their own completely functional website. Having a personal website can be an impressive addition to applications for scholarships, internships, and college admissions. It's also a great place to showcase your portfolio of work so potential employers can see your skills in action.
There is also a combination Graphic & Web Design Summer Program available at NextGen Bootcamp, which can be taken in-person or remotely depending on your needs. This program is four weeks long and is split into two weeks of graphic design and two weeks of web design. The web design portion covers the same material as the course listed above. The graphic design section focuses on Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator and allows students to begin building a portfolio for potential employers and college applications.
Web Design Career Paths
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that web design is going to be one of the fastest-growing careers of the next decade. Approximately 50% of the world’s population currently uses the internet daily, and this number is only going to get bigger as time goes on. Therefore, web design skills should continue to grow in demand over the next several years.
Good web designers can skillfully combine their knowledge of appealing graphics, technology, and advertising trends to create engaging web pages for their clients. Virtually every industry today needs the help of web designers to get their business noticed by consumers. On average, a Web Designer can make around $44,000 per year. This amount will significantly increase if you become a Senior Web Designer or a Design Director as you progress in your career.
A more general career path that requires a web design background is something called digital design. This group of professionals can include web designers, but they typically focus more on graphics and visual effects. Of course, these skills can be used to develop websites, but Digital Designers can also feature their work in advertisements and web applications as well. Digital Designers can make an average annual salary of about $94,000 per year, but this varies widely depending on which part of the country you live in.
Learn more in these courses
- Web Design Classes for High School Students
Web Design Summer Program NYC
- Not currently scheduled
- 50 hours
- Open to beginners
Learn to design websites with Sketch and code the final product with HTML & CSS. In this summer course, high school students learn the essential skills to start designing and developing their own websites.
Web Design Summer Program Live Online
- Not currently scheduled
- 50 hours
- Open to beginners
Get started in web design with this summer course. Students first learn to build and design webpages by coding HTML & CSS. Students will also learn to create webpage layouts in Sketch, as well as optimize web graphics for hi-res screens and fast downloads.