It is more than possible to earn a web design minor in America. Students will need to keep a few things in mind when making the choice to pursue the minor, including if it makes sense with the degree that they earning and what they need it for. All of this information and more can be found down below, ensuring that everyone will have a good grasp on when a web design minor can be earned and what to look for within the requirements for that minor.
Undergraduate Versus Graduate
Students will note that earning a minor in a field is only available at the undergraduate level; this includes the associates and bachelor’s degrees. However, two-year degrees often do not come with the option to minor in a separate field from the degree distinction. This is because most two-year programs were designed to be completed as the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, meaning that most of the core requirements are general education requirements with only a few courses dedicated to the field of distinction. A bachelor’s degree, however, has enough credit hours required for graduation that it is possible to earn a minor in web design. Not all schools offer minors in design so it is advised that students confirm the availability of the minor with the school.
How Important is a Minor: A Complementary Minor
It is a field that encompasses both analytical and creative skills, making it an obvious path forward for professionals who are working in interdisciplinary fields that combine creativity with business; sample fields include animation, fashion, politics, business, and more. It makes a great choice for students who wish to work in a creative field but is not focused solely on web design as well as for professionals who understand how important an internet presence is for their career. The minor may also be helpful to academics and researchers who are interested in explaining their work and findings to people through the use of a website. People choose to minor in web design, because it complements so many different degrees. Below, you’ll find a list of just a few of the degrees that fit well with a minor in design, along with an explanation of why a design minor works so well with them.
Illustration: Illustration and design have always been good professional companions. Even in more traditional forms of advertising or communication, like magazines or newspapers, the two have gone hand-in-hand. While the purpose of design has often leaned toward the commercial, illustration has been the darling of more fine arts-related endeavors, like books.
Things have evolved in recent years, however, with many commercial brands needing illustrators to create a unique visual representation of their companies or ideas. Much of the time, a designer can create the necessary visuals through a mixture of text and photos, but sometimes, working with an illustrator is required. Photos alone can’t always create a complex visual idea in the same way that an illustration can.
All of this is to say that the person who studies illustration can learn a lot about the design process and about working with designers by minoring in web design (or another type of design, like print or UX/ UI design).
Communications, PR and Journalism: These three professions are related and therefore, worth mentioning together. In the old days, much of the way these professionals communicated to the public was through radio, TV and newspapers.
While this is still the case, the process has become streamlined due to budget constraints. Additionally, most if not all traditional media outlets, like TV stations, have websites that require content. But that’s not the only reason why communication professionals should learn web design.
More and more communication professionals have to not only write their own articles, but shoot their own video and even upload their content onto the websites they’re writing for due to budget constraints. Having web design skills will help them with rudimentary tasks, like adding HTML code to their text or working with videos or images on the site’s platform.
In this respect, adding a web design minor gives the communication professional a leg up in situations where he or she must work more independently.
Business and Marketing: Small startup business owners often have to wear many hats. Not only do they have to run their business day-today, they often have to take care of the tech side of things, too.
This means they’re required to upload new information to their websites, like blog posts, instructional videos, changes to services or menus (in the case of restaurants or bars) and other content. They often can’t afford to pay someone to do all of these tasks when they’re in the beginning of their business ventures.
In light of that, people majoring in business or marketing may want to take on a minor in web design to help them meet this demand.
Computer Science: Computer science and web design really go hand-in-hand. Computer science majors learn about how to code websites, so they understand the language that runs the site. Adding a web design minor teaches the computer science major to think visually when writing the code for a website.
Additionally, some computer science majors don’t wind up doing so much backend work. Instead, they become web designers and work the front end of the process. Knowing web design can help them land jobs after they graduate.
How Much Time Is Required?
If you decide to take on a minor, you should think about the amount of time the minor requires, as well as the number of credits you need to complete a minor. Adding a minor that doesn’t have any classes that overlap with your major’s requirements may add an extra year or two to your degree program.
That being said, some majors, like illustration, may already require students to take classes in web design as a part of their majors. In this case, there may not be that much extra time added to your overall educational plan.
The other issue that you may encounter is that you need to make a certain amount of progress toward your degree if you’re getting financial aid. If you go over the number of credits required for your degree, it’s likely that your financial aid will be cut off.
You do have some leeway with this, but you should be mindful that it could happen if you go too far over the credit limit. Just make sure you’re making satisfactory progress toward your degree, and you should be okay. However, if you’re in doubt, speak to someone in your school’s financial aid office to ensure that you’re on track.
Substitutes for a Minor
Getting a minor is just one way for you to learn web design. Other ways exist, too. For example, you may have an opportunity to do a couple of internships, where you’ll learn about web design on the job.
Internships are a good way to go for a couple of reasons. They allow you to earn credits toward your major, and they offer you the chance to get some on-the-job training as the same time. Aside from this, the contacts you may at an internship could eventually turn into job contacts down the road.
In light of this, it’s really important that you take the long view when you’re looking at your educational goals. If your goal is to dive deep into the college experience, taking on a minor might be the way to go. It legitimately extends the time you’ll be in college while still allowing you to build some valuable skills along the way.
On the other hand, if your goal is to get out into the job market as quickly as possible, then you may not want to go with a minor. That being said, there is one more substitute for a minor that would fit with this plan: a certificate program.
Getting an educational certificate in web design allows you to complete school and get out into the workforce. When you’re ready to take on more classes, you can sign up for a certificate program in web design and take classes either in your off hours or online. You’ll continue to work and earn money while you also continue to build your skills.
Back Up Plans
There is a fact that most college students learn at some point. Getting a degree doesn’t always equal getting a job in the field. Plenty of students study one subject and then wind up working in a field that’s completely unrelated to their degrees.
Having a minor in web design may be a way to ensure that you get a job in a field like even if you’re not hired for a job in your field. Your minor opens up more job prospects because you have more skills.
On a related note, many employers are impressed by a minor. They feel that it shows that an employee is willing to go above and beyond what is asked for and to really dive deep into learning. Most jobs nowadays require you to learn new skills throughout your career in order to stay relevant. Taking on a minor shows that you’re not afraid to learn extra skills.
Is It Necessary?
No, a web design minor is not necessary for anyone to get into web design, even if it is just for fun or for a side project. The truth is that web design is a trade that can be picked up by a lot of practice and research online. In fact, there are several articles that discuss how to get into web design without going to school for it. But while it is true that many of the skills necessary to become qualified in the field can be learned outside of the classroom, it may be helpful for some professionals to take courses on it while they are at school. The discipline and practice that is required to complete the courses will ensure that students have enough time with the concepts and theories to put what they learned to good use when called upon to do so. Any student who is considering the minor but isn’t sure yet should declare the minor, take a few courses, and then make up their mind about whether or not they want to continue to pursue it for their degree.
What To Look For
If a student has decided to complete a minor in web design, there are a few things they should look for. Since this degree is the minor and not the major, courses should be fundamental and introductory in nature; advanced courses are generally only reserved for those majoring in the subject. Courses in programming languages, the fundamentals of web design, and multimedia design are all good places to start with a minor. Other important courses to consider are web application development, back-end development, front-end development, graphic design, and digital media. Most students will find that it is possible to carve out a minor that focuses on one or two skills, making it easier for them to narrow down their elective choices for that minor.
Related Resource: Top 10 Online Web Design Degree Programs
Minors in web design are easy to come by, especially if a student chooses to attend an art school or a university that has a strong reputation in web design and development. Because the field is integral to business, with publications such as Forbes doing annual trend articles to help entrepreneurs, it has never been more clear that all professionals will be helped by learning a little about the industry. While a web design minor may not be a good choice for all students, those that love the field and want to learn more about it would be well-served by adding the minor to their bachelor’s degree.
Additionally, studying web design, even as a minor, opens up your job prospects. This can be particularly helpful if you’re having trouble finding a job related to your major.
Finally, employers love to see that a potential employee loves learning. Taking on a minor shows that. It also demonstrates that you’re willing to go the extra mile, which is such an important attitude in the workplace, particularly when crunch time comes.