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Should You Be Starting a Career in Web Design Today?

By: James Cummings

Web design encompasses various skills involved in the creation and maintenance of websites including interface design, UX design, and search engine optimization, among others. It is considered a relatively new field as it got on the scene with the advent of the internet, and as the internet has grown, so has web design.

You may have heard various opinions or comments about how saturated the web design field is right now and how it may become obsolete in the near future. Meanwhile, there is evidence to prove that spending on global information technology continues to rise. 2015 saw a rise of $2,199.3 billion from $2,081.9 billion in 2014 and it has been predicted that the market will reach $2,461.1 billion by 2019. A growth in the IT market as a whole is expected to be good for web design, but does this necessarily mean it’s good for web designers?

Site builders are perhaps the biggest perceived threat to the average web designer. It is difficult to explain to clients why they should pay you $3,000 for a website when they can get a similar one using a DIY web builder, and for a fraction of the price. Larger companies may have no problem paying a professional web designer to provide them with quality service but smaller companies with a tighter budget will likely find better value in using a site builder. But is this enough reason to feel threatened? There will always be high-paying clients who need customizable and tailored web design solutions as there will always be small-scale businesses and individuals who don't need a fancy website. 

These days, it is exceedingly easy for the average person or small business to create a functional website on their own, especially with companies like Free Parking Domains where anyone can get a domain name and use their web builder to set up a website in a matter of hours. Perhaps what really needs to happen is designers changing their attitude to site builders and taking advantage of the technology to make their work easier while offering services to smaller clients at cheaper rates.

Also, web designers who are still at the level of web design that site builders offer may have enough reason to feel threatened if they don't scale up and improve their skills, especially considering that site builders are expected to become even more sophisticated in the near future. The key to succeeding as a web designer is to closely watch the trends and make improvements when necessary.

Another complaint often heard among web designers is there are not enough jobs for the number of web designers out there. Many web designers feel threatened due to the number of web designers from countries like India and the Philippines who offer web design services at dirt cheap rates. It is difficult competing with web designers who charge only a fraction of what you would and still get the job done.

Consider that maybe the problem is not those web designers, or at least it's not a problem you can control. This Forbes article confirms that it is more of a question of quality rather than quantity. Top notch web designers never have to look for a job as they always have a line of offers waiting for them.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics “Employment of web developers is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce.”

What you can and should do as a web designer looking for opportunities is to improve and expand your skills. Be sure to follow trends in your industry because the skills that are in demand one year may not be the same that are in demand the following year. You can use job boards like ours to find out which jobs are available and the skills required. As you do this overtime, you may begin to notice patterns in the kind of skills employers are looking for and you will be in the know when the trends shift.