Do you find yourself admiring different websites and blogs and thinking “I wish I could create something like that?” Or thinking of ways you could improve your favorite websites?
Then a career in web and digital communication might be for you!
Web developers design and produce websites that are both visually appealing and effective communication tools. Some are freelancers, working for a variety of clients in business, nonprofits, and the arts, while others work for companies large enough to employ full-time web developers. No matter where they work, developers need to be team players who collaborate with clients, graphic designers, and content writers to effectively convey the organization’s message and brand. They must have technical knowledge of web development and usability, and how to optimize website performance.
A PATHWAY TO JUMPSTART YOUR CAREER AS A WEB DEVELOPER... AND BEYOND
You can make the most of your high school years by receiving guided career exploration, developing real-world practical skills, and gaining work-based learning experiences. Whether you go to college right after graduation, a few years later, or decide not to go, you can be career-ready and positioned for success. That’s why we offer career pathways that maximize your options for life after high school.
Here’s how our Web and Digital Communication Pathway prepares you for a bright future, whether or not you decide to go to college.
First, we integrate project-based learning into the curriculum, so that classwork mirrors what you’ll be doing in the workplace. With project-based learning, there’s little memorize and repeat. Instead, you’re given a real-life problem to solve and you work with your team to come up with a creative solution. As just one example of a project, you’ll be asked to produce T-shirt designs, posters, flyers, and social media graphics for an Earth Day festival. You’ll also learn the technological tools today’s designers need, including Adobe Illustrator.
Second, upon graduation you will have a portfolio of work you can use to secure a job as a web developer—without the hassle or expense of additional training or degrees. The tuition-free program includes exam prep for the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)–Web Authoring Using Adobe Dreamweaver and ACA– Graphic Design and Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator certification exams, two highly regarded industry credentials. We also jumpstart your job search by helping you create a professional résumé, cover letter, and profile on Tallo—the leading professional networking platform for Gen Z. Plus, you connect virtually to design professionals through Nepris.*
Third, we position you for growth if you choose to continue your studies in web design; your projects may be used as work samples in your college applications. No matter which path you choose, this pathway provides an excellent foundation to web development and serves as a springboard for success.
OUR WEB AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS CURRICULUM IN DETAIL
All of our students take the core courses required for high school graduation in their state. The chart below shows the additional classes you’ll take as a Digital Communication Pathway student, and the industry-recognized certification exams you can prepare to take. You can see the rest of the curriculum by viewing the full course list.
Web developers design and create websites. This typically involves meeting with the client to understand their goals for the site, working with the client and sometimes a team of writers and graphic designers to create content for the site, writing code to turn that content into a user-friendly website, creating the webpage navigation and structure, integrating applications (such as payment processing platforms) into the site, and working to minimize webpage load times and maximize the number of visitors who can access the site at any one time.
Typical Entry-Level Education: Associate’s degree or commensurate portfolio of work
Graphic designers work with clients to create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. They often determine the layout and develop the graphics for advertisements, brochures, magazines, and reports. While the profession is overall declining, graphic designers with strong computer skills will continue to be in demand.
Typical Entry-Level Education: Bachelor’s degree
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you need a college degree to get a job as a web developer?
While most web developers have at least an associate’s degree, you do not absolutely need a degree to work as a web developer. Most important is a portfolio of work that clearly demonstrates your skill developing and launching visually stunning, highly functional websites that serve the website owners’ needs and communicate their brand.
A high-quality portfolio with lots of examples to demonstrate how you are a great fit to an employer gives you a better chance to be hired. Many employers require you to be proficient with website software such as Illustrator and Dreamweaver.
That’s why we help our students develop a portfolio and prepare you to take certification exams in Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Dreamweaver!
What classes should I take in high school to become a web developer?
Classes in Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and other relevant software are essential. Creating a portfolio of work is also paramount, and if you can create work for actual employers or non-profits, that is even better! You can seek out opportunities, paid or unpaid, to create or update websites for small non-profits, small businesses, or even student clubs or organizations.
Our Web and Digital Communication Pathway provides excellent preparation for a career in web development. Students take courses in digital arts, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Dreamweaver. We also provide test prep for the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)—Web Authoring Using Adobe Dreamweaver certification exam and the ACA—Graphic Design and Illustration Using Adobe Illustrator certification exam, two highly regarded industry credentials.
Our unique project-based learning curriculum focuses on helping students create a portfolio of work to showcase their skills to employers.
Membership to Business Professionals of America (BPA), the leading CTSO (Career and Technical Student Organization) for students pursuing careers in business, including web development, is included in our tuition-free program.* BPA is a terrific organization for networking, résumé building (through its many competitions), and skills development. BPA’s Workplace Skills Assessment Program (WSAP) allow students to develop and demonstrate their graphic design and other problem-solving skills at regional, state and national conferences, including specific competitions dedicated to website design, computer animation, and digital communication. BPA also offers students the ability to assume leadership positions and compete for scholarships.
What is the difference between the Web and Digital Communications Pathway and the Digital Design Pathway? Which one should I choose?
Our Web and Digital Communication Pathway teaches designing and producing websites using programs such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Dreamweaver. In this pathway, you’ll learn to leverage technology platforms as a visually stunning, effective communication tool.
The Digital Design pathway focuses on the creative aspects of creating high-quality impactful graphics that can be used in a variety of settings, including on the web. In this pathway, you’ll become more proficient in Photoshop and InDesign.
††Burning Glass Labor Insights, accessed October 19, 2020. Data is median salary for job postings with that job title, with typical minimum education requirements for that job title (as shown in chart on this page) and 0-2 years of experience, from October 1, 2019, to September 20, 2020. (For software developer, data includes two professions: Software Developer, Applications, and Software Developer, Systems Software).
†††Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook. Website last modified date: Wednesday, September 1, 2020.