September 3, 2013
Writer: Caleb Trujillo
Are you struggling to decide which online degree to pursue? Perhaps you have a wide range of interests or don’t know viable career options after graduation. Consider Web Design and Development.
Since starting in January 2013, Web Design and Development (WDD) is one of the newest degrees offered to BYU-Idaho online students. Today’s world is fast-paced, technology-driven, and thirsty for innovation. The WDD degree will prepare you with the skills to enter this ever-changing workforce.
If you are someone who struggles with choosing one set field of study, the structure of the WDD degree might interest you. Courses from Art, Communication, Business, CIT (Computer Information Technology), Computer Science, and English are all part of the WDD degree. So, you are getting a wide breadth of studies in courses that all combine to create a totally integrated degree. These courses include graphic design, technical writing, web business, and computer-based classes. Another great aspect of the degree is that you can pursue either a bachelor’s or associate. For an idea of the different courses offered, take a look at the degree catalog. Please note the course availability when deciding on which classes to take as some of the higher level courses are not yet available.
You still might be wondering what WDD majors do. Well, have you ever visited a certain website or blog and thought, “This is so user-friendly and efficient,” or “I like the design of this”? Those desired effects are created by people who have WDD skills.
“There are two emphases in the Web Design and Development degree,” said Steve Rigby, chair of the Computer Information Technology Department. “There is the design piece and the development piece. The design piece is where students focus on the experience a user has with the website. That is why students take art classes and they learn design principles to make a website visually pleasing. The development emphasis focuses on security interactions with other systems and how the website communicates with the backend database--getting information in and out of the database.”
Other fields of employment to which the WDD principles apply are:
- Audiovisual Communications Technology
- Broadcast Journalism
- Communication & Journalism
- Communication & Media Studies
- Electrical/Communications Engineering
- Graphic Communications
- Mass Communications
- Public Relations & Organizational Communication
- Radio/TV/Digital Communication
Another reason you might want to consider pursuing a WDD degree is the ease of potentially working from home. “I am just starting the classes this semester, but I am so excited to be able to get a degree that will allow me, a stay-at-home mom of three, to put my family first,” said Lisa Anderson, a student studying WDD. “I feel strongly that I need to be able to help support my family financially, but I don't want my kids to suffer because of that. Being able to work in the web design field will allow me to help my family while keeping them as my priority.”
“There are also significant financial benefits,” said Janis Felsted, also studying WDD. “Staying home saves fuel and other transportation costs. If I went to work right now, we would have to buy me a dependable car. Wardrobe costs are less, and food costs can be less than when all meals are prepared and cooked after 5 p.m.”
Overall, there is also a great need for WDD majors in the computer technology job market. According to US News & World Report, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 21.7 percent employment growth for Web developers between 2010 and 2020. During that time period, about 65,700 jobs will need to be filled.” The article also lists the title “web developer” within the top-10 jobs of 2013.
If you have more questions about the WDD degree, contact the Online Support Center at (208) 496-1800 or join the Facebook group for BYU-Idaho online WDD majors.