Job descriptions and industry overviews

Web developer/designer

With a mix of creativity and tech know-how, web designers are the ones who give websites the look and “feel” that makes people want to visit them.

woman working on a tablet

Although no company is without a website, much of the mystery has been taken out of web development in recent years, and this is serving to weed out some of the lower-skilled, template-based pretenders who had been saturating the market. However, there are still web development jobs out there for highly skilled professionals and there are new opportunities emerging every day.

Skills you need for web design

At its best, web development is a skilled and interdisciplinary profession involving the design, maintenance and testing of websites and which integrates IT, design and business skills. On the technical side, candidates should be familiar with HTML, ASP, SQL and JavaScript, C++, CSS and Visual Basic. But it’s important to note that committed professionals need to keep abreast of changing technology and trends in the field.

How your web design career can develop

There are good prospects currently for experienced web designers and even better career progression for those who specialise, for instance in media integration or animation. They may become involved in client consultancy and project management while many opt for self-employment.

What web development involves

The type of work can vary. Some graduates might find themselves working for software companies on the development of web applications, while others will find themselves designing actual websites. Large organisations typically employ their own web developers, and so new candidates can find themselves working within a team for retail businesses, web consultancies, government organisations or software companies.

In these environs, a new employee might be involved in only a single aspect of the work (such as programming in JavaScript or testing and maintenance), but as they progress through their career they would increasingly be required to liaise with clients and spearhead projects. At this level web development can be seen as a collaborative process with the client, and so people skills as well as design skills are crucial. Typically, working hours are standard, although flexibility will often be required if deadlines loom. As with many IT professions, travel opportunities are excellent for the skilled professional.

Typical employers

  • Software companies
  • Technical/e-commerce/web consultancies
  • Retail businesses
  • Government/state organisations
  • Airlines
  • Entertainment companies

Typical qualifications

Graduates of subjects such as computing/IT or web development. Numerous colleges and institutions offer postgraduate conversion courses in IT for graduates of other disciplines.

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