In tough economic times, some industries rise while others fall. Industries that make money or help others make money seem to always fare better than others. We have heard how the tech industry has been laying off large numbers of employees and contractors. You can argue much of this is COVID-19 fallout, with companies still fearing a potential recession.
The headcount at Twitter has been reduced by 70% in the past year. Facebook laid off about 13% of employees in 2022, and will probably lay off another 12% in 2023. Other tech companies that have recently reduced workforce numbers include LinkedIn, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Microsoft, Yahoo, Zoom, Salesforce and more.
However, these figures are just one side of the equation. Looking at the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics for May, we can see that U.S. tech occupations across the economy increased, and the unemployment rate decreased slightly from 2.1% to 2.0%. The current national average unemployment rate across all occupations is 3.7%. This means that even with big cuts in the large tech companies, we are seeing great resilience in the tech job market as a whole. Specifically, web design and development jobs are as strong as ever.
What Do the Numbers Say?
With all the economic turmoil in the tech sector, is entering a career in web design and development a good idea? Let’s look at the numbers. Overall, employment of web developers and digital designers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is a much faster rate than the average for all occupations. It is estimated that there will be 21,800 openings for web developers and digital designers annually over the next decade. A large portion of these openings will be to replace retiring designers and developers.
So, why is web design and other tech careers growing even in the times of layoffs? Web design and development is key to how companies make money. Every company needs to get its product story to market, which is where the web designers and developers come in. Web design is key to how a company makes money.
Think about it: who are the creative people managing the search engine optimization (SEO) that drives connections with the customers? Who creates the engaging content, graphics and sites that deliver the product story that gets people to buy? The answer is web developers and designers who help to execute marketing in a way that makes a company successful.
What Can I Do With Web Design and Development Skills?
Although many people think of the tech world when it comes to web designers and developers, they are in high demand in virtually all industries including healthcare, energy, manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, and retail. Put simply, any company or organization that needs to reach a target audience and maintain an online presence must have designers and developers. Those with web design and development skills can work in many different areas including programming, cybersecurity, database management, AI and robotics, graphic design, information security, user experience (UX) and others.
The good news is that a career in web design and development does not require a traditional four-year degree. You can earn certifications, like the ones we offer here at Web Professionals Global, that will demonstrate your skills and set you apart when it comes to proving yourself in the professional working world. If you have a certification (or multiple certifications) and a portfolio of projects you have created, hiring managers will be eager to talk with you because they know you would be starting with them ready to hit the ground running on day one. Plus, many designers and developers work on their own with a variety of different clients and act as their own bosses.
Why is it Important to Be Part of a Community of Professionals?
If you are considering becoming a web design or development professional, take advantage of becoming part of the largest community of web professionals in Web Professionals Global. Our mission is “Community, Education and Certifications,” and we help promote the advancement of all professionals in internet-based careers. We have special programming and certifications for web educators and teachers, and we work with teachers who want help or direction from a local or regional professional as well as independent and remote designers and developers who need advice running their own business. Web Professionals Global really is the one-stop shop for those in internet-based careers at any level.
Start Your Career Today
Whether you are a teacher looking for web design and development certifications for your students, or you are an adult seeking to transition into a new career, we can help. Reach out to us today to learn how Web Professionals Global can assist you in advancing your career.
We love to take moments to brag. Today we are boasting about a web design program at Massac County High School in Metropolis, IL. Penny Allen is one of our newest teachers, and already she is knocking it out of the park. Penny has a number of students who will be receiving their industry credentials this year. The first course completer is Nick Proctor, who is a newly minted Certified Web Designer Apprentice (CWDSA-apprentice). He is the first high school student in the state of Illinois to do so with the new Learn and Earn program. We are proud to welcome Nick as one of the newest members of Web Professionals Global.
As if that isn’t already enough, Nick has already designed the website for a local bakery, Miranda’s Delight. The Web Design certification process helped teach him the skills to build the site and he is now taking the website to the next level by consulting with search engine optimization (SEO) experts to learn how to get more people to see his site while searching online. Students like Nick are “future-proofing” themselves with international industry-recognized certifications from Web Professionals Global that they can take with them into their future educational and professional endeavors. With the changing world of work, having certifications to set yourself apart is more important than ever before.
Nick is a great example of the Learn and Earn model, in which industry professionals have underwritten certification costs for students around the country. Instead of teaching to a test, the Web Professionals Global approach is to teach learners by enabling them to gain real-world experience and build a portfolio they can take with them. Nick is developing a professional portfolio and already having an impact in his local community.
One of the great aspects of web design is that it is a growing and stable career field, and many designers work on their own. According to the job site Zippia, there are over 21,000 freelance web designers in the U.S. The growth rate of web design between 2021 and 2031 is expected to be 23%, far above the average rate of 5% for other professions.
We caught up with Nick and Penny to hear about their experiences with the Web Design course and certification.
Hear from Nick
What attracted you to wanting to be a web designer?
Well, really I think it was this class. I had never really considered web design until I started taking this class this year. It was always something that I was sort of interested in because I’m also really interested in graphic design and like video production. And I feel like those three kind of fall under the same category of creating things online. And this is probably the easiest form for me, because I’m not the most creative mind, I guess I’m a lot better at taking instruction and then putting it out on a piece of paper. And that’s kind of what this is, with graphic design. I really enjoy it and have fun with it. Although I don’t necessarily have an artistic mind, for some reason web design just comes naturally to me.
How do you feel about the idea that you’re actually earning industry credentials right now in high school?
It’s honestly kind of surreal, because I never assumed that I could, I guess achieve something like this while I’m still in high school. It seems like something that is out of reach for a high schooler, and then to have that opportunity and be going through it right now is really strange but cool.
How exciting is it that this certification has helped you realize some of your goals?
I think it’s really exciting. I’ve been trying to do this for years but never had success until now. So being able to work with a client, build the website and get a site host and then have a complete site is really cool. Having the certification is great because I can carry it with me in my future.
What was it like hearing from industry professionals?
Oh yeah, in the lessons the professionals really clarified a lot of the things that I was really confused about. And I think hearing advice from people who do this in their daily lives is really great. Obviously teachers help a lot, but sometimes you want to hear from people who actually work in that field. And hearing from multiple people gave me different perspectives on different concepts as well.
We hear that you’ve already started your web design business. Is that true?
Yeah, I’ve actually just finished my first client. I’ve published that website, actually, and it’s up right now. I am struggling with the SEO right now. I’m not exactly sure how search engine optimization works at the moment. But I’ve been researching that a lot today and yesterday, and I’ve got it published, I just need to get it out there really, for people to search it.
What do your parents think about the fact that you’re getting a certification while in high school?
They’re actually really impressed with it, because I guess I hadn’t properly explained to them that I was getting certifications until a couple months ago. I just kind of walked in the house with the certification. And my mom was like, where did you get this from? And I was, Oh, it’s my web design class that I’ve been taking for a couple months now. And I think she’s just really proud of it because I guess she didn’t know that my school offered something like that either. As far as I know, we don’t have other certifications offered at the school.
Hear from Penny
What does it mean to you to get your students “future-ready” (certifications, more than just tech skills, etc.)?
This certification gives students a way to make money now and not have to wait until they graduate. Most college students have to work in lower wage jobs while going to college and work long hours during the evening or late nights. This certification will give them the freedom to work when they want, making much more money while going to school.
What do you think of the Learn and Earn Model?
When I introduced the idea of the Learn and Earn model to my students, we talked about how industry professionals were going to underwrite the cost of the students receiving their certifications if they worked hard. I asked my students what they thought about the idea of doing the work and projects in lieu of an exam, and they agreed and said it was a better idea. With an exam they could just memorize a bunch of ‘stuff,” pass the test, and then immediately forget it all. However, this model means they actually have to learn it and use it! This encourages them to remember the material. We are all thankful to the partnership between Web Professionals Global and CTeLearning for this opportunity.
Become our Newest Member
Whether you are a teacher looking for industry certification opportunities for your students, a student in high school looking to advance your career prospects or a working professional seeking to develop new professional skills for a career change, we can help. Our international industry-recognized certifications prepare learners for in-demand 21st-century careers. Contact us today to chat about how we can help.
We recently received a message from Amy F., one of our Web Professionals Global members who used her Certified Web Designer Associate (CWDSA) certification to land a job with the leading company in North America that supplies sustainable steel products to construction and green energy fields. Let’s hear from Amy:
“Hi all, I am doing well! I used my Web Design certification to get hired at Nucor. I’m learning BIM (building information modeling) and steel detailing. I’m very grateful for the opportunity I had to earn my Web Design certification. I know getting my certification helped me tremendously to get my job and thrive in my new role!”
We are so proud to have helped Amy land a job that is utilizing her Certified Web Designer skills. Amy also earned our Remote Working Professional Certification, so she is ready to work either remotely or in a hybrid model. Amy is an example of how Web Professionals Global certifications prepare web professionals for exciting career pathways. Our membership includes students who are planning for their professional futures, working professionals who are developing new skills, and those who are making career changes. Again, congratulations to Amy. We look forward to following her career and welcoming others like her into our organization.
To learn more, below is the original Q&A blog article we did with Amy back when she first earned her Certified Web Designer Associate and Remote Working Professional certifications.
Today we are highlighting Amy F., one of our most recent Web Professionals Organization certification recipients. She earned her Certified Web Designer (CWDSA) and Certified Remote Working Professional (CRWP) certifications as well as an Ethics in the Workplace microcredential, all from the comfort of her own home. She can use these credentials and her robust portfolio of web design projects in future interviews with potential employers or as a base to launch her own business as a freelancer.
MyCAA—also referred to as the My Career Advancement Account— is a program that provides tuition assistance for courses and certifications to military spouses. Amy was able to utilize the MyCAA program, and we are proud to be associated with this program that helps military spouses succeed. We have worked with countless military members and spouses over the years to help them earn certifications, and they are always among our most driven and hard-working students. As a military spouse, Amy is a great example of why we offer online certification programs.
We caught up with Amy to ask about her experience taking courses and earning certifications as a working professional.
What initially attracted you to web design?
Coding reminds me of math in a way! The beauty of math is that it’s either right or wrong. I love that! As I learned about coding, I realized it has operations of its own, a set of rules that need to be followed. I find that relaxing.
As a military spouse, what did you enjoy about being able to complete the courses and certifications fully online?
I really appreciate that this class was fully online! I also liked the schedule flexibility as well as the ability to work on the certifications at my own pace and from wherever my husband and I were stationed at the time. We underwent a permanent change of station (PCS) move while I was in the middle of the courses, and I was able to continue working seamlessly.
How has taking the Remote Working Professional course and earning the certification empowered you as a working professional?
I’m fortunate that this course also offered a Remote Working Professional (RWP) Certification. I’m excited about the future and the jobs I will be able to get now that I have a RWP certification. I plan on working remotely so that I don’t have to look for work each time my husband and I change locations.
How has the Remote Working Professional course and certification changed your view of global connectivity and people being able to learn and work remotely from anywhere?
I love the fact that I can work for a company based anywhere in the world.
What skills did you learn in the Remote Working Professional course that you would share with a hiring manager in a job interview?
I learned a number of skills. To name just a few:
- Communication: well-mannered verbal and non-verbal communication as well as sending post-meeting recaps to avoid miscommunication are important.
- Organization: using a planner and setting a timeline.
- Ethics: adhering to commitments, showing empathy, and being respectful, honest, transparent, and accountable.
- Initiative: doing the job right and on time.
- Preparation: being ready for technology failures.
- Cultural sensitivity: understanding different cultural norms by researching before engaging.
- Cybersecurity: how to maintain safety and privacy.
How has your experience earning these certifications improved your confidence in being able to work from anywhere as a military spouse?
My mom and dad always tell me they’re proud of me…but that’s their job. I took the courses and earned the certifications so I could be proud of myself.
What advice would you give to others who are considering earning certifications to future-proof their careers?
The same advice my mom gave me: “The time is going to go by anyway!”
The internet, business, and marketing are all closely intertwined together—how do you think the courses and your new certifications will fit into your future plans as you go on to finish your business degree?
I will be graduating with my BBA this summer (woo-hoo)! Through my education I have earned experience, skills and qualifications that show I am capable of learning. After this summer, I plan to use my degree and certifications to land a nice job!
Mark DuBois, Executive Director of the Web Professionals Organization, said, “Amy is another great example of a MyCAA success story. I am proud of our military leadership for thinking about the whole military experience—not just for the service person, but for their spouses and families as well. I think it is a brilliant idea that we, as a country, invest in educational opportunities for military spouses. Our servicemen and servicewomen and their families sacrifice to maintain the security of our nation. Helping spouses gain marketable web technology skills so that they can move as duty requires helps make the family unit stronger and more resilient. MyCAA is money well spent. Everyone who has been a part of this program who has gone through the education and received certifications from us has been exactly the type of person employers want to hire. Congratulations again to Amy. We thank Amy and her husband for all they are doing to contribute to the safety and security of our country.” If you would like to earn certifications and learn skills that can make you a more marketable professional, check out our certifications list and contact us today. We would love to chat with you.
We are proud to announce our new and streamlined for states to use for their SkillsUSA web design and development competitions in 2023. This model is based on over 20 years of running web design and development competitions (including 2 decades running the SkillsUSA national web design and development competition – which started as a demonstration competition in 2004). With the COVID-19 pandemic, we gained significant insights in running this competition 100% virtually. We have employed this knowledge as we enhanced our model for 2023. We are also proud to announce that we have been recognized as an official partner of SkillsUSA for 2023.
We have been working with SkillsUSA for over two decades because of how much we are aligned in our vision of workplace needs. The SkillsUSA framework focuses on technical skills in addition to personal skills and workplace skills. This is the exact mix we strive for in our competitions. It is important to know the technical aspects of your trade, and it is equally important to work well in a team environment and follow ethical standards. This is also why we ask readers of our articles to sign our code of ethics (for members and non-members).
Our Internet based competition
This refreshed competition model is the most accessible it has ever been, enabling students to focus on creating innovative projects and equipping facilitators to run the competition seamlessly. Students only need a PC, Mac or Chromebook and an internet connection to participate in the competitions—giving those in rural, urban and suburban areas equal access.
Competitions can be run entirely online, which levels the playing field for students across the country and can give you flexibility should you need n the age of COVID-19 . This new competition model is future-proof and will be able to be implemented for years to come, no matter what the pandemic looks like in coming years.
Our (Web Professionals Global) competition support is free to state SkillsUSA competitions, and the new model makes the judging process more standardized and easier than ever before. States can run competitions whenever they want in 2023 in anticipation of our national competition in June in Atlanta. Please give us time to get your state setup with our online IDE (Integrated Development Environment), online exam, and online competition materials. Obviously each state will need Internet access during the day of competition for all competitors.
Not only does our new approach make it easier for any state to run their own web design and development competition, but it also ensures that every state is conducting their own competition that models the expectations their competitors will need to meet at our national competition. This gives every state — from small to large — the same turnkey resources to ensure a successful competition. This model is intended to only be used for the current cycle of SkillsUSA competitions.
This new model includes:
- Competition project with all graphic and textual assets that are similar in scope and style to what the competitors will experience at the national competition.
- Easy-to-apply rubrics help both new and veteran judges quickly evaluate team projects for creativity, design and best practices.
- Web-based coding editor and folder system allows judges to easily review any state competitor submissions. Judges can review work with just an internet connection, allowing states to have judges join virtually from anywhere.
- Web-based editor and site storage means your events committee does not have to worry that any competitor’s work can be lost or misplaced—all of it remains safe on the web.
- Judging preparation materials and training videos are included to make it easy for new judges to quickly get up to speed and be able to deliver consistent judging.
- Optional competition kickoff and welcome video delivers a consistent message to all competitors as well as some helpful hints about the competition project.
- Technical back up and support provided by our Web Professionals Global Organization.
- Fast and easy sign-up for state SkillsUSA leadership teams to reserve their free competition kit and web-based tools suite.
Contact us now
Because of these new systems Web Professionals Global is implementing for this year, any state can run a turnkey competition and give students an opportunity to build meaningful projects in an engaging online environment. All of this is provided free of charge to any state wishing to have an organized and impactful state-level web design and development competition to prepare their students well for the national competition.
Let us know as soon as you can. As you can imagine, there will be many states taking advantage of all this support, and we need time to be able to deliver all that you need.
Today we are highlighting Fabrizzia Kaso, a web design professional who earned her Remote Working Professional certification and is working on completing her Web Design certification with the Web Professionals Global Organization. She designed the website for J Works Virtual Solutions, an online support business that offers reliable, hands-on solutions to businesses needing time-freeing support. Jenna Moser, the CEO and founder of J Works Virtual Solutions, hired Fabrizzia to design a website that would increase the online presence of the business.
We caught up with Fabrizzia to hear about her experience on this project and what life is like as a web designer.
What was your experience like working with this client?
When I first met Jenna she was very nice and wonderful to work with, and I could tell she was passionate about her business. During the process of our work relationship, Jenna was efficient in her response time. She helped bring the project along, delivering all the essential pieces to build a beautiful website. We have valued each other from the beginning, which made it easy for me to start such a fun project with her. I love being able to build relationships that can last a lifetime. I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet Jenna and work with her on her website. She is a true professional, and I know she will succeed in whatever she does.
How did your coursework from Web Professionals Global prepare you for this project?
The course and mentorship provided the foundation for me to understand the basics of how to start a website and work on real-world projects. Today, I am able to build websites from scratch. This starts with brand personality, brand pictures and layout, and includes much more as the process develops. The coursework also taught me the importance of working with others and building a team to draw on the strengths of my professional colleagues.
As you add this project to your portfolio, what did you learn from it that you can apply to future projects?
I learned that I need to be well prepared to start a project. Organizing project finances is important, but it is equally important to have processes and systems in place to ensure the client knows exactly what he or she needs to provide prior to starting the project.
How has this project built your confidence now that you know you can build a website on your own?
It has helped tremendously and I couldn’t be happier with the results. What I liked most was the freedom I had to develop the website from scratch. I based the website on the client’s personality, company values and services. You have to give 100% to every client and honor their trust in you. This is especially important to remember when you are starting out. I see the result of my hard work in the requests from potential new clients to build their websites. I am excited to be able to take on future clients and create beautiful and meaningful relationships along the way.
What would you tell others thinking of starting a career in web design?
I would say that website design is more than just building the site. It is 50% creativity and imagination, 20% strategy, 20% content, and just 10% is the actual website layout. It is much more involved than most people think. Creating a website can be a very rewarding experience. It’s a chance to be creative and use imagination to build something people will see and interact with. But it’s also much more than just making the site. You need to be strategic about how you want people to use your site and what kind of content you’d like to include. And, of course, you need to build the site itself! If you’re feeling excited about creating a website, then it’s probably something you’ll enjoy doing. And who knows—you might even make a career out of it!
Now that you have completed the project, what advice would have been helpful at the start of the project?
Being professional and strategic when working with clients allows you to set yourself up for success and avoid unnecessary delays or cancellations. To prevent this, it is vital to be clear and concise when onboarding a new client. I learned how important it is to have a checklist of needed items and action steps for clients to complete before I start a project. This allows me and the client to be fully prepared for what is necessary for the project to begin. Taking care of this information can minimize the project time to avoid extra hassle. Clear and effective communication is essential for any successful project.
What would you tell others to keep in mind when beginning work with a client?
Professionalism and strategy are two crucial factors to success when working with clients. I recommend setting clear expectations from the very beginning. This will help set the tone for a professional relationship and ensure that both parties are on the same page from day one. Furthermore, being comfortable communicating with the client is crucial. This way, the client will always be updated on the project’s status and will not be caught off guard by any surprises. Finally, maintaining regular communication will build trust and credibility with the client, which are both essential for a successful working relationship.
What do you love about web design?
I love the creativity and functionality behind a well-designed website. Surprisingly, I also enjoyed the copywriting and blog writing aspect. The possibilities and designs are endless when designing a website.
What do you enjoy about working with your clients?
I enjoy sharing my professional worth ethic and values, working with them closely, and creating a bigger impact by establishing a strong client relationship.
Do you have a particular focus for your business?
I focus on discovering brand personality and creating engaging messaging for each of my clients.
What does it feel like when you hand the “keys” over to your client for their brand new website?
It feels like you are rewarding the client with an Oscar or Grammy. The best part is when you see the smile on his or her face. That is the true fulfillment for me.
Connect With Us
Have you wondered what it is like to work as a web designer? Contact us today to chat about our web design certifications as well as all the other certifications we offer. We would be happy to talk with you about how we can help you reach your professional goals.
Our organization was proud to help facilitate the web design contest at the national SkillsUSA competition in Atlanta, GA from June 19-24, 2022. Our team arrived on Sunday, set up Monday and Tuesday, and ran the high school competition on Wednesday and post-secondary competition on Thursday. We also organized a Thursday evening debrief and meet and greet with industry professionals and participated in the overall awards ceremony on Friday evening. We would like to thank all our team members for using their vacation time to support SkillsUSA and the web design contest.
This year, the web design contest teams were greeted with messages in Spanish, German, Chinese, French and Arabic from our international members. One of the benefits of our organization is that our community is made up of members from all over the world, and our international experience and membership helps to craft the real-world challenges that our competition delivers. We are about helping to create and support whole professionals ready to work both domestically and internationally—especially in this age of remote work.
The competition was held at the Georgia World Congress Center, and the competitors were teams of two from different states in the country. The teams were tasked with creating websites for clients, all while completing specific tasks in the process to demonstrate web design proficiency.
We were able to utilize the online technologies we developed in 2020 and 2021 when we ran the contest fully online due to COVID-19. This design allowed all competitors on-site to participate—whether they had a laptop, PC, Mac, or Chromebook. All tools were available online and were the same for each of the teams. This meant the teams could focus on listening to and meeting the client’s needs, fundamentals and creativity to win the day. Our new system allowed us to judge all the competitors’ work online, which improved the efficiency of judging the final products that the teams designed.
It should be pointed out that this competition is far more than just a competitive challenge. We at Web Professionals Global, which started the competition in 2004, brought our mission of “Community, Education and Certification” to the competition. Our community of professionals developed the competition challenges and judged the work of each team. We also provided training before the event to help give the competitors the chance to learn about trends in the industry and more about what it takes to be competitive in this in-demand and high-paying career pathway.
Just like in the real-world, each team met with the client whom they were building the website for. This provided the competitors with a real-world environment to get a taste of what it is like to work as a web design professional. After the event, we held a Q&A event with the web design professionals who had been part of the judging team. This was an opportunity for the teams to hear from professional web designers about personal experiences, how to get started, the ups and downs of the career pathway, day-to-day experiences on the job, and how to set themselves apart and on the path of success.
To learn more about Web Professionals Global or the SkillsUSA competition, contact us today. We would love to chat with you.
Jonathan, the client, holding a meeting with all of the competitors Wednesday morning at the beginning of the event.
David Jackson and Bryce Hickson, web designers and lead judges, speaking to the high school and post-secondary competitors in the competition debrief on Thursday.
The competitors chatting with David and Bryce after the debrief.
Mark DuBois, Executive Director, Web Professionals Global, handing out awards at the ceremony on Friday night.