Working as a web designer or developer can be a great career choice. Not only does it offer excellent income potential and high demand, but many designers and developers are able to land jobs (or build their own freelance business) without a college degree.
It’s possible to learn how to design and/or code relatively quickly, in comparison to other career paths that require 4+ years of college and a huge financial investment.
Of course, learning on your own outside of a traditional classroom setting will require some discipline and it won’t be easy, but it can be a great move if you’re looking for a fun and rewarding career.
On this page, you’ll find details of 10 resources that can help you to learn the skills that you need to land a job as a web designer or developer.
Flatiron School is unlike any of the other websites/companies covered in this article, and it’s a very intriguing option. Flatiron School offers online courses in coding, data science, and UX/UI design, as well as classes at 10 different campuses in the U.S. and London. Most of the other resources in this article are for online learning only, which makes Flatiron School unique.
The goal of Flatiron School is to help students launch a career, and they have some impressive results. On-campus graduates have a 97% employment rate and an average starting salary of $74,000. Online graduates have a 94% employment rate and an average starting salary of $67,000.
Courses last anywhere from a few months to a year, depending on the course and pace that you choose. Online courses offer a part-time option while on-campus courses are full-time.
Because Flatiron School offers an education that is more like a traditional college or university as opposed to simply online videos, the cost is higher. Tuition for on-campus classes is $17,000 and tuition for online classes is $15,000 (loans are available).
Another interesting option that makes Flatiron School really unique is its option for zero upfront tuition and income share agreement. Through these programs, they are able to make quality education available to more people who might not be able to afford it otherwise.
If you’re focused on building a career in design or development, Flatiron School is an excellent choice.
Treehouse is easily one of the best resources for learning skills related to web development and user experience design. Their goal is to provide students with the skills and experience needed to land a quality job.
Treehouse has a few different options, and you can choose the one that is the best fit for you.
- Self-Guided – Pricing is just $25 per month for access to incredible training resources.
- Techdegree – Access to training plus create a portfolio to help you land a job, get in-depth code reviews, weekly office hours, and real-time support for $199 per month.
While the self-guided plan is a great option, Techdegree is a project-based online program that is designed to get you ready for a career in the field.
Treehouse has had more than 180,000 students take its courses, and they have plenty of success stories from past students who completed the courses and went on to land the job that they were after.
Both the basic self-guided plan and Techdegree offer a 7-day free trial, so you can get started with no risk.
Techdegree offers 3 paths:
- Front end web development
- User experience design
With the help of the training videos, courses, and projects available through Treehouse, you’ll be able to learn valuable skills in a matter of months instead of years.
Code College is a project of Brad Hussey. Students will learn how to design and code websites through more than 80 hours of video training that is available. Code College has been around since 2012 and has served more than 15,000 students, so it has an excellent track record.
One thing that makes Code College unique is that part of Brad’s goal is to make the learning process fun and not boring.
The video training in Code College is broken down into 19 different courses and tutorials that will teach you all aspects of designing and coding websites. You can purchase courses individually (some are available for free) or purchase a monthly membership for $34/month to get access to everything. The monthly membership option also gives you the first month as a free trial, so there is nothing to lose.
If you’re looking to learn how to design websites, a Code College membership can be a great investment. If you’re looking for an individual course, Brad’s Ultimate Web Designer & Developer Course is a good choice.
Tuts+, owned by Envato, offers more than 1,000 video based courses, as well as a big selection of ebooks. Most of the courses at Tuts+ are one hour or less and teach some specific skill, although some courses are longer and more general.
Pricing for a Tuts+ membership is $16.50 per month, which also includes membership to Envato Elements. The Envato Elements membership will allow you unlimited downloads of templates, PSD files, and many other design resources.
Pluralsight offers a huge selection of courses related to web design and development. An example of one course is “Creating a Responsive Web Design”, which leads you through the process in just under 4 hours.
The courses at Pluralsight include hands-on projects and short assessments that will validate your skills.
You can get access to all of the courses at Pluralsight (there are thousands of them) for $35 per month or $299 annually. A premium plan is also available ($449 per year) that includes certification practice exams, interactive courses, and projects.
Code Academy offers online courses on design and development. The courses are organized and broken down into 4 different career paths that you can follow: code foundations, computer science, data science, and web development.
Code Adacemy also offers skills paths, which are short roadmaps to help you learn job-ready skills. The skill paths range from 6-10 weeks and include:
- How to build websites
- Create a front-end app with React
- Get started with machine learning
- Analyze data with SQL
- Analyze data with Python
A limited amount of content is available for free, but to get the majority of benefits you will need to upgrade to Code Academy Pro. The Pro membership gives you access to the skill and career paths, real world projects, exclusive content, and networking opportunities. The Pro membership costs $39.99 if you pay monthly, or $19.99 per month if paid annually.
Coursera partners with leading universities to provide access to online courses on a wide variety of topics. There are several courses related to web design, marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) that allow free enrollment through Coursera. You can also find colleges and universities that offer online education and degrees.
Access to the courses is available through a membership, which costs $299 per year. Most courses include several hours of video and require about 2-4 hours per week.
The training you’ll get through One Month is not as advanced as what you can get through some other options like Flatiron School, but there is still a lot of material included at a reasonable price.
Udemy is a marketplace of courses. Anyone can create a course and offer it through Udemy, which means there is a huge selection of courses on all kinds of different topics. There are courses for all different skill levels, and some are shorter and others are more in-depth.
You can find courses on Udemy that will teach you just about any aspect of web design or development, as well as other related topics like WordPress, SEO, blogging, social media marketing, etc.
You’ll be able to see an overall rating and read reviews from students who have taken the courses at Udemy, which can be really helpful for finding the right course.
The pricing will vary depending on the course, but in general, prices at Udemy are on the lower side. They also run sales and promotions frequently and you can offer purchase access to high-quality courses for $10-$20.
All of the courses at Udemy are for learning at your own pace through online videos. Once you purchase a course, you’ll have lifetime access to it.
CodePen is different than any other resource listed on this page, but I wanted to include it because it can be an excellent resource. CodePen is an online community for front-end developers. You can browse projects (and their code) and demos created by other developers, which can be a great way to learn. You can also share your own work and participate in challenges.
While CodePen doesn’t offer courses like most of the other resources listed in this article, it’s a great interactive playground that can help you to learn on your own and connect with others while doing it. CodePen is free to use or you can sign up for a pro account to get many additional features.
How to Get Started
While there are a lot of different ways to learn web design, determining which one is right for you will require you to see which option is the best fit for your own personal situation, including your goals, budget, and schedule.
If your goal is to start a fulfilling career, my top recommendations would be Flatiron School and Treehouse. Both offer quality training and both are focused on helping students learn skills that will enable them to launch a career in the field.
If you’re just tinkering and looking to learn for fun, or if you’re not sure yet how far you want to take it, other options like courses at Udemy, a Tuts+ membership, or getting involved in the community at CodePen can be great choices.