Careers in Web Design – Part 1

June 10th, 2013

I’ll start with the conclusion: there will be plenty of web design and web programming jobs in the future. In fact, if you know the right stuff, there will be more work than you can handle!

You may have heard that big tech companies like Microsoft have been lobbying the US Congress on letting high tech trained foreign students stay in the US to work. The reason they want these people to stay, is not take jobs away from Americans, no …. it’s because there aren’t nearly enough Americans to take those jobs!

I’ve read that there will be as few as 10% of required nerds (tech people) available over the next ten years to fill the jobs!

… That means a few things:

  • Plenty of work.
  • Rising pay.
  • More perks.

You must learn the RIGHT web technology

The key to the good jobs (or contracts as a freelance web designer) is to know the hot technology and to forget about the old stuff. So what should you know these days?

What to know:

  • PHP and/or Ruby
  • JavaScript and JavaScript Libraries like JQuery
  • HTML5 & CSS3
  • Mobile and Responsive Web Design
  • RAD web design techniques.

What to forget:

  • Perl
  • Flash
  • Old school web design techniques – more on that later.

I will continue this is part 2.


Stefan Mischook

10 Responses to “Careers in Web Design – Part 1”

  1. Christina says:

    It’s Perl not Pearl.

  2. You correct .. I’ve updated it.


  3. SKS says:

    As always – practical and to the point. Also feel sincerity in advice.

    Looking fwd to next article in series.

  4. Derx says:

    I always visit this killersites blog, contents are always interesting!

    How about .jsp, .asp? Is php better than these programming tools?

    Thanks Stef!

  5. Hi,

    You don’t want to be using classic .asp anymore … that was replaced long ago by ASP.NET.

    JSP is Java Server Pages and was Java’s take on ASP. It is still very usable but you need to know Java, Servlets and whole lot more. Finally, Java is a very verbose (long winded) language when compared to PHP or Ruby.

    So if you are looking to build your own web applications or work on small to medium projects, stick to PHP or Ruby. Java (JSP) and are really enterprise technologies.

    Thanks for the kind words.


  6. Jose says:

    Hi what language is similar to Lingo, I learned it a long time ago when it was popular but then it died. It was so easy to understand and I haven’t found something similar maybe Javascript? I know you have years in languages, any advice? thanks

  7. Hmmm .. in terms of web based languages? I would suggest JavaScript perhaps .. but only vaguely. It has been a long, long time since I’ve even seen Lingo code so it hard for me to say.

    Regardless, since you understand the basic programming constructs, approaching any language should be easier for you than for someone totally new to programming. I would suggest going with JavaScript first because it does have an event model that will remind you (at least in principle) to Lingo. Check out my beginners javaScript course:

  8. Jose says:

    thanks for the info, it is easier to grasp. I’m a web designer and have been building mockups for a few years, I have worked side by side with web developers so there hasn’t been a need for me to learn coding. But I’ve seen web developers to be in a type of more value position, even getting paid way more. What do you think of this?, should a web designer lean more into web developing. Just so he or she can be of value in the future, I’m thinking how graphic designers were once well paid, and now are under paid. I might be mistaken but that’s what I experienced what do you think?.

  9. Hi Jose,

    I am a BIG advocate of learning web programming … in fact, I’ve been writing about this for years. With the exception of crazy talented and well known designers, web programmers make much more money, have many more jobs to choose from and generally speaking, are treated much better.

    If you know web design and are comfortable with HTML and CSS, then my Complete Web Programmer package will teach you everything you need to know to become a viable commercial web programmer:


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