Competition is fierce in the web design industry. Certifications help you stand out.
In 2022, there were over 200,000 web designers in the United States. Web designers and developers are among the 20 fastest-growing occupations, making this one of the most competitive industries in the country.
If you’re a web designer looking to stand out, you don’t need a university degree or the best equipment to go shoulder-to-shoulder with the competition. What you do need is a proven track record of creating high-quality web designs and a portfolio to prove it.
However, having credible web design certifications can boost your chances of landing a job and set you on the right path for an accomplished career — especially if you’re just starting out.
Do you need a certification to be a web designer?
Certifications aren’t compulsory — it’s possible to become a web designer without any. However, some clients will opt for designers with robust credentials, so keep in mind that a lack of certifications may make you less competitive. Certifications prove you have the required skill set to be a good hire.
In addition to looking good on a resume, web design certificates and online courses also offer opportunities to improve your knowledge of the field and stay up-to-date on industry innovations.
The best web design courses are clear and concise, leaving you with loads of information and a new certificate to boot.
What can you do with a web design certification?
Certificate programs allow you to advance your career while building credentials.
Web design certificates demonstrate that you've successfully completed a course or passed a test. These certificates often come with a badge that you can add to email signatures and portfolios.
Professional certifications also give you an edge in the employment process. They show potential clients your abilities and skills as a web designer and provide a solid first impression for anyone looking to hire a specialist.
The 5 best certifications for web design
Thousands of web design certifications online cover a wide range of industry niches. But which ones are the best?
We’ve compiled a list of certifications for web design professionals that cater to everyone, from beginners to advanced designers. These courses cover multiple areas of web design, including analytics, digital marketing, and advertising so you can focus on knowledge most pertinent to your field.
Here are the five best certifications for web design professionals:
1. Webflow University: Ultimate Web Design Course
Webflow’s web design course is “ultimate” for a reason. Offered through our educational platform, Webflow University, the course teaches students to master Webflow’s visual web development tool.
The Ultimate Web Design Course offers an introduction to the fundamentals of web design and web development before progressing to the more advanced concepts of web application and visual design. It consists of 118 videos that walk through the entire website-building process using typography, color theory, SEO, responsive design, and even 3D styles.
The course also shows students how to use Webflow’s content management system (CMS) and provides insight into the basics of web development. Many companies, including Dell, Upwork, and Lattice, used Webflow’s CMS to build their websites.
Webflow’s user interface is intuitive and makes the learning process enjoyable. We also offer related web design courses and various certifications covering ecommerce, SEO, accessibility in web design, and more.
Course length: 5 hours
Exam length: N/A
2. Adobe’s Web Authoring Using Adobe Dreamweaver
Adobe's Creative Cloud houses some of the most popular web design tools, including Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Adobe XD. Adobe Certified Professionals are highly sought-after because their well-respected credential confirms designer expertise to potential clients.
Adobe’s dedicated Dreamweaver certification, called Web Authoring Using Adobe Dreamweaver, is a certificate program strictly regulated by Adobe.
They provide study material and ample resources, including samples and templates that complement video lessons on topics like HTML, CSS, and responsive web design. Beginner tutorials are anywhere between 2-30 minutes, while advanced lessons are an hour long.
Adobe recommends completing 150 hours of instruction and hands-on learning before taking the final exam.
The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and can be taken online or in person at Adobe test centers. It covers five areas:
- Working in the web industry
- Project setup and interface
- Organizing content on a page
- Working with code to create and modify content
- Publishing digital media
Adobe also has certifications and exams for other software, including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe XD.
Adobe certifications are valid for three years, but we recommend retaking exams to update your certificate regularly as software updates come out.
Course length: N/A
Exam length: 50 minutes
3. Google Analytics IQ
There are many tools out there for data optimization, but Google Analytics is unquestionably the powerhouse of web analytics.
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification is an excellent certification from Google itself that teaches designers how to set up dashboards, report performance, and calculate conversions for their sites.
Learning Google Analytics empowers web designers to base design decisions on hard evidence rather than assumptions. The platform allows designers to understand what content attracts and converts visitors and what choices are less successful.
Aside from adding Analytics to their toolkit, a certification from Google elevates a designer’s reputation and credibility.
In fact, 61% of freelance web designers offer 2-3 skills as part of their services. While web designers don't always dabble in web analytics, a deep understanding of Google’s platform is a valuable skill that may attract potential clients.
Google’s Analytics IQ certification expires after 18 months, so it’s necessary to renew it regularly.
Course length: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Exam length: 90 minutes
4. Responsive Web Design Certification by freeCodeCamp
As the name implies, freeCodeCamp offers hundreds of articles, tutorials, and interactive courses at no cost. The platform also provides free educational resources and open-source software to help designers and developers gain practical expertise in coding.
A particularly outstanding course is freeCodeCamp’s Responsive Web Design Certification. In this course, students learn how to
- Build web pages using HTML and CSS
- Build a photography app for cats, a cafe menu, and a quiz using newly acquired HTML and CSS knowledge
- Make responsive web pages that adapt to multiple screen sizes
The course offers five other certifications in key areas of web design and development:
- Algorithms and data frameworks
- Front-end web development
- Data visualization
- Application Programming Interface and microservices
- Information security and quality assurance
Those who complete all six certifications receive a Full Stack Development Program Certificate from freeCodeCamp.
Course length: 300 hours per course (or 1,800 hours for the entire program)
Exam length: N/A
5. User Experience Design Certification by General Assembly
General Assembly’s User Experience Design Certification provides in-depth knowledge of various aspects of user experience (UX) design, including prototyping, wireframing, and usability testing. The course teaches students how to use popular UX design tools like Sketch and InVision.
There are two learning options available: a 10-week program or an accelerated one-week course.
Apart from UX design, General Assembly offers comprehensive certifications available in areas including visual design, digital marketing, and data science. Courses are taught by subject-matter experts who provide insights from well-known companies like Google, Amazon, and Airbnb and place a strong emphasis on learning practical skills with real-world usability.
General Assembly courses are more expensive than other certifications on this list, but they provide free beginner classes for those interested in introductory topics like interface design or programming.
Course length: 10 weeks for the regular program, one week for the accelerated course
Exam length: N/A
Become a certified web designer with Webflow
The web design industry is dynamic and decorated with various tools and trends that all designers should be familiar with. Continuous learning prepares you to out-compete other designers and attract new clients.
Clients may be impressed by certifications, but there’s no point in accumulating credentials if you aren’t making use of your skills. Try our dedicated design portfolio course to learn to build unique websites and a diverse portfolio in just 21 days. One of the best ways to engage customers is with a solid website portfolio that demonstrates why you’re a sought-after designer.