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Can a Felon Become a Web Designer?

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Felons know all too well how difficult life is once they get that conviction. While felons may think no one will hire them after their release, there are resources available.

Those felons with an interest in the internet may think about becoming a web designer. This blog post will address the issue of whether or not a felon can become a web designer.

  • What is a Web Designer?
  • What is Required to Become a Web Designer?
  • How Much Does a Web Designer Earn?
  • An Opportunity for Felons?
  • Recommended Action


What is a Web Designer?

A web designer organizes information, creates content, and designs the layout for a website. He or she typically has the following responsibilities:

  • Uses computer technology to make a website functional
  • Designs navigational elements
  • Develops graphics, colors, layout, and fonts
  • Uses HTML to lay out the website
  • Updates the website

A web designer is innovative and also understands all of a website’s functions and its computer technology. A web designer meets with clients to create multiple website pages using computer graphics software like Adobe and Photoshop. He or she must understand JavaScript to animate the graphics on the site.

The goal of web design is to create pages that capture the website visitor’s attention and convert into paying customers or provide specific information about a product, company, or organization.

There is a difference between a web developer and a web designer. A web developer focuses on the programming language for a website. He or she will build a website and all of the pages for that site. A web designer helps create the website using creative skills as well as having strong computer programming skills.

What is Required to Become a Web Designer?

There is no particular degree or certification necessary to become a web designer. Often, someone may have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or graphic design. A web designer needs graphic and programmer knowledge regardless of how that knowledge is learned.

Many web designers are self-taught and gain the knowledge needed to become a web designer through college courses and real-life experience.

Typical course work includes:

  • Web design
  • Programming concepts
  • Digital imaging
  • Animation
  • Multimedia design

A web designer can become certified through software companies as well as professional organizations.

Employers may hire web designers who have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or graphic design. Computer programming and internet marketing are important aspects of a web designer’s training.

How Much Does a Web Designer Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 162,900 web designers as of 2016. The median annual income for a graphic (web) designer was $67,990 in 2017. The median wage is that income at which half of the web designers earned more than that amount and half earned less.

Experience, specialization, and geographic location could have a significant impact on these earnings.  Those web designers working in California, New York, Washington, and Virginia have the highest salaries. Generally, a web designer on the East or West coast or in the South receives a higher salary than one in other areas.

However, location may not be as important since web design can be an online job.

Employment of web designers is expected to grow by 15% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than average. A primary reason for the increase is a large growth of the internet and the need for new or updated websites.

An Opportunity for Felons?

Becoming a web designer is a possibility for felons.

Computer technology and programming continue to be growing fields and don’t require a license or certification. There are many training opportunities available through universities, community colleges, and trade schools. Felons do tend to have an easier time getting a job that doesn’t involve direct contact with the public.

A felon can pursue any degree he or she wants. Although 60% of colleges consider criminal history in their admissions process, there is no standard policy regarding a background check. Any felon that wants to get a degree can find a college that will accept him or her. The challenge is in obtaining any certification and getting a job after graduating.

Any felony conviction appearing on a background check could disqualify an individual from being a web designer. In order to be successful in their pursuit of becoming a web designer, it’s essential for felons to be honest about their background. Lying about their conviction will prevent them from becoming a web designer. Felons deserve the chance to show they can be good employees.

If a felony isn’t disclosed but is found on a background check, this constitutes fraud and is a punishable crime which would require an attorney and could result in their being sent back to prison.

Having their felony expunged can give them the chance they need to begin with a clean record and succeed in becoming a web designer. Expunging a criminal record allows anyone to honestly state on an application that they have not been convicted of a crime.

Recommended Action

It may be a difficult road for felons to travel, but how do they do that? The same way they did their time in prison: one day at a time. They have work hard to give themselves the best chance at success. Having their record expunged could make a critical difference.

Then, it would be beneficial to document any education or training they have completed since their release. Taking time to develop a strong resume will also boost their chances.

Having support from family and friends is essential. We aren’t defined by the mistakes we make but by how we recover from them. A felon doesn’t have to be defined by his or her crime. He or she can begin again and establish an honest life no matter how tough it may seem.

What do you think about this blog post? Have you or someone you know been in the situation of trying to become a web designer with a felony? What was that like for him or her, and how did he or she achieve success? Please tell us in the comments below.

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