Web designers are now the true exponents of modern media in all its forms. They're the primary force behind the evolution of the internet, and also largely responsible for the demand for new and better software for web design purposes which has snowballed so rapidly online. Web designers are usually creative people, having good technical skills as well as design skills.
Web design qualifications are usually undertaken independently of basic formal education, but are frequently dovetailed into formal education studies like mathematics, graphic design, computer sciences, et cetera. This career path is actually quite a bit more complex than it looks, because of the range of elements involved. Basic web design training is quite literally based simply on the skills required to create a website, but many people approach web design skills development very differently.
The web design courses are obviously necessary at some point, but it's important to understand that there's a lot more to good web design than the purely mechanical process. Some people will start with a study like graphic design, and evolve that study stream into web design. Other people will simply do web design courses, and then find that they need the other skills, particularly layout and the creative elements, which are essential parts of good web design.
Success in web design is really based on a combination of qualifications and talent. Web design is very much a 'portfolio career', and the product of web design are visual, meaning that very strong skills can get a long way in career terms in a hurry.
The employment market for web designers is to put it mildly a very erratic thing. Types of employment include freelancing, working for web design organisations, odd jobs, commissions, and in many cases combinations of all these types of work.
Organisational work usually involve doing things like corporate websites, most of which aren't particularly challenging to competent web designers, except in the technical demands of particular cases. Career progression in these organisations is usually hierarchical, and can be quite slow, because most web designers take quite some time to develop the skills necessary to operate as independent agents.
Freelance and independent work, on the other hand, can go a long way in terms of career development, and rapidly create an excellent portfolio of web designs which can lead to very highly paid work. Most web designers, in fact, put a lot of effort into career development, including a large range of advanced certifications on multiple mainstream platforms.
Many web designers will often have an organisational job and be doing a considerable amount of freelance work on the side, which is usually a preliminary to going freelance on a full-time basis.
The business elements in career progression are extremely important. Freelance web design, which may include very high-value contracts, really is a business. Most professional web designers soon realise that fact, and also obtain the extra business skills as well to deal with a greatly increased level of complexity in their work.
The really good news is that web design is a particularly good medium for extremely creative people. The basics of web design are fairly easy to learn, and if you have a liking for technical work, these skills are very easy to acquire. There's almost no limit to the creative possibilities. These skills are also extremely portable and very useful in the employment market in a range of different areas.