To everyone who is in college, about to go to college, or considering a career change to the web industry — the web design industry in the Twin Cities is shrinking and the online marketing space is growing.
This is not because one is more important than the other. Nor is it because one is more fun or interesting than the other.
It is simply due to the fact that there are an abundance of tools making it possible for business owners to build their own websites that actually look legitimate.
You can personally thank Squarespace, Wix, and WordPress for that one.
For many small business owners, spending $3,000 – $15,000 on a website is just not high on the priority list. At that stage, getting a website up that just fits in with the rest is often “good enough”. This means fewer clients for web designers that churn out low to mid-level websites (which make up the majority of the industry).
This certainly does not indicate that the industry is going away. It is just getting more competitive and the average client is expecting more from their web design partner — which means smaller web design companies are competing for the same clients as larger more refined agencies. This also means fewer web design jobs.
Web design is a great skill and one that can be an asset to any company, but it might be a good time to consider a different primary skill such as learning how to grow web traffic or how to promote [effectively] via social media (and no, the fact that you love Facebook or Instagram does not count).
Another skill that is only getting more valuable is web development. Programming things to do work for us is the future, which makes it a great time to learn how to do just that.
If you are going to spend money on college, learn how to understand/run a business or learn a valuable, future-proofed trade. You can always round out your skill-set with other complementary proficiencies as time goes on.