Skills a Web Designer And Web Developer Need

I’m recently working as a career adviser at Frog, which is a study abroad agency specialized in Web/IT industry for Japanese web designers and developers based in Vancouver, Canada. Then I often asked “What kind of skills do I need to work there?” or “How many years of work experience do I need?”. Therefore, I researched over 300 job postings on several job boards. I hope this article will help you!


I researched those online job boards below, targeting English speaking countries including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Web Designer

Data consisted of 151 job postings. I was targeting mainly the following job title.

  • Web designer
  • Front-end designer
  • UI designer
  • Interface designer

Years of Work Experience

Piechart of required Years of Work Experience for web designers
81% of companies required some work experience of the same field. Requirement of work experience over 1 year (28%) and over 2 years (20%) together made up almost 50% of all work experience requirement. Among the companies that do not focus on work experience years, 63% of companies required completion of university or college in related area. Some companies need your great portfolio more than your past experience.

Education

Piechart of required educational background for web designers
Companies which required bachelor degree in related area accounted for 45%. 55% of companies didn’t matter the educational background, accounted for more than half. There is a curious fact; among companies that required bachelor degree, 76% of them were companies from the US. I assume that there are too many web designers in the US, a web-developed country, so they filtered positive candidates by their educational background. If it’s true, other countries will follow their way to choose the right person in the future.

Required Skills

bar chart of required skills for web designers
All companies required design skill using some graphic tools like Photoshop or Illustrator, including typography and colour theory knowledge. Other requirement skills were HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Skills of JavaScript didn’t mean that you have to manipulate JavaScript DOM or API but need a skill of using jQuery or similar libraries. Companies that required WordPress skill need a person who can create original WordPress themes.

Other requirement included Sass/LESS, mobile app design, Grunt/gulp, Bootstrap, SVG or print design skills.

Preferred skills included Magento theme design and front-end development, AngularJS, movie editing, SEO or marketing knowledge.

Web Developer

Data consisted of 182 job postings. I was targeting mainly the following job title.

  • Web developer
  • Front-end developer
  • JavaScript developer
  • UI engineer
  • Front-end engineer

Years of Work Experience

Piechart of required Years of Work Experience for web developers
While in the case of web developer, about 70% of companies required some work experience in the same field. The proportion of companies that didn’t require work experience for web developers (31%) exceeded that for web designers (19%). They required CodePen, GitHub or Stack Overflow account to see their works instead of experience. This means an online portfolio website is important for not only web designers but also web developers.

Education

Piechart of required educational background for web developers
Companies that did not matter education has accounted for 71%. As in the case of Web designers, 89% of companies that were looking for someone got bachelor degree of the relevant departments were US companies and 81% of companies seeking someone who got college diploma were Canadian companies.

Required Skills

Bar chart of required skills for web developers
By the same token, HTML, CSS and JavaScript were 3 most popular requirement skills. I will describe about JavaScript libraries/frameworks later because they are really wide variety. Most of companies that required PHP were looking for someone who can customize CMS like WordPress. Some companies required Sass/LESS or Git knowledge to work in their work flow together.

Other requirement included AWS, Python, SVG and Perl.

Preferred skills included to use graphic tools like Photoshop, design skill, creating newsletter templates, Vagrant, Google Maps API or Facebook API.

JavaScript Libraries/Frameworks

Required JavaScript libraries and frameworks
There are many JavaScript libraries and frameworks in today’s world but the most popular one is of course jQuery. AngularJS is also popular. Some companies posted “AngularJS developer” as a job title. Other libraries/frameworks were D3, Mocha, Knockout, React, Jasmine, CoffeeScript, Ext, Underscore and Vanilla in order of descending the amount of requirements. All companies didn’t require only one library/framework but mentioned multiple ones like “JavaScript (jQuery, AngularJS, Node, Mocha)”.

Other Requirement

I also found some companies posted those requirement.

  • Citizen, permanent residents or holding a work permit
  • Know the difference between Arial and Helvetica
  • Mac lover
  • Dog lover
  • Travel lover
  • Sports lover
  • Beer lover
  • Sense of humour

“Citizen, permanent residents or holding a work permit” is really important but not easy to fulfill for foreigners like us. You have to check if you are eligible to work in that country to make sure before you start to work there. Knowing the difference between Arial and Helvetica … would be important for designers. Dog lover… dog? Beer…? Sense of humour……?
Well, they need someone who has the same hobby and is comfortable to talk together :)


I hope those data helps you, especially people who are looking for a job from non-English speaking countries!

Share

Comments

  • Such survey definitely going to help me in deciding what I am doing and is it good or not. I would recommend all web developer to read this post. Very helpful.