There are many forms of formal education ranging from courses addressing specific branches of work all the way to degree level education options. Web design is dominated by people that are self taught or have qualifications in other areas so how can having a formal education help someone looking at a career in Web Design.
Certificates and Degrees
Formal recognized education is only part of what someone will need to work in web design. They will also need to have the knowledge and experience to do the work. In general people with formal education and certificates can attract higher wages and are more likely to be offered senior positions.
A Better Foundation
One of the major advantages of formal education is that it includes a lot of foundation knowledge and theory that is not covered by people that are self taught. This is because people that are self taught normally learn specific knowledge related to a specific discipline, program or coding language. Formal education gives the background theory and overview for all areas so that a person has a better a better understanding of how everything works together.
Learning to Learn
A major objective of formal education is teaching how to learn a subject. They are shown how to research, present what they have learned in a written document and complete tasks that are set with specific deadlines. This is all useful in the business side of web design as well as the design side and can be an advantage when it comes to employment opportunities where people are wanted that can rapidly integrate new development platforms into the web design process.
Helping To Find Work
When a person completes formal education then it is common for the institution that they have attended to have a network of industry contacts that can aid the search for a job. This may be in an internship, part time or full time position and in many cases they can begin working during the final year or semester of the program. Companies like to employ students as interns and part time junior employees because this allows them to see how they work before giving them an opportunity as a graduate.
This sort of direct pipeline into companies just is not possible when you are educating yourself and is something that the institutions and companies both like to foster because it delivers graduates that have real experience and gives the companies the first pick of promising potential employees.
Educational institutions are responding to the need for different course delivery options that can make formal education easier. This include offering more part-time courses and delivering them via the internet making it less costly and easier to integrate working and education by allowing most or all of the work to be undertaken from home.
This is also supported by many businesses in the web development sphere that help employees by giving the time off to take exams. Many also help with course expenses because they see the value in having a better educated staff member.