Lubbock Christian University

LCU Adds New Web Design Degree

This fall, Lubbock Christian University’s (LCU) School of Business began offering a new Bachelor of Science degree in Web Design. The new comprehensive Web Design degree provides a holistic approach to the discipline, ensuring that students understand each of the components that work together in web development and design while also providing opportunities to specialize in certain specific facets of web design.

“The intention of this new degree is to provide all of the fundamental and advanced skillsets for our students to be successful in web design,” explained Nathan Richardson, Instructor of Digital Media Applications.

Richardson stated that the coursework will cover multiple facets of web development, not just coding and structure. While LCU has long offered a web design course as part of the Information Systems and Technology and Digital Media Applications degree programs, this new degree will give students a broader and more comprehensive foundation for web design careers. Richardson continued, “When we talk about web design, most people immediately think of coding and styling. But web design is so much more than that—it has to do with planning, structure, architecture, and back-end development.”

The Web Design degree provides the flexibility in skills to allow students to pursue a broad range of careers within the web design field, ranging from user experience design, user interface design, web development, and content creation and editing, to name a few. It is the adaptive nature of the program that strengthens its marketability and maximizes its value to graduates seeking careers in the industry.

Dr. Doug Darby, Assistant Professor of Information Systems and Technology, is the Web Design program coordinator. In speaking on the vision and motivation for developing the program, Darby explained, “We don't want to create a niche degree, but instead to create a core foundation within that area.”

Both Dr. Darby and Richardson explained that they regularly receive calls from companies requesting LCU graduates and students to help in web design. As Richardson noted, “Web design is one of our most highly-requested internship placements.” This aligns with industry research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021 web designers averaged an annual salary of over $78,000, and the number of available jobs are expected to grow by 23% over the next decade—much faster than average. “We're filling a need that we can see within the industry, and one that we see within this region." As Darby pointed out, "there’s a ton of opportunity."

One of the unique differentiators of the Web Design degree is the integration of business practices. “The School of Business is a natural fit for the program,” Richardson states. In addition to gaining the essential conceptual and technical skills needed, students also benefit from the integration of general business strategies and practices into the program. In speaking with Darby, the value added from its position within the School of Business was clearly apparent. Students develop an understanding of how web designers work within organizations and function effectively as part of the whole. The inclusion of key business-related courses provides students with critical skills and prepares them to work within the situations they will face in their careers.

“It's a competitive degree,” Richardson emphasized. The degree provides a decisive response to the needs and opportunities that research demonstrates. Darby and Richardson are both excited about the skills and knowledge graduates of the program will be equipped with and the marketability the degree provides. When asked about his anticipation for the program, Darby stressed that the new degree should enable graduates “to be fully equipped, right off the bat, to be productive immediately after graduation, and contribute in a meaningful way.”

Learn more about the new Web Design Degree, or apply to LCU today!