There are lots of ways to get the education and experience needed to become a professional website designer or developer. But there are some basics that you should know in order to get a job so that you can gain the experience needed for more advanced jobs.
Focus your education on design and less on building Web pages specifically. Most Web Designers have spent a lot more time learning HTML and how to use Dreamweaver than they have learning anything about white space and creating a design that flows. If you get educated in classical design techniques and skills, you will stand out as a designer.
In recent days we have teamed up with a well reputed web design company in Toronto to give our students some hands on training. You can learn what you should train for and what not to train for the professional web design and development world. We find a hands on approach to our training best prepares our students to go out in there and take on many challenges to be faced in corporate industry.
You will learn that when it comes to general education and experience, most large companies will want you to have a Bachelor's degree. Small companies don't care as much, but they also don't always pay as well.
Some Useful Web Designing Tips
Some people will tell you that because WYSIWYG programs are so wide-spread, you don't need to learn HTML, but unless you're going to stay in business for yourself, eventually you will come across a hiring manager or firm who wants you to prove you know HTML.
Cascading style sheets are what make your pages look good. And even if you're planning on doing more Web programming than Web design, you should know how CSS works. The content and behaviors of the Web page interact with the CSS to create the full design.
Web designers should focus their education on design - graphics and layout. Most companies hiring designers want people who are visually artistic. You should study color theory and composition and get a degree in visual arts or visual design.