Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are sets of instructions for how different parts of web pages should be displayed for users. In contrast to HTML, which defines the elements that structure a web page including headlines, paragraphs, images, and links, CSS defines the “style” of how these elements look, including layouts, colors, fonts, and other aspects. Because the web is inherently a visual medium, a mastery of CSS is an important part of designing an impactful web page.
User expectations for web design and thus CSS have come a long way since the 1990s, with the need to ensure that pages display properly on a variety of mobile devices as well as web browsers. There is also a growing recognition that web accessibility for users with disabilities must be a design priority, adding complexity to CSS considerations. The use of CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap has become increasingly popular to simplify the process of making responsive web designs that adjust to different browsers and user needs.
Absolutely! Learning on Coursera is a popular way to build a wide range of web development skills, including CSS as well as the use of CSS frameworks like Bootstrap. You can take courses and Specializations spanning multiple courses from top-ranked schools like Johns Hopkins University, University of Michigan, and Duke University. With the Coursera Project Network, you can also develop your CSS skills by completing step-by-step tutorials alongside experienced instructors with Guided Projects.
A skill you will need to already have before learning CSS is the ability to code in the HTML language. You may also want to have some basic knowledge of what CSS does aesthetically for a website, such as specifying its style, page layouts, colors, and fonts.
Learning CSS may be right for you if you want to design complex layouts with unique fonts and customized color schemes. If you want to learn how to write CSS rules and how to test code so that the site you design works for people of all cognitive and physical abilities, learning CSS may be right for you.
A common career path for someone who knows CSS, as well as HTML, is to begin as a junior or entry-level web developer by building simple static websites, coding email templates, and working with experienced developers on larger projects as you hone your skills. As you learn more about CSS and other tech skills you can enter common career paths in front-end development, back-end development, web design, visual design, and digital marketing. Knowing CSS may also be helpful if you choose to enter a career path as a digital content editor or producer or manage social media client accounts. Other common career paths you can find with a background in CSS might be a WordPress developer or webmaster.
Even if you only know the fundamental skills of CSS and HTML, some places will hire you with that background, such as a restaurant that may hire you to create a static online menu. A local business can hire you to build some sales pages or a landing page, and a business might need your skills to create email templates for platforms such as Mailchimp. A business or company may need to hire someone with your background in CSS to customize a WordPress or Squarespace site, keep a blog maintained, or create simple online marketing campaigns.