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Web developers create, design, and maintain websites. As a subfield of computer science and information technology (IT), web development programs can prepare students to pursue careers as web developers, web designers, front-end developers, and UX designers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a faster-than-average 13% job growth rate for web developers and digital designers from 2020-2030.
Web developers typically enjoy working with computers and fixing technical problems with creative solutions. The future appears bright for this in-demand field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a faster-than-average 13% job growth rate for web developers and digital designers from 2020-2030.
Many colleges offer web developer programs online. Keep reading to learn more web development degrees, along with what to expect from web developer schools.
What Is a Web Development Degree?
A web development degree prepares students to build and design websites for organizations and individuals. Enrollees develop technical skills in web design, communication, and problem-solving. Web developers earned a median annual salary of $77,200 as of 2020 — significantly higher than the national median for all jobs.
Education requirements vary by position. Some employers seek candidates with high school diplomas, while others require associate or bachelor's degrees. Earning a web development degree can help aspiring professionals distinguish themselves from the competition and pursue positions with higher salaries.
Web developers earned a median annual salary of $77,200 as of 2020 — significantly higher than the national median for all jobs.
When Is a Web Development Focus Better Than a General Computer Science Degree?
As a specialized subfield of computer science, a web development degree makes sense for students looking to pursue careers in web development, web design, or other closely related fields. Web development majors develop practical, relevant skills throughout their education. Graduates can hit the ground running when they start their first web development jobs.
Computer science covers practical skills but concentrates more on the broad, theoretical study of computer systems. Web developer school focuses less on general computer theory and more on application.
When Might a General Computer Science Degree Be Better Than Web Development?
A general computer science degree may offer more versatility for students uncertain about their career path or specialization. These degrees can help learners keep more options open for future education or careers.
A computer science degree takes a broader focus and prepares learners for more types of careers. Computer science graduates can qualify for web developer positions, along with roles like information security analyst, software developer, and computer systems analyst.
Students may find general computer science degrees more easily than specialized web development programs.
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Types of Web Development Degrees
Web developer schools offer several options for web development degrees. Students can earn web development certificates, along with degrees at the associate, bachelor's, and master's levels.
The right program depends on your career goals and the amount of time and money you can invest in your education. A web development certificate takes the least amount of time to complete. Generally, the higher the degree level, the longer it takes to graduate.
Web Development Certificates
Schools offer web development certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Web development certificate programs cover technologies used to create websites. Certificates usually take less than a year to complete — significantly less time than full degree programs.
Typical coursework includes creating interactive websites with HTML and CSS, writing programs that work with databases, and considering web accessibility. Graduates can pursue entry-level web developer, user experience design, and web designer jobs after earning web development certificates.
Associate in Web Development
An associate degree in web development teaches students to create, design, and manage websites. A typical associate in web development takes about two years of full-time enrollment to complete.
Graduates can transfer to bachelor's programs in web development, computer science, or a related field. They can also pursue work as web developers, graphic designers, and multimedia artists.
Bachelor's in Web Development
A bachelor's in web development teaches students to build aesthetically pleasing, interactive websites. Full-time students can usually graduate with a bachelor's degree in four years.
Typical web developer degree courses include principles of programming, database management systems, website and e-commerce strategies, and advanced web markup and scripting. Students develop skills in web application development, user experience design, front-end development, and database creation and management.
Graduates with web design bachelor's degrees can pursue jobs as web developers, web designers, front-end developers, and UX designers.
Master's in Web Development
Some schools may offer standalone master's in web development programs. Others include web development as concentrations within information technology and computer science degrees. Web development master's programs cover advanced topics in website design and creation.
A typical web development master's curriculum requires courses in website construction, interface design for websites, web application development, and server-side web development. Students develop HTML, content organization, and scripting abilities. Most master's programs in web development take 18-24 months to complete.
Graduates can apply for work as web developers, systems administrators, UI/UX designers, and programmers.
What Kind of Salary Can I Earn With a Web Development Degree?
Web development degrees can prepare students for in-demand, high-paying careers.
The BLS reports that web developers and digital designers made a median annual salary of $77,200 as of 2020. The agency projects a 13% job growth rate (faster than average) for web developers and digital designers from 2020-2030.
Bootcamps in Web Development
Some organizations offer web development bootcamps. These programs offer intensive, condensed training that help participants develop the knowledge and skills to pursue entry-level tech positions. Bootcamps offer online and in-person delivery, along with part-time and full-time options.
Web development bootcamps typically take less time to complete than degrees. These bootcamps focus exclusively on web development, while degrees include general education requirements. Bootcamps often cost less and have less stringent admission requirements than web developer programs.
Student outcomes and salaries vary by bootcamp and degree program. Some schools provide alumni information on their program websites.
Additional Resources for Web Development Students
Learn more about what to expect from earning a web developer degree with the following resources on careers and educational pathways in the field.
Careers in Web Development
The following career-specific pages on web development offer information on what you can do with a degree in the field.
Preparing For Your Web Development Degree
Explore the following resources for information on preparing to earn a web development degree. We explain how to pay for your web development degree, including potential scholarships and financial aid.
FAQ's About Web Development Degrees
Which degree should I get for web development?
A bachelor's in web development can prepare students for careers in web design. This credential may also help them stand out from other applicants. An associate degree can open the door to entry-level positions.
Can I be a web developer without a degree?
In some cases, yes. Education requirements for web developer positions vary from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree. Some employers prefer or require web developers to hold associate- or bachelor's-level credentials.
How long is school for web development?
The time it takes to complete web developer school varies by degree level. A certificate typically takes one year or less. Associate and master's programs usually take two years of full-time enrollment, while a bachelor's degree takes four years.
Is web design easy?
Like any other technical field, it takes significant time and work to learn web design. Some students may develop web design skills intuitively, but most people master web design fundamentals if they put in the time and effort.
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