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We all use the internet, but do you understand the ins and outs of it? There’s so much that goes into the creation and maintenance of your favorite websites, and web developers are behind it all.
If you’re interested in becoming a web developer, let’s start with three questions: What is web development? What does a web developer actually do? And could web development be a good fit for you? Read on to find out more about web development (and whether you should pursue it).
What Is Web Development?
Web development involves the building and maintenance of websites. The web development process can include web design, web content development, network security, coding and more.
Web developers can specialize in front-end development, working on user-side features; back-end development, working on data storage and security; or full-stack web development, which entails working on both front-end and back-end processes.
Web Development Degrees
Multiple educational pathways can lead to a career in web development. Let’s dig into the options.
Associate in Web Development
These two-year programs get students in and out, focusing on programming languages, design skills and website applications. People with associate degrees in web development earn an average annual salary of around $60,000, according to Payscale.
An associate degree in web development can range in cost from about $7,000 to nearly $20,000, depending on what type of school you attend.
Bachelor’s in Web Development
A bachelor’s degree in computer science or web development is the traditional path for aspiring web developers. While those with associate degrees can snag entry-level web developer positions, some employers prefer candidates with bachelor’s degrees.
Professionals with bachelor’s degrees in web development earn an average of around $76,000 per year. A bachelor’s degree in computer science or web development takes at least four years to complete and costs around $37,500 to $131,300 on average.
Master’s in Web Development
Most master’s degrees take two years to complete, and you should complete a bachelor’s degree before pursuing your master’s. Candidates with master’s degrees tend to stand out against other job applicants, and they are more likely to be hired for leadership roles.
On average, professionals who earn a master of computer science in web development earn around $92,000 per year. Keep in mind, however, that this degree costs on average between $25,000 and $53,200 to earn, depending on whether your university is public or private.
Web Development Concentrations
A degree of concentration allows you to choose a particular focus within the area of web development. Options may include full-stack web development, web design or web programming. A web development concentration can be helpful if you want to pursue a particular niche in web development and stand out as a job applicant.
Web Development Bootcamps
If you’re looking to switch careers without doing a whole new degree, coding bootcamps offer an intensive, accelerated path to becoming a web developer. On average, coding bootcamps last around 14 weeks and cost about $11,874 in tuition.
Companies like 4Geeks Academy, Actualize, App Academy, Boolean and Brain Station all offer bootcamps for coding and web development. Some of these bootcamps even provide free introductory courses in coding to give you an idea of whether you would enjoy web development before you write a hefty tuition check.
Web Development Certifications
Certifications demonstrate that you are competent in a particular skill within web development and that you can meet industry standards. Consider pursuing a certification that would help you move forward in your preferred area of web development. Below we list a few examples of web developer certifications, but keep in mind that there are many more options available.
Google Developers Certification
Google offers certifications in Google Play Store Listing, Android development, Tensorflow development and Google Cloud. Some of these certifications are free. Others cost up to $125.
Udemy HTML & CSS – Certification Course for Beginners
Udemy teaches the fundamentals of HTML and CSS for beginners. Only basic computer skills are required to enroll. At full price, the course can cost up to $99.99, but on sale, tuition can drop as low as $13.99.
GIAC Certified Web Application Defender (GWEB)
This GWEB certification teaches students to master security issues that come up with common web application errors. The course explores topics such as access control, AJAX technologies, security strategies, security testing and authentication. At $7,640, this is a pricier certification option.
Benefits of Working in Web Development
Web developers enjoy a wealth of benefits, including the potential for remote work. These professionals enjoy competitive salaries as well, earning a median annual wage of $77,200 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Web developers are also in demand, with BLS projections showing a faster-than-average 13% job growth for these positions from 2020-2030.
Frequently Asked Questions About Web Development
Do web developers need certificates?
Certificates and certifications are not necessary to become a web developer, but these credentials can show that you have mastered a particular skill or program in the field.
Can you be a web developer with only a certificate?
No. At the very least, you must be able to demonstrate your web development skills through previous projects or professional experience. Most employers prefer candidates to have completed a coding bootcamp or traditional degree.
What jobs are the highest paid in web development?
Senior web developers earn some of the highest salaries in the field. For example, the average lead software engineer earns an average annual salary around $122,000.