The Advantages of a Web Development Education
Earning a bachelor’s degree in web development can result in higher salaries and more job opportunities. For example, professionals with a bachelor’s degree in web development earn an average of about $10,000 more each year than those with an associate degree, and they can pursue a broader range of job opportunities. The section below reviews career opportunities available to those with a bachelor’s degree in web development as well as corresponding salary information.
Web Development Degree Career Information
Your program may give you the option to select a concentration in a web development subfield. For example, a cybersecurity concentration prepares you to protect a company’s data, and graduates with this specialized expertise often work for large corporations or government agencies. With a networking concentration, you can help companies network devices or streamline information sharing. Before selecting a program or concentration, consider which option best fits your interests and career goals.
Web designers are responsible for developing, creating, and coding web pages and associated apps. They work with their clients to provide graphical and technical aspects of website applications. They also conduct routine maintenance of websites.
UX designers work with executives, engineers, clients, and product managers to derive solutions to improve user experience. They present design deliverables and concepts to meet business and client requirements and produce prototypes to perform user testing and guide iterations of design.
Web graphic designers create and design websites for companies, conveying a company's overall message and mission to the public. They also communicate the company's culture and philosophy through videos, colors, pictures, sounds, and applications.
Web developers work with content producers and designers. They write code to generate web pages and access business logic servers and databases. Developers build the backbone of websites and make necessary improvements.
Computer programmers collaborate with content producers and designers as they write, modify, and debug computer software for server applications. They also test software for server applications and document their findings and results.
Choosing an Online Web Development Degree Program
When looking for an online web development program, students should carefully review several important factors. To begin, compare program costs to determine what you can afford and take into account any expected financial aid. Then, review transfer policies, program length, school size and type, and any on-campus requirements you might need to satisfy before graduating. Being selective allows you to choose a program that best fits your specific needs.
Accreditation for Online Web Development Degrees
As you explore prospective online degrees in web development, pay special attention to a school or program’s accreditation.
Two main types of accreditation exist: national and regional. Nationally, accredited institutions typically focus on career and technical-based coursework and offer a minimal liberal arts curriculum. As a result, these institutions tend to feature lower tuition rates than regionally accredited colleges and universities, but they may be excluded from most tuition reimbursement plans. Conversely, institutions with regional accreditation feature primarily liberal arts-based coursework. Although they generally charge higher tuition rates than nationally accredited colleges and universities, these schools give students the opportunity to qualify for tuition reimbursement plans and allow them to transfer credits more easily.
While the U.S. Department of Education (ED) does not accredit educational institutions or programs, it does hold accrediting agencies responsible for proper enforcement of standards. As a part of the ED’s oversight roles, the Secretary of Education must publish a list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies considered reliable authorities for the quality of education and training in higher education. Additionally, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) functions as an organization of degree-granting colleges and universities, providing national advocacy for academic quality through self-regulation.
Students can access a list of all accredited schools on the ED’s website or on CHEA’s website.
Web Development Concentrations
Web development is a broad field with several different areas of focus. Many online web development degrees offer concentrations where students can tailor the curriculum to their personal or professional interests. The table below outlines a few of the most common areas.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Web designer, user experience architect, computer programmer
A digital design concentration explores topics such as electronic publishing, multimedia projects, and motion graphics. Throughout the curriculum, students gain hands-on experience with multimedia and animation.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Graphic designer, typographer
Learners apply specific methodologies and tools to assess and analyze software and software systems design. They also learn to identify vulnerabilities and threats that compromise the intention of the software.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Software developer, cybersecurity professional
This concentration allows students to learn the language of web design as they create dynamic artwork using color commands, painting tools, layers, typeface design, filters, and other imaging techniques.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Web designer, graphic designer, mobile application designer
Programming students learn to write code to help create software programs for businesses. Throughout their coursework, they learn to investigate enterprise resource planning, business process modeling, enterprise application integration, and business activity monitoring in a global enterprise.
- Careers this concentration prepares for: Computer programmer, information technology specialist
How Long Does It Take to Get a Degree in Web Development?
Students typically take about four years to earn their online bachelor’s in web development; however, some may take longer if they enroll part time. Since part-time students complete fewer credits each semester, they can take up to five years to earn a bachelor’s degree.
Some programs offer accelerated options, allowing learners to double up on their credits each semester in order to graduate sooner; students can complete accelerated programs in as little as two years. Learners should consider these programs if they do not have other commitments such as full-time jobs or families, as these formats require students to complete a significant amount of coursework in a short period of time. Conversely, students might consider part-time enrollment if they have personal or professional commitments to juggle with their coursework.
Courses in an Online Bachelor’s in Web Development Program
A bachelor’s degree cultivates skills that prepare learners to succeed on the job, such as advanced knowledge of computer coding. These courses also prepare students for certification tests. Multiple certifications are available that prove your competence in computer coding to future employers. To stay competitive in the job market, choose a program that offers optimal coding courses.
Capstone projects play a significant role in online web development degree programs. They require you to synthesize the knowledge and skills gained through coursework into an original computer program, database, or web app. A successful capstone project not only ensures that you earn your diploma, but the final product can also set you apart from other applicants when you seek your first postgraduate job.
- Foundations in Application Development: Introducing students to the design, understanding, and implementation of computer programs, a foundations in application development course focuses on programming as a problem-solving tactic in engineering and business applications. Students learn to write computer code in a structured, logical, and organized fashion.
- Computer Platform Technologies: In this course, students develop an understanding of the background of hardware and software technology. Hardware topics in the course include memory, registers, CPU architecture, addressing modes, instruction sets, busses, and input and output devices. Software topics focus on process management, memory, file system management, and input and output.
- Business Systems Analysis and Design: Learners explore the roles and uses of information systems in business organizations. The course focuses on the major issues that come with managing information technology in contemporary business environments as well as the relationship between an organization’s information technology and other operational structures.
- Website Design: Students in this course learn to create interactive pages for the World Wide Web, survey internet concepts, and explore client-server communications and network protocols. Coursework also explores the syntax for building consistent appearances and styles across web pages.
- Network and Telecommunication Management: This course gives learners in-depth knowledge of networking theory and data communications along with requirements and concepts related to networking technologies and telecommunications. Students learn to design, maintain, and build a local area network; manage telecommunications networks; and conduct cost-benefit analyses of connectivity options.
Web Development Membership Associations
With numerous resources for professionals in the field, the Association of Independent Information Professionals serves as a reliable source for professional development, collegiate support, and mutually beneficial relationships between business owners and information professionals.
The User Experience Professionals Association serves professionals interested in user experience and supports them as they cultivate research and design and evaluate user experience products and services across the industry.
A professional organization for design, the American Institute of Graphic Arts serves members who practice all forms of communication design including interaction design, graphic design, branding and identity, and typography. The organization focuses on encouraging professional ethics and the highest standards for design professionals.
This organization helps members compete effectively in the constantly evolving graphic arts field and provides graphic artists and other design professionals resources to develop their expertise.
Bringing together computing researchers, educators, and professionals, the Association for Computing Machinery inspires members to share resources and ideas to address challenges in the field. The world’s largest computing society, the association promotes high standards and technical excellence.