What is web development and why should you pursue it?
Oe all use the internet, but do you understand the ins and outs? There’s so much that goes into creating and maintaining your favorite websites, and web developers are behind it all.
If becoming a web developer interests you, let’s start with three questions: What is web development? What does a web developer actually do? And could web development be right for you? Read on to learn more about web development (and whether you should pursue it).
What is Web Development?
Web development involves the creation and maintenance of websites. The web development process can include web design, web content development, network security, coding, etc.
Web developers can specialize in front-end development, working on user-side features; back-end development, working on data storage and security; or full web development, which involves working on both front-end and back-end processes.
Web Development Degrees
There are several educational paths that can lead to a career in web development. Let’s dig into the options.
Web Development Associate
These two-year programs take students in and out, focusing on programming languages, design skills, and website applications. According to Payscale, people with an associate degree in web development earn an average annual salary of around $60,000.
An associate’s degree in web development can cost anywhere from around $7,000 to nearly $20,000, depending on the type of school you attend.
Bachelor in Web Development
A bachelor’s degree in computer science or web development is the traditional route for aspiring web developers. While those with associate’s degrees can land entry-level web developer positions, some employers prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree.
Professionals with a bachelor’s degree 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 and costs on average between $37,500 and $131,300.
Master in Web Development
Most master’s degrees last two years, and you must complete a bachelor’s degree before pursuing your master’s degree. Candidates with a master’s degree tend to stand out from other job applicants and they are more likely to be hired for management positions.
On average, professionals who earn a master’s degree in 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 concentration allows you to choose a particular focus in the field of web development. Options may include full web development, web design, or web programming. A concentration in web development can be helpful if you want to pursue a particular niche in web development and stand out as a job candidate.
Web Development Bootcamps
If you’re looking to change careers without earning a whole new degree, coding bootcamps offer an intensive and accelerated path to becoming a web developer. On average, coding bootcamps last around 14 weeks and cost around $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 offer free introductory coding classes to give you an idea of your interest in web development before you write a hefty tuition check.
Web Development Certificates
Certifications demonstrate that you are proficient in a particular web development skill and can meet industry standards. Consider pursuing a certification that would help you advance in your favorite web development field. Below we list some examples of web developer certifications, but keep in mind that there are many other options available.
Google Developer 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 basics of HTML and CSS to beginners. Only basic computer skills are required to register. At full price, the course can cost up to $99.99, but on sale, the tuition can go as low as $13.99.
GIAC Certified Web Application Defender (GWEB)
This GWEB certification teaches students to master security issues related to 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 more expensive certification option.
Benefits of Working in Web Development
Web developers enjoy many benefits, including the potential for remote work. These professionals also enjoy competitive salaries, earning a median annual salary of $77,200 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Web developers are also in demand, with BLS projections showing job growth 13% faster than average for these positions from 2020 to 2030.
Web Development Frequently Asked Questions
Do web developers need certificates?
Certificates and certifications aren’t necessary to become a web developer, but these credentials can show that you’ve mastered a particular skill or program in the field.
Can you be a web developer with just one certificate?
No. At the very least, you should be able to demonstrate your web development skills through past projects or work experience. Most employers prefer candidates to have completed a coding bootcamp or a traditional degree.
What are the highest paid jobs in web development?
Senior web developers earn some of the highest salaries in the field. For example, the average senior software engineer earns an average annual salary of around $122,000.
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