A web developer is like an architect: he plans, builds, and maintains websites. A major part of a web development career consists of writing the code that allows you to search for information or hyperlink to another webpage. A web developer also builds internal databases and adds tools to report on website functionality. If you enjoy problem-solving, have an analytical mindset, and are interested in working on websites, you might consider earning a web development degree.
Earning Your Web Development Degree
The purpose of most websites is to attract users and distribute products or information. Web development may be thought of as website creation using software development, and in order to become a web developer, you typically need to have earned an undergraduate degree in a related field. Depending on your schedule, you could enroll in a part-time program or one that offers classes in the evenings or online.
Web development degrees can range from an associate’s degree to a bachelor’s degree for entry-level and mid-level positions to a master’s degree for a more advanced position. Programming is an important part of your web development training, and required courses for your degree may include several programming languages, as well as classes in network concepts and database management. Some development programs may also include aspects of web design, where you may study visual design principles and graphic imaging.
To add to your web development training and your resume, you could also earn professional IT certifications in a programming language or specific software application in addition to your degree.
Web Development Jobs
Beyond what you will learn in the classroom as part of your degree, web development training on the-job will prepare you for daily tasks, such as meeting with a web designer to implement the design for a corporation’s new website, problem-solving a website’s database with a client or deciding which software will make a website run faster. Your clients may be large or small companies, agencies, and individuals, and you may work on contract to the client or in-house as a member of the staff.
A career in web development, although typically a nine-to-five job, may occasionally lead to long and unusual hours, since websites operate twenty-four hours a day, every day. In addition to knowledge of programming and the latest software technology, as a web developer, you would likely have to have strong communication skills in order to coordinate projects with content editors, project managers, system administrators, and web/graphic designers, among others.
Your Future as a Web Developer
According to the current population survey (CPS) data provided to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) by the US Census Bureau, 68.7% of household have Internet access in 2009, with the number continuing to grow, increasing the demand for technically sound and functional websites, and therefore, also increasing the demand for workers in this field to maintain them.
Salaries for those working in web development, even those at the entry level with a bachelor’s degree, should have excellent prospects. Combining web design experience with a web development degree could also make an individual more marketable to potential employers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the middle 50 percent of network systems and data communication analysts (a job grouping, which includes web developers and web master’s) earned between $54,330 and $90,740 in 2008.
Your future as a developer is waiting. If you are interested in joining one of the fastest growing careers, begin by receiving formal web development training. Start exploring the different programs available on our site today.