Web Development in Focus

Before pursuing a career in web development, it is important to think about career opportunities, degree options, scholarships and internships, for instance. To aid in the research process, the following guide highlights potential career paths, discusses web development degree programs and courses, and provides helpful search tools to evaluate salary patterns and job growth in various locations.

Careers in Web Development

Web developers are the hard-working, talented individuals behind the websites we browse every day. Using design principles, web applications and programming languages such as HTML and CSS, web developers design, code and modify websites in accordance to a client’s specifications and target audience. They are responsible for the overall look and feel of a site, from color scheme to user experience, and layout to performance. In some cases, web developers may also create content for these sites.

While some web developers work with all aspects of website construction, others specialize in a particular area. The following career examples all fall under the category of web development, but require a more focused skillset:

  • Web architects or programmers: These developers are the “architects” of a website, meaning they are responsible for the overall construction and technical framework of a site. If a major change needs to be done on a site, management will work with these developers to make the change.
  • Web designers: Responsible for how a site looks, these developers use programming languages to design and create the various components that appear on a web page or site, such as layout, graphics, applications, programs and multimedia.
  • Webmasters: These developers are responsible for maintaining and updating websites. They test for broken links, performance issues and similar technical errors and ensure that a site is operating as expected.

These three careers are just a few examples of the specialized routes web developers can take. Like many other careers, opportunities in web development shift depending on market or industry needs, consumer demand and technology. Mobile search, for example, has grown rapidly in recent years as more and more people rely on smartphones to find products, services or information at any given time. Because of this growing demand, potential students can explore new opportunities to create sites specifically for smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Opportunities — and salaries — for web developers may also vary by location. Developers may be in high demand in California and New York, but less so in other states or cities. The tool below allows you to search job growth and salaries for web development careers in various states:

Career Salary Tool

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Anchorage 2012 MEAN PAY $72,550 per year
Fairbanks 2012 MEAN PAY $77,510 per year

Internships

What you learn in school is a great foundation for your future career, but real world experience is just as important as a classroom education. Before diving into the real world, you should explore internship opportunities to ease the transition. Internships are a great way to gain valuable hands-on experience in web development and it can also help you work your way towards a job offer after graduating. Competing with thousands of other qualified applicants can be daunting. Having relevant work experience at a company, in addition to your education, may help you stand out.

The earlier you do an internship, the better. Getting a head start allows you more time to explore potential specializations as well as different types of work environments. Below are examples of web development internship opportunities to give you an idea of what’s out there:

Web Development
Company: CrowdsUnite; New York, NY
Description: You’ll work at a fast-paced startup where you’d be responsible for fixing bugs on the company’s website as well as adding new features
More info:

http://crowdsunite.com

Web Development Engineer Intern
Company: Eventbrite; San Francisco, CA
Description: Using cutting-edge technology, you’d work on the design and development of new product features and enhancements as well as have an opportunity to work with the product team to develop functional requirements
More info: http://www.eventbrite.com

Web Development Intern
Company: Manufactur; Los Angeles, CA
Description: You’d put your skills to work doing back-end web programming and other web development projects for the team
More info: http://manufactur.co

Web Development Intern
Company: Condensed; Brooklyn, NY
Description: You’ll do both back- and front-end coding to help with ongoing projects
More info: http://condensed.io

Web Development Intern
Company: Responsive Law; Washington, DC
Description: For course credit hours, you can work at a nonprofit advocacy organization to assist with the development and maintenance of their website
More info: http://www.responsivelaw.org

Web Development Intern
Company: DKA Design Group; Omaha, NE
Description: You’ll work with a team of other developers and add new features to existing websites. You’ll also work directly with clients to fix bugs
More info: http://dkadesigns.com

Web Development Internship
Company: Digital Surgeons; New Haven, CT
Description: Through mentorship, interns will develop their skills through increasingly autonomous web development projects. The internship will end with a final capstone project
More info: http://www.digitalsurgeons.com

Web Development Internship
Company: Black & Black Creative; Brooklyn, NY
Description: At this boutique advertising agency, you’ll work with programming languages such as HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript as well as also develop your non-technical skills such as problem solving, communication, autonomy, urgency and attention to detail
More info: http://blackandblackcreative.com

Web Development/Design Intern
Company: InfoSight, Inc.; Miami Lakes, FL
Description: As a member of the web development team, you’ll be responsible for assisting in the development of sites and the integration of technology into those sites
More info: http://www.infosightinc.com/
Apply: http://www.internmatch.com/internships/infosight-inc/web-developmentdesign-intern?i=8&location=149874&s=6.9363995

Web Development Intern
Company: VOX Global; Washington, DC
Description: You’ll assist the digital team and clients and gain exposure to government, politics and communications consulting
More info: http://voxglobal.com

Web Development Intern
Company: Marcel Media; Chicago, IL
Description: As a part-time intern, you’ll work with content management systems to load and migrate content, maintain and update existing systems and implement basic SEO
More info: http://www.marcelmedia.com

Web Development Intern
Company: Sony Electronics; San Diego, CA
Description: You’ll design and develop business features for web applications as well as design and implement software that customers can customize for their business needs
More info: http://www.sony.com

Web Development Intern
Company: Ann Arbor T-shirt Company; Ann Arbor, MI
Description: You’ll work with the sales and management teams, as well as the company’s co-founder, to improve existing sales, CRM and production management tools for the custom merchandising team
More info: http://www.annarbortees.com

Front-End Web Development Internship
Company: Blue State Digital; Boston, MA
Description: You’ll code, test and troubleshoot sites and build Javascript components such as rotators and lightboxes
More info: http://www.bluestatedigital.com

Web Development Intern Part-Time
Company: Xsolla; Los Angeles, CA
Description: You’ll design and create simple landing pages and basic websites as well as create web-based promotional materials
More info: http://www.xsolla.com

Web Development/Graphic Design Internship
Company: Safe Harbor; San Luis Obispo, CA
Description: You’ll gain experience in web development, consumer packaging design, market research, marketing collateral, customer presentations and much more
More info: http://www.safeharborfoods.com

Web Development/Web Design Intern
Company: ZeroFOX; Inc.
Description: You’ll build and/or modify websites, landing pages, interactive campaigns and applications
More info: https://www.zerofox.com

Web Application Development Internship
Company: Red Hat, Inc.; Raleigh, NC
Description: You’ll work on developing an open source, web-based application for tracking currently supported devices
More info: http://www.redhat.com

Web/Mobile Development Intern
Company: HealthNow New York Inc.; Buffalo, NY
Description: You’ll work with the Digital Experience IT Manager and team to develop features and new functionality for web/mobile applications as well as debug and test these applications
More info: https://securews.healthnowny.com

Business/Web & Mobile App Development Intern
Company: Nexus 8 International, LLC; Washington, DC
Description: You’ll work on developing and fine tuning a web/mobile app for business-to-business users
More info: http://nexus8international.com

Web Developer Internship
Company: Crypto Coin Technologies; New York, NY
Description: You’ll do front- and back-end development for a startup focusing on Digital Currency and Financial Technologies
More info: http://www.cryptocointechnologies.com

Web Developer
Company: Affguru; San Diego, CA
Description: You’ll do front-end interface development and create modules for back-end components
More info: http://www.affguru.com

Mobile Web Developer Intern
Company: Dolby; San Francisco, CA
Description: You’ll partner with an experienced developer and help create productivity applications that will be used by Dolby’s employees
More info: http://www.dolby.com

Web Development in College

Programs in web development teach students both the creative and technical skills required to successfully design, construct and maintain websites. An associate’s degree teaches students the basic concepts and knowledge of web development, such as design and program fundamentals. A bachelor’s degree in web development offers a more comprehensive education and exposes students to advanced tools, technology and languages that are commonly used to develop a website. A graduate degree goes even more in-depth to help students gain mastery in web architecture and design as well as a solid understanding of how other information technology fields impact site structure and development.

Before getting into the specific details of the different degree programs available, let’s take a look at scholarship options.

Scholarships

The rising cost of higher education is understandably a concern for many potential students. However, there are many ways to help alleviate the cost, including scholarships, which, unlike student loans, do not need to be paid back after graduation. Below are some examples of web development scholarships and criteria:

EDSF Board of Directors Scholarships

Amount Eligibility More Info
$1,000 - $5,000 Open to full-time students attending an accredited college or university in the upcoming fall semester. Must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and an interest in pursing a career within the document management and graphic communication industry http://www.edsf.org

Joel Cartun Scholarship

Amount Eligibility More Info
$1,000 Open to students with an academic focus in document management and graphic communication http://www.edsf.org

Charles H. ‘Chuck’ Forman – Crawford Technologies Scholarship

Amount Eligibility More Info
$1,000 Open to students with an academic focus in all document management and graphic communication careers. Special consideration will be given to students attending school in New Jersey or New York http://www.edsf.org

Hoods Memorial Scholarship

Amount Eligibility More Info
$2,000 Open to students with an academic focus in all document management and graphic communication careers; however, special consideration will be given to students interested in marketing and public relations http://www.edsf.org

Lynda Baboyian Memorial Scholarship

Amount Eligibility More Info
$2,000 Open to students with an academic focus in document management and graphic communication careers http://www.edsf.org

OutputLinks Communications Group John A. Lopiano Scholarship Endowed

Amount Eligibility More Info
$2,000 Open to students with an academic focus in all document management and graphic communication careers; however, special consideration will be given to students who work in or who have a family member who has worked or currently works in the graphic arts or communications industry http://www.edsf.org

OutputLinks Communications Group Stewardship Honoring Brian Baxendale

Amount Eligibility More Info
$1,500 Open to students with an academic focus in all document management and graphic communications careers, with special consideration given to those who are involved in sustainability projects and/or students who have demonstrated leadership and community involvement http://www.edsf.org

OutputLinks Communications Group Woman of Distinction

Amount Eligibility More Info
$5,000 Open to a female student who excels academically and in extracurricular activities. Academic focus includes all document management and graphic communication careers. Preference will be given to submissions from women who have previously been honored as OutputLinks Communications Groups Women of Distinction http://www.edsf.org

Wayne Alexander Memorial Scholarship

Amount Eligibility More Info
$2,000 Open to students with an academic focus in all document management and graphic communications careers. Special consideration will be given to students who attend the University of Central Florida http://www.edsf.org

AP-Google Scholarship

Amount Eligibility More Info
$7,500 Open to students pursuing a blend of journalism, computer science and new media to further the ideals of digital journalism http://journalists.org/next-gen/ap-google-scholarship/

eSchoolView Student Scholarships: Web Design & Web Technology

Amount Eligibility More Info
$1,000 (5); $2,500 (2) and $5,000 (1) Eight scholarships are available to high school seniors interested in pursing graphic design, web design or other arts. Students entering the design category will need to develop a homepage and one interior page for a website that is related to a class or club and represents both the client and designer. Students entering the technology category will need to design and develop creative ways to use web technology in education http://www.eschoolview.com/

Web Development Degree Programs

When it comes to earning a degree in web development, there are three different modes of learning that today’s students can choose from. Most people are familiar with campus-based programs in which a student is required to attend lectures and classes with peers and professors. Online programs, which have become increasingly available in recent years, allow students to attend class remotely. In this setting, everything is conducted online and students typically interact with peers and professors via email and chat platforms. Hybrid programs are a combination of both, blending certain elements of campus-based learning with other elements of online instruction in a way that is intended to complement both methods and enhance the overall learning experience.

Online Degrees in Depth

While some disciplines require -- and are better suited for -- traditional classroom settings, web development lends itself quite nicely to online learning. With the ever-increasing influence of the web on consumer behavior, learning about web development online seems somewhat natural. Furthermore, with technology continuing to advance and the expansion of course management systems, the tools that enable online and hybrid learning, interacting with peers and professors has become more effortless. Online education platforms such as Blackboard, Moodle and eCollege as well as communication tools such as Skype, Adobe Connect and Google Hangouts allow online students and professors to discuss classwork, share notes and work on web development projects together regardless of where a person resides.

Self-Paced vs. Real-Time

Like many distance learning programs, online web development courses can be taken at self-pace or real-time. Self-paced, or asynchronous, courses allow students to work towards their degree at their own convenience. In this case, students can usually complete assignments at their own pace, but a single course—or series of courses—would need to be completed within a specified time, for example, within a two years. Conversely, real-time, or synchronous, courses involve predetermined submission dates and deadlines that all students are required to keep pace with.

Equipment Standards

Online learning requires certain equipment and operation system requirements. Basic requirements include a computer, web camera, microphone, high-speed Internet connection, up-to-date web browsers and plug-ins in order to view videos and other online materials, software such as Microsoft Office and an email account. Technical degrees, including web development, sometimes have additional requirements. For example, web development students may need a more powerful and faster computer, higher video/graphics and certain design programs and applications. Before starting any online degree program in web development, carefully review the school’s computer requirements and contact the department administrator for more detailed information regarding web development programs.

Student Profile #1

Chloe never thought of herself as a web programmer, but was always impressed whenever she came across a sophisticated, multimedia-rich website. She decided to take a couple introductory courses and decided to complete a two-year degree program in web development.

Associate’s Degree in Web Development (2 years)

An associate degree in web development is a basic introduction and provides a solid foundation in the field. Most two-year programs include general studies courses such as mathematics, social science and communications as well as core classes to introduce students to the world of web development. While exact courses and required credits vary by school and area of concentration, the table below is intended to give you an idea of the concepts you’re likely to learn during a two-year online degree program in web development:

First Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
Literacy and Critical Thinking 3 An introduction to reading and writing critically, understanding argumentation and context
Discrete Math for Information Technology 3 This branch of math is specific to the fields of Computer Science and Information Technology. It includes topics such as set theory, logic, relations, graphic theory and analysis of algorithms
Information Systems Fundamentals 3 Introduction to the fundamentals of computer systems and information processing. Overview of information systems development, operating systems development, programming, database management, networking and telecommunications and the Internet
Introduction to Image Editing and Formatting 3 Introduction to web design, electronic publishing and multimedia development
Second Semester (Freshman) Credits Overview
Website Development Foundations 3 Introduction to essential website development skills. Learn how to write code manually and to use graphical user interface tools
IS Security Concepts 3 Overview of information systems security, including governmental views, positions and processes of national security, contingency and business resumption planning and invasive actions and prevention measures
Internet Business Concepts 3 Overview of the IT skills and technologies used in business and various IT job roles
Network Technology Foundations 3 Introduction to the fundamentals of network architecture, secure data transmission, content management systems and mobile computing devices
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Third Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Web Design Fundamentals 3 Introduction to the development tools and techniques used to publish web pages
Technical Writing Fundamentals 3 Overview of strategies, techniques and best practices of written communication in business and the information technologies
Elements of Economics 3 For non-econ majors. Focuses on basic economic analysis, the market system and basic macroeconomic theory
Java Programming I 3 Overview of the basics of Java programming language in the context of business applications development
Fourth Semester (Sophomore) Credits Overview
Introduction to Web Page Construction 2 Covers the fundamental concepts for web page construction using HTML and CSS
Application Implementation 3 Overview of the process and issues associated with implementing a computer application information system as well as related testing procedures
Introduction To Operating Systems 3 A look at a variety of operating systems. Topics include operating system concepts, program execution and operating system internals
Fundamentals of Networking 3 Overview of basic telecommunications and networking technologies essential to the industry and the broader field of telecommunications
General Elective 3 An optional class for students

Student Profile #2

Samantha went to college for a bachelor’s degree in web development. By her sophomore year, she realized she was interested in digital commerce and decided to pursue her passion by doing an ecommerce internship during her junior year. After graduating, she was offered a web development job for an ecommerce company in Seattle.

Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development (4 years)

Students looking for a more comprehensive understanding of web development than a two-year degree can opt to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree. Coursework is more advanced and covers topics such as program languages, UX design, interface usability and how to leverage applications and data in order to create compelling online user experiences. During your third and fourth year of a bachelor’s degree in web development, you’re likely to take the following coursework:

Fifth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Human Computer Interaction 4 This course helps students understand the user’s point of view and technology’s effect on people in order to design and implement technology in an effective way
Web Commercialization 3 Web design and development in the context of website commercialization. Topics include strategy and e-commerce planning, online supply chain management, marketing strategies and search engine optimization
Principles of Programming 4 Programming principles for students with at least some programming background. Students will design, code, test, debug, and document programs in a relevant programming language
Information Systems Architecture & Technology 4 A conceptual and technological survey of the structure of distributed information systems architectures, network operating systems, operating systems and user interfaces
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Sixth Semester (Junior) Credits Overview
Advanced Graphic Design 4 This course offers a more advanced and focused application of graphic design so that students can learn to effectively communicate ideas and information to businesses and audiences
Web Information Systems Programming 4 Students learn two- and three-tier architectures, security and web frameworks. Students will use a server-based scripting language to design, code, test, debug and document programs
Web Design and Implementation 4 Offers a look at concepts, issues and techniques related to designing, development and deploying websites. Students will learn HTML, XHTML, basic JavaScript, Dynamic HTML and CSS and will develop sites manually and using website development software
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Seventh Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Technical Communication 4 Prepares students for technical communication demands specific to computer and information systems. Topics include technical research methods, critical analysis of technical documents, synthesis of data, creation of accurate technical documents and effective delivery of technical material
Marketing 4 General course in marketing theory and methods
Technical Elective
(Based on Specialty)
4 A technical elective that allows the student to learn a skill or explore an interest in the technical field but not necessarily aligned with the major.
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
General Elective 3 An optional class for students.
Eighth Semester (Senior) Credits Overview
Web Animation Techniques 4 Overview of the basics of designing 2 and 2 ½ dimension animations for websites using industry standard software tools
Web Application Development 4 End-to-end construction using industry standard software products. Students pull together all elements of website design, graphics and data storage and construct fully functional commercial website applications
Web Development Capstone 4 Capstone project that combines all the material learned during required courses for the web development major

Student Profile #3

After earning his master’s degree in web design and development, Jordon was able to combine his passion for web programming and creative design to land a job as the lead web developer at a major tech company in Silicon Valley.

Master’s Degrees in Web Development

A master’s degree in web development typically takes about two years and is designed to equip students with expert programming and project management skills. Students gain mastery of web design and development, interface design and usability and web scripting and databases in order to thrive in the IT field.

Advanced degree programs tend to vary by school. Before enrolling in any program or course talk to an academic advisor to choose a path that best fits your academic and career goals.

There is no standard curriculum for a master’s degree in web development. However, the table below lists examples of some potential core courses for graduate students:

Master’s Program Core Courses Overview
Industry Structures and Concepts An overview of the information and Communications Technology industry. Students are exposed to the different types of businesses, technologies, products and services that shape the industry today as well as the developments that will influence the industry of tomorrow
Current Technologies and Trends In-depth review of the core industry technology, including hardware, networking technology, databases, information services, applications and content
Enterprise Architecture Students learn how to integrate technology in a way that effectively supports business goals
Python Programming Introduction to fundamental Python concepts and the Python scripting environment
Principles of Project Management Students learn the practical skills of project management as well as various elements of the project management processes, tools and techniques
Application Security Examination of the security principles and practices that apply to application software development throughout the entire software development lifecycle
Website Design and Management In-depth review of best practices in information architecture and how to incorporate a user-centered design
Web Enabled Information Systems A review of modern design and programming principles, database design and object-oriented principles. The class aims to address concerns regarding web applications, exploitation of technology and retention of data integrity
Principles of Cryptography An overview of the terminology and concepts needed to understand how cryptographic techniques are used to protect sensitive information
Capstone Project Students research a topic, problem or issue within field of study and works with an advisor to synthesize and apply core concepts learned from the program

Schools with Web Development Programs

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Total Results:
SCHOOL NAME CITY, STATE STUDENT POPULATION SCHOOL TYPE TUITION PROGRAM TYPE PROGRAMS
University of Phoenix-Online CampusPhoenix, AZ307,871Private, 4-year$9,216Both
Associate
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
  • Web Page - Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design
  • Computer Programming/Programmer- General
Bachelor’s
  • Computer Programming/Programmer- General
  • Web Page - Digital/Multimedia and Information Resources Design
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with a concentration in Web Development
Arizona State UniversityTempe, AZ72,254Public, 4-year$9,208Online
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Internet and Web Development
Liberty UniversityLynchburg, VA64,096Private, 4-year$18,562Online
Bachelor’s - ONLINE
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management Information System Web Development
Miami Dade CollegeMiami, FL63,736Public, 4-year$2,483Campus
Associate
  • Computer Programming- Specific Applications
Houston Community CollegeHouston, TX63,015Public, 2-year$744Campus
Associate
  • Computer Programming- Specific Applications
American Public University SystemCharles Town, WV50,838Private, 4-year$6,000Campus
Associate
  • Data Modeling/Warehousing and Database Administration
Texas A & M University-College StationCollege Station, TX50,230Public, 4-year$5,297Campus
Bachelor’s
  • Computer Graphics
Master’s
  • Computer Graphics
Tarrant County College DistrictFort Worth, TX50,062Public, 2-year$1,296Campus
Associate
  • Computer Programming/Programmer- General
Austin Community College DistrictAustin, TX45,100Public, 2-year$1,860Campus
Associate
  • Computer Programming/Programmer- General