Web Developer: Career Summary, Job Outlook, and Education Requirements

Explore the career requirements for Web developers. Get the facts about salary, education requirements, licensure, and job duties to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Graphics & Multimedia Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Web Developer?

Web developers are responsible for designing, creating, and maintaining websites. Web developers combine their artistic talents in design with their tech savvy in order to create aesthetically pleasing websites that function smoothly and quickly. Developers typically work closely with clients, both individuals and companies, to help make their vision come to life. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter this field.

Education Required Associate's degree or higher
Certification Certification options in software and programming languages are available
Key Skills Creativity, concentration, customer service relations, attention to detail
Job Growth (2014-2024) 27%*
Median Salary (2015) $64,970*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Would My Job Duties Be as a Web Developer?

As a Web developer, you'll be responsible for the layout, look and feel of websites. You'll build sites using programming languages and graphic design, and often manage a website after it's been developed. To be a Web developer, you must be skilled in graphic design software, problem-solving, scripting, network protocols and browser compatibility. You might purchase and implement software programs to fix problems and help sites run faster, or you may specialize in developing applications for websites.

What Is the Job Outlook?

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Web developers was expected to increase 27% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The demand for Web developers specifically was expected to be strong due to increases in Internet users, Internet services and data sent over the Internet. To increase your employment prospects, it is in your best interest to earn a degree and certification.

What Education Do I Need?

While hands-on experience is the most important type of preparation you'll need to become a Web developer, many employers look to hire those with at least an associate's degree in Web development or Web design. Some undergraduate and graduate programs offer concentrations in a specific area of Web development, such as Web applications, multimedia, e-learning, e-commerce and visual design. In a bachelor's degree program, you can take courses like typography, flash media design, e-commerce tools, graphic design and Web authoring. Alternatively, a certificate program in Web design can be completed together with a non-Web design bachelor's degree program, such as computer science or graphic design.

Graduate-level programs, like master's degree or professional certificate programs, focus more heavily on programming languages, Web design strategy and project management. If you enroll in a graduate program in Web design, you may take classes like content management systems, website architecture, business-to-business systems and database interfacing.

After earning your degree, you may want to consider earning certification, which is available through product vendors, training programs and professional organizations. Certification can show that you are proficient in a programming language, specific type of software or other specialized aspect of Web development. One company that offers certification for Web developers is the Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW). Through the CIW, you can complete training and then pass an exam to earn certification in JavaScript, Perl or database design.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a number of careers related to web development that individuals may be interested in. From an artistic perspective, careers in graphic design, multimedia art, and animation all require individuals to have strong artistic and design skills, as well as knowledge of technology. Careers are also possible in computer programming, computer support, and computer and information systems management.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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