Earning a web development college degree takes forever and for many, the cost is completely not worth it. Turning to trade schools can seem like the easiest solution, but what if we told you that you could not only earn a certificate online but for free, too?
That’s right. You can easily take free online web development courses with certificates. Starting your web development career is easier than ever before. By enrolling in any of these top courses, you can educate yourself and become certified, all for free.
College Degree vs Web Development Certificate
People tend to argue over the best way to start or advance your career. Some say attending a college or university is the best or even the only way to get your dream job, while others think trade schools are the best way.
Another option gaining traction is by earning a free certificate and simply creating a portfolio. In reality, there is truth to all of these trains of thought as different people excel in different educational programs. Let’s explore each option in more detail below before listing the best free online web development courses with certificates.
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While having a college education and degree has always been associated with success, times are changing. Earning a college degree is still a huge accomplishment, and if this is your chosen path, you will definitely be able to start your career and advance to your dream job.
There are plenty of degrees that allow you to become a web developer, though finding specialized web development degrees can be a bit more difficult. However, it is also becoming more and more common for people to seek degrees that have been certified through trade schools or specialized online courses.
Trade schools haven’t always received the fairest reputation. Having been deemed the place for those who are not intelligent enough for colleges and universities, it is easy to see why many have hesitations in attending one.
However, for those looking to save a bit of money and learn a more specialized skill set, trade schools are a great option. There are many vocational schools offering certificates in web development, and without the requirements of general education courses and four years of study, this is one of the quickest ways to become a web developer.
Free Online Courses
Finally, there is the option of completing free online courses to earn a web development certification. Many successful web developers have learned all they know from online courses.
Being able to get a free education online, from the comfort of your own home, is often the best choice for budding web developers. Online learning can be a bit difficult for some, but you can’t beat the perks of this learning experience as you study at your own pace without spending a dime on classes.
Which Option Should You Choose?
While it can be a difficult decision to choose between earning a college degree, attending a trade school, or earning a certificate from free online courses, it is best to keep in mind that the right choice is not the same for everyone.
Take into account the amount of time and money you are willing to put into your education. If you are willing to put more money and time into it, then your choice can easily be narrowed down to college or trade school. The other thing to consider is how specialized you want your education to be.
For a more broad education, college is the best route, while a more specialized education can be found through a trade school or free online courses. For the most specialized, time- and cost-effective option, free online courses are the way to go.
Top Free Online Web Development Courses With Certificates
Once you have decided to earn your education through free online courses, you will likely be searching for the best options. The biggest issue you will run into is finding an online course that also offers a certificate.
Luckily, we have compiled a list of the top free online web development courses with certificates so you don’t have to spend too much time searching.
Through Codecademy, you can take a wide range of courses for free. Codecademy offers courses in everything from web design to data analysis, so the options are endless. For those interested in becoming web developers, taking courses on website design is ideal.
All of the courses through Codecademy are free, though enrolling in their paid pro plan provides access to additional learning materials you may find useful. At the end of each course, Codecademy will email you a certificate of completion that you can add your full name to and list on your resume. If you are feeling really ambitious, try completing more courses than necessary to rack up those professional certificates and seriously impress your future employers.
Coursera is a very popular way for web developers to earn an education, as it offers free online courses from a variety of colleges, such as Johns Hopkins. Essentially, you are getting a college-level education for free and specialized to only what you actually need to learn. Due to the wide variety of courses available, Coursera is a great option for both beginners and advanced web developers to learn and brush up on skills.
Not every course available on Coursera offers a certificate upon completion, but that doesn’t mean the courses are not useful. Just be sure to check what the course entails and if it ends with a certificate or not. In the course descriptions, you will find everything from the estimated time it takes to complete, recommended hours of study per week, if a certificate is included or not, and, of course, what university the course comes from.
As of right now, freeCodeCamp offers six different certification courses you can earn, with plans to add four more in the near future. All of these are earned at no cost to you through taking free courses through freeCodeCamp. While none of these are specifically for web development, you can earn them in specialized areas of web development, such as front end libraries and responsive web design.
Each certification offered through freeCodeCamp requires you to complete around 300 hours of coursework alongside five projects. If you spend roughly nine hours a week working on the freeCodeCamp courses, you can earn a certification in a little over eight months.
There are also many additional challenges you can complete while enrolled in these courses, though they will add more time to earning your certification. These challenges are totally optional in terms of earning a certification.
Udemy is known for offering plenty of courses coders pay to take, though it is relatively unknown that many courses are actually free. The free courses offered through Udemy are essentially the lite version of them as you receive much of the same content as the paid-for ones, just without the additional features.
Unfortunately, earning a certification through Udemy does require enrolling in the pay-for courses. But, if you are more interested in education than the certificate of completion, Udemy’s free courses are full of useful online content that will teach you everything you need to know. In the pay-for version, you receive the additional benefits of Q&As with the instructor, the ability to message the instructor, and a certificate of completion.
TheGymnasium offers a few fantastic free web development courses with certificates upon completion. These courses are great for those who want to focus on the aesthetic of web design, as well as the concepts and technical work behind web design and development.
Similar to a college course, TheGymnasium’s courses require you to take a final exam at the end of a course. In order to receive your certification, you will need to score 80 percent or higher on the final exam. The great news is, if you are unable to score 80 percent or above, you can always retake the course and try again. This is easier to do than in a college course simply because it is free.
Are Web Development Certificates Worth It?
So, will web development certificates actually help you land a job? Is it really worth your time? Absolutely.
By earning web development certifications, you are not only demonstrating to potential employers that you know what you are doing, but also that you put in the time and effort to learn these materials on your own time, presumably alongside working a job. Having that kind of motivation is especially admirable amongst potential employers, as they will see you are dedicated to your craft and will put forth your best work if they hire you.
All in all, we think it is totally worth it to enroll in free online web development courses with certificates. Though it may not be the traditional way to get an education and start or advance your career, it is definitely becoming the most time and cost-effective way to learn specialized subjects.
With the right combination of time management, dedication, and motivation, you will be breezing right through these courses and straight into the job of your dreams.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.