Web Development Programs and Majors Explained: Degree Levels, Specializations, and Common Web Development Courses
If you’re wondering what a web development degree is, what the best web development programs are, and what web development jobs are available to degree holders, this article is for you. All of these topics are thoroughly covered, in addition to the best schools, admission requirements, minor and specialization options, and other related things.
First, we’ll define web development, then break down web development degrees by category and type. Finally, we will explore some of the jobs you can get with a web development degree and their salaries. By the end of this article, you should have a good idea of whether web development is for you and, if so, where you should start.
What Is Web Development?
Web development is the process of creating, building, and maintaining websites and web-based applications. The process of web development encompasses all aspects of database management, web programming, web publishing, and web design. Closely related topics to web development include cyber security, programming, and user experience.
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Web Development Quick Facts: Job Outlook and Average Salaries
- The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the demand for web developers will experience a 13 percent growth between 2020 and 2030.
- The median salary for web developers and digital designers is $77,200.
- According to PayScale, the average salary of a web development bachelor’s degree holder is $58,000. Web developers with higher degrees can easily earn more than this.
Is Web Development Hard?
Is Web Development a Good Major?
Yes, web development is a good major if you’re looking to break into a web development-related career. Web development degree holders have a competitive edge over many other computer science majors as it typically offers plenty of hands-on experience in one of the most sought-after tech occupations.
Why Should You Get a Degree in Web Development?
You should get a degree in web development because it enhances your career prospects and increases your earning potential, gives you more flexibility when looking at what jobs you can apply for and more credibility in the eyes of employers, and helps you acquire in-demand skills that would be difficult to obtain on your own. It also allows for some fun along the way.
- Higher career prospects. Earning a web development degree can boost your earning potential by qualifying you for senior roles and responsibilities. Web development degrees don’t only teach technical skills, they also help you cultivate your soft skills in management and communication.
- Flexibility. Because web development is a trade with so many transferable skills, a degree in web development offers you the flexibility to explore different career opportunities related to it. It is also an excellent path if your goal is to work remotely after graduation.
- Credibility. A degree in web development is proof of your specialized knowledge and web development skills. It validates your proficiency in web development and is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd.
- Develop in-demand skills. According to CIO, web developers are among the 10 most in-demand tech jobs of 2022 . This means that people with a degree in web development will find their skills to be extremely desirable in the job market.
- Fun experience. Getting a degree in web development is fun and exciting. You’ll stretch the limits of your creativity in applying programming languages to create web and mobile applications, and interactive websites. College is also a great place to meet new people, make new friends, and discover new hobbies.
Web Development Major: What Degree Can You Get in Web Development?
The degrees you can get in web development include associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. There are multiple types of degrees at each level for those interested in studying web development. For example, at the associate level, you have the choice to enroll in an Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, or Associate of Arts degree program.
Some of the bachelor’s degree options for a prospective web development major include Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Technology. If you wish to study web development at the graduate level, you can choose to pursue a Master of Arts, a Master of Science, or a Master of Professional Studies.
Types of Associate Degrees in Web Development
The types of Associate Degrees in Web Development are Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science, and Associate of Art degrees. The curriculum covered in an associate degree may vary across degree types, as some are designed to help their students transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, while others are meant to prepare them directly for the workforce.
Associate of Science (AS in Web Development)
An Associate of Science degree prepares students to become ecommerce entrepreneurs, computer graphic designers, webmasters, or pursue other career opportunities related to web development. Associate of Science programs are designed to help students transfer to Bachelor of Science programs at universities after graduating.
Common Associate of Science in Web Development Curriculum
- Network Security
- Design and Architecture for Ecommerce
Associate of Applied Science (AAS in Web Development)
This degree program prepares students to design, develop, and manage professional and interactive websites. Prospective students can expect to gain hands-on experience in content management systems, scripting, web graphics preparation, and web publishing.
Associate of Applied Science programs are meant to prepare students directly for the workforce.
Common Associate of Applied Science in Web Development Curriculum
- Mobile Application Development
- Web Technologies
- Digital Media
Associate of Arts (AA in Web Development)
This degree covers various topics across web development, social sciences, and education and equips students with fundamental knowledge of business principles used to effectively plan, acquire, and develop business information systems. Most Associate of Arts programs are meant to help students transfer to Bachelor of Arts degree programs at the university level.
Common Associate of Arts in Web Development Curriculum
- Database Management
- Operating Systems
- Business Web Design
Types of Bachelor’s Degrees in Web Development
The types of bachelor’s degrees in web development you can get include a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Technology. They take approximately four years to complete, with an educational requirement of 120 credit hours and a capstone project. Some of these are meant to prepare students for master’s level programs, while others are professional degrees.
Bachelor of Science (BS in Web Development)
This program focuses on full stack design and development and web applications. It equips students with essential analysis, design, evaluation, and implementation skills for success as full stack web developers, backend developers, or front end web developers. It helps students develop creative solutions to web development problems and prepares them for Master of Science programs.
Common Bachelor of Science in Web Development Curriculum
- Cloud Computing
- Full Stack Development
- Database Structures
Bachelor of Arts (BA in Web Development)
Prospective students of this program will use the latest design technologies and tools to learn digital imaging, graphic design, typography, brand identity, and digital media. Bachelor of Arts programs are often less technical and have more humanities-related courses, preparing students for Master of Arts programs.
Common Bachelor of Arts in Web Development Curriculum
- Graphic Design
- Digital Media
Bachelor of Technology (BTech in Web Development)
A Bachelor of Technology in Web Development equips students with strong foundational skills in programming, interface design, web security, and database design. This is a professional degree meant to prepare students to enter the workforce right after graduating. Top employers for this degree type include Ramy Infotech, IBM, and Amazon.
Common Bachelor of Technology in Web Development Curriculum
- Web Security
- Database Design
- Interface Design
Types of Master’s Degrees in Web Development
The types of Master’s Degrees in Web Development include a Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Master of Professional Studies. The admission requirements for these programs include having a bachelor’s degree or higher, having a high GPA, and sometimes having a certain amount of work experience.
Master of Arts (MA in Web Development)
A Master of Arts in Web Development focuses on graphic design, web development, and animation. It will develop your knowledge of visual design, user experience, user interface design principles, mobile application development, database design, and instructional design. This degree is more useful to those looking to work on the artistic side of web development.
Common Master of Arts in Web Development Curriculum
- User Experience Design
- User Interface Design
- Visual Design
Master of Science (MSc in Web Development)
This type of web development program prepares students for careers as backend web developers, front end web developers, or full stack developers. You will learn about more complex functions of common programming languages, network security, enterprise architecture, and software engineering and development principles. This is a technical, research-based degree.
Common Master of Science in Web Development Curriculum
- Network Engineering
- Software Development and Engineering
Master of Professional Studies (MPS in Web Development)
A Master of Professional Studies in Web Development equips students with skills in database programming, informatics research, cyber space law, database design, and front end web development. This is a technical degree focused on preparing students for the most complex technical roles that involve less management or research.
Common Master of Professional Studies in Web Development Curriculum
- Database Design
- Front End Development
- Database Programming
What Will You Learn in a Web Development Degree Program?
In a web development program, you will learn graphic design, multimedia design, backend web development, front end web development, full stack development, project management, algorithm design, application design, application frameworks, CSS frameworks, code development, and other web development core competency courses.
If you are interested in the design aspect of web development, it’s best to enroll in an Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, or Master of Arts, as your classes will focus on the more creative side of the field. For a programming-focused program, you should consider an Associate, Bachelor, or Master of Science in Web Development, as your courses focus on more technical subjects.
Popular Specializations for Web Development Degrees
Popular specializations for web development degrees include front end development, backend development, full stack development, system administration, and UX/UI development. Other specializations for web development include web engineering, system administration ecommerce development, web design, and network security configuration.
The 5 Most Popular Web Development Concentrations
- Front End Development
- Backend Development
- Full Stack Development
- API Development
- UX/UI Development
Common Web Development Courses Across All Specializations
Some of the common web development courses students take before choosing their specialization include Fundamentals of Web Development, Markup Languages, Web Security, Database Management Systems, and Web Design. These courses equip students with a solid foundation, regardless of the aspect of web development they want to focus on.
- Fundamentals of Web Development. This course equips students with skills in using programming languages such as HTML and CSS and other coding techniques to develop efficient websites.
- Markup Languages. This course equips students with a solid foundation in developing sophisticated websites. Students learn how to develop innovative web solutions for website visitors and owners, making websites more engaging and easy to use.
- Web Security. This web development course tackles common threats to websites and their data and teaches students how to find solutions to those threats. You will learn to identify potential security vulnerabilities, develop reliable and trustworthy sites, and perform security audits.
- Database Management Systems. Students who take this course learn how to store, manage, and pull information from databases to improve user experience. You will learn how to use programming languages like SQL to extract data from a website and organize it efficiently.
- Web Design. A web design course equips students with essential design skills necessary for developing functional, cohesive, and aesthetically pleasing websites. It explores user interface design, accessibility, and navigation. Knowing how to build an engaging website is a must for all web development professionals.
Best Minors for Web Development Students
The best minors for web development students include business, communication, graphic design, information technology, and project management. When choosing a web development minor, you should consider what interests you, how it expands your knowledge, how it complements your career goals, and how it allows you to increase your earning potential.
The 5 Best Web Development Minors
- Graphic Design
- Information Technology
- Project Management
Best Major for Your Chosen Career Path
How to Choose the Right Web Development Degree Program for You
The main factors to consider when choosing the right web development program for you include the school’s accreditation, cost of tuition, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and format flexibility. Knowing what makes one program better than another can be difficult and isn’t always evident. By knowing what to look for, your school search will be much easier.
It’s imperative that you choose a web development program that is accredited. Accreditation guarantees that a program meets acceptable education standards through a vetting process performed by an external body. Accredited schools are also more favorable in the eyes of employers and financial aid providers.
The cost of a web development degree can vary from one school to another. You should choose a program that meets your academic needs and is within your budget. When determining your budget, make sure to take into consideration what financial aid opportunities you have available to you. There are many affordable learning options available, no matter your needs.
A school’s graduation rate indicates how likely prospective students are to graduate based on data from previous students of that school. Aim to get into a web development degree program with the highest graduation rate available, as this means that the students at this school are able to retain the information they are taught well and pass all of their examinations but are also well supported if struggling.
Pursuing a degree in web development requires a lot of dedication, time, and effort, and a school with a low student-to-faculty ratio can be extremely beneficial. A low student-to-faculty ratio means that you will more easily get individual attention, support, and feedback from your professors. Building a more personal rapport with them is also a great way to build a support network after you graduate.
Most web development programs are offered in-person, but online and hybrid programs are becoming increasingly available and popular. If attending school in person and full-time isn’t ideal for you, you should choose an option that is flexible and accommodates your current availability so that you can complete your web development education smoothly.
Best Web Development Colleges and Universities: Where to Find the Top Web Development Degree Programs
The best web development colleges and universities for an associate degree are Bismarck State University, Brigham Young University, Dakota State University, Gwinnett Technical College, and SUNY Broome Community College. These will all provide you with a great basic education in web development where you can either apply for entry-level jobs after graduating or transfer to a bachelor’s program.
If you intend on pursuing higher education, ECPI University, Fort Hays State University, Full Sail University, Santa Clara University, and Southern New Hampshire University are all home to great bachelor’s degree programs. Lastly, after graduating from any of these, you can pursue your master’s degree at Arizona State University, Fordham University, Fort Hays State University, New York University, or Touro College.
Best Schools to Get an Associate in Web Development
- Bismarck State University
- Brigham Young University
- Dakota State University
- Gwinnett Technical College
- SUNY Broome Community College
Best Schools to Get a Bachelor’s in Web Development
- ECPI University
- Fort Hays State University
- Full Sail University
- Santa Clara University
- University of South Florida
Best Schools to Get a Master’s in Web Development
- Arizona State University
- Fordham University
- Fort Hays State University
- New York University
- Touro College
Best College and University Web Development Schools
How Can I Pay for a Web Development Degree Program?
You can pay for a web development degree program through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), work-study programs, scholarships, loans, and grants. The availability of each of these options varies depending on your academic and personal background, as well as the institution you plan on attending.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Every year, the US Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid funds $112 billion in tuition for students who would otherwise not be able to attend college. All you need to do to become a FAFSA beneficiary is to fill out the FAFSA form, review your aid offer, and receive it in your student account. Filling out a FAFSA form is included in the application process for many schools.
Work-study programs are financial aid programs financed at the state or federal level that makes it easier for students to get part-time jobs during their studies. Students can use the income they earn from their part-time jobs to cover living expenses, tuition, and other education-related costs.
Scholarships are financial aid awards that can be used to cover all or part of your tuition and living costs. Scholarships are merit-based and often very competitive. Scholarship providers may provide it as a one-time check or a renewable reward subject to meeting certain conditions. Scholarships cannot be used for anything other than costs related to your education.
Under this funding method, a financial institution or lending entity may provide you with money for your tuition and living expenses with the condition that you pay it back with interest upon graduation or when you get a job. Loans can come from federal or private bodies, with federal loans typically having a lower interest rate.
The federal government, as well as state governments and colleges, offer various grants for web development programs that you don’t need to repay. To qualify for grants, you should have financial need and be able to accurately report your income when filling out your FAFSA form. Grants are typically less merit-based than scholarships.
Web Development Scholarships
The best web development scholarships include the AP-Google Scholarship program, the Designed For You scholarship, and the Vanguard Women in Technology scholarship. These scholarships can be used to cover tuition and living expenses and range from $2,000 to $20,000. Your school’s financial aid officer can help you find more scholarships to apply for.
AP-Google Scholarship Program
The Associated Press, in partnership with Google, offers six annual scholarships, each worth $20,000, for web development students. To qualify, students must be currently enrolled in a US university and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Preferred candidates for this scholarship are those from underrepresented geographic or ethnic groups or with extensive leadership experience.
- Eligibility Requirements: 3.0 cumulative GPA, must be enrolled in a US university
- Amount: $20,000
Designed For You Scholarship
This is one of the least competitive web development scholarships available. To apply for this scholarship, you only need to have a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The Designed For You Scholarship is available to online learners, adult working professionals, and international students pursuing a web development program, and covers $2,000 of your tuition or other education expenses.
- Eligibility Requirements: 2.0 GPA
- Amount: $2,000
Vanguard Women in Technology Scholarship
This is a merit-based scholarship for women offered by Vanguard, one of the largest investment management companies in the world. To apply, you must be a US citizen or permanent resident enrolled in a computer science or related degree program, with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The scholarship has stringent application requirements, so make sure to start the application process early.
- Eligibility Requirements: 3.0 cumulative GPA, US citizen or legal permanent resident, a woman in junior or senior year enrolled in a computer science or related degree program, submit a resume, letters of recommendation, recommender assessment form, personal statement, and proof of work experience and unusual personal or familial circumstances
- Amount: Up to $10,000
Most Popular Scholarships by Specialization
Student Loans for Web Development Majors
If you need a loan to fund your web development degree, you should first consider the federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, which usually have the lowest cost and most flexible repayment plans. Otherwise, you can consider taking a private loan from a bank, online lender, or credit union. The average student loan for web development majors ranges between $18,550 and $43,860.
What Is the Average Student Loan for Web Development Associate Degrees?
The average student loan for web development associate degrees is $18,550, with a standard deviation of $408.
What Is the Average Student Loan for Web Development Bachelor’s Degrees?
The average student loan for web development bachelor’s degrees is $29,910, with a standard deviation of $402.
What Is the Average Student Loan for Web Development Master’s Degrees?
The average student loan for web development master’s degrees is $43,860, with a standard deviation of $1,168.
How to Get Into the Best Schools for Web Development
To get into the best schools for web development, you should first review the application requirements and deadlines for each of the schools you’d like to attend. If you can, submit an early application, and don’t forget any of the required documents. This can increase your chances of getting accepted and lower the cost of your application.
You can also increase your chances of getting into the best schools for web development by learning one or more programming languages and scoring high in prerequisite courses. While not all schools require the submission of standardized test scores, high test scores can nonetheless increase your chances.
Top 5 Tips to Get Into the Best Programs at Web Development Schools
- Review application requirements and deadlines
- Apply early
- Submit all required documents
- Take the initiative to learn web development independently
- Get high scores in prerequisite courses and standardized tests
How to Get Into the Best Colleges and Universities
How Can You Get a Web Development Internship While in College?
You can get a web development internship while in college by applying to the internships available at your university or college, reaching out to web development companies for an internship opportunity, or searching for internship opportunities on LinkedIn. Some programs even have internships built into their curriculum.
Most universities and colleges offer internship programs and career fairs as part of their career services. Find out whether your college or university offers web development internships and apply if it does. As previously mentioned, some programs have built-in internship programs as a part of their curricula.
Web Development Companies
You can reach out to companies that specialize in web development by phone or over email, introduce yourself, and request an internship opportunity. Most employers will be impressed by your initiative and provide you with an internship, if available. Your professors may be good people to ask for leads on open internship opportunities at companies.
LinkedIn is a great resource for finding internships. You can create a LinkedIn account and fill in your details and experience, then search for web development internships in your area and apply to the one that interests you.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Web Development Degree?
The jobs you can get with a web development degree include working as a backend developer, front end developer, full stack developer, graphic designer, app developer, user experience researcher, SEO specialist, software developer, and web content manager.
You can get into most entry-level web development jobs with an associate degree. However, you will need a master’s degree for senior-level roles, such as user experience researcher and senior SEO specialist. Your career growth and earning potential will be limited without a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Web Development Degree Salary Outlook
The average web development degree salary ranges between $57,000 and $92,000. According to PayScale, web development associate degree holders earn an average annual salary of $57,000, or $18,000 less than their bachelor’s degree counterparts. At $92,000 per year, master’s degree holders earn the highest average web development salary.
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Web Development Associate Degree||$57,000|
|Web Development Bachelor’s Degree||$75,000|
|Web Development Master’s Degree||$92,000|
Web Development Degree Jobs and Career Outlook: What Can You Do With a Web Development Degree?
With a web development degree, you can work in various roles in web development, design, and programming. The top web development jobs for an associate degree holder are entry-level roles, while bachelor’s degree holders can work in more specialized and technical roles. Master’s degree holders have the highest earning potential because they qualify for senior research and management positions.
Top Web Development Associate Degree Jobs
- Entry-Level Python Developer
- Entry-Level Backend Developer
- Entry-Level Java Developer
- Entry-Level Front End Developer
Top Web Development Bachelor’s Degree Jobs
- Web Content Manager
- App Developer
- Game Developer
- User Experience (UX) Designer
- Graphic Designer
Top Web Development Master’s Degree Jobs
- Software Developer
- Software Engineer
- User Experience (UX) Researcher
- Computer Programmer
- Senior Search Engine Optimization Specialist
Highest-Paying Web Development Jobs
|Highest-Paying Web Development Jobs||Entry-Level Salary (0-12 Months)||Early-Career Salary(1-4 Years)||Mid-Career Salary (5-9 Years)||Experienced Salary (10-19 Years)|
|User Experience (UX) Researcher||$70,000||$83,000||$106,000||$120,000|
|User Experience (UX) Designer||$65,000||$74,000||$86,000||$96,000|
Professional Web Development Organizations and Resources
The best-known professional web development organizations and resources in the world are the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Professionals, and Google Web Developers Fundamentals. All of these primarily offer free access to their resources and don’t have entry fees, making them extremely accessible to web developers of any kind.
The World Wide Web Consortium, often shortened to just W3C, is the oldest web development organization in the world. This organization creates open standards for the web to ensure its continuity, accessibility, and growth and provides a wide range of free resources for learning and professional web developers and computer scientists.
Established in 1997, Web Professionals is an organization dedicated to supporting web development teachers and professionals. They offer various certifications such as web animation, mobile app, and web development in addition to a myriad of free learning resources.
Google Developers Web Fundamentals
This is an excellent learning resource provided by Google to help inform new and old web developers alike on the best practices in web development. It is ideal for both when you’re starting your career in web development or want to learn how to develop better projects.
Web Development in 10 Years: Is Getting a Web Development Degree Worth It?
Yes, getting a web development degree is worth it. It can help you land high-paying jobs in front end development, backend development, user experience design and research, database design, database development, and application development. As long as you enjoy detail-oriented work and see yourself happy working in the field, a web development degree is worth it.
In 10 years, web development will have grown significantly as more and more businesses increase their presence online. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects web development occupations, such as web developers and software developers, to grow faster than the average for all occupations between 2020 and 2030.
Additional Reading About Web Development
Web Development Degree FAQ
No, you don’t need a master’s degree for web development jobs. You can break into web development with an associate degree or by attending the
best web development bootcamps
. However, earning a web development master’s degree can be beneficial when trying to increase your job seniority and earning potential.
Yes, you should certainly consider becoming a professional web developer because web development is currently one of the most in-demand jobs. According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the
demand for web developers and digital designers
is projected to grow by 13 percent between 2020 and 2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
You will need both soft and hard skills to succeed in web development jobs. You’ll need to master communication skills and active listening skills. Excellent analytical, coding, design, SEO, and other technical skills are also essential for success in web development jobs.
Yes, there are plenty of web development online courses at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Some of the best web development online programs are offered at Arizona State University, Southern New Hampshire University, Liberty University, Brigham Young University, and Fort Hays State University.