Online Web Development Degrees

Want to build or manage websites for a career? If so, you may be interested in earning an online web development degree. Web development degrees introduce you to the ecommerce trends and consumer spending habits that drive online business. As part of your program, you’ll also learn how to create engaging visual and written content and how to manage online operations in a number of organizational settings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), positions for web development specialists are projected to increase almost 27% by 2024. This rapid growth reflects the growing popularity of e-commerce and the increasing accessibility of the internet. Workers in the field earn an average annual salary of $64,000.

Earning your web development degree online allows you to study at nights or on weekends, so you can go to school without disrupting your current responsibilities and obligations. If you have strong writing and communication skills and a passion for curating the way people view and interact with web content, online web development programs are a great way to begin your career in this burgeoning industry. Read on to learn more about the types of careers available in the field, and the academic path you can take to get there.

Meet our expert

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Juan Pablo Madrid Web Development

“The online format taught me to be resourceful. Without a physical class or professor, you learn to find solutions yourself.”


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Degrees

Online Web Development Degree Overview

Degree Avg Degree Cost Avg Loan Default Rate Time Commitment Early Career Pay Mid-Career Pay Unemployment Rate
Associate $14,258 17.54% 1+ years $42,000 $77,990 8.3%
Bachelor's $20,581 17.64% 4 years $61,250 $99,250 4.3%
Master's $17,961 8.38% 2+ years $85,750 $118,500 2.9%
Whether you are new to the field, or looking to advance in your current career, you should weigh the costs and time of getting a new degree against its benefits. There is no one-size-fits-all degree. The best choice for you will depend on your current educational background, financial standing, employment history, and area of interest. For instance, those with no experience may want to consider an associate degree, due to its shorter time commitment and lower cost. If finances are tight for you, then you should prioritize the student loan debt and default categories, as you will want to choose a degree that offers you the best chance of improving your financial standing with minimal risk. If your employer or someone else is paying for your education, then you might want to consider the degree that will offer you the highest salary. All salary information is sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and/or PayScale

Perhaps the most important factor in landing a job in web development is experience, and with that, an impressive portfolio. While it is possible find work with only an associate degree, bachelor’s degrees in web development provide a framework where you can get the skills you need without scouring the internet for resources or working dubious freelance jobs. In an industry dominated by the self-taught, a bachelor’s in web development can help you stand out from the crowd in an increasingly competitive industry. Furthermore, many online web development programs connect their students directly with companies through internships and work training.

Online Web Development Degrees

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Online Associate’s Degree in Web Development

Most of the available positions in online technologies require job candidates to have at least an associate accreditation. In an associate program, students learn the fundamentals of computer programing and code languages as well as database/website development and maintenance. The curriculum also includes aspects of design, including motion graphics, user interface, and networking. Because of the competitive nature of the web development field, many students go on to pursue further education, like getting a bachelor’s in web development online in order to minimize cost and save time.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    HTML & Java, Object-Oriented Methods of Programming; Network, Routers, & Switchers; Systems Security, and Computer Architecture

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Information Science, Technology Administration & Management, Computer Programming, Systems Security

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Computer Support Specialists, Desktop Publishers, Web Developer

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $51,470 for Computer Support Specialists, $39,840 for Desktop Publishers, and $64,970 for Web Developers

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    For 2014-2024: 27% increase for Computer Support Specialists, 21% decrease for Desktop Publishers, and 27% increase for Web Developers

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development

Typically taking four years to complete, an online bachelor’s in web development not only allows students to learn the fundamentals of the field, but also enables them to gather experience through hands-on projects and training. The general curriculum for an online bachelor’s in web development includes a mixture of artistic courses, such as page design and image editing, to more nuts-and-bolts topics like data administration and CSS programming. Many students pursue internships or summer training programs in addition to their web development degrees so that they can bolster their portfolio or specialize in a particular sub-field.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Systems Design, Principles of E-commerce, Web Design Integration, Technology Systems, and Digital Business Communications

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Cloud technologies, Web Development, Information Technology & Administration, Network Security

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Web Developer, Computer and Information Systems Manager, Computer Programmer, Information Security Analyst, Software Developer

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $64,970 for Web Developers, $131,600 for Computer and Information Systems Managers, $79,530 for Computer Programmers, $90,120 for Information Security Analysts, and $100,690 for Software Developers

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    From 2014-2024: 27% increase for Web Developers, %15 increase for Computer and Information Systems Managers, 8% decrease for Computer Programmers, 18% increase for Information Security Analysts, and 17% increase for Software Developers

Online Master’s Degree in Web Development

Master’s in web development degrees build on the student’s relevant knowledge of programming, code, and design in order to prepare them for careers in management. Many programs also include classes covering business administration, marketing, and advanced client tools. Concepts in usability and testing are also highlighted. These online web development programs are usually designed for students who already have work experience in the field. Students are generally looking to build specialized knowledge and skills similar to those found in certificate programs, though the two are not mutually exclusive. Many employers also require specific certifications.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Prototyping & Content Creation, Management Communications with Technology Tools, Systems Analysis

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Information Technology, Web Security & Assurance, Project/Technology Management, Online Public Safety, Database Design & Data Modeling

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Software Developer, Computer and Information Systems Manager, Information Security Analyst, Database and Systems Administrators

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $100,690 for software developers, $131,600 for computer and information systems managers, $90,120 for information security analysts, and $94,210 for database and systems administrators

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    For 2014-2024: 17% increase for software developers, %15 increase for computer and information systems managers, 18% increase for information security analysts, and 2% increase for database and systems administrators

Online Doctorate Degree in Web Development

Though not common, online doctoral web development programs lead to the highest formal degree in the field, enabling graduates to establish themselves as authorities on topics like programing, web design, and systems management. Because this is a terminal degree, many doctoral candidates are planning for a career in teaching. To prepare for the academic rigor and experience needed to land these professorships, doctoral programs focus on research and publication, and culminate their time in the program with a dissertation.

  • SAMPLE COURSES

    Applied Statistics, Theory of Programming Languages, Computer Systems Design, Systems Performance Analysis & Management

  • COMMON MAJORS

    Computer Engineering, Software Development & Engineering, Technology & Business Management

  • POTENTIAL JOBS

    Computer and Information Research Scientists, Web Development or Systems Professor, Computer and Information Systems Managers

  • AVERAGE INCOME

    $110,620 for computer and information research scientists, $72,470 for web development or systems professors, and $131,600 for computer and information systems managers

  • EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

    From 2014-2024: 11% increase for computer and information research scientists, 13% increase for web development professors, and %15 increase for computer and information systems managers

Online Web Development Choose Your Career

Average Web Development Salaries

$79,520
$90,120
$100,960
$51,470
$64,970

Computer Programmer

Salary: $79,520
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
-8% 328,600 Bachelor's N/A

Though programming skills are highly valued in many jobs, the role of the computer programmer itself is becoming more and more scarce in the job market. Learning these skills still provides a solid foundation for graduates, but it’s projected to become harder to find roles that require only this skillset. Programmers create the framework that tells computers what to do. The ability to code is essential to the job, as a programmer’s task usually involves converting the functions of a software program into step-by-step instructions that a computer can follow. The ability to think on your feet is also crucial, since computer programmers must also troubleshoot problems as they appear. Because there are so many software programs and computer systems in use, programmers usually need to pursue specialized training and certification.

Information Security Analyst

Salary: $90,120
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
18% 82,900 Bachelor's N/A

Information security analysts are at the front-end of computer and network protection. They either work proactively to establish security standards and prevent system error or they resolve issues after the fact. Computer programming knowledge is essential, and strong critical thinking skills are important as well. Analysts work in a variety of settings, ranging from corporations and financial institutions to troubleshooting services and the telecommunications industry.

Software Developer

Salary: $100,960
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
17% 1,114,000 Bachelor's N/A

Software developers usually work in systems or applications development, and with the proliferation of smartphones, there are more opportunities in app development than ever before. A well-rounded background in math and computer science is essential to the design and programming aspects of the position. Because the field is rapidly growing, a developer must also follow trends and learn about new softwares and applications as they appear, since the ability to test and maintain these programs are also part of the job.

Computer Support Specialist

Salary: $51,470
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
12% 766,900 High School Diploma or Equivalent N/A

Computer support specialists troubleshoot computer-related issues, related either to the machinery or the software. Knowledge of computer programming and the ability to solve problems efficiently are key attributes in this position. Work environments vary and depend on the specialist’s skills and experience. They range from a general help-desk setting or to a more specific position in a field, such as home computing, finance, and telecommunications. Some positions require the specialist to travel to a client’s home, and irregular work hours may be a part of the job.

Web Developer

Salary: $64,970
Growth Rate 2014-2024 Number of Jobs: 2014 Degree Certifications
27% 148,500 Bachelor's N/A

Jobs in web development are growing at a rapid pace, making the industry both more varied and easier to break into for recent graduates. A web developer is responsible for creating and maintaining online content, usually on a website. Knowledge of graphic design and skills in computer programming and coding are essential to this position. Because many websites are commerce-driven, some web development degrees also provide a basic understanding of online economics and marketing. The ability to work with others is important in this role, since many developers work on different teams for several projects at once.

Online Web Development Degree in Action

Juan Pablo Madrid Web Development

Juan Pablo is the Design Director for Online Optimism, a full service digital agency in New Orleans. Born in Guatemala, he moved to Louisiana to pursue a marketing degree at the University of New Orleans.

Why did you pursue web development coursework online?

I always dreamed of building websites, but never had the opportunity to take courses. The idea of learning to code was very appealing but daunting at the same time. My last semester at college, I chose Web Development as an elective course. This elective course was remote, so I could learn at my own pace and put in the hours when I had the time.

What were the biggest advantages to studying online?

Online coursework allowed me to test and experiment at my own will. My coursework could be on one tab, video tutorials on another, and other tools on another. If I ever got lost, the resources on the Internet provided me quick and efficient solutions.

What challenges or obstacles did you face when taking online coursework?

Discipline can be tough. Sometimes I would fall behind in my work and submit assignments late. I could ask a professor questions, but they had to be when that topic was being covered. Also, when asking questions, it could take the professors up to a day to respond, so my work often came to a pause.

How did the online format help prepare you for your career?

The online format taught me to be resourceful. Without a physical class or professor, you learn to find solutions yourself. I still use the resources I found during the course at my current job when building websites.

Online Web Development Professional Requirements

Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)

The Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) exam consists of several different tests on various Adobe products. The scenarios that would lead you to take an ACE exam may vary. If you are applying for a web development position, certain employers may require a specific Adobe certification. Freelancers and those looking for independent products can set themselves apart by being an ACE. No degree is needed to take the exam and study materials can be found online for free, primarily on the Adobe website. Certification does expire and there is a fee to get yourself reaccredited. The ACE is not required, unless you plan on teaching Adobe software and systems to other, in which case it is highly recommended.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

2 hours

MTA & MCSD: Microsoft Developer Certifications

Both the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) exams are proof of expertise and are not explicitly required of those looking to find work in web development. The MTA is a good certificate to obtain at the start of your career because it covers fundamental topics and shows you are qualified for an entry-level position. It is divided into three exams — IT Infrastructure, Database, and Developer — based on what you want to specialize in or which job you want to pursue. The MCSD is also divided into topic-based exams, including Windows Store Apps, Azure Solutions Architect, and Universal Windows Platform. Like the topics suggest, the MCSD exam is more specialized, designed for those who are perhaps at the middle of their career and want to gain an advantage when applying for higher-paying but more demanding jobs. It should be noted, however, that you do not need to have an MTA certificate in order to take the MCSD. Neither credential expires. Certain employers may require the certification of their candidates. MTA exams take 50 minutes and MCSD exams take 150 minutes.

Is it required?

Varies

How long will it take?

Varies

W3 Web Certifications: HTML, CSS, Javascript

Consisting of 70 multiple-choice and true/false questions, the W3 Web Certification exams test an individual’s knowledge on the specified programming language. You can take each exam twice and the higher score will be the one used to denote your level of achievement. No degree requirement is necessary, though getting a bachelor’s in web development online is useful preparation, and many people use these certifications as a way to show their expertise in HTML, CSS, or Javascript. Test preparation materials can be found on the W3 website itself. It should be noted that because W3 is a private accreditation program, those interested in taking the exams should research whether or not their current/prospective company or employer sees merit in this accreditation. Certification may prove your knowledge and expertise of the various platforms to potential employers.

Is it required?

No

How long will it take?

70 minutes