As the tech field continues to expand, web developers take advantage of many opportunities for career advancement and growth. These professionals play an essential role by building engaging, functional websites.
Becoming a web developer requires several steps. This article offers a step-by-step view of how to become a web developer, from the educational requirements to the job market, and the skills needed to be successful in this fast-growing profession.
Choose the right degree
An aspiring web developer should first complete an education to develop basic programming skills. In most cases, this is an Information Systems degree in Web Development with core courses in web design, data management, and the essential programming languages used by industry professionals.
Get a well-rounded education
Professional web developers are constantly learning as technology changes — which makes the job exciting but challenging. Finding a school with an accredited web development program is a great first step to get up to speed on the most relevant best practices and industry standards.
How long does it take to complete a degree?
An associate degree in computer science typically takes two years to complete, while a bachelor’s degree in computer science could require four years.
The level of education required for employment varies among companies and sectors. While it is possible to land an entry-level web development position with a basic understanding of programming, a bachelor’s degree will open up a world of opportunities and better position you for future jobs.
What kind of classes should you expect?
Look for a web development program that offers relevant and rigorous courses that will give you a competitive edge. A well-rounded web development program should include classes like Information Security, Database Management, Cloud Computing, Web Design, and Data Analytics.
Show off your programming skills
Throughout the program you will have multiple opportunities to work on real-world problems in information systems and web development. With class projects you can build your skills in web scripting and design. These projects will come in handy when it’s time to create a portfolio.
Build an impressive portfolio
For a web developer, a portfolio is a website that contains your most recent projects, your resume, and any additional information like a bio or best ways to contact you. The very purpose of your web developer portfolio is to showcase your knowledge and skills. When interviewing for a web developer position, a portfolio is often a requirement. It’s also an opportunity for you to represent your work in the best light and show your personality.
Before you graduate with a Web Development degree, it is very helpful to secure an internship or two. Most degree programs actually have some type of internship as a requirement for completing your degree. This is because internships are a great way to further hone the skills you learn in the classroom. As an intern, web developers assist with coding under the direction of an experienced professional, test existing code, and format graphics for web use. The internship might also provide experience working with UI designers and project managers so that you can gain team-based work experience as well.
Web developer salary and demand
How does the career outlook and median salary for this exciting job field look? Web designers do a great job of keeping our websites up and running on a daily basis and are compensated for doing so with an average salary of $73,760 per year.
And with an expected career growth of 8 percent in the next decade, there will be a need for the next generation of web developers to keep the World Wide Web running. In short, the job outlook for web developers is a bright one.
Web development is an excellent choice for people who are detail-oriented and just like technology itself, enjoy constantly evolving and learning new things every day.