With as little as an associate's degree, you may become qualified to enter the field of Web development and management. Careers in this field include Web developers, digital media managers and desktop publishers. Certifications are available in these fields through professional organizations, and can prove beneficial in the job market.
Web development programs help students learn to use graphic software and programming languages to create websites, as well as providing the knowledge necessary to manage and analyze the business aspects of running a successful website. Degrees are available at the associate, bachelor, and master levels, with each level providing a deeper understanding of the technical and business knowledge necessary to have a successful career.
|Careers||Web Developers||Digital Media Managers||Desktop Publishers|
|Required Education||Associate's Degree||Bachelor's Degree||Associate's Degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||27%||8%||-21% (decline)|
|Median Salary||$64,970 (2015)*||$62,352 for digital marketing managers (2016)**||$39,840 (2015)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Payscale.com
Careers in Web development can follow a variety of paths depending upon the student's area of interest. For those interested in creating and maintaining websites, a career as a Web developer and Webmaster is the perfect choice. For students interested in media creation, working as a digital media manager is a good choice, as these professionals produce and manage digital media for websites from a business perspective. Other students may prefer a career in desktop publishing, which uses Web development and digital media creation skills to produce media for digital or print publication.
Web Developers and Webmasters
Web developers create websites for individuals and businesses. They may use graphic and other software as well as programming languages to design websites. Webmasters assume responsibility for maintaining websites. They analyze traffic patterns and visitor demographics, update information and troubleshoot problems with functionality. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Web developers earn a median annual salary of $64,970 as of May 2015. The BLS reports that, from 2014-2024, Web developers are expected to see a 27% growth in employment, which is significantly faster than the national average.
Digital Media Managers
A digital media manager can focus on either the production of various types of digital media or manage digital media efforts from a business perspective, as indicated by November 2016 job listings on Monster.com. Digital media managers may also assume responsibility for producing digital media content for websites or may take the lead in determining a need for digital media and documenting its performance. According Payscale.com, the median salary for digital marketing managers as of 2016 was $62,352. Computer occupations like digital media managers are predicted to see a growth of 8% from 2014 to 2024.
Desktop publishers use computer software to combine images, text, formatting and other elements for print or online publication. Because individuals with a degree or certification in Web management or multimedia management are likely to have strong multimedia skills, they may focus their desktop publishing work on interactive, Web-based media or other electronic formats, rather than on standard print formats.
Individuals interested in this career should be aware that the BLS predicted that job opportunities in this field would decline by 21% between 2014 and 2024. This is largely because more office workers and business professionals are learning how to use desktop publishing software, reducing the need for employees with specialized skill sets. As of May 2015, the median annual salary for a desktop publisher was $39,840.
Degrees in Web and Multimedia Management
It's possible to earn a degree in Web development or design from undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Community colleges offer associate's degrees in Web design and development while universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees that educate students in the technical, creative and business aspects of Web development and multimedia production and management.
Certifications in Web and Multimedia Management
Some professional organizations, such as CIW, offer certifications for Web and multimedia professionals. In addition, product vendors, such as Microsoft, also have certification programs that allow Web and multimedia professionals to document their proficiency in using various types of development software and other IT products.
While you'll need a bachelor's degree to become a digital media manager, an associate's degree may help secure you a position in Web development or desktop publishing. Certifications are available though professional organizations and product vendors in this field. Employment opportunities for digital media managers and Web developers are expected to increase faster than the national average, while opportunities in desktop publishing are looking at a severe decline through 2024.