Developer Training and Education Program Overviews

Students interested in pursuing a career in web development can pursue a 1- or 2-semester certificate, a bachelor's degree, or a master's degree. These programs focus on topics such as web design, software engineering, and advanced computer science.

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Essential Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most web developers are expected to have at least an associate's degree, though requirements can vary from some postsecondary training to a bachelor's degree. Software developers, on the other hand, are more commonly required to have at least a bachelor's degree and knowledge of computer programming. A graduate program in computer science can offer courses in both web development and software development while also preparing graduates to become project managers and IT leaders. A high school diploma or equivalent is required for entry into the undergraduate programs, and an appropriate bachelor's degree is required to begin the master's program.


Certificates in Web Development

Students learn to create functional, easy to navigate websites in these 1- or 2-semester programs. These programs prepare individuals for careers delivering and maintaining web-based solutions by teaching them about search engine optimization and how to code in various programming languages.

Aspiring web developers learn to work with programs like Flash and Dreamweaver while using languages like HTML, Haskell, SQL, C++ and JavaScript. In addition to learning about cascading style sheets and database administration, students may take courses in:

  • Web development for mobile devices
  • Web architecture
  • Web animation
  • Database design
  • Computer technology

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering programs are 4-year curricula that teach students about information security and designing computer systems. Because software is an essential part of modern technology across a wide spectrum of disciplines, some programs allow students to declare a specialization. Available concentrations may include fields like information security, bioinformatics or e-commerce. To be considered, applicants must present a high school diploma or GED and SAT/ACT scores.

In addition to coursework specific to programming or software engineering, these curricula include topics in science and advanced math, such as calculus. Some possible course topics include:

  • Operating systems
  • Data structures
  • Analysis and design
  • Digital circuit design
  • Software quality assurance
  • Software modeling

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  • Computer Graphics
  • Database Administration and Data Warehousing
  • Web Page and Digital Design

Master of Science in Computer Science

Master's programs typically take around two years to complete. Because computer science affects a wide variety of disciplines, some programs allow students to combine their studies with those of a different major. Programs often allow students to choose between tracks that culminate in either a thesis or project. Some programs are available in an online format. For enrollment, students should possess a bachelor's degree in a related field, and provide sufficient GRE scores along with letters of recommendation.

Students are able to learn about a wide variety of topics like databases, artificial intelligence, robotics, algorithms and information sciences. In addition to learning about the life cycle of the development for computer applications, students enrolled in these programs have the opportunity to study:

  • Computer graphics
  • Computer vision
  • Data mining
  • Embedded systems
  • Web development

Popular Career Options

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that many computer analysts and programming jobs require applicants to hold a bachelor's degree in a relevant field (www.bls.gov). These and other related professions can be found in a variety of industries due to the growing use of computers. Some possible career options include:

  • Database analyst
  • Systems analyst
  • Software engineer
  • Software developer
  • Computer programmer

Career Outlook and Salary Information

Job prospects and salary information varied significantly by the career field. For instance, the BLS indicated that job opportunities for software developers were expected to increase 17% from 2014 to 2024, while computer programmers are anticipated to see job decline of 8% during that time frame. In May 2015, the BLS indicated that software developers who specialized in applications earned a median annual wage of $98,260, those who specialized in systems made $105,570 and computer programmers made $79,530.

Continuing Education Information

The American Society for Quality administrates certification for software engineers who want to focus on quality issues (www.asq.org). Candidates for the Software Quality Engineer (SQE) certification have earned a related bachelor's degree and have a minimum of four years of professional experience, including three years in a decision-making position. To maintain certification, individuals must complete a certain amount of continuing education credits. Individuals interested in continuing their academic education may go onto earn a master's program.

Undergraduate certificates, bachelor's degrees, and master's degrees are available to students who wish to pursue a career in web development. Various aspects of web design and maintenance are explored in these programs which prepare students to become developers of applications or programs.

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