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How to Become an Internet Developer: Career Roadmap

Find out how to become an Internet developer. Research the education, training requirements and learn about the experience you need to advance your career in Web development. View article »

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  • 0:00 Should I Become an…
  • 0:35 Career Requirements
  • 1:34 Step 1: Get an…
  • 2:25 Step 2: Acquire Work…
  • 3:41 Step 3: Earn a…

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Video Transcript

Should I Become an Internet Developer?

Internet developers, also known as Web developers, create Web applications and content, as well as maintain websites and domains. They use complex industry software and tools that include scripting languages, such as HTML, SQL and JavaScript, during their work activities.

Internet developers can work alone or in teams, and many are self-employed. They spend nearly all their working hours sitting at a computer screen, though this is usually done in comfortable office environments.

Career Requirements

Getting into this career typically requires an associate's degree for entry-level positions. However, bachelor's degrees are often preferred by employers. Common fields of study include computer science, computer programming, and web development. Experience requirements range from less than one year to 11 years, depending on the employer and the level of skill and knowledge needed.

Key Skills for this career include web development software, HTML, application server software, graphics software, JavaScript, CSS, MySQL, AJAX, PHP, OOP, jQuery, XML, XSLT, database development and the ability to use servers, media drives and other peripheral equipment. In 2015, the median annual salary for web developers was $64,970, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What are the steps to become an Internet developer?

Step 1: Get an Associate's Degree

Some companies may hire an applicant having an associate's degree, coupled with technical knowledge and skills, for an entry-level job as a Webmaster. These programs are generally offered by community and technical colleges. Some of the courses you could take while enrolling in one these programs include programming languages, database programming and management, object-oriented design and e-commerce.

You can also consider:

  • Enrolling in a college work-study program or Internship. Prospective candidates may seek hands-on experience under the guidance of veteran developers through these programs. Prospective developers can learn how to design and develop content and applications that are useful for various types of businesses. Work-study programs are generally available at community colleges that offer associate's degree programs.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Information Systems Security
  • Networking Management
  • Systems Administration
  • Webmaster and Multimedia Management

Step 2: Acquire Work Experience

By building Web development experience, entry-level developers can build the technical and professional skills necessary to solidify their future careers and develop a strong portfolio of professional work. Some of the tasks that an individual could participate in include meeting with the other departments at a workplace to assess their Web database needs, creating Web content and troubleshooting existing websites. After acquiring experience, Internet developers could potentially obtain higher paying positions that require greater levels of responsibility.

You might also want to consider:

  • Volunteering your services. Individuals who have difficulty securing entry-level employment could consider offering their services to non-profit organizations to develop their portfolios and build their professional work histories.

Additionally:

  • Take additional courses. Candidates that have obtained an entry-level position should consider on-going training to acquire the additional skills necessary to advance to a higher-level position. Continuing education courses may include coursework in subject areas such as computer programming, Web applications, database information systems, Web design and database management.

Step 3: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Although applicants may be able to get an entry-level job with an associate's degree, prospects for a higher-level position are better if the candidate has a bachelor's degree. Some colleges offer undergraduate degrees in majors that pertain to Internet development, such as Web design and engineering or Web development. Coursework may cover computer networks, Web programming languages, business and professional communication.

To improve your bachelor's experience, you can:

  • Take business courses. Obtaining education in the workings of a business can make Internet developers stronger candidates for management and supervisory positions.

To recap, with an associate's or bachelor's degree in computer science or web development, and some experience, Internet developers can make about $64,970, to create web applications and content, as well as maintain web sites and domains.

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