Certificate programs prepare students for basic Internet development careers and can be completed in one year. These programs focus on the fundamentals of web development, such as HTML, site design, scripting and graphics. Both associate's and bachelor's degree programs prepare graduates to work as web developers. Associate's degree programs may be more focused on specific aspects, like graphic design or coding. Bachelor's degree programs may go more in-depth, offering higher-level courses such as media law and marketing.
All programs usually only require a high school diploma for admission. However, some bachelor's programs may require students complete prerequisite courses prior to taking core classes for the major. These can include spreadsheet, database and web authoring basics, and software for graphics editing. Graduates at all program levels may consider pursuing various voluntary certifications in the field.
Certificate in Internet Website Development
Certificate programs in Internet website development present the basic information for developing and maintaining websites. The curriculum may comprise courses found in the first year of an associate degree program for students who want to continue their education. Some community colleges will accept applicants who can demonstrate they will benefit from the program, while others will require a high school diploma or an equivalent. Common courses include:
- Accessibility and XHTML CSS
- Development and scripting of Web pages
- The Internet, website design and HTML
- JAVA and virtual basic programming
- Web page design and layout
- SQL and UNIX
Associate Degree in Internet Website Development
Associate degree programs in Internet website development may contain the same core classes as certificate programs with the addition of general education coursework. Therefore, they usually require two years of full-time study to complete.
Some programs provide strong emphasis on graphic design and artistic components, while others focus more on the coding and writing markup aspect. Both aspects are important for students' success as website developers. Courses that may be unique to associate degree programs include:
- E-Commerce basics
- Graphics software
- Digital imaging and illustration
- Systems design and analysis
Bachelor's Degree in Internet Website Development
Bachelor's programs are generally designed for students with no prior education in the field, and typically take four years to complete. However, those who have earned an associate degree may be able to transfer most, if not all, of their major courses into a bachelor's program.
The general education requirements are usually steeper for bachelor's programs, potentially including courses in non-computer topics that aspiring web developers might find useful in their careers. These might include law and media, media ethical concerns, business communications, marketing, statistics, and writing. Core coursework that is often available only at baccalaureate level may include the following:
- Digital artwork
- Distributed computing systems
- Interactions of humans and computers
- Machine design and architecture
- Two-dimensional design
- Web animation
Popular Career Options
Besides basic Internet development careers, other options available often require additional training or experience. Possible careers include:
- Content developer
- Project manager
- System administrator
- Website administrator
- Website designer
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipated much faster than average job growth of 13% for web developers from 2018 to 2028. The average wage for web developers in May 2018 was $36.34 an hour or $75,580 per year, according to BLS figures.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Graduates of bachelor's programs can pursue the same certifications as those holding associate degrees. Internet and website development is typically studied at the undergraduate level. Although some related master's degree programs are available, they're scarce and not required for a job as a web or Internet developer.
There are several certifications available to web developers, all of which can be sought after by students with an associate degree. The first is the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) designation, which requires 2-3 years of experience with certain Microsoft applications. Because this certification is based on specific applications, no recertification is required. The vendor-neutral Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW) organization offers several certifications with training programs for each exam.
The most basic certification is the Site Development Associate. Together with two other certifications (Internet Business Associate and Network Technology Associate), individuals would be prepared to earn the designations of Web Design Professional (consisting of two other certifications) and Web Development Professional (consisting of three other certifications).
WebYoda, the first company to furnish a certification for webmasters, offers several certifications through its WOW (WebYoda's Online Webmaster) Academy. Among the certifications offered are WebYoda Associate Webmaster (WAW), WebYoda Certified Webmaster (WCW) and Certified Webmaster Professional (CWP). WOW Academy certifications must be renewed every five years through a new exam.
A certificate program, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree in internet and website development can provide a pathway into a career in website design and administration, content development, and project management. These programs focus on learning skills in areas such as Java and other programming tools, graphics software and design, and web animation.