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Online Web Programming Schools and Colleges: How to Choose

Learn about important considerations when selecting an online Web programming school. Read more to get an overview of the program options, delivery factors, and common topics offered for the field of study.

There are a few options available to students looking for an online program that may prepare them for a career as a Web programmer; including web programming certificates, a degree in information systems management, and a degree in information technology. Read on to learn more about these options and where you might find them.

How to Select an Online Web Programming School

Those looking into an online web programming school should consider several aspects of information. Online schools offer a variety of different degrees and certificates in Web programming. Some are very basic, while others offer a complete set of skills for students who wish to enter Web programming. Students must decide what kind of program best suits their ambitions and schedules before enrolling. Programs are available at schools throughout the country.

Informational Depth and Outcome

Web programming certificate and degree programs fall in a spectrum. Some programs provide comparatively little training, mainly teaching students the basic skills that are necessary to create a website using hypertext markup language (HTML) and JavaScript, sometimes with PHP and MySQL courses. Other programs provide complete training in how to build many different kinds of websites, including training in all the programming languages commonly associated with Web design, Internet graphics, audio, video, and even e-commerce. Students must decide what training they need and find a program that matches their requirements.

Program Format and Time Requirements

Some online Web programming schools design programs to be taken by full-time students at an accelerated pace. Other institutions offer degrees for working professionals who must work at their own pace and cannot attend classes at any particular time. Students should determine what their time commitments are and how quickly they will be able to complete their degree program, then decide whether each college they find meets their needs.

Online Education Options for Web Programming

Web Programming Certificate

Web programming certificates are basic programs designed to give students the minimum of knowledge they need in order to create a working website. Classes are usually offered via online education software like Blackboard, which incorporates e-mail and message board communication, live online testing capabilities and possibly Internet video or audio conferencing. This type of program often covers only the bare bones of Web programming languages, including:

  • Database design
  • JavaScript
  • Creating functional websites
  • Server-sided scripting with PHP

Associate of Applied Science in Information Systems Management

An associate degree in information systems management covers more than simply Web programming, but many colleges offer this degree with a Web programming focus. This intermediate step between a bachelor's degree and a certificate is still mostly trade-oriented, focusing primarily on the knowledge students need for Web design but providing graduates with a wider knowledge base than a certificate program does. Classes are usually offered by the same methods as in a certificate program, but an associate's program includes more general education requirements. Course topics include:

  • Data analytics and business intelligence
  • Advanced Web application development
  • Web architecture
  • Database server architecture

Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems

A bachelor's degree in computer information systems, usually with a focus in Web design, gives students a complete set of skills and tools to design any kind of website. Students can expect to complete many more general education requirements than in either an associate's or certificate program. Courses cover:

  • Intro to database systems
  • Advanced programming
  • Advanced algorithms and data structures
  • Structured systems analysis and design

Schools with Online Programs in Web Programming

The University of California Davis offers students an online web development certificate program. In this program students may explore the hardware, software and languages used by both internet servers and clients. This includes HTML, CSS, PHP, SQL, JavaScript and AJAX. Using real-world scenarios their project focused courses help students build the skills they will use after graduation.

Arizona State University has a Bachelor of Science program in information technology that students may pursue to learn the skills needed to be a professional web programmer among other IT professionals. In this program students learn to create networks, design and manage databases and create interactive information management solutions. The program offers three tracks of concentration including networking and computer system security, information systems and enterprise computing.

Many web programming certificate and degree programs use online classes to teach students the skills needed to solve information technology problems. This education covers the use of modern hardware, software and programming languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.


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