Both undergraduate- and graduate-level programs are available to those who wish to launch a career as a website developer or enhance an existing career in the field. Traditional four-year institutions, private online schools and some community colleges offer online coursework in web development and design. Like on-campus certificate and degree options, fully online programs focus on the creativity, technical skills and knowledge of what appeals to consumers needed to develop quality websites. Students can earn an associate's degree, bachelor's degree or certificate in the field.
Admission requirements vary based on school and program level. Students applying to an online undergraduate program may not need to meet many requirements beyond having a high school diploma or GED. Some schools offering online bachelor's programs could expect applicants to already have an associate's degree. Those seeking admission to a graduate-level program must have a bachelor's degree and may need to have college credits in an area related to web development.
Learning & Coursework
Online coursework is typically completed in an asynchronous manner, which enables the student to attend class at an individually convenient time and location. Schools use course management systems to create an online learning environment containing lectures, assignments and learning aids that are generally accessible any time of day. Discussion boards and class chat rooms are often used for interaction between distance learners, their peers and instructors.
Web Development Certificate
This online certificate program focuses on the core skills essential to a successful website development career. It emphasizes the technical competences that enable students to create visually appealing, functional and interactive websites. The following topics may be explored in this certificate program:
- Graphics for the World Wide Web
- Website design
- Web authoring
- E-commerce on the Web
Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Website Development and Design
The skills and knowledge developed in this distance learning degree program can be utilized in a wide variety of information technology careers. Like many degree and certificate programs in this field, students may select between website development and website design emphases. In addition to general education classes, the following courses may be required:
- Dynamic HTML and CSS
- Computer concepts
- Technical writing
- Multimedia design
Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development
Like associate's degree programs, bachelor's programs include general education classes in addition to coursework in the major. These online web development programs focus on the technical skills and components needed to create websites that offer a good user experience, including graphics, multimedia, security and web applications. A senior project is often required as the student's culminating experience. Example of distance learning courses in a bachelor's program include the following:
- Web architecture
- Web programming
- Digital images
- Web design and usability
- Internet technologies
- Internet business
- Search engine optimization
- Internet security
Graduate Certificate in Website Development
Online graduate-level certificate programs are ideal for students in possession of an undergraduate degree who wish to pursue an advanced course of study in a short period. Students who aspire to management roles may also find online graduate programs a worthwhile endeavor. These may discuss the following subjects:
- Enterprise Web services
- Information technology project management
- Internet research methods
- Dynamic Web services
Regardless of a student's educational background and future goals, it is possible to find an online web development program that can meet their criteria. An undergraduate certificate provides a basic introduction to the field, undergraduate degrees offer essential information technology instruction alongside general education courses, and graduate certificate programs provide advanced training in website design for students who already have experience in website design.
Salary and Job Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that web developers had a median annual salary of $77,200 as of May 2020. Between 2019-2029, these professionals could potentially experience a much faster than average rate of growth at 8%.