25 Best Online Web Development Degree Programs [2021 Guide]
Explore Online Web Development Degrees for 2021. Compare web development degrees, career paths, salaries, and job growth.
With eCommerce steadily increasing, now may be an excellent time to pursue an online web development degree. More and more retailers and businesses are moving online. This, in turn, is heightening the demand for skilled web developers to build and maintain websites.
Online Web Development Degrees
Within the field of web development, there are a few different specialties on which you can focus your attention.
Deciding early on which of these is most appealing to you can help you pick the best online web development courses in both your core and elective classes.
Web Development Degrees
If you become a web developer, you’ll likely be building the core features of your customers’ websites. A good web developer is like a construction worker, only for websites instead of buildings. Developers use programming languages and coding to build things that are both functional and interactive.
You could potentially become a front-end, back-end, or full-stack web developer. Put simply, front-end developers do everything on the client’s side of the website.
They use their programming and coding knowledge to develop all the client-interactive bits of the website.
Back-end developers deal mostly with the “meat” of websites – their operating systems, so to speak. They need to be very well-versed in various languages (Java, C++, SQL, etc.) and other types of coding.
They work less on the browser side of things and more on the database and server side. They also troubleshoot and fix bugs. Full-stack developers build fully functional websites – both front- and back-end portions – on their own.
Web Design Degrees
Although some people use the terms web designer and web developer interchangeably, they are actually two separate professions.
If you’re more interested in focusing on web design as opposed to web development, chances are you’re more into visual effects, design and creativity. If web developers are the construction workers of the computer world, web designers are its interior designers and decorators.
While pursuing a web design degree online or on campus, students focus less on building the core fundamentals of websites. The focus of this degree is instead on making sure the sites look good and are easily navigable. You’ll still need to have a good grasp of html, coding and other programming languages.
Learning user interface and user experience design will also be important. In addition to a web designer, other potential jobs include a graphic designer, a multimedia designer, and a computer programmer.
Mobile Development Degrees
Another popular specialization in a web development program is mobile app development. Many of the skills needed and courses taken in web development programs translate nicely to a career in mobile development.
This degree can still help you learn a lot about various programming languages and other coding-related skills. It can also help you learn a little about cybersecurity fundamentals and ethics in information technology, both topics you’ll likely also cover in web development/design.
In addition to all the core classes you’ll take for web development, you’ll also take courses specific to mobile app development. These may include classes on game theory and design, mobile user experience, Android and Apple programming languages, and advanced interface design.
Mobile apps developer, software developer, web developer, and software developer are some of the most common careers people with this degree pursue.
Online Web Development Courses & Curriculum
If you plan to earn your bachelor’s degree in web design and development, there are a few classes you’ll most likely be required to take. These include:
Business for Web Professionals is a business course specifically tailored to STEM-related students. In addition to a general overview of the business, it also puts a strong emphasis on business communications, interface design, proposal management, accessibility, and user experience.
Business Systems Analysis and Design is a more advanced business class for STEM professionals. It should teach you everything you need in order to act as a systems analyst for large businesses and/or corporations.
Computer Platform Technologies is a course that covers many different introductory areas of computer platform technologies at the software, hardware, and firmware levels.
Database Development is all about creating and maintaining databases. It should give you a foundation in database management systems and teach you to use development strategies to create new apps.
Front End Development is about web development on the client-side of things. It should help you learn some coding and how to fix bugs and help you obtain information on systems analysis.
Fundamentals of Information Technology is an introductory class covering many basic computer science concepts including cybersecurity, networking, computer programming, web development, and more.
Network and Telecommunication Management focuses on installing and managing networks. It should also give an overview of common telecommunications bugs and how to fix them.
Web Application Development teaches how to use a wide variety of programming languages to create web-based applications. There should also be an Internet apps design component.
Web Design & Animation focuses more on the graphic/visual design and audio/visual streaming elements of web design.
Even if you choose a specific concentration, such as mobile app development, you’ll likely take some version of these classes. Your concentration will help shape many of the other courses you’ll be required to take.
Although each college will have its own specific admissions requirements, there are a few things most colleges ask for, such as:
- GPA – Although several colleges, especially community colleges, no longer require you to have a certain GPA for acceptance, almost all schools still require you to provide them with your unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale.
- Exam Scores – Some colleges require you to have a specific ACT/SAT score for acceptance. The ones that don’t still want a copy of your standardized test scores to see which math and English classes you’re ready to take.
- Official Transcripts – All colleges require you to submit your official high school and previous college transcripts in order to check for any prerequisites they require and to confirm any transfer credits.
- Personal Statement – Usually delivered in the form of an essay, many colleges have a specific prompt for you to answer in lieu of a personal statement. If there’s no specific prompt, simply tell the admissions department about yourself, why you want to attend college there, and what your plans for the future are.
- Letters of Recommendation – These should be letters recommending you for the school/program sent from people who’ve known you in a professional or educational capacity.
If you’re ever in doubt about a college’s admissions requirements, check out the school’s website under the “admissions” tab.
Web Development Careers & Salaries
When it comes to picking a college for web development, you have several options from which to choose. If you don’t want to invest a ton of time into college, you could choose to enroll in a “boot camp” type program and earn your online web development certificate.
There are also web development options at the associates, bachelors, masters, and even doctoral levels. The types of jobs you could have with a degree in web development depend heavily on how far you want to go with your education.
At all levels, though, there is a wide variety of career options in the fields of computer programming, software development, mobile apps development, web development and design, and more.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below are a few popular jobs you might be eligible for with a degree in web development.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Multimedia Artist or Animator||$77,700|
The average annual salary for people with associate’s degrees in web development comes in at about $50,000. For people with bachelor’s degrees, that increases to over $70,000 a year, making web development a well-paying field.
Choosing an Online Web Development Degree Program
In order to find the best online web development program for you, there are a few factors you should check out at any prospective school. These include:
- College Credit Transfer Policies – You should always check to see if a prospective school will honor any college credits you’ve already earned so that you don’t have to waste money retaking the same classes over again. You also want to make sure any credits earned at your new school will be widely transferable in case you decide to relocate or change schools.
- Type of School – Determine whether your prospective school is public or private and in-state or out-of-state because both of these things can greatly impact your tuition costs.
- Degree Program Length – Many schools offer abbreviated semesters or accelerated courses that potentially allow you to finish your degree faster. If this is something you’re interested in, check to see if the college you’re hoping to attend offers either of these things.
- Campus Requirements – If you’re pursuing your degree online, this is a biggie. While many programs are 100% online, others require that you attend on-campus orientations, exams or other events. You need to see what type of campus requirements your school has and ensure they fit into your schedule.
While these aren’t the only factors you should consider before enrolling in a school, they’re some of the most important ones. The perfect school doesn’t exist, but the perfect school for you does.
Finding the college that’s right for you means finding the one that fits your budget, has your desired program of study, and can fit neatly into your schedule without too much hassle.
Web Developer Degree Online Career Paths
- Back-end Web Developers
- Computer Programmer
- Front-end Web Developers
- Graphic Designer
- Multimedia Artists or Animators
- SEO Specialist
- Web Developers
Another important consideration when picking a new online school is whether or not it has accreditation, particularly regional accreditation. There are seven regional accrediting agencies that provide on-campus and online colleges with regional accreditation.
If your college has received regional accreditation from one of these seven agencies, any credits or degrees you earn there should be transferable to any other college in the U.S. and/or accepted by any employer.
If your college doesn’t have regional accreditation, you have no guarantees that your degree will be accepted after you’ve earned it, so consider carefully before attending a school without regional accreditation.
You should be able to check any college’s accreditation status simply by visiting its website. If you can’t find the information there, you can visit the Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. There you can look up the accreditation status of any post-secondary institution in the U.S.
Web Development Professional Organizations
Because web development has become such a popular, in-demand field over the last several years, there are quite a few professional organizations founded specifically to help people in the web development (or a related) field. If you’re serious about pursuing a career in this field, you should consider joining one of these organizations.
American Institute of Graphic Arts – This is a professional organization specifically for those who work in the field of design, including web-based graphic design. The American Institute of Graphic Arts is the gold standard of both professional standards and ethics within the design community.
Association for Computing Machinery – The Association for Computing Machinery is the largest computing society in the world. It brings together those in the field of computing, whether they’re teachers, researchers, scholars, or working professionals, in an effort to expand the field of computer science both professionally and academically.
Association of Independent Information Professionals – The Association of Independent Information Professionals was founded to help bridge the gap between information technology professionals and the business owners they work with so closely. Its focus is on networking, professional development, and advancing the careers of its members.
Graphic Artists Guild – Dedicated to protecting the professional interests and promoting the careers of its members, the Graphic Artists Guild welcomes graphic artists from all fields, including web design artists. It provides members with networking and continuing education opportunities.
User Experience Professionals Association – The User Experience Professionals Association was created specifically for those web developers who work with UX design. It allows members to research and design new UX products and keep up-to-date with the newest innovations in UX design.
There are many appealing reasons to join one of these professional organizations. In addition to providing you with vast networking opportunities, being a member of one of these organizations can help you keep on top of new developments in your field. It can also help you gain promotions or find a new job.
Web Development School Financial Aid & Scholarships
There are several options out there that can help fund your education. The three most common are loans, the federal Pell Grant, and scholarships. If you decide to use loans, you can usually apply for them at banks, credit unions and private loan companies.
Additionally, you can apply for loans from the federal government by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Filling out the FAFSA is also how you apply for a Federal Pell Grant.
The difference between the two is that loans have to be repaid and the federal Pell Grant doesn’t as long as you don’t misuse it. Both options are based solely on your income and have nothing to do with grades, standardized test scores, or talent.
Scholarships, on the other hand, are usually awarded to students who have exceptional grades, test scores, or some type of ability.
You could also earn a scholarship by winning a contest or writing a winning essay. You can usually find scholarships on your college’s website, on dedicated scholarship websites, through professional organizations, through your workplace, or even a quick Google search.
Like the Pell Grant, scholarships almost never have to be repaid. They may come with certain stipulations though. If those stipulations are broken, you could lose your scholarship or, in extreme cases, have to repay them.
Can You Get a Web Development Certificate Online?
There are many colleges that offer web development degree programs online. You may enroll in a certificate course and earn your certificate, or you might go even farther.
There are also associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs available online. Some schools even offer online graduate programs in web development.
What Degree Should I Get for Web Development?
The type of degree you should get in web development depends entirely on how far you want to go with college and what kind of job you hope to get. There are many web development jobs you can get with a simple certificate. Other, higher-paying jobs may require you to have an associate’s or even a bachelor’s degree.
The choice is yours. You should be able to break into the field with nothing more than a certificate. You may want to keep going, though, so that you’ll be eligible for promotions and/or management jobs.
What Are the Best Online Web Developer Certificate Programs?
There’s no single answer to this question. The program that’s best for you may not be the best program for someone else.
The trick is to find a program that best fits your needs. Find a program whose costs are within your budget, whose class schedule matches your available schedule, whose courses cover the subject matter you’re interested in learning, etc. Once you’ve found a program that offers all those things, you’ve likely found the best program for you.
Is a Web Development Degree Worth It?
Yes, a web development degree is worth it for many professionals. In the computer and information technology field, jobs are projected to grow at a rate of 11% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics), much faster than the average overall job growth. Common careers in this field include graphic designer, web developer, animator, computer programmer, and software developer.
There’s a huge demand for web developers right now, so yes, a web development degree can certainly be worth it for many people.
What Are the Requirements for an Online Web Design Degree?
Different colleges have different requirements for enrollment into their web design programs. Some have GPA or standardized test requirements while others don’t. Some require you to have work experience.
Check out the admissions requirements for your prospective school on the website’s admissions tab.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Web Development Degree?
In general, it takes two years to earn an associate’s and four years to earn a bachelor’s in web development. This assumes you’re taking a full course load only in the fall and spring semesters.
If you take less than a full course load, it could take longer. If you take accelerated courses or additional classes in the summer, you could finish faster.
What Should I Major In to Become a Web Developer?
Many consider web development and design to be the best thing to major in if you want to become a web developer since it gives a comprehensive education on the subject.
Universities Offering Web Development Online Bachelor’s Degree Program
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
- BS in Information Technology – Software Analysis and Development
American InterContinental University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- BAS in Internet and Web Development
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Committee.
- BS in Information Systems – Web Development
Baker is a regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Web Development
Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Software Development – Web Development
Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Bachelor’s in Web Design and Development
Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
- BS in Computer Information Systems – Web and Mobile Development
Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- Bachelor’s in Web Design and Development
DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Computer and Information Science – Software Development – Web Design and Development
ECPI University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
- BA in Information Networking and Telecommunications – Web and Mobile Application Development
FHSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Web Development
Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- BAS in Software Development
Green River College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
- BS in Software Development
Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Integrated Technology – Web Design and Development
Husson University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
- BAS in Web Design and Development
Lewis-Clark State College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
- BS in Information Technology – Web and Mobile Programming
Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- BS in Computer Information Systems – Web Development
Northwestern State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- BS in Information Technology – Programming and Software Development
Purdue University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Computer Science – Software Development
Salem is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Information Technology – Web Design and Development
South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
- BS in Information Technology – Software Development
Strayer is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- BS in Computer Information Systems – Web Development
The University of Maine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
- BS in Digital Media and Web Technology
UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
- BS in Computer Information Systems – Web and Mobile Applications Design
Walden is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
- BS in Software Development
Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Getting Your Web Development Degree Online
If you have any interest at all in becoming a web developer, designer, webmaster, or web-based graphic designer, there may never have been a better time to enroll in a web development program. The demand for people in this particular field is booming.
The salaries for web development professionals are usually extremely competitive. You could potentially have a very good career as a developer.
With more and more schools offering web development programs online, you have a ton of flexible degree options to pursue. You can work toward earning many different levels of degrees (from certificates all the way to graduate-level degrees) in web development on your own schedule from the comfort of your own home.
Plus, there are some great financial aid options out there as well. Now’s a great time to take that first step towards achieving your dreams.