25 Best Online Web Development Degree Programs [2021 Guide]

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You can explore online web development degrees for 2021 here. We will compare web development programs, career paths, salaries, and job growth.

Online Web Development Degree

With jobs in eCommerce steadily increasing, now may be an excellent time to pursue an online web development degree.

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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 you can focus your attention on.

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

web developer working on his computer

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 a website. They use their programming and coding knowledge to develop all the client-interactive bits of a website.

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Back-end developers deal mostly with a website’s operating system. 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

web designer working together on a project

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 the interior designers and decorators.

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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 sites look good and are easily navigable. It is still important 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 becoming a web designer, you might become a graphic designer, multimedia designer, or computer programmer with this degree.

Mobile Development Degrees

mobile developer working in the office

Another popular specialization in web development programs is mobile app development. Many of the skills needed and courses taken in web development programs translate nicely to careers in mobile app 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 and web design.

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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 developers, software developers, web developers, and software developers often have degrees in mobile app development.

Online Web Development Courses & Curriculum

web developer student studying in cafe

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. We’ve listed some of the most commonly required courses below.

Business for Web Professionals: This is a business course specifically tailored for 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: This is a more advanced business class for STEM professionals. It covers the things you need to know in order to act as a systems analyst for large businesses and corporations.

Computer Platform Technologies: This is a course that covers many different introductory areas of computer platform technologies at the software, hardware, and firmware levels.

database developers working together in the office

Database Development: This course is all about creating and maintaining databases. It can help you build a foundation in database management systems and teach you how to use development strategies to create new apps.

Front End Development: This class is about web development on the client-side of things. It can help you learn how to do some coding, fix bugs, and analyze systems.

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Fundamentals of Information Technology: This is an introductory class that covers many basic computer science concepts, including cybersecurity, networking, computer programming, and web development.

JavaScript: This course is specifically focused on teaching students how to use the JavaScript programming language.

network administrators in data room

Network and Telecommunication Management: This class focuses on installing and managing networks. It typically provides an overview of common telecommunications bugs and training in how to fix them.

Web Application Development: This course can help you learn how to use a wide variety of programming languages to create web-based applications. There is typically an internet app design component as well.

Web Design & Animation: This class focuses more on 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.

Admissions Requirements

web development student studying on her laptop

Although each college has its own specific admissions requirements, there are a few things most colleges ask for. Some of the most common requirements are listed below.

  • GPA: Although several colleges, especially community colleges, no longer have specific GPA requirements for acceptance, almost all schools still require applicants to provide unweighted GPA information.
  • Exam scores: Some colleges require specific ACT/SAT scores for acceptance. The ones that don’t will likely still want a copy of your standardized test scores to see which math and English classes you’re ready to take.
  • Official transcripts: Almost all, if not all, colleges require 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 will have a specific prompt for you to answer in lieu of a personal statement. If there’s no specific prompt, then they likely want you to give them information 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, you can usually check out the school’s website under the admissions tab.

Web Development Careers & Salaries

Web Development Careers & Salaries

When it comes to picking a college for web development, you have several options to choose from. If you don’t want to invest a ton of time into college, you may choose to enroll in a “boot camp” type program to earn an online web development certificate.

There are also web development options at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctoral levels. The job you can obtain with a degree in web development heavily depends on how far you want to go with your education.

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At all degree levels, though, there is a wide variety of career options in computer programming, software development, mobile apps development, web development and design, and other computer science fields.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are some of the jobs you might be eligible for with a degree in web development:

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Software Developers, Quality Assurance Analysts, and Testers $110,140
Database Administrators and Architects $98,860
Computer Programmers $89,190
Special Effects Artists and Animators $77,700
Web Developers and Digital Designers $77,200
Graphic Designers $53,380

The salaries listed are the averages for degree holders of all levels. Some of these jobs may require additional experience or degrees to obtain. Many employers also pay employees with higher-level degrees higher salaries.

Choosing an Online Web Development Degree Program

web development student studying on cafe

In order to find the best online web development program for you, there are a few factors you can consider.

  • Programs and degrees offered: It is important to research the degree you need to obtain to pursue the career you want as well as programs and courses you are interested in. After deciding on this, you can check your prospective college’s course catalog to see if it will fit your needs and interests.
  • College credit transfer policies: If you have previously earned credits, it can be very beneficial to see if your prospective school will honor them so that you don’t have to waste time or money retaking the same classes over again. It is also important to make sure that the credits you will earn at your new school will be widely transferable in case you decide to relocate or change schools.
  • Type of school: Whether your prospective school is public or private and in-state or out-of-state can greatly impact your tuition costs.
  • Degree program length: Many schools offer abbreviated semesters or accelerated courses that can potentially allow you to finish your degree faster. If this is something you’re interested in, you can check to see if the college you’re hoping to attend offers either of these options.
  • Campus requirements: If you’re pursuing your degree online, this can be very important. While many programs are 100% online, others require on-campus orientations, exams, or other events. You’ll 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. There is no such thing as the perfect school, but considering factors like these can help you find the perfect school for you.

Web Developer Degree Online Career Paths

web developers working in the office

There are many careers that a degree in web development can help you pursue. People with degrees in this field often become:

  • Back-end web developers
  • Computer programmers
  • Front-end web developers
  • Graphic designers
  • Multimedia artists or animators 
  • SEO specialists
  • Web developers
  • Webmasters

These are just some of the career options that can be pursued.

Accreditation

Web Development Accreditation

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.

Credits and degrees earned from colleges with regional accreditation are more easily transferred to other colleges in the U.S. and more recognized by employers. If your college doesn’t have regional accreditation, you have no guarantees that your degree will be accepted after you’ve earned it, so it is important to 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 postsecondary institution in the U.S.

Web Development Professional Organizations

web developers in a meeting

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 field of web development (or related fields). If you’re serious about pursuing a career in this field, it may be beneficial to look into 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 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.

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graphic artists sharing their ideas in a meeting

Graphic Artists Guild: Dedicated to protecting the professional interests of its members and promoting their careers, the Graphic Artists Guild welcomes graphic artists from all fields, including web design artists. It provides members with networking and 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

Web Development School Financial Aid

There are several financial aid options to apply for to 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.

web developer studying in a cafe

Scholarships, on the other hand, are usually awarded to students who have exceptional grades, test scores, or abilities. You might earn a scholarship by winning a contest or writing a winning essay. Scholarships can potentially be found on your college’s website, on dedicated scholarship websites, through professional organizations, through your workplace, or from 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 it.

Web Development Certificate Online

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 further.

There are also associate 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 primarily 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. Higher-paying jobs may require you to have an associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree.

The choice is yours. Many can break into the field with nothing more than a certificate. You may want to keep going, though, to increase your chances for promotions or management jobs.

What Are the Best Online Web Developer Certificate Programs?

web developers working in his office

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. To find the best program for you, it is important to consider the factors that are important to you in a school and try to match as many of them as possible. Finding a program that fits within your budget, meets your scheduling needs, and provides classes in the topics you need for your dream career and that match your interests is a good start.

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 13% in the next 10 years (Bureau of Labor Statistics), which is much faster than the average overall job growth. Common careers in this field include graphic designers, web developers, animators, computer programmers, and software developers.

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?

web developer working in the office

The enrollment requirements for web design programs vary from college to college. Some have GPA or standardized test requirements, while others don’t. Some require work experience.

You can typically find a program’s admissions requirements on its website, usually under the admissions tab.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Web Development Degree?

On average, it takes two years to earn an associate and four years to earn a bachelor’s in web development. This assumes you’re taking a full course load in the fall and spring semesters.

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If you take less than a full course load, it will likely take longer. If you take accelerated courses or additional classes in the summer, you can likely 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 these programs are designed to provide comprehensive education on the subject.

Universities Offering Web Development Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs

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.

American InterContinental University

American Intercontinental University

  • BS in Information Technology – Software Analysis and Development

American InterContinental University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Arizona State University

Arizona State University

  • BAS in Internet and Web Development

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Baker College

Baker College

  • BS in Information Systems – Web Development

Baker is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Bellevue University

Bellevue University

  • BS in Web Development

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Capella University

Capella University

  • BS in Software Development – Web Development

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Champlain College

Champlain College

  • Bachelor’s in Web Design and Development

Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Davenport University

Davenport University

  • BS in Computer Information Systems – Web and Mobile Development

Davenport University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

DeVry University

DeVry University

  • Bachelor’s in Web Design and Development

DeVry University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University

East Coast Polytechnic Institute University

  • 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.

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

  • BA in Information Networking and Telecommunications – Web and Mobile Application Development

FHSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Franklin University

Franklin University

  • BS in Web Development

Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Green River College

Green River College

  • BAS in Software Development

Green River College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Herzing University

Herzing University

  • BS in Software Development

Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Husson University

Husson University

  • BS in Integrated Technology – Web Design and Development

Husson University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Lewis-Clark State College

Lewis-Clark State College

  • BA/BS in Computer Science

Lewis-Clark State College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Liberty University

Liberty University

  • BS in Information Technology – Web and Mobile Programming

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

  • BS in Computer Information Systems – Web Development

Northwestern State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Purdue University

Purdue University

  • BS in Information Technology – Programming and Software Development

Purdue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Salem University

Salem University

  • BS in Computer Science – Software Development

Salem is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

South College

South College

  • BS in Information Technology – Web Design and Development

South College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Strayer University

Strayer University

  • BS in Information Technology – Software Development

Strayer is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Maine at Augusta

University of Maine at Augusta

  • BS in Computer Information Systems – Web Development

The University of Maine at Augusta is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

  • BS in Digital Media and Web Technology

UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Walden University

Walden University

  • BS in Computer Information Systems – Web and Mobile Applications Design

Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Western Governors University

Western Governors University

  • BS in Software Development

Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Getting Your Web Development Degree Online

web developers working in the office

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, there are many flexible degree options to pursue. You could potentially 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 to apply for as well. You can take that first step towards achieving your dreams by applying for programs today!

Ready to start your journey?
Jordan Meeks
WRITTEN BY
Jordan Meeks
Jordan is pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Policy and earned her Master of Business Administration in Strategic Management and her Bachelor's in Business Administration. Jordan's research focuses on adults returning to college and online degree programs.