Cyber Construction: Create, Design, Launch: Web Development

Those wishing to earn an online degree in web development should have a keen interest in information technology and computer science. While many aspects of Web development are creative, like graphic design, there are still good amounts of technical skill and technique that need to be learned. Web developers start from the ground up, deciding which hardware to use, what kind of software to install, the design of the site and the information it needs. From graphic design to production to programming, web development covers it all so that sites function successfully.

Web Development Degree Information

Studying web development involves learning how to create, design, edit and launch Internet platforms and websites using content, graphics and multimedia functions. Students also deal with projects concerning the improvement of existing web design systems, developing security for e-commerce sites and enhancing the experience for multimedia sites, gaming and browsers as well as ethical issues raised by web development and design.

Associate's Degree

Earning an associate's degree in web development or web design is a good starting place for someone looking to work as a developer, designer or producer. Students take courses that focus on animation, media, audio and video applications as well as the basics of programming, writing HTML code, JavaScript and working on various operating systems. There are also plenty of vocational and technical schools that offer specialized training.

Bachelor Degree

Besides teaching the basics in development and design, a bachelorís degree in web development teaches concepts and practical applications about network logistics and operations, software development and systems development. Additionally, students will study basic and advanced level programming and web design skills, from establishing e-commerce sites, working with multimedia application and learning HTML to working on operating systems like Linux, Unix and Windows, securing websites and using Java to create interactive websites. Students who are interested in web design will need to learn how to use Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator. It is advantageous for students to take up a second major or a minor in another subject to get a job in a niche market, such as in communications, computer science, engineering or business.

Earning a Degree Online

Earning an online degree in web or Web development is not only somewhat obvious and easy to do, but also it is easier for students who need to continue working full-time or have generally busy schedules. A postsecondary education online gives students the freedom to work and go to school at the same time, since online courses can take place from any location, and the subject matters make this degree a particularly good choice to study with a distance learning program. Check the Computing Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for school accreditation. Another option is to look for a two-year associateís degree at a local community college where the credits will transfer to another college of university.

Certification For Web Development Specialists

Certification is required by quite a few operating systems. Some IT and computer companies like Microsoft and Cisco offer certification programs web developers can obtain through online training and tests for the technologies and tools used in their particular system. Java, JavaScript, Standard Query Language (SQL), Visual Basic, ActiveX, HTML, Front Page, Per and Oracle all need some kind of licensure.

Coursework

The work involved with web development requires a solid foundation of computer language skills. Students will learn HTML, JavaScript, Flash and database languages along with Intro to C++, Visual BASIC, e-commerce sites, database administration, computer and information access, systems modeling, web protocols and principles of webpage design. Common courses include introductory classes on graphic design, web authoring, computer science, databases and spreadsheets as well as statistics, data structures and algorithms, information systems, graphic editing and advanced web design.

Career Opportunities

The back end of a website involves the database and hardware infrastructure, while the front end is the design, tools and navigation created for the users. Web developers are some of the most sought after Internet authorities, as more applications are becoming web-based. They use Internet software, programming and script languages like HTML, XML and JavaScript to update website information and create new pages with text, images and links. Developers work in every kind of Internet company and field of information technology, from small businesses to massive gaming sites. Furthermore, web developers determine the needs of the user and manage the tools they have built to test and maintain the integrity and effectiveness of websites.

Web producers take what an organization envisions for a website and uses HTML code to create a site with graphic design and content. Producers also update and maintain the site while figuring out new ways to improve it. Designers create the layout of the page using programming languages and graphic artistry to create images and navigation. They work closely with marketing professionals in order to maximize efficiency, functionality and accessibility to the public while maintaining a uniform brand or image of the company.

Programmers write software specifically designed for a company, while database administrators keep track of databases and the back-end support. Other career possibilities for web development graduates include database administration, desktop publishing, project management, Internet consultation, marketing and advertising.

Earning Potential For Web Development Careers

Web development is high in demand and predicted to grow at a much faster rate as organizations continue integrating advanced technology. Web producers can earn up to $82,000, while web developers can make up to $76,000 on average. Data communications analysts and administrators can earn an average salary of $60,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor. Computer scientists can make around $85,000, while software engineers can earn anywhere from $48,000 to $59,000.

Web Development and Design Degree FAQs

What Can I Do With a Web Development and Design Degree?

Web developers and designers spend the work day creating the websites you visit everyday. From start up and origination to concept and design, the web developers usually handle it all.

In some cases, the web developer may work in tandem with a graphic designer. In these instances, the web designer will write the code necessary for making the graphic designer's vision come to life on the Internet. If web designers have training in graphic design, they will normally demand a higher income and have more creative control over their work.

Is a College Degree Required to Work in Web Development and Design?

In most cases, an employer will only consider applicants who have at least a bachelor's degree in visual arts, graphic design or another related art field. There are also many accredited colleges and universities offering online programs designed exclusively for web design, which can improve the chances of landing a job.

What Jobs Are Available for Someone With a Degree in Web Development and Design?

Web development and design is a fast growing field of opportunity and there are a number of positions in high demand. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Web Designer
  • Multimedia Web Designer
  • Website Architect
  • User Interface Designer
  • Web Graphic Designer

Each of these individualized positions requires specialized training typically outside of the basic web design course. When choosing an online degree program for web development and design, be sure to research programs to determine which one offers you the best education for your chosen career path in web design.

What is the Salary With a Web Development and Design Degree?

Professional web designers have the opportunity to make a good living because there is no shortage of websites that need designed, redesigned and maintenance. The average income for someone in this industry can be anywhere from $40,000 to over $100,000 annually. Directors in design companies can make even more than that. Of course, income in this industry is highly dependent upon one's talent and experience.

What Do I Do Once I've Completed My Associate's Degree in Web Design and Development?

For students hoping for a bachelor's or master's degree, an associate's is a first step toward accomplishing those goals. Completion of an associate's program should provide a seamless transition to a bachelor's program in web design and development, or a related field in computer technology. For those who are interested in joining the workforce, degree graduates will be equipped for entry level positions.

What Are a Few Job Prospects in Web Design and Development?

Several students choose to put their skills to work while completing an associate's degree. This is a great way to build professional relationships and a strong reputation in the field. Job potential is promising for qualified, personable professionals. For those who are truly talented, the sky is the limit in terms of employment opportunities.

How Long Will It Take Me to Complete a Bachelor's Degree in Web Development?

On average, students pursuing a bachelor's degree in web development will complete the program in four to five years. Many online students choose to accelerate or decelerate the educational process, truly tailoring the online education to their needs.

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