Get Matched With Web Development Colleges
What is Web Development?
Maryland is a state with one of the most diverse economies in the nation. While it thrives in many of the usual, general industrial sectors, it also has a lot of non-profits, including government agencies. This both gives the Maryland economy resiliency and a regular ebb and flow of residents, who follow political tides as part of their career. The state also has significant activity in commercial fishing, tourism, and agriculture.
Like many states, the Maryland economy is led by its real estate sector, which generates $69 billion annually, rocketing Maryland to the #13 spot for real estate nationwide. The state's real estate is highly desirable as a home for government workers and government contractors. It also sees many new home purchases, and sales, from transient military families as well as new retirees from various military branches.
A web developer is a technology professional who specializes in creating and maintaining websites for their firm or clients. Generally speaking, a web developer works on the back side of a website. Thus, they are more involved with coding things like database integration, tracking cookies, and security measures. Web designers, on the other hand, are the tech experts who design the front-end, user-facing aspects of a website; they are often focused on beautiful and responsive web design.
Web developers can work as part of a larger corporation or government agency, but they also often work as independent contractors and consultants. Regardless, they all spend most of their time working on computers where they write code. Given that their work is all done in virtual spaces, many web developers work from remote locations. Independent web developers, in particular, are known to travel the world while building sites for clients back home in Maryland.
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Online Web Development Education in Maryland
Maryland's second largest industry is its professional and business services sector, which generates over $58 billion in annual revenue. This is a broad industrial classification that includes things like waste removal but also financial consultancies, tech support, and more. The third strongest part of the Maryland economy is social services including education, healthcare, and social assistance. Maryland's manufacturing sector is also very strong, generating $24 billion in annual revenue while its financial activity brings in $23 billion, which ranks 20th nationwide.
Naturally, the state has a keen interest in the tech sector. In fact, Maryland's information sector ranks 14th nationwide and generates over $17 billion annually. When it comes to web development and web design, those interests might fall into either the information or business services sector, depending on who's counting. Regardless, every corner of Maryland's bustling economy has a need for web developers to create products that range from static, pamphlet-type websites to robust E-commerce sites that include robust encryption and massive database integration.
To address these needs, the Maryland legislature bolsters its university system with the funds necessary to maintain, and grow, strong web development degree programs. College faculty used these funds to recruit and maintain the best PhDs in the field. They also seek out web development and web design experts from the local economy. When their faculties offer both top scholars and top professionals from the local economy, Maryland's students reap great benefits.
Online Associate Degree in Web Development (AS)
An associate web development degree may be a terrific platform for long-term success. While web developers are often self-taught, an academic degree in web development or digital design shows employers that the candidate has been trained in certain soft skills, including communication. For those new to writing computer code, this degree will provide a great introduction to coding and web technologies. Many take their associate web development degrees and build on them with focused, non-academic certifications in the programming languages or web design techniques that interest them the most.
An associate web development degree is a great idea for other reasons. The primary reason is that Maryland's community college system charges very little for college credits. Thus, those who have a bachelor’s web development degree in mind can start with a very affordable first two years. They then complete their undergraduate education at a significant discount. On top of this, many associate web development degrees are available online, so students can access far-off campuses with the click of a mouse.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Web Development (BS)
Four-year bachelor’s web development degrees will always garner great interest from employers. After completing a four-year degree, web developers have completed a wide array of courses, perhaps even expanding their knowledge with related, complementary courses. For instance, a web developer who has a minor concentration in mathematics may be of particular interest to employers in fields such as finance. Those who are anticipating a more independent career might take accounting and other business courses to help them establish and manage an LLC.
A four-year degree also offers students more opportunities to gain practical experience. In-class group assignments teach students to work on a web development team and internships offer insight into the working world. These experiences also strengthen a student's ability to work with others, as well as helping them see where they fit best on a web development team.
Online Master's Degree in Web Development (MS)
Master’s web development degrees will put any developer far ahead of the pack. These degrees are usually a part of a university's Master of Information Technology curriculum and available as a concentration. Students take these degrees to advance in their IT department, web design, or web development firm. Course offerings can include in-depth courses on specific languages such as Python or PHP, or security matters such as cryptography and InfoSec in general.
Web developers who are interested in moving up in their firm's management structure might also consider an MBA for their graduate studies. Many MBA programs offer a concentration in IT on top of the deep dive into general business concepts. Other students take three years off from work and work on a dual MBA program where they complete a master’s information technology degree alongside their business education. You can also take this time to earn a web design or web development certificate to expand your skills.
Online PhD Degree in Web Development (PhD)
A PhD in computer science, information technology, or web development is a credential that will take students far. While the business community doesn't often pursue PhDs for their jobs, high technology is a notable exception. Corporations increasingly see a need for PhD level experts in cryptography and other subsets of cyber security.
Further, a PhD can find great success as a consultant or other independent contractor. This approach allows them to choose specific projects that not only serve their client but also teach them new things about web technologies. Some also take their PhD and land a job in academia.
While it's possible to teach Maryland undergraduates with a master’s web development degree, a PhD goes much farther. In fact, a doctorate is all but mandatory for those seeking full-time, tenure-track employment from a top Maryland college or university. While some will take jobs as teaching faculty, others may choose to work as researchers who attract grant money in return for research projects.
Become a Web Developer in Maryland
There is hardly a single person who doesn't interact with websites on a daily basis. And mobile devices have worked to fuel our intimate interaction with online media. Given the ubiquity of web technology, many young students are eager to work in the field of web development. However, the path to success is not always clear, perhaps because there are so many ways to achieve one's goals.
When a youngster first discovers a passion for building websites, they can start working with the many free and low-cost website development tools available online. It's likely that the first language they will be exposed to is HTML, with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) coming in a close second. In fact, there are low-cost website development boot camps that can be purchased for little money. These will provide a terrific jump-start towards a fascinating, successful career.
Students should also focus their schoolwork on mathematics and any computer courses offered by their high school, if possible. Along the way, budding web developers should seek out peers with whom they can discuss programming languages and website design. In fact, they may be able to collaborate with their peers and work with area businesses who need web developers.
Students may start seeking certifications when they feel ready, though some certifications will only be available to those with certain levels of education (associate or bachelor’s degrees) or once they have some experience in the field.
Those in their third and fourth year of high school may want to start looking for web development degree programs. For the best success, they should find the programs that best suit their goals as website developers. They should also ensure that their top programs at least have regional accreditation. They should also seek out degree programs with credentials from ABET, which accredits degree programs with a STEM focus. ABET is nationally recognized and a degree from a program with their accreditation will be very useful in the job market and graduate school applications.
Above all, website developers should never stop learning. Academic achievements will always pay rewards; they are not an end point, but a springboard to certifications and later learning. After all, the worldwide web hasn’t stopped evolving since its inception in the mid-1990s and will continue to evolve through the nascent Web3 and whatever is coming after that.
Potential Careers for Web Development Graduates
- Web Developer
- Web and Digital Designer
- Web Content Manager
All websites need top quality content to attract consumers. Web content managers conceptualize the sorts of content their sites need. They issue assignments to the content creators and then edit their work. Some content managers focus on video content but more often they apply SEO concepts to written work.
- Database Administrator
Every firm relies on its database to run its business. Database administrators need to have a working understanding of SQL and related database languages. Their daily duties may include checking the database for security issues, managing user permissions, and updating content on the database.
- Software Developer
These tech workers must be proficient in several coding languages. Their duties are more often involved in updating and improving various software packages, but many are also involved in creating wholly new software packages. Developers usually specialize in specific sorts of software such as console video games, mobile applications, mobile games, and financial software packages.
- Information Security Analyst
This is a hot field that is demanding the very best tech workers possible. InfoSec analysts are constantly reviewing their firm's systems to ensure that they have not been compromised. They also keep an eye on what the future is bringing in terms of new cyber security threats and solutions. InfoSec analysts often work as contractors who focus on specific industries.
- Computer Network Architect
When firms look to update or re-invent their networks, they look for a computer network architect. Network architects design network solutions with an eye to maximum efficiency, top-notch cyber security, and ease of use. This can be a remote job that allows the architect to live anywhere they want, or it may be a dedicated job centered in a central office environment.
- Software Tester
When software developers create their applications, they often do so without outside input. They thus may have blind spots when it comes to how the applications will actually perform. Software testers are called upon to use the products in real-world scenarios. Testers may have a strong background in coding, but they may also simply be power users who are known to exploit software to its fullest potential. Interestingly, sometimes testers discover uses that the developers never intended.
- Game Developer
Video game developers have one the most diverse set of tools and skills. An independent game developer may need strong artistic abilities, coding acumen, and the ability to conceptualize a unique game. Game developers who work for one of the major studios are more specialized and may focus on things like in-game physics, animations, or art.