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What is Web Development?

Montana might not be the first place you think of when it comes to web development, but it’s actually home to a growing tech scene. With numerous companies and organizations based in the state, there is substantial demand for web developers.

In Montana, there are plenty of opportunities for those looking for a career in web dev. Both the public and private sectors need web developers, so you could potentially work for a government agency, a small business, or a large corporation. With companies like Oracle, AT&T, and BNSF Railway having a presence in Montana, the state’s tech industry is becoming competitive.

Web developers are responsible for designing, creating, and maintaining websites. This may involve designing new ones from scratch or altering existing websites to meet client requirements; often working alongside web designers to bring these visions to fruition. Web developers are responsible for coding in different programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They have a deep understanding of the latest web development frameworks and know how to use them to create an intuitive user experience for website visitors.

In addition to coding, web developers also play a crucial role in developing website content management systems, backend development, and database management. They ensure that the website is optimized for search engines and runs smoothly across different platforms and browsers. Web developers collaborate closely with clients to ensure their website fulfills their requirements and expectations. They may provide advice on the optimal approach for website creation, or training on how to operate and utilize their new online portal once it's live.

There are different types of web developers including front-end developers, back-end developers, and full-stack developers. Front-end developers handle what users see on a website such as layout, design, and user interface. Back-end developers deal with the behind-the-scenes coding of a website, like server-side scripting and database interactions. Full-stack developers, on the other hand, are responsible for both front-end and back-end development.

To become a web developer, one needs a solid background in computer science, programming languages, and web development frameworks. You could attend web dev boot camps or seek an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in this area of specialization.

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Online Web Development Education in Montana

Aspiring web developers must possess an in-depth knowledge of web development languages, markup languages, and front-end and back-end web dev to become successful developers. Montana offers various resources to assist aspiring web developers - Montana State University offers a computer science degree which includes web development courses, while the University of Montana's School of Media Arts offers web design and development classes as part of their School of Media Arts degree. Furthermore, online courses from Udemy, Codecademy, and other online offerings can help further your education in web dev.

While Montana may not have as many web development communities as other states, it does have some organizations dedicated to helping web developers. One of them is Forward Montana, which is a non-profit civic engagement organization that offers a technology fellowship program to train tech leaders. The Montana Code School is another program that provides immersive coding boot camps for web developers.

Web developers in Montana do not rely solely on regular employment to fulfill their professional needs; many contract or do freelance work. According to the Montana Department of Commerce, over 39,000 small businesses exist across Montana - this makes freelancing an appealing option for web developers looking for flexibility or running their own small business from home.

Online Associate Degree in Web Development (AS)

Pursuing an associate degree in information technology or web development is a wise decision for individuals who are tech-savvy and passionate about designing and developing on the internet. These degree programs typically take two years to complete and provide students with the essential skills and foundational knowledge required to launch their career in this lucrative field. Students will learn core programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP that are essential for building websites from scratch.

Furthermore, students will also develop skills related to graphic design, user interface (UI) design, search engine optimization (SEO), server-side scripting, and database management. These skills are highly sought after by employers who need experts to create visually appealing websites that function smoothly across different platforms. Graduates of an associate degree in web dev can find job opportunities in various industries ranging from E-commerce stores to marketing agencies, or they can even start their own businesses as freelance web developers.

Online Bachelors Degree in Web Development (BS)

A bachelors in web development is a program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills required to build, design, and maintain websites. This higher-level degree program combines theoretical concepts with practical training to equip graduates with the ability to create dynamic, interactive digital experiences.

Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in web dev will learn how to develop responsive designs that are optimized for different devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. They will also gain expertise in programming languages like HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, and other coding frameworks that are essential for building modern websites. Additionally, they'll be trained on content management systems (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal which help them manage website content effectively.

The demand for web developers continues to grow as more businesses seek an online presence. A bachelor's degree in web development provides students with the necessary skills needed for this ever-evolving field.

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Online Masters Degree in Web Development (MS)

A master's degree in web development is one of the most innovative and relevant fields among the plethora of tech-driven career paths today. The degree focuses on developing advanced web applications, creating user-friendly interfaces and programming languages that enhance internet experiences worldwide. With a curriculum that combines theory and practice, students are equipped with skills to create interactive solutions for businesses in various industries.

The program will prepare students to develop new websites, maintain existing ones, and design mobile applications compatible across multiple platforms. Students are exposed to all aspects of web dev and software engineering including coding languages such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript; database management systems like MySQL and MongoDB; dynamic web applications; search engine optimization (SEO) techniques; responsive design principles; data science and data structures; and testing methodologies. These skills enable them to meet industry demands by designing visually appealing websites that are efficient in functionality while meeting customer needs.

Online PhD Degree in Web Development (PhD)

Web development is a constantly evolving field, with new technologies and practices emerging every day. You could pursue a PhD in web dev to stay ahead of the curve and advance your career in this exciting industry, but this degree is not needed in most roles in this industry. Instead, most of those who aim to earn a PhD are looking to move into academia or give themselves greater credibility so that they can start their own consulting business.

A doctoral program in web development typically focuses on advanced research and innovation, providing students with opportunities to explore cutting-edge topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data analytics, and cyber security. Students can also specialize in areas such as front-end or back-end development to hone their skills and deepen their knowledge of specific aspects of web dev.

Beyond the technical skills that come with earning a PhD in web development, students are also equipped with valuable critical thinking skills that allow them to approach problems from multiple perspectives, as well as knowledge of new web development technologies. Graduates are often hired by schools looking for experts who can teach their students to take on complex projects and push the boundaries of what's possible on the web.

Online Web Development Certifications

Web development is a rapidly growing industry that offers lucrative career opportunities for tech-savvy individuals. As the demand for web developers continues to increase, it has become essential for professionals in this field to showcase their skills and knowledge through certifications, which often require hands-on experience and a strong foundation in the field.

There are numerous web development certifications available in the market, but not all of them hold the same value; some are in high demand and some are not. The most recognized and respected certifications include those offered by Adobe, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, and AWS. These certifications validate an individual's proficiency in a specific area of web development, such as coding languages like HTML and CSS or tools like Photoshop or Dreamweaver, and can prepare graduates to get right to work.

Earning a certification in web development can provide several benefits to aspiring developers. Firstly, it helps them stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs and gives them a competitive edge over non-certified applicants.

Become a Web Developer in Montana

Web development is one of the more lucrative jobs in the tech industry. With many businesses and industries moving their operations online, becoming a web developer is a smart career choice. If you live in Montana and are interested in pursuing a career as a web developer, here are the steps you need to take.

  • Step 1: Choose the Right Educational Path

    Step one in becoming a web developer in Montana is selecting an educational path. Although learning coding skills through online platforms is possible, having an accredited degree or certificate from an institution like a college or university can give an edge when trying to break into this career field. You should consider enrolling in computer science as it covers web development, programming languages, and web design.

  • Step 2: Hone Your Coding Skills

    Web developers in Montana must possess a firm grasp on coding to develop and maintain websites effectively. You can hone your coding abilities through online courses and certifications, attending boot camps, or joining communities devoted to coding; the more time spent honing these skills, the higher your chance of becoming a successful web developer in Montana.

  • Step 3: Build Your Portfolio

    Your portfolio provides potential employers and clients with a snapshot of your work, so as a web developer it’s crucial that you demonstrate your abilities by creating a portfolio website with samples of your sample work. Your portfolio website could highlight all aspects of web development from HTML/CSS/JavaScript front-end development skills through to backend PHP Ruby or Node.js back-end skills.

  • Step 4: Gain Practical Experience

    Gaining practical experience as a web developer in Montana is of utmost importance. Internships, online job platforms, and freelancing can all help provide valuable work experience with real clients that will not only increase your resume but provide invaluable lessons in web development.

  • Step 5: Stay up to date with the Latest Technologies

    Technology advances at an ever-increasing pace, making staying abreast of web development trends a key component of staying at the top. Staying current with industry standards will allow you to stay ahead of competitors competing for positions similar to yours by continuously upgrading skills and becoming familiar with industry technologies and innovations. This can give your career an edge against others competing for similar positions.

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What Can I Do with a Bachelor's in Web Development?

A bachelor's degree in web development is perfect for those who want to pursue a career in the tech industry. This degree program offers students a solid foundation in web design, programming languages, and software development tools. Graduates of this program can expect to find work in technical writing, as web developers, front-end developers, back-end developers, or full-stack developers.

As a web developer, you will be responsible for creating websites that are user-friendly and visually appealing. You will use your skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other programming languages to design websites that meet the needs of clients. As a front-end developer, you will focus on developing the visual layout and design of websites, while also ensuring their functionality across multiple platforms. Back-end developers are responsible for building server-side applications that power website features, such as databases or E-commerce functionality.

Potential Careers for Web Development Graduates

  • Web and Digital Designer:

    As a web and digital designer, you will be responsible for creating engaging digital experiences that align with our brand guidelines. You will work collaboratively with cross-functional teams to design, develop, and implement innovative web-based solutions.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's in graphic design or related field
    • 2+ years of experience in web and digital design
    • Strong proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign)
    • Experience with HTML/CSS/JavaScript and CMS platforms (WordPress, Drupal)
    • Excellent communication and collaboration skills
    • Strong attention to detail and ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for web and digital interface designers in the US in 2021 was $78,300
    • The mean annual wage for web developers and digital designers in Montana is $75,510
  • Software Developer/Engineer:

    Software developers will be charged with designing, coding, testing, and maintaining software applications. Working closely with other members of the development team, they must ensure that the software meets deadlines while meeting all specifications.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's in Computer Science or related field
    • Strong understanding of programming languages such as Java, Python, or C++
    • Experience with software development tools such as Git, JIRA, or Jenkins
    • Familiarity with Agile development methodologies
    • Excellent problem-solving skills
    • Ability to work well in a team environment

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers in the US in 2021 was $109,020
    • No available mean annual wage for software developers in Montana, though software quality assurance analysts and testers earn $70,710
  • Computer Systems Designer:

    A computer systems designer is responsible for designing and developing computer systems, software, and applications. They must have knowledge of computer programming languages and operating systems to ensure that systems meet client requirements and are user-friendly.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s in Computer Science or related field
    • Proficiency in programming languages such as Java, Python, and C++
    • Knowledge of operating systems such as Windows, Linux, and macOS
    • Experience with database management systems
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Excellent communication skills to work in a team environment

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer systems analysts in the US in 2021 was $99,270
    • The mean annual wage for computer systems analysts in Montana is $82,110
  • Game Developer:

    As a game developer, your responsibilities will include designing and creating video games for various platforms like consoles, mobile devices, PCs, and others. You’re likely to work in teams to craft engaging gaming experiences for players.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's in Computer Science or related field
    • Strong proficiency in programming languages such as C++, Java, or Python
    • Experience with game engines such as Unity or Unreal Engine
    • Knowledge of 2D/3D graphics programming and animation
    • Excellent problem-solving skills and attention to detail

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for software developers in the US in 2021 was $109,020
    • No available mean annual wage for software developers in Montana, though graphic designers earn $47,870 and computer programmers earn $94,920
  • IT Project Manager:

    IT project managers will be charged with overseeing the planning, implementation, and tracking of IT projects within an organization. They must work closely with department heads and stakeholders to ensure projects are completed on time, within budget, and that they meet organizational needs.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's in Computer Science or a related field
    • At least 5 years of experience in IT project management
    • Strong leadership skills and the ability to manage teams effectively
    • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal
    • Experience with project management software such as Microsoft Project or JIRA
    • Ability to work well under pressure and meet tight deadlines
    • Strong problem-solving skills and the ability to think creatively

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for project management specialists in the US in 2021 was $101,610
    • The mean annual wage for project management specialists in Montana is $79,150
  • Front-End Developers:

    A front-end developer is responsible for creating and developing the user interface and experience of a website or application. They work with designers, developers, and project managers to ensure that the final product meets the client's needs and expectations.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's in Computer Science or related field
    • Experience with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, AngularJS or ReactJS
    • Knowledge of responsive design principles and cross-browser compatibility issues
    • Familiarity with Adobe Creative Suite or Sketch is a plus
    • Strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for web developers and digital designers in the US in 2021 was $78,300
    • The mean annual wage for web developers in Montana is $58,870
  • Computer Engineer:

    Computer engineers are responsible for designing, creating, testing, and deploying computer hardware and software systems. Working as part of a team of engineers and technicians, they collaborate to design systems which meet client or organizational requirements while remaining efficient, secure, and dependable.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's in Computer Engineering, information technology, or related field
    • Proficiency in programming languages such as C++, Java, or Python
    • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
    • Knowledge of computer hardware architecture, operating systems, and networking protocols
    • Excellent communication skills to collaborate with other engineers and stakeholders

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer hardware engineers in the US in 2021 was $128,170
    • The mean annual wage for computer hardware engineers in Montana is $82,380
  • Computer Network Architect:

    A computer network architect is responsible for designing and implementing communication networks for organizations. They assess the needs of an organization and create a plan for the network infrastructure including hardware, software, and connectivity solutions to meet those needs. They work closely with other IT professionals, such as network administrators and security specialists, to ensure that the network is secure, reliable, scalable, and efficient.

    Necessary Requirements:

    • Bachelor's in Computer Science, information technology, or related field
    • Extensive knowledge of networking concepts, protocols and technologies
    • Experience in designing and deploying enterprise-level networks
    • Familiarity with network security principles and best practices
    • Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills

    Estimated Salary

    • The median annual wage for computer network architects in the US in 2021 was $120,520
    • The mean annual wage for computer network architects in Montana is $108,390

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