Get Matched With Web Development Colleges

Many colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s internet and web development degree and those in other related areas of study. While suitable for anyone, the major is a particularly ideal choice for individuals interested in creating digital content for themselves and/or others. Graduates commonly go on to become web development professionals and digital designers.

It’s worth noting, however, that the knowledge and skills gained may be applicable to many other professions as well. Companies and organizations across numerous industries often rely on the expertise of professionals in this field. The ability to plan, design, and maintain websites is expertise most private, non-profit, and government entities actively seek in job candidates.

A web development program may be a particularly popular option among distance learning students as all requirements can generally be completed virtually. Prospective students should realize, however, that not all employment opportunities require higher education. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), educational requirements for web developers and digital designers range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s web development degree. Academic expectations often vary based on work setting, job industry, and employer size. Graduates with bachelor’s degrees are, however, more likely to advance to become project managers.

Web development generally entails the creation and maintenance of websites. A web developer is often hired by companies and organizations to ensure their businesses’ online presence is accurately portrayed, as well as to help draw in clientele. This web developer may be tasked with selecting the most appropriate imagery and generating and/or organizing content. In some cases, they may also be expected to oversee various technical aspects associated with the websites they make, including monitoring overall performance and capacity and working with other web development professionals.

Other commonly assigned tasks include creating and testing applications, making prototypes, writing code, ministering traffic, and designing graphics. A web developer also spends time meeting with clients and/or management to discuss website needs, design ideas, functionality, and what information should be included. These professionals frequently coordinate with other information technology customer service team members.

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  • There are many reasons to pursue a bachelor’s in web development or a related field. A key benefit is that graduates tend to make more money. Based on data provided by the US Department of Education, 25- to 34-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees working full-time, year-round had median annual earnings of $54,700 in 2018. This is significantly higher than similar workers with an associate degree in web development, some college experience, high school diplomas, or less than high school completion. Of these, those with associate degrees had the highest median annual earnings, but they were still only $40,000. This means that, despite the rising costs of attending university, it’s still a financially reasonable course of action overall.
  • It's also important to note that online internet and web development programs offer more flexibility for students than traditional academic models. This is particularly helpful for those with personal and professional obligations that limit their ability to attend classes in person. Additionally, tuition and fee rates for virtual learning options are often lower.


  • While there are many advantages of pursing bachelor’s degree in web development programs, there are drawbacks as well. One that is of particular importance is resource management. It takes significant time and money to complete one of these programs. Generally, students enrolled full-time need four years to meet graduation requirements. This is time that could be otherwise spent in the workforce, earning a salary. Additionally, it can be expensive to attend college. This is particularly true in the cases of Ivy League schools and private institutions, as well as for those students who do not qualify for in-state tuition.
  • Virtual learning options can also have drawbacks. While very few employers actually consider online education degrees to be less valuable, some students struggle attending classes and completing coursework on their own. The absence of direct interaction with instructors can negatively impact overall learning and retention. Further, these programs often provide far fewer networking opportunities with current and future professionals in the field.

Associate vs. Bachelor's

Those interested in this field should realize, however, that responsibilities vary from job to job. Not all employers have the same resources or expectations. While it is fairly common for these professionals to manage all aspects of a website’s construction, some positions may require focusing on only a single aspect of the process. As a result, it’s important to always review employment descriptions carefully prior to applying.

Notably, web development professionals can also choose to specialize in a particular area of the field. This can mean developing and honing website design skills in E-commerce, news, or gaming. Choosing a concentration often requires special training and experience, but can lead to more prestigious employment opportunities.

While many companies and organizations employ web developing professionals, the majority of these positions exist at businesses involved with computer systems design, education services, advertising, and/or public relations. Web development professionals may also work as freelancers, contracting their services out for a fee.

What Can You Expect from an Online Bachelor’s in Web Development?

A bachelor’s traditional or online web development degree will often consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately four years to complete. Some colleges and universities do, however, offer accelerated programs that require less time to finish. Those with undergraduate credit from advanced placement (AP) classes or previous higher education enrollment may also graduate sooner.

As undergraduate programs, bachelor’s degrees are comprised of both general education and major-specific classes. Students typically gain a strong academic foundation while also learning the basics of the field. This ensures that graduates are well prepared for further education and/or professional employment.

While online bachelor’s programs in web development differ from institution to institution, some culminate in capstone projects. These require those enrolled to utilize the knowledge and skills they have gained to address real-world problems. Not only does this provide hands-on experience in the field, but it can help students develop comprehensive portfolios that may prove useful when interviewing for professional positions.

Graduates may be qualified to become a web developer, but they may also find work in fields requiring expertise in computers, network, coding, and/or multimedia. Some other common professions include software developer, graphic designer, computer programmer, computer systems analyst, and information systems manager. Notably, not all colleges and universities offer web development as a primary major. In some cases, it may be necessary to study computer information systems or computer science with a concentration in web development. This may also be optimal for certain professions in the field.

While entry-level positions may be available to individuals without higher education, those with bachelor’s degrees tend to have better employment prospects in the field. Most employers give preference to highly educated candidates, even if it’s not specified as a qualification in job application materials. As a result, earning an online web development degree is generally beneficial. When deciding whether or not to enroll in one of these programs, however, it's important to keep the various advantages and disadvantages in mind.

While entry-level positions may be available to individuals without higher education, those with bachelor’s degrees tend to have better employment prospects in the field. Most employers give preference to highly educated candidates, even if it’s not specified as a qualification in job application materials. As a result, earning an online web development degree is generally beneficial. When deciding whether or not to enroll in one of these programs, however, it's important to keep the various advantages and disadvantages in mind.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor’s in Web Development Program?

As previously mentioned, undergraduate programs are comprised of both general liberal arts and major-specific classes. Curriculums vary, but students can expect to take a variety of basic English communication, mathematics, science, and social studies courses. Additionally, those majoring in a web development degree are likely to receive instruction in the following subjects or courses.

  • Digital Imaging
    Digital imaging courses typically provide an overview of website design and Adobe Photoshop. Instruction likely covers various imaging topics such as vector shapes, quick masks, and eyedropper.
  • JavaScript
    JavaScript courses generally explore fundamental JavaScript concepts used to make websites. Instruction often covers functions, objects, values types, and syntax.
  • Programming
    Programming courses often teach the basic principles of programming, as well as how to code, test, and debug software. Instruction typically explores algorithm design, top-down design, and the software lifecycle.
  • Web Development
    Web development programs and courses typically provide an introduction to fundamental coding languages, such as HTML and CSS. Instruction likely explores various coding conventions, as well as essential structures.
  • Web Media
    Web media courses generally teach students how to add audio and video effects to websites. Instruction likely incorporates responsible design, as well as Bootstrap and Animations API.

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Admission Requirements for Future Web Developers

All colleges and universities require applicants to meet certain prerequisites and/or admission requirements before enrolling in an online bachelor’s web development degree. While qualifications can vary by institution, expectations are fairly standardized throughout the United States.

In most cases, the following are necessary:

  • Prerequisites
    Undergraduate degrees rarely require students to complete prerequisite courses prior to enrollment. This is more frequently required at the graduate school level.
  • Application
    Application forms can typically be filled out and submitted online. Students should be prepared to provide basic contact information and relevant education histories.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Letters of recommendation are often required as part of college and university applications. Generally, applicants provide two or three letters from academic influencers such as teachers, school counselors, and employers.
  • Essays
    Short college essays are frequently requested in order to help admissions departments learn more about applicants. Topics vary, but often ask candidates questions related to academic and web development careers and goals.
  • Test Scores
    Most colleges and universities require applicants to provide standardized entrance exam scores. In most cases, SAT and ACT score reports are acceptable. Results are often used to determine student aptitude and college readiness.
  • Official Transcripts
    Prospective students must provide official transcripts for prior academic work. This includes transcripts from high school, as well as any postsecondary education already completed. Many institutions also require applicants to meet established GPA minimums.

Potential Careers for Web Development Graduates

Web development degree graduates will be qualified to apply for a wide variety of employment opportunities.

While specific job titles, expectations, and salaries will differ, some of the most common career options include:

  • Software Developer
    Software developers create computer applications with the intent of helping users perform specific tasks on various electronic devices. These professionals work with teams of systems engineers and computer programmers to perfect the products offered. While qualifications vary by job, most are highly familiar with various computer languages such as C++, Python, and Java. They also know how to utilize different operating systems including Linux, Solaris, and HPUX. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software developers make a median annual wage of $120,730 per year.
  • Graphic Designer
    Graphic designers make visually captivating imagery for their employers. They work to ensure graphics portray specific messages and/or adequately advertise products/services offered. These professionals also generate logos, item packaging, print materials, and websites using various color schemes, illustrations, and fonts. While they can typically utilize many different mediums, most use Adobe Illustrator and InDesign software. According to the BLS, graphic designers make a median annual wage of $50,710 per year.
  • Computer Programmer
    Computer programmers ensure computer software and applications function properly by writing, modifying, and testing code and scripts. They are generally responsible for turning software designs into instructions computers can follow using various computer languages, such as C++ and Java. These professionals also update and expand existing programs, as well as performing tests and fixing faulty lines of code. According to the BLS, computer programmers make a median annual wage of $93,000 per year.
  • Computer Systems Analyst
    Computer systems analysts automate various distribution, manufacturing, and sales functions using computers and related systems. These professionals identify the most accurate and efficient processes available based on employer need. They may also recommend, install, configure, maintain, and upgrade computer and networking software. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer systems analysts make a median annual wage of $99,270 per year.
  • UX Designer
    UX designers work to make digital and non-digital products that are functional, accessible, and enjoyable to use. They often conduct research to determine user needs, behaviors, and goals. These professionals also analyze customer interactions with products, build prototypes, perform validation tests, and collaborate with other designers/developers. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, digital designers make a median annual wage of $79,890 per year.
  • UI Designer
    UI designers make the graphic portions of digital products only such as mobile apps, websites, and devices. They focus their efforts primarily on creating imagery that is visually appealing and easy to navigate. These professionals may also organize page layouts, choose color palettes, and design interactive elements. According to the BLS, digital designers make a median annual wage of $79,890 per year.
  • Full Stack Web Developer
    Full stack web developers design websites and applications. They collaborate with other departments throughout both front-end and back-end development processes and are commonly assigned tasks include building new product features, performing tests, troubleshooting software, and fixing bugs. According to the BLS, web developers make a median annual wage of $79,890 per year.

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Additional Online Education for Career Advancement

Many colleges and universities offer web development programs as well as degrees in other related subjects at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Additionally, relevant professional certificates programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels are frequently available.

It’s important to realize that education requirements can vary significantly for web developers depending on preferred work settings and employer size. It is sometimes possible to find employment after high school, but most companies and organizations prefer hiring candidates with some amount of higher education. Generally, those with more advanced academic degrees have access to the best occupations, with more management opportunities and pay.

Online Master’s in Web Development

An online master’s degrees in web development generally range from 30 to 45 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately two to three years to complete. Every program is different, but most are designed to teach students user-centered web design and development techniques. Students can expect to learn about full-stack development, mobile application development, web design, software practices, and computer programming, as well as various programming languages, libraries, frameworks, and development techniques.

This type of degree is ideal for those interested in upper-level management positions or other highly specialized roles in computer and information technology. Graduates can often qualify for jobs as computer and information systems managers, information research scientists, and software developers.

Online Master’s in Computer Science

Master’s degree programs in computer science generally consist of 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework that take full-time students approximately two years to complete. Curriculums vary, but instruction usually covers advanced computer science and business administration concepts. Coursework is often practice-oriented, with concentrations available in software theory and engineering, artificial intelligence, security, systems, and data science and analytics.

This type of degree is ideal for those interested in mid-to-upper level computer and information technology jobs. Graduates regularly qualify for jobs as computer and information research scientists.

Online MBA in Computer Science

The master’s in business administrations (MBA) is one of the most popular degrees in the United States. Like most graduate programs, MBAs typically consist of between 30 and 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Topics covered often relate to business and finance, but the knowledge and web development skills gained can prove invaluable in almost any workplace. Some colleges and universities offer MBA programs with concentrations in computer science. These prepare graduates to work in specifically in information technology positions.

This type of degree can drastically increase employment opportunities, salary potential, marketability, advancement options, and job security. It is particularly well-suited for prospective students interested in establishing their own businesses. Other common employment opportunities include information technology manager, financial manager, industrial production manager, and management analyst.

Online Web Design and Development Certifications

In addition to web development degree programs, students and professionals can choose to pursue various certifications in the field. These credentials allow for further skills development and help show mastery over specialized knowledge. While not always required employment, certifications often provide an edge over others when competing for jobs. They can also lead to pay increases and more advancement and job opportunities.

There is no single most important credential recommended for web development professionals. Some popular credentials related to the field include:

  • Google UX Design Certification
  • World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Front-End Web Developer Certification
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Full Stack Development Certification
  • Springboard Software Engineering Certification
  • CareerFoundry Full-Stack Web Development Certification
  • Adobe Digital Learning Services Adobe Certified Expert (ACE)
  • Oracle University Java Enterprise Oracle Certified Expert Credential

How Do You Choose an Online BS in Web Development?

When deciding which online bachelor’s program in web development to pursue, there are several important factors that must be considered. Every college and university is unique, with their own admissions requirements and departmental curriculums. As a result, all prospective students should compare and contrast their options carefully prior to submitting applications. Some of the most important factors to consider include the following.

  • Cost
    Earning an online bachelor’s degree in web development can be a significant financial commitment. However, cost can vary greatly from institution to institution. School type, for example, often dictates how expensive enrollment is. Public colleges charge lower tuition rates than private institutions because they receive government funding. Prospective students can also save money by enrolling locally, as most schools charge less for state residents. These rates may or may not apply for distance learners.
  • Graduation Rate
    An institution’s graduate rate refers to the number of students who complete their degree within four years. Some institutions have higher graduation rates than others, possibly due to course difficulty and/or retention problems. This data is often available on school websites and can be used to project potential graduation time frames.
  • Admission Competitiveness
    Some colleges and universities are more competitive than others. This is particularly true for institutions with well-known and popular programs. Prospective students can generally find school acceptance rates online, which can inform their decision to apply. When applying to a competitive college or university, applicants should ensure they meet or exceed minimum application requirements.
  • Financial Aid Options
    Most academic institutions offer financial aid options in the form of scholarships, grants, loans, and federally-funded work study. Students are often encouraged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) during the admissions process. This determines how much federal aid can be provided. Many colleges and universities also offer merit and need-based scholarships.
  • Location
    The location of potential colleges and universities should be considered when trying to qualify for in-state tuition. It can also impact employment opportunities after graduation. Academic institutions generally tailor their curriculums to meet employer standards in the surrounding areas. They also strive to establish relationships with nearby companies and organizations, which can make it easier to obtain internships and professional employment.
  • Accreditation
    The accreditation status of colleges and universities is one of the most vital elements to consider when choosing a degree program. Academic institutions can choose to become either regionally or nationally accredited. Notably, only regional accrediting agencies are overseen by the US Department of Education and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • Student Support
    It is common for higher education institutions to offer a wide variety of student services. These often include academic tutoring, career preparation, counseling, and more. In some cases, support may extend to alumni as well. It’s important to realize, however, that the options available to on-campus students may differ from those provided to distance learners.
  • Job Placement Assistance
    Many colleges and universities provide students with access to helpful career services and employer tools. The job placement assistance available varies but often includes resume-building workshops, mock interviews, and networking events. Institutions may also host their own career fairs and/or participate in local job and internship management systems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are web development majors in demand?

The outlook for web development professionals is very good. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for web development professionals and digital designers is projected to grow 23% from 2021 to 2031. This is much faster than the average for all occupations and will result in an increase of about 21,800 job openings each year. Most of these opportunities are expected to result from the need to replace workers transferring to different professions or exiting the labor force completely. Notably, demand for these workers of this type is likely in almost every industry.

How much money can I make with a bachelor’s in web development?

Based on data provided by the BLS, the annual mean wage for web developers was $77,030 in May 2021. While the lowest 10% of professionals earned less than $38,280, the highest 10% earned more than $129,760. Computer systems design was the top-paying industry, though workers in other information technology outside of web services were also paid well. Prospective professionals should also realize that earning potential is also often tied to location. Pay for web development professionals tend to be highest in California, Washington, Virginia, Rhode Island, Maryland, and Georgia. The lowest paying states include Alabama, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and Louisiana.

How long does it take to earn a web design and development bachelors?

Most bachelor’s degrees in web design and development consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately four years to complete. Accelerated programs do, however, exist. These can make it possible for students to earn degrees much faster. Additionally, those with undergraduate credit from advanced placement (AP) classes or previous higher education enrollment may be able to graduate sooner.

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