How to Become a
Best Education Tracks, Key Skills, and Top Certifications
In today’s age, the number of web and software applications is higher than ever. With that, the need for more tech professionals has soared. Web development is one of the most in-demand tech jobs in 2021. If programming and full stack technology interest you, then you should become a web developer.
To find out more about how to become a web developer and pursue this in-demand career path, read this comprehensive guide. You can learn everything from what a web developer does to the education pathways you can take to become one.
What Is a Web Developer?
A web developer is a tech professional who creates and programs websites and web applications. Web developers sometimes act as web designers to create functional websites.
Web developers can also implement security measures, create applications, and use user-friendly design. They work with many professionals and teams, including project managers, software engineers, and quality assurance specialists. Together, they build a well-rounded website that meets the client’s expectations and budget.
What Type of School Should You Attend
to Become a Web Developer?
To become a web developer, you can attend a community college, university, or bootcamp. Each education track has different pros and cons, so be sure to do your research beforehand. An associate degree can be helpful, but a coding bootcamp can teach you hands-on skills.
Some web developers also get a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, which helps them pursue a more specialized career. As long as you have strong tech skills and soft skills, you can succeed in this field.
Best Web Developer Education Tracks
There are many educational pathways for web development, and there is no correct way to go. The choice depends on your personal choice and situation. Read below to find the different education tracks to become a web developer.
A community college, also known as a junior college, is a higher education institution. Community colleges offer associate degrees that only take two years to complete. You can get an Associate Degree in Web Development to start your career as a junior developer.
This degree covers programming languages, web technologies, and other technical skills. An associate degree will help you get a job as a software developer, web developer, web designer, or systems engineer.
Web Developer Degrees
With a bachelor’s degree, you open yourself to the possibility of senior roles in web development and many tech fields. If you are comfortable with a four- or five-year education, then a bachelor’s degree track might be a great option for you.
Web Developer Bootcamps
A coding bootcamp is a short and immersive tech training program that prepares you for an entry-level career. At one of the best web development bootcamps, you can learn industry-relevant skills from experts in the field. Coding bootcamps are a great alternative to a traditional degree program because they are shorter and less expensive.
You can become a web developer in a few weeks or a couple of months. In addition to the technical training, most coding bootcamps offer job placement services. This includes resume critique, career fairs, and interview prep. Kenzie Academy, Thinkful, and BrainStation are all top web development coding bootcamps.
Web Developer Courses
You can also become a web developer via online courses. You can find plenty of massive open online course (MOOC) platforms such as Udemy, Udacity, edX.com, and SkillShare. This is a good option if you want to learn specific skills in a short amount of time. Some courses are even free to take online.
Most paid courses come with a certificate of completion that you can add to your resume. Depending on your background, you can choose the subject that suits your journey. If you want to avoid higher education, be aware that most employers look for experience on top of the online course certification. You can build your own websites or freelance.
How to Become a Web Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide
Having a step-by-step can help you stay on track and become a web developer more quickly. Read below if you want to start planning your journey to become a web developer.
Decide your preferred specialization
The first step is to find the web development career path that interests you most. There are three types of web developers: front end, backend, and full stack. You should decide which you would like to pursue so you can plan your education accordingly.
Get an education in web development
You can get a degree in computer science, attend a coding bootcamp, or take online courses. Make sure to learn tech subjects that are relevant to your specialization. Front end developers should learn HTML and CSS, and backend developers should learn Ruby on Rails and Java.
Practice your technical skills
Now that you have the knowledge you need to be a web developer, it’s time to start practicing. You can build your own website to better your technical skills. You can also experiment with new techniques.
Enhance your portfolio and resume
Having an impressive portfolio and resume is your ticket to a rewarding career. Start by adding technical skills to your resume. Then, you can add both personal and professional projects to your portfolio.
Apply for jobs
Equipped with technical knowledge and web development experience, you are ready to apply for jobs. Look at popular online job search websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn and apply for the jobs that excite you most. You can also try freelancing.
Key Web Developer Skills
Web development is a highly technical field, so you need to have specific skills to succeed. The field demands both technical skills and soft skills. The latter include problem-solving, teamwork, and communication.
Below are some of the essential web developer technical skills.
A web developer needs to be able to create fully functional and easy-to-navigate websites. This means producing user-friendly and responsive designs. Responsive design takes into account appearance and screen size to create a dynamic application. This can be important for the user’s experience.
Search Engine Optimization
Having a good understanding of search engine optimization will help you better succeed in your job. SEO can help your websites rank high in search engines like Google, which will bring in more traffic. This is important for all aspects of website development, including content creation and ease of navigation.
Web Developer Salary and Job Outlook
According to PayScale, the average web developer salary is about $60,000 per year. This number is subject to change depending on your experience and work environment. According to Zippia, a senior web developer earns an average salary of $100,000 per year.
Web development is also a future-proof job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be eight percent more web developer jobs in 2029 than there are today. This is a good outlook and means that you can find lots of jobs in the field.
Entry-Level Web Developer Job Requirements
Entry-level web developer job requirements can vary depending on the employer. Some will hire you with online course certifications, while others require a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. However, all entry-level web development jobs require coding and web development skills.
According to Indeed, the average salary for entry-level web developers is over $57,000 per year. This means you can get a well-paying job with only a few credentials. Once you get more experience, you can move up in the field.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
A web developer builds websites, designs user interfaces, and ensures technical functionality. However, their job duties extend beyond just development. Read below to find more about a web developer’s job duties.
Maintains Websites and Applications
A web developer’s job doesn’t end at creating the website. They are also responsible for maintaining it. As a developer, you must adhere to the client and consumer needs while making changes to the site. This task includes checking for regular updates and issues that need fixing.
Works with Teams
Web developers work with project managers and web designers to create optimal websites. Their work includes making sure the site looks good and operates smoothly. Collaboration can help create a high-quality product that also meets the deadline and budget.
Although most companies have software or quality assurance engineers, web developers also use software testing. They sometimes perform web tests and automated tests for potential bugs. The tests are there to check the usability and overall performance, functionality, and security of the web application.
Web Developer Certifications
Web development certifications are a great way to prove your background and stand apart from the other candidates. Be aware that there are no required certifications to become a web developer. These certifications are optional and can help showcase your skills.
Exam 70-480 | Microsoft
This certification exam is perfect for front end developers. It involves everything you need to know about coding and developing with HTML. It costs $165 to take, and this price is subject to change. The exam includes data access and security, program flow, and HTML styling.
OMCA Certification for Digital Marketers | OMCP
This certification pertains to digital marketing, but it can prove your SEO skills. This is vital for web development. You will need to complete a course before starting the test, and you can choose where you want to specialize. The exam includes different types of marketing and SEO skills. It costs $225 to take.
How to Prepare for Your Web Developer Job Interview
The best way to ace your job interview is to prepare an elevator speech and go over your technical experience. You should also research practice interview questions and work on your answers with a friend.
Web Developer Job Interview Practice Questions
- What are some responsibilities of a web developer?
- Give us an example of a good responsive design.
- Tell us about your technical background and your web development projects and experience.
- How would you describe yourself in a group setting?
- Give us an example of a situation where you solved a problem.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Developer?
The time it takes to become a web developer depends on your educational pathway. If you decide to learn on your own, it can take you anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. A coding bootcamp can take a couple of months. Degrees take two to four years, but they can help you get a job the fastest once you graduate.
Should You Become a Web Developer in 2021?
If you are interested in designing and developing websites, you should become a web developer in 2021. Web development is one of the most in-demand fields today, and it also has a high-paying salary.
Web development provides you with the opportunity to mix your creative skills with technical skills. In addition, by becoming a web developer you become a part of a constantly evolving and fast-paced field that will keep you wanting to learn more. You should start your journey to become a web developer now.
Web Developer FAQ
Is web development in demand?
Yes, web development is in high demand. It has a high job outlook, which means even more jobs will become available in the coming years.
What are the essential skills a web developer must have?
A web developer must have many different skills. These include programming, SEO, and WordPress. Every web developer should be willing to learn new things.
Can I learn web development on my own?
Yes, you can learn web development on your own. You can enroll in online courses that teach programming languages and other web development skills.
Which web developers are the highest paid?
Full stack web developers are the highest paid compared to front end and backend developers. This is because full stack development is a combination of both specialties.