How to Become a Web Developer
Essential Education, Skills, and Job Interview Prep
If you want to launch a career in tech that will allow you to tap into your creativity while earning a high wage, you should consider becoming a web developer. These professionals are in high demand, and can work from almost anywhere that has Internet access.
Read our guide below to find out how you can start taking steps toward launching a career in web development. We’ll cover some of the courses you can take, the duties of a web developer, and even tips on how to ace your job interview.
What Is a Web Developer?
A web developer is in charge of turning a web design into a functional website. A client comes up with a general idea for a website, and the web developer uses their skills to make it a reality.
They do this using their knowledge of programming and aesthetics to offer a personalized design that is interactive and practical.
Web developers must be familiar with a variety of coding languages, including Python and HTML. To gain these skills, students of web design will build many sample web projects while studying at a bootcamp or university.
Web Developer Salary and Job Outlook
According to Glassdoor, a web developer earns an average salary of about $68,000 per year. This figure will vary depending on your company, certification, and years of experience.
As with most tech industry jobs, the number of openings for web developers is expected to continue to rise for years to come. A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that web development is expected to experience a faster-than-average growth rate of eight percent between 2019 and 2029.
Entry-Level Web Developer Job Requirements
Other companies may require that applicants have a certification from a university or bootcamp to prove their theoretical and practical experience. According to Glassdoor, the average salary of an entry-level web developer is about $49,000.
How to Ace Your Web Developer Job Interview
To land a job, you’ll first have to pass an interview. In an interview for a web development position, you will most likely be asked about your design skills, knowledge, and experience.
Some companies will also ask you to complete a technical assessment to establish your ability to perform fundamental tasks. Below is a list of some of the most common questions asked in a web development job interview.
Common Web Developer Job Interview Questions
- What are the functions of a web developer?
- What are HTML, Java, and Python, and what are they used for?
- How long does it take you to build a website?
- What prior experience do you have in web development?
What Degree Should I Get to Become a Web Developer?
The traditional way to become a web developer is to complete a computer science degree at a four-year university. Now, it’s also very common to learn web development and coding by attending a coding bootcamp or completing online courses. Any of these options is a valid way to gain the skills you need to launch your career.
Below, you will see a description of the degrees you can get to become a web developer.
Associate Degree in Computer Science
There are many excellent colleges that offer an Associate Degree in Computer Science. This two-year degree usually involves getting to know the fundamentals of the profession, such as a web developer’s daily activities.
These programs usually consist of approximately 20 courses on a variety of web development and general education topics. This is a good option if you want to start your career without dedicating too much time.
Another advantage of an associate degree is that it will allow you to seamlessly transition to a bachelor’s degree. According to Salary.com, you can make over $64,000 per year if you choose to begin your web development career immediately after finishing your associate degree.
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science
To get a bachelor’s degree in web development, you will need to spend a minimum of four years in school. Usually, this involves completing a degree in computer science online or at a college or university.
In this degree, you will learn many technical skills both in and outside of web development. This is one of the most common degrees to get before launching your career in tech.
It is also common to take on an internship or two while completing a four-year degree. In this phase, you will practice everything you’ve learned while working for a company. This professional experience can be an integral part of landing a job. According to Salary.com, the starting salary of a web developer with a bachelor’s degree is about $65,000.
Master's Degree in Computer Science
If you want to continue studying after getting your bachelor’s degree, you should move on to a master’s. To get this degree, you must use your knowledge of web development to create web projects that focus on a unique area of computer science research. A master’s degree generally requires two years of study.
Once you have your master’s, you will have many advantages over others in the job market. The degree will demonstrate your technical ability in a specific area of web development. This specialization will make you a much more valuable employee. Salary.com data indicates that you can earn $66,000 as a web developer.
Computer Science Doctoral Degree
A doctoral degree is the highest academic achievement you can obtain. You must already have a bachelor’s or master’s to start your doctorate. To complete this degree, you will need to spend years developing creative research projects and finding innovative practical applications within the field of web development.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
A web developer must have a variety of skills and background knowledge in order to land a job. Below are some of the most common tasks of a web developer.
A web developer’s main job is to create websites using programming languages and software tools. To do this, they must first converse with a client, then find ways to turn those ideas into real projects. Web developers must be both creative and technically skilled in order to build a design that meets their clients’ demands.
Builds and Tests Website Features
Oftentimes, a client will ask a web developer to include specific functions and features on their website or application. In this case, the developer must install, test, and monitor this design element to make sure it is working as intended.
Monitors Project Performance
After a design has been completed, a web developer must still verify the operation, growth, and traffic on the finalized project. Freelance web developers carry out these tasks on their own. However, if you work for a large company, this task will probably be assigned to a whole group of web developers.
Essential Web Developer Skills
Each company and project will require you to use different web development skills. If you want to be a professional web developer, take a look at the list of some of the most important web development skills below.
HTML / CSS
These two coding languages are an essential part of building a website. HTML and CSS are the two most used and in-demand web programming tools. HTML is the basic text structure of a website, while CSS is used to dictate the general layout of what the website will look like.
Test and Error Detection
As a web developer, it’s important to have problem-solving skills. While working on a web project, you must regularly analyze the operation of the site to make sure it’s running smoothly. If the platform has an error, you need to have the knowledge and skills necessary to repair it.
Backend and Front End Fundamentals
As a web developer, you can decide whether you want to specialize in backend or front end development. Backend web developers build the structure of the website that you don’t see, setting up the code for how the user will interact with the flow of the website. Front end developers lay out the visuals of the site or app.
To do either of these tasks successfully, you must be familiar with APIs, SQL servers, and the basics of database management and cyber security.
How to Become a Web
Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide
Studying web development isn’t difficult if you follow the right learning process. If you’re interested in this career path, follow the five steps below to get started.
Learn About the Career
Whichever career you choose, you should read up on what professionals in that field do on a daily basis. If you want to become a web developer, you should spend time researching the skill set, and where you can learn those skills.
Web development requires a lot of commitment and creativity. You should also take into consideration the average salary of a web developer in your city, and check the hiring rate.
Get Professional Training
Many people learn web development on their own. However, most companies will require that you have either a degree or certification to prove your knowledge. To get one, you can enroll in either a university or a coding bootcamp.
If four years seems like a long time to spend studying, then you may want to attend a bootcamp, as they offer shorter, immersive courses in web development.
If you choose a decent college or bootcamp, you’ll have no problem launching your career after graduation.
Practice and Learn New Skills
Your success as a web developer will largely be determined by your skills. The more knowledge and experience you have, the more job opportunities you will get.
Pursuing a specialization within your degree program, or getting a master’s, are good ways to make your CV stand out and to show that you have a unique skill set.
Compile a Portfolio
After you graduate, you must organize all of your projects in a portfolio. Usually, your bootcamp or college will have a career services department that can help you with this process. The goal is to demonstrate your value to potential employers by showing your range of skills.
You don’t have to work for a major company to be a successful web developer. Creativity is essential in the tech industry, so don’t underestimate the significance of this trait. If you’re capable of turning your ideas into practical web projects on your own, then you can achieve success as a freelancer.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Web Developer?
There are several ways to become a web developer, and some take longer than others. A traditional or online bachelor’s degree will take about four years. At a bootcamp, on the other hand, you can get a certificate in web development in as little as 12 weeks.
Both options will leave you prepared for an entry-level job in web development. If you want to take it to the next level, you can spend an extra two years getting your master’s degree.
Should You Become a Web Developer in 2021?
If you are passionate about web design and think you have what it takes to learn the skills, then you should become a web developer. Since many companies now rely on the Internet to sell their goods and services, you can be confident that web development will lead to many career opportunities.
Web developers are already in very high demand, and the demand is expected to continue to grow in the coming years. If you want to work toward becoming a web developer, now is the right time.
Web Developer FAQ
How much does it cost to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average four-year institution charges $16,647 in annual tuition and fees. A four-year institution, to clarify, is where you would go to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science.
How much does bootcamp tuition cost?
Web development bootcamps offer immersive courses with full-time, part-time, and flexible programs. The average tuition across all coding bootcamps is $11,727, according to industry research.
How long does it take to get a job as a web developer?
The amount of time it takes to get a job will depend on your abilities, and what kind of job placement services your school offers. Some schools and bootcamps have hiring partners to help graduates find employment.
Some bootcamps also offer a job guarantee, meaning you will be fully reimbursed for your tuition if you can’t find a job within a specific timeframe after graduating.
How high is the demand for web developers?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for web developers is expected to grow 8 percent between 2019 and 2029, driven by e-commerce and mobile devices.