According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web development positions have a projected growth rate of 15% over the next decade, faster than the national average. A master's in web development encompasses the most current production software and platforms. Students create and maintain web servers across networks and computer systems, learn the latest web policies and legal regulations of international internet use, and build a foundation in website security to maintain reliable online resources.
Should I Get a Master's in Web Development?
A master's in web development has flexible course options. Students pursuing a master's degree directly after a bachelor's program may find an on-campus experience to be a good fit. Students juggling part-time or full-time employment, or family or personal obligations, may prefer a hybrid or fully online master's program. Hybrid programs provide periodic on-campus meetings with classmates and professors, paired with online coursework. An online program allows students to work towards a degree anywhere and at any time. Students access course materials, submit assignments, and complete exams on their own schedule. Since most web development programs produce entirely digital results, an online option is a natural fit for a master's in web development.
Regardless of the program, a master's in web development will prepare you to work in a fast-paced technological career, where you can contribute to the worldwide community of developers and digital platforms as a qualified webmaster.
What Can I Do With a Master's in Web Development?
Students can use their knowledge of the internet in software or computer programing development to create, update, and innovate system software to meet client needs. Graduates can also become an information systems manager or database administrator. The following list details a few job opportunities available to web development graduates.
- Web Developer
Web developers work with individuals, communities, or project groups to create and maintain professional websites. They monitor web traffic, troubleshoot issues, and write code in HTML or XML to fix problems and increase user-friendly access.
Median Annual Salary: $58,201*
- Software Developer
These developers design, test, and produce software, cater upgrades to company or individual needs, and maintain reliable platforms through software maintenance. Software developers often see a project through from its initial design to final implementation.
Median Annual Salary: $69,551*
- Computer Programmer
Median Annual Salary: $60,862*
- Information Systems Manager
Information systems managers organize the epicenter of a company or organization. Managers are responsible for company-wide networks and information security. They remain up-to-date on information systems and implement and tailor these systems to fit institutions. They also educate and train employees on effective interfaces.
Median Annual Salary: $82,049*
- Database Administrator
Data administrators secure data and backlog previous information systems. They keep information relevant by upgrading systems and merging databases. Most importantly, administrators are constantly aware of community or company information security threats, and protect private and sensitive information.
Median Annual Salary: $71,483*
How to Choose a Master's Program in Web Development
A master's in web development typically takes between one and a half to two years to complete for full-time students, about 30-45 credits overall. Part-time students will take longer to complete the degree, sometimes three or more years.
Given the variety of programming needs in the professional market, curricula in online and on-campus programs will differ. For students interested in engineering and design, a computer science degree focuses on software management and will provide training in coding and critical analysis. By contrast, future development and database managers require skills in communication and leadership in addition to website architecture and coding. Students should look for managerial training courses to develop leadership skills. Check potential program courses to ensure you will receive the training needed for your future career.
Overall, schools will charge the same tuition fees for on-campus and online students since students will access the same course materials and professional training. In-state programs will cost significantly less than out-of-state options, though some online programs will waive out-of-state fees to increase enrollment diversity. While online programs can be more cost effective, completing an online program may take longer. Longer programs can increased tuition costs overall.
Programmatic Accreditation for Master's Programs in Web Development
Accreditation declares the quality of your education to potential educators and colleagues. Without accreditation, it may be difficult to transfer credits or pursue a doctorate degree. The U.S. Department of Education sanctions six regional governing bodies to monitor and accredit institutions. Check each potential program for accreditation by one of the six governing bodies, or search for your institution directly in the database of accredited postsecondary institutions and programs.
Master's in Web Development Program Admissions
Though applications vary by institution and program, the following list details some of the common application components. On-campus programs will require similar application materials to a bachelor's degree, while hybrid and online programs often require more detailed information. Begin your school search and application process a year in advance to ensure plenty of time to complete application materials. For letters of support and transcripts, you will need to allow time for recommenders and previous institutions to submit application materials on your behalf. Consider applying to four or five programs to increase your chances of acceptance.
- Bachelor's Degree: A bachelor's degree is required to enter all accredited master's programs. Though a degree in a related field is useful, most web development programs do not require previous experience in web or computer development.
- Minimum GPA: Many master's programs expect a 3.0 GPA at minimum. If your undergraduate GPA is not the minimum, consider taking continuing education courses at a local institution to demonstrate your dedication to the profession.
- Required Courses: While a specialized bachelor's in web or computer development is not mandatory, some schools require applicants to complete an introductory course on computer information systems prior to admission.
- Application: All schools require a completed application. While providing basic details is straightforward, the personal statement may take weeks to compose and edit.
- Transcripts: Schools provide official transcripts directly to institutions on the student's behalf. Contact your undergraduate institution for assistance; a small fee may be required.
- Letters of Recommendation: Typically, students ask for letters from previous professors, instructors, coaches, or mentors. Give your recommender at least one month to compose and submit your recommendation.
- Test Scores: Some schools will require you to submit GRE or GMAT test scores. ESL students will also need to submit TOEFL language competency scores. Check the application details of each institution for exam requirements and score averages.
- Application Fee: Application fees cover the cost of reviewing your application. The cost is typically between $60-$120. Some schools will waive this fee for students with financial need. Contact the financial offices of each potential school for details.
What Else Can I Expect From a Master's Program in Web Development?
Students can cater their degree to fit future career aspirations. The following list details some of the course avenues and certifications available in a master's in web development.
Courses in a Master's in Web Development Program
Popular specializations in web development focus on data communication networks and server development, where students learn about the interconnected nature of website development. Similarly, database security and web analytics engage with the vast quantity of information gathered and interpreted through information systems. The following list details a few common courses in a master's in web development.
- Business Data Communication Networks
This course investigates the foundation of data communication between business platforms, such as levels of use, from entry-level employees up to CEOs, and how to manage public and private spheres. Students also learn about community networks, business communication avenues, and information security.
- Server Development
Students hone coding skills and build web applications with PHP and MySQL systems in this course. Learners study server architecture and discover the malleability of program systems through a series of case studies, culminating in a personal development project.
- Database Security
This course covers how to create websites ethically and securely to ensure privacy laws and maintain user experience for private and public institutions. Students learn about the latest security tools, and study the shortfalls and loopholes of programs.
- Web Analytics and Data Mining
This course delves into the statistics of website user practices, page content and access, and information extraction. Students study analytics tools, for example Google search engines, to deconstruct the fundamentals of data analytics and develop critical analysis interpretations.
- Health Informatics
Designed to prepare students for a career in healthcare, health informatics trains students to work with highly sensitive information requiring multiple levels of security and access regulations. Students study the technological fundamentals of modern scientific testing, data acquisition, and maintenance.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master's in Web Development?
While many master's programs are designed to be completed in one and a half to two years, multiple factors can impact program duration. On-campus programs tend to have more rigid timelines, while online programs can fluctuate in length. Students can graduate quicker by enrolling in three or four courses instead of the typical two per term. Students with jobs or personal responsibilities may require part-time status to complete the degree. The longer you are enrolled, the more tuition you will pay over time. Think carefully about your lifestyle expectations and your financial stability when selecting a program.
How Much Is a Master's in Web Development?
Master's degree programs incur multiple costs. The first priority for students is tuition; in-state master's programs will cost between $2,000-$5,000 per term, whereas an out-of-state degree can cost double, between $4,000-$10,000 or higher each term. Online program tuition costs are typically comparable to on-campus degree fees from the same institution, since students will benefit from the same school resources. Some online programs will waive out-of-state tuition for online students to increase student diversity.
The second most important cost to consider is living expenses. Living on-campus can be expensive because the location provides easy access to school facilities, and often comes with a meal plan. You can cut down some of these costs by living off campus.
Students should also consider software and website costs, such as software subscriptions, coding guides, and web applications. These costs can amount to an additional $1000 per year.
Certifications and Licenses for Master's in Web Development Graduates
- Google Developers Certification
Though not required for professional work, Google offers certifications in development and data management as a form of supplemental competency for web developers. After passing an exam, you will receive an electronic badge that can be displayed in online resumes, such as LinkedIn.
- Adobe Web Certification
Provided by Adobe, this certification requires prior experience or course training through the company's online platform, and is valid for two years. The exam covers system assessment, architectural analytics, and specific adobe systems. ACE certification verifies an individual's ability to work with Adobe solutions.
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer
Microsoft markets multiple certifications, most require specific Microsoft training prior to exam enrollment. For example, the App Building certification proves skills in phone application development.
Resources for Graduate Web Development Students
Begin your web-building experience with this user-friendly web platform. WordPress is one of the most popular website development resources. Students can practice website design and elementary coding and develop personal design traits.
For students particularly interested in data gathering, mining, and analytics, GIT offers a version control system that is translatable for projects large and small, multi-faceted and straight-forward. This websites open access resource allows you to track database alterations, monitor information flow, and retrace steps for ineffectual changes.
For Windows, MacOs, and Linux computer programs, the visual studio code is a code editing server intended to identify and eliminate errors in code to increase productivity and effectiveness.
As graduates transition into the professional realm, organizations offer useful tools for the job market and ongoing professional development. Students can use these associations to network, present personal web development innovations at organization conferences, and utilize job boards and search engines to find career opportunities. Beyond the national and international associations listed below, look for regional communities dedicated to web and software development.
Also known as the world organization of webmasters, this nonprofit organization increases dialogue between web professionals and provides opportunities through continuing education courses and publications. This nonprofit is also an advocacy group that brings awareness to web development issues.
This association unites web designers and developers, webmasters, programmers, educators and information systems managers. Members agree to a code of ethics, and subsequently receive networking opportunities, discounts on continuing education online courses, and various certification programs.
This national nonprofit focuses on professionals working with All-Payer Claims Databases. NAHDO promotes regular technical training and review for data management professionals in healthcare through national workshops and webinars.
A global association dedicated to information systems research, practice, and education, the AIS prides itself on knowledge dissemination and setting community standards. Members can access the associations extensive eLibraries to maintain and increase awareness of various information systems. The AIS is an epicenter of information systems management with career services and worldwide conferences.
DAMA maintains a consortium of chapters worldwide, bringing together data managers from all professions. The association offers continuing education courses, a data management professional forum, and a yearly conference for research and networking.