Earning a web developer associate degree can prepare you to become a professional in the field. Web developers and designers are responsible for every bit of code and each modification that goes into making a website visually appealing, user-friendly, functional, and navigable. While some students go on to earn a bachelor's degree in web development or a related field, many jobs only require an associate degree—thus, the market offers a variety of job opportunities and room for advancement to graduates with a web developer associate degree. The BLS predicts a record-high job growth of 27% for web developers through 2024, as the demand for web development expertise in mobile and international ecommerce continues to rise.
What are the best web development programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:
|1||Brigham Young University-Idaho||Rexburg, ID|
|2||Champlain College||Burlington, VT|
|3||Sheridan College||Sheridan, WY|
|4||Dakota State University||Madison, SD|
|5||Bismarck State College||Bismarck, ND|
|6||Montgomery County Community College||Blue Bell, PA|
|7||Moraine Park Technical College||Fond du Lac, WI|
|8||Georgia Northwestern Technical College||Rome, GA|
|9||St. Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL|
|10||Cerro Coso Community College||Ridgecrest, CA|
2020 Best Accredited Online Associate in Web Development Programs
Brigham Young University-Idaho
|Rexburg, ID||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
BYU-Idaho serves over 42,000 students, many of whom enroll online. The university offers an online associate of applied science in applied technology that includes a web development certificate. After completing this 60-credit program, students are prepared for both entry-level IT positions and bachelor's programs.
In addition to 18 credits of general education requirements, the curriculum includes major coursework in areas like back-end and front-end web development. Students also delve into database design and development, learning how to use SQL to query a sample database.
To enroll in this online web development program, applicants need a minimum 2.0 GPA and adequate ACT or SAT scores. They must also submit essays and complete an interview.
|Burlington, VT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 64%||
Champlain champions accessible and career-focused programs, offering over 60 online certificates and degrees. Distance learners can earn a fully online associate degree in web development and design to prepare for careers as UX designers, database administrators, and front-end developers. Students gain knowledge of 19 key applications and learn how to build secure websites that achieve complex business goals.
Champlain prefers applicants with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Additional requirements include short essay responses and a current resume. Online students can access federal and state grants.
|Sheridan, WY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Part of the Northern Wyoming Community College District, Sheridan College delivers over 55 academic and technical programs. The college offers several online degrees, including an associate of applied science in web development that focuses on front-end applications and programming. Throughout a 60-credit curriculum, students gain the skills needed to pursue entry-level positions in database administration, digital content creation, and e-commerce.
Sheridan College does not maintain strict GPA or standardized testing requirements. Prospective students must submit an online application and transcripts. In addition to affordable tuition rates, the college offers various scholarships.
Dakota State University
|Madison, SD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
DSU operates its flagship campus in Madison, South Dakota, serving about 3,400 students every year. Distance learners can enroll in the university's online associate of science in web development program, preparing to enter bachelor's programs or pursue careers in database programming, systems analysis, and IT consulting.
The university's 60-credit associate in web development program covers topics like business statistics, web application programming, and structured systems analysis and design. Students also explore cybersecurity fundamentals, learning how to protect databases and communication systems.
DSU accepts applications year-round. The university also provides several financial aid opportunities, including the Hatterscheidt Foundation Scholarship for in-state learners. DSU's College of Computer and Cyber Sciences meets curricular standards established by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.
Bismarck State College
|Bismarck, ND||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
BSC powers distance education with the Blackboard platform. The university's online degrees include an associate in web development and design. Students can complete the program entirely online or take some courses at BSC's campus in Bismarck, North Dakota.
BSC does not charge an application fee. The college requires prospective students to submit ACT or SAT scores. Distance learners can apply for government grants and institutional scholarships.
Montgomery County Community College
|Blue Bell, PA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 22%||
Founded in 1964, MCCC provides an affordable, career-focused education. The college offers more than 100 certificates and degrees, including an online associate degree in web development and design. After completing this program, graduates can transfer to four-year universities or pursue entry-level careers related to UX design and computer programming.
MCCC's web development program requires 60-62 credits and includes courses like advanced HTML and CSS, data integration for web applications, and object-oriented programming. Students also delve into server-side and client-side development technologies. The program culminates in an integrative capstone project.
MCCC accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must submit ACT or SAT scores or sit for placement tests.
Moraine Park Technical College
|Fond du Lac, WI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 39%||
MPTC uses the Canvas platform to deliver dozens of online programs, including an online associate of applied science in information technology with a specialization in web development and design. Through a 65-credit curriculum, students gain the skills needed to work as online marketers, social media coordinators, and website consultants.
Required coursework covers topics like graphics for the web, CSS technologies, and content management systems. Learners gain hands-on experience by completing an internship. MPTC also offers a dual-degree track that allows students to earn an online associate in web development and an associate degree in mobile application development in five semesters.
Applicants must submit an online form and all transcripts. MPTC waives standardized testing requirements for candidates who have a minimum 3.25 high school GPA or a college degree.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College
|Rome, GA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 43%||
GNTC serves about 5,800 students annually. The college uses the Blackboard platform to deliver more than 50 online academic and technical programs, including an associate in website design and development. Learners can take all courses online or complete some coursework on GNTC's campus in Rome.
GNTC's 64-credit web development curriculum includes courses like structured query language, scripting technologies, and introduction to Oracle databases. Students also explore IT analysis, design, and project management. The program culminates in a capstone project or an internship.
In lieu of ACT or SAT scores, applicants can satisfy placement requirements by taking an institutional exam. GNTC awards need-based grants and merit scholarships.
St. Petersburg College
|Clearwater, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 32%||
A member of the Florida College System, SPC serves nearly 30,000 students annually. The college offers several distance programs, including an online associate degree in web development.
SPC also offers a web development specialist certificate. Distance learners can complete this certificate before transferring seamlessly into the associate program, and associate-level graduates can join SPC's technology development and management bachelor's program.
Cerro Coso Community College
|Ridgecrest, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 26%||
Located in Ridgecrest, California, Cerro Coso serves approximately 4,600 students, most of whom live in the college's 18,000-square-mile service area. However, Cerro Coso also offers several degrees through distance learning, including an online associate in web development.
The program provides a significant tuition discount to California residents. All prospective students must submit transcripts or proof of a GED certificate.
What Else Can I Expect From an Online Associate in Web Development Program?
Online web development degree students have a variety of program options to choose from. The following section covers common parts of the curriculum.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN WEB DEVELOPMENT
As a student pursuing a web development degree, you can gain expertise in digital media, design, and business disciplines. Web development courses cover visual art, graphic design, and animation, as well as fundamental ecommerce principles and computer science concepts. Today, students are encouraged to learn skills that can be adapted to multiple platforms, programming languages, and multimedia tools. Sample courses include:
- Introduction to Digital Media: This course teaches students the basics of storyboarding and outlines the software, technology, and critical-thinking skills needed to create animation and other digital media. Most courses in this subject focus heavily on animation, but also aim to develop career skills, such as project and portfolio management.
- Internet Commerce/Business Principles: This course approaches ecommerce from multiple perspectives: business-to-business, business-to-consumers, and inter-organizational. Students explore the powerful influence of ecommerce in the marketplace today, including how it affects business negotiations, supply and demand, operations, and performance.
- Web Design I: This introductory web design course familiarizes students with the markup languages, multimedia technologies, and usability and accessibility practices used to design websites. Topics include HTML and CSS coding, layout and typography, and responsive design tools.
- Basic Animation: Basic animation courses for aspiring web developers involve a variety of forms of the medium, including pencil-and-paper, Flash animation, stop motion, and claymation. The goal is for students to understand how traditional animation methods inform web-based techniques. These courses also introduce editing software, such as Final Cut Pro.
- Composition: This course covers the fundamentals of basic written English. Lessons impart professional communication skills through applied writing, reading comprehension, and creative writing exercises.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE ASSOCIATE IN WEB DEVELOPMENT?
Most web developer associate degrees can be completed online in 12-24 months. Like any online program, completion time depends on whether a student attends full-time or part-time, as well as how and when classes are offered.
Some programs are cohort-based, requiring students to complete courses as a group, while others allow students to take courses individually and work at their own pace. Choosing from these options to find the right program to meet your needs is simply a matter of preference; for example, a cohort system may offer less flexibility but provide more opportunities to collaborate with other students on group projects.
Most online associate degrees in web development require 60 credit hours, including a combination of general core and field-specific coursework.
What Can I Do With an Associate in Web Development Degree?
Associate degree web development graduates meet industry requirements for most web developer jobs. Several factors affect your personal eligibility for a specific position, however, such as location and experience. Below are five of the most common career pathways for graduates with an undergraduate web developer online degree.
- Web Developer
Web developers are responsible for designing and creating websites. They must consider the visual, technical, and functional aspects of building the site, in addition to possibly creating content for their projects. While some web developers are self-employed, most work in the computer systems design or tech field, with a wide variety of employment options available around the world. Entry-level jobs typically require an associate degree.
Median Annual Salary: $66,130
Projected Growth Rate: 27%
- Computer Support Specialist
These professionals provide technical support to consumers. Network support specialists often test and evaluate network systems by performing maintenance checks and offering troubleshooting measures to their clients. User support specialists assist clients with non-network computer application and equipment issues. Many entry-level jobs are available to students with an associate degree, though some employers prefer applicants with a bachelor's.
Median Annual Salary: $52,160
Projected Growth Rate: 12%
- Computer Programmer
Computer programmers are tasked with writing and testing code to help software and applications run properly. They are translators of sorts, turning programs that software developers and engineers create into a language that computers can understand. An associate degree is acceptable for some entry-level jobs, though many employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree or specialized experience.
Median Annual Salary: $79,840
Projected Growth Rate: -8%
- Graphic Designer
Graphic designers create visual materials including advertising projects, brochures, magazines, and other marketing and promotional material. While some graphic designers are self-employed, many work in PR, marketing, advertising, or for a design firm. Entry-level jobs in graphic design typically require a bachelor's degree.
Median Annual Salary: $47,640
Projected Growth Rate: 1%
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
Computer and information systems managers, sometimes called IT managers, are responsible for planning and directing all computer-related operations within a business or organization. Most professionals in this discipline have at least a bachelor's in computer science or a related field and experience in software and web development.
Median Annual Salary: $135,800
Projected Growth Rate: 15%
Many students earn an online web developer associate degree on their way to pursuing a bachelor's degree in a related field. While an associate degree is the minimum requirement for most entry-level web developer jobs, a bachelor's is the minimum requirement for advancement in the field, and for similar jobs in support, management, and IT. An associate degree for web development introduces students to both technical and business-oriented computer skills, while a web developer online degree at the bachelor level explores programming, coding, and software development in-depth. The following are just a few of the bachelor's programs that associate degree graduates in web development most commonly pursue.
- Web Development: Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in web development focus on the technical skills needed to create websites that are user-friendly, functional, and inspired. Coursework typically covers UX design, interface usability, and methods of maximizing the benefits of add-on applications and online multimedia tools. Some bachelor's degrees include CompTIA or other industry certifications to prepare students for entry-level job requirements.
- Web Design: While some schools offer degrees that combine web design and development, a program that focuses solely on web design skills emphasizes coursework in website architecture and aesthetics, as well as the emerging technologies and multimedia tools needed to implement visual design concepts online. Degrees in this discipline also prepare students with the professional skills they need to meet client expectations in a variety of work environments.
- Web Management: Web management programs, also sometimes called web administrator or technology management degrees, teach students to balance technical abilities specific to online operations and strong general leadership skills. Many degrees in this discipline offer specializations, such as project management, information security, or data analytics.
- Information Technology: IT degrees provide students with a strong foundation in computer systems and services, networking, security, scripting, and code programming. These programs also build skills in the management and “business” parts of IT. Many programs include valuable industry certifications, such as CompTIA and CIW.
- Application Development: Application development and online computing degrees cover many of the same foundational concepts as web development and design programs, but with an emphasis on effective computing and ecommerce for mobile users. Courses explore mobile app development, object-oriented programming, and operating systems specific to phones, portable computers, and other mobile devices. Some schools offer application development as a specialization within its BS or BA in web development and design.
Financing Your Online Associate in Web Development Program
Students can finance their online web developer associate degree through federal and state scholarships, loans, and grants. Regardless of which path you take toward pursuing financial aid, however, you should start by completing the FAFSA. Completing the FAFSA is not just a requirement at most schools to determine your eligibility for financing; it also shows you and your family the scope of your potential funding opportunities. Aspiring web developers should find a wealth of field-specific scholarships and need-based aid opportunities, especially if they are minority, low-income, or first-in-the-family college students looking to enter this high-growth industry immediately after graduation.
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