Web developers are currently in great demand on the job market and that demand continues to grow. As a web developer, your responsibilities include creating websites and web applications, which necessitates training in both programming and graphic design. Most web development jobs require at least an associate degree, but an advanced degree can lead to more opportunities with higher salaries.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of web developer jobs is expected to grow by 27% between 2014 and 2024, which is much faster than the average job in the U.S. This burgeoning field is full of excellent opportunities; pursuing a master's in web development is an investment in a promising future.
What Are The Best Online Master's in Web Development Programs?
|Boston, MA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 87%||
Established in 1839, Boston University's Metropolitan College and Extended Education features more than 70 degrees and certificates. By attending classes full or part time, students can earn completely online or hybrid degrees, including a master of science in computer information systems with a concentration in web application development.
A master's degree in web design development online from BU requires students to complete 40 credits. Most students graduate in 18-24 months with a proficiency in web application development languages. Graduates find careers as software developers, computer network architects, web developers, or computer and information research scientists. Classes run asynchronously, which means students can access discussion boards, online lectures, and assignments any time of day; however, students must meet specific assignment due dates. Students can also access online tutoring through Smarthinking.
Online programs at BU offer six start dates. Applicants must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college and have a proficiency in the field equal to the school's introduction to computer information systems class. To apply, students must submit three letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, and transcripts.
University of Denver
|Denver, CO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 75%||
The University of Denver offers more than 300 programs, including a master of science in information and communications technology with a concentration in web design and development. Thismaster's degree in web design development online allows students to take online classes in an asynchronous format, or they can choose from a hybrid or a HyFlex degree, the latter of which requires students to attend classes at set times either online or on campus.
Classes at DU run in 10-week terms in the evenings or completely online. Students can take the master's degree in web design development online and graduate within as few as 18 months. To graduate, students must complete 48 credits, or 12 courses. The program requires students to finish four core classes, four concentration classes, and four electives. In addition to classes such as ICT business foundations and enterprise architecture, students must complete a capstone project or a capstone seminar under the guidance of an adviser.
DU does not require GRE or GMAT scores to apply. Applicants must submit proof of at least a 2.5 GPA from their undergraduate coursework. Each application also must include a resume and official transcripts.
Southern New Hampshire University
|Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University features a robust online community of learners and more than 200 online programs, including an MS in information technology in web development. Online students at SNHU receive the same degree and education as on-campus learners, but online programs do not require students to attend class at set times.
Classes at SNHU run asynchronously, so students can log on to review assignments and see lectures at their convenience. Earning a master's degree in web design development online requires students to complete 36 credits, including a capstone course in information technology. Students take classes in website construction, website optimization, interface design for websites, and telecommunications and networking.
Each online term at SNHU runs for 10 weeks. Students can graduate with a degree in as few as 15 months if they take two classes each term. The degree prepares graduates to find work as web developers and web administrators. At the end of the program, graduates understand methods to drive traffic to and increase the popularity of a website. Students also gain expertise in database connectivity, HTML/XML, and scripting.
Applicants do not need to provide GMAT or GRE scores. To apply, candidates must submit an online application and then speak to an admission counselor. The college offers rolling admissions, allowing students to apply at any time and receive a decision within days. Candidates must submit a transcript release form and a graduation attestment form to verify their undergraduate GPA. Students need to submit proof of at least a 2.75 GPA in their undergraduate work.
|Boca Raton, FL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
Established in 1962, the private, Florida-based Lynn University features 27 programs completely online, including a master of business administration in web development management. Unique across the U.S., Lynn vigorously promotes iPad learning. Consequently, students in this MBA web development program use their own iPads to access apps.
Students in Lynn's web development program must take 19 credits in MBA foundational courses such as financial management, marketing management in a global economy, and managerial accounting. Then, they complete nine web development management credits through the Wyncode Academy and nine elective credits. Graduates of this program at Lynn secure careers as coders, developers, and computer programmers.
To apply, applicants must submit an application along with a personal statement, non-refundable fee, official transcripts, a resume, and letter of recommendation either from an employer or a professor. Admission does not require GRE or GMAT scores from applicants. In some cases, students can receive college credit for work experience.
Fort Hays State University
|Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University boasts an online student population of more than 4,500, as well as 200 online certificates and degrees, including a multidisciplinary master of professional studies degree with a concentration in web development. Students can complete this program either online or on campus.
FHSU's master's in web development online program requires students to complete 30 credits. Students must take nine credits in core coursework, including proseminar in informatics, research methods in informatics, and introduction to human-computer interaction. The program also requires students to complete 15 major credits in which students learn about back-end web development, front-end web development, and mobile web development. Finally, students take a three-credit elective class and three-credit capstone course.
All applicants for graduate programs at FHSU need a minimum 2.5 GPA for their last 60 credits of undergraduate work. The college offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. To apply, students must submit an online application, transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement outlining why they want to enroll in the master of professional studies program. The college reviews applications on the first day of each month.
What Else can I Expect from an Online Master's in Web Development Program?
Master's in web development programs cover advanced techniques and information that can help further your career. When you compare different master's programs, you will notice that the exact details of the coursework vary depending on the school and specific type of program.
Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Web Development
The following courses are examples of what you can expect to find in the curriculum of a master's in web development program; however, the exact courses differ somewhat depending on the college and degree concentration.
- Website Construction: This course covers how to design, build, and manage interactive websites, which is the core of any web developer's responsibilities. Students also learn an overview of technical and design aspects, preparing them to construct well-structured websites that meet technical standards, function smoothly, and are easy to navigate.
- Interface Design: Students learn how to design user-friendly interfaces for web applications and gain an overview of evolving usability standards and best practices. They also learn to identify strengths and weaknesses in a site's design, detect technical problems and accessibility issues, and improve performance and navigation.
- Web Analytics/Optimization: This course teaches students how to build websites that attract traffic and increase profits. Students also cover the methods used to gather and interpret statistics related to a website's usage.
- Principles of Database Design: In this class, students design, develop, and implement database management systems. They cover each step of the design process, from concept to final product, while studying Structured Query Language (SQL) programming and optimizing functions such as searchability and data mining. Distance learners also complete projects that prepare them to design and maintain databases in a professional capacity.
How Long Does it Take to get an Online Master's in Web Development?
Most master's in web development programs consist of 36 to 48 credit hours. Some programs may be completed in as few as 15 months, although most take 18 to 24 months to finish. The differences in length and number of credit hours vary based on the requirements of a school and/or program. For example, certain concentrations requiring more specialized knowledge may contain more credit hours. Some programs also offer the opportunity to add graduate certificate courses, extending the program's completion time but providing additional professional qualifications that can help make you more competitive on the job market.
The teaching style also affects the overall program length. Some programs use cohort learning, which is a traditional style where a whole group of students follow the same schedule. Other schools offer an individual pace, letting students begin a course at one of several starting points during the year and complete it at their convenience.
Accreditation for Online Master's in Web Development Degrees
Accreditation is one of the most important features you should look for when choosing a master's in web development program. An accredited school has been reviewed and found to comply with certain educational standards, assuring you and prospective employers that your degree is valid. Accreditation may be regional or national.
Regional accreditation is the most popular and prestigious type. It is awarded by one of seven different agencies, collectively known as the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (C-RAC), each of which serves a particular geographic region of the United States. Credits and degrees from regionally-accredited programs are the most widely accepted and transferable. Nonprofit institutions are more likely to be regionally accredited. Alternatively, national accreditation is usually awarded to for-profit institutions like career and trade schools. The academic standards at these schools tend to be lower than those of regionally-accredited colleges; thus, national accreditation is viewed as a less prestigious designation. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes 10 agencies as providers of national accreditation, including organizations such as the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
The U.S. Department of Education oversees these accreditation agencies and establishes policies for education, administers and coordinates most federal assistance provided to schools, and monitors national educational standards. The Department of Education receives guidance on these matters from the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The CHEA has a membership of approximately 3,000 colleges and universities and 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations. They monitor the agencies that accredit schools, essentially providing a form of accreditation to those accrediting agencies.
Employment Outlook for Master's in Web Development Graduates
While web development jobs require varying levels of education, depending on the specific position, earning your master's in web development typically qualifies you for higher-ranking and better-paying roles. For example, a web developer with a master's degree may be eligible for promotion to senior web developer or software engineer; these roles tend to pay significantly more than those requiring a lower level of education and experience. Additionally, a graduate degree generally increases your chances of being employed; the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, in 2016, workers with a master's degree had an unemployment rate of 2.4%, which is better than the overall average of 4%.
Master's In Web Development Salary
Although the most significant factor affecting the wages of web developers is their level of experience, certain states offer higher median salaries for this field. The following table features data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing the states with the top five mean salary rates for web developers. These states have a high concentration of web, media, and government jobs that require high-quality web development work. Be aware that holding a master's degree may allow you to obtain higher-ranking jobs and earn a better-than-average salary.
|State||Hourly Mean Wage||Annual Mean Wage|
|District of Columbia||$41.70||$86,730|
Master's In Web Development Careers
Web developers can pursue a variety of computer-based careers. When you earn your master's in web development and gain professional experience, you tend to increase your opportunities for advancement to senior positions and management roles. These are full-time positions in the public and private sectors where professionals primarily work in an office environment. Depending on the size of the company, these roles may be performed alone or as part of a team.
- Web Developer
Web developers create websites and other web applications. They handle the technical features and are sometimes responsible for design aspects. This requires training in both web development and graphic design. A master's degree in web development gives you more advanced tools for building web applications and may help you advance to senior roles, particularly in companies that employ multiple web developers.
Median Annual Salary $66,130
Projected Growth Rate 27%
- Software Developer
Software developers create computer programs, which can range from business applications to games to operating systems. Most software developers have a bachelor's degree, but earning a master's degree may make senior and supervisory roles more accessible.
Median Annual Salary $102,280
Projected Growth Rate 17%
- Computer Programmer
When software developers create programs, computer programmers write the actual code that allows software to function. Code is written in a programming language, which the computer translates into instructions it can follow. A bachelor's degree is typically needed for an entry-level computer programming job, but a master's degree can lead to senior positions.
Median Annual Salary $79,840
Projected Growth Rate -8%
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
Computer and information systems managers oversee an organization's computer-related functions. This position is also referred to as an information technology (IT) manager or project manager. A manager directs a team of employees, which often consists of software and web developers, programmers, and hardware technicians, to ensure an organization's technological needs are met. These management positions generally require a bachelor's degree and professional experience, although many people in these roles hold a graduate degree.
Median Annual Salary $135,800
Projected Growth Rate 15%
- Database Administrator
Database administrators manage computerized data storage, ensuring that it is safe, orderly, and accessible to the proper parties as needed. Maintaining the integrity and security of data is an administrator's primary goal. Database administrators usually hold at least a bachelor's degree, but an advanced degree may provide a competitive edge on the job market.
Median Annual Salary $84,950
Projected Growth Rate 11%
Financing Your Online Master's in Web Development Program
Almost every college student uses some type of financial aid to help pay for their education; aid comes in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study programs. When you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, the results help you understand which financial aid opportunities are available to you. Many private scholarships also require applicants to fill out the FAFSA. High-demand fields, such as web development, often have special financial aid opportunities for students who are willing to work in certain areas. In addition to providing financial aid, these opportunities can help you land your first job working in the specialization, organization, or community in question.
Approximately two-thirds of today's college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.
Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.
Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you'll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn't always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.
Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family's financial future. We've compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.
Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.