More than ever before, businesses and organizations are turning to the internet to power their products and advertise their services, and the demand for skilled web developers keeps growing. Corporations, nonprofit organizations, and governments are always in need of trained developers to build and maintain websites, mobile apps, and ecommerce sites. This field is growing so rapidly that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an astronomical 27% increase in web developer jobs through 2024. If you have an interest in web development and design, you should consider earning a certificate in web design online. A certificate can get you in the door at a major corporation, or enable you to pursue your own creative, entrepreneurial endeavors.

What are the best certificate in web design and development programs of 2020? Here are our top 10:

Rank School Location
1 Rappahannock Community College Glenns, VA
2 Georgia Northwestern Technical College Rome, GA
3 Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND
4 St. Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
5 St. Johns River State College Palatka, FL
6 Daytona State College Daytona Beach, FL
7 Riverland Community College Austin, MN
8 Cerro Coso Community College Ridgecrest, CA
9 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN
10 Peninsula College Port Angeles, WA

2020 Best Accredited Online Certificate in Web Design and Development Programs

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Rappahannock Community College

Glenns, VA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 35%

RCC's certificate in web design features a four-course curriculum that emphasizes web page graphics, web page design, and design concepts for mobile applications. Most coursework can be completed online. Students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA to remain in the program. Participants learn to create websites that advertise a product or service.

RCC's Office of Career and Transition Services provides career coaching, employment tips, and best practices for writing cover letters. Students can also access College Central Network to research job openings.

Active-duty service members pay in-state tuition. RCC awards several merit-based scholarships and need-based grants to qualified students.


Georgia Northwestern Technical College

Rome, GA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 43%

GNTC's online certificate in web site development prepares students to build and maintain websites. The 35-credit curriculum covers topics like scripting technologies, web graphics, and program design and development. Learners can personalize the curriculum through electives.

GNTC offers online students a resume template, an interview checklist, and a list of the most common interview questions. Current students and alumni can also review top job search sites and take a career interest inventory.

GNTC requires that distance learners attend an on-campus orientation and meet with an advisor to create an initial course schedule. Georgia residents who maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA may qualify for the full-tuition Zell Miller Grant.


Bismarck State College

Bismarck, ND Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 50%

Prospective students who want to learn about multiple software suites can pursue BSC's certificate in web page development and design. This one-year, 30-credit certificate includes required courses in electronic publishing, web design theory, and desktop publishing. In their second semester, all students create a web portfolio.

BSC's career advisors provide students with a career planning guide, a private networking website, and internship fairs. These services help 97% of BSC alumni find a job or earn admission into another educational program within one year of graduating.

Incoming students take a placement test; based on their results, they may need to complete up to four additional courses in areas such as English and keyboarding. BSC awards merit-based scholarships to outstanding learners.


St. Petersburg College

Clearwater, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 32%

SPC's 18-credit web development specialist certificate features online coursework in web foundations/essentials, JavaScript, and advanced website development. Alumni leave the program with an advanced skill set in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and website marketing planning. Program graduates can also apply certificate credits toward an associate degree at SPC.

The college provides students with career exploration tools, resume and cover letter tips, and internship opportunities throughout Florida. SPC also oversees a career blog that covers topics like virtual interviewing and what to do after a layoff.

Before enrolling in this web development program, learners can earn a GED certificate or take remediation courses at SPC. Incoming students can apply for federal financial aid by submitting their FAFSA results.


St. Johns River State College

Palatka, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

Learners who earn SJR State's web development specialist certificate prepare for careers as web developers. The 36-credit curriculum includes required courses in advanced database concepts in programming, multimedia, and web page authoring. The program uses a hybrid learning format in which labs take place on SJR State's campus in Orange Park, Florida.

SJR State provides learners and alumni with a three-step career success plan that features self-assessments, career exploration, and obtaining relevant experience.

Applicants must submit GED scores or high school transcripts. Additional requirements include an online orientation and FAFSA results. SJR State offers dozens of Foundation Scholarships, each of which requires that recipients maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA.


Daytona State College

Daytona Beach, FL Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 37%

Learners with and without web design experience can pursue DSC's online web development specialist certificate. This three-semester, 35-credit program features courses in database management, software design and development, and digital imaging fundamentals. In their final semester, students spend 12-15 hours per week interning at an approved job site.

In addition to virtual advising sessions, online learners can access employment opportunities and cover letter critiques. Over 70% of DSC web design graduates who use these resources find a job before or soon after graduation.

Admission requirements include FAFSA results and an orientation. Non-Florida residents pay higher tuition rates for online programs at DSC.


Riverland Community College

Austin, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 42%

Riverland's online certificate in web page design offers courses in digital video, web page design with responsive design, and digital photography with Adobe Photoshop. Upon graduation, students are prepared to create websites and video games.

Participants complete 29 credits of classes over the course of two semesters. Students also create a portfolio, which they can show to prospective employers. New learners can begin the program in the fall or the spring.

Riverland provides its students with access to GPS — a service that helps Minnesota residents research and apply for jobs throughout the state. Riverland charges the same tuition rate to all online learners in this web design program, regardless of residency.


Cerro Coso Community College

Ridgecrest, CA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 26%

Prospective students seeking entry-level web design jobs can consider earning Cerro Coso's online web professional certificate. The core curriculum features coursework in web production management, digital imaging, and UX design. Additionally, the certificate offers two concentrations: design and development.

Cerro Coso provides students with virtual advising sessions, labor market guides, career coaching software, and state government documents that cover economic trends.

Cerro Coso admits applicants ages 18 and older. California residents pay the lowest tuition rates. The Cerro Coso Community College Foundation awards dozens of merit-based scholarships each year.


Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Granite Falls, MN Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 46%

MWCTC's web page design assistant certificate includes a one-year, 16-credit curriculum with courses in electronic spreadsheets and graphics, multimedia for the web, and art appreciation. Students can customize the certificate by selecting between two elective courses. Learners also gain a fundamental understanding of C++.

The college provides access to College Central Network — a centralized resource where students can research and apply for jobs. MWCTC's website also features links to multiple resources, with an emphasis on job openings in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota.

All applicants must submit FAFSA results. Minnesota residents receive a tuition discount. Additionally, the college posts information about the latest scholarships on its Our Opportunities website.


Peninsula College

Port Angeles, WA Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 38%

Students who earn PC's online multimedia web design certificate learn to create engaging websites. The web design track features a three-course curriculum: introduction to multimedia, web authoring, and database-driven websites. Learners also gain experience with HTML5, Dreamweaver, and CSS.

Two-thirds of PC graduates begin a fulfilling career within nine months of earning a certificate or degree. Students can explore jobs, hone their job search skills, and take an interest inventory on PC's website.

The program admits learners in the fall, spring, and summer, and the college does not charge an application fee. PC provides a slight tuition discount to Washington residents. Incoming students can apply for scholarships on the WashBoard website.

What Else Can I Expect From an Online Certificate in Web Design & Development Program?


Specific coursework varies depending on the school you choose for your online certificate in web development. However, most programs offer similar curricula and teach the same core concepts. A list of some common web design and development courses can be found below.

  • Designing Digital Images for the Web: This course teaches students the basic skills they need to design and create graphics for webpages. Students learn to build attractive buttons, backgrounds, text, menus, and other common web images, while also acquiring experience using photo editing software to alter images for use on the web.
  • Web Page Development I - HTML: Courses in web development instruct students in the the fundamental concepts and techniques necessary to build websites. Students learn how to use HTML and CSS code to style and structure tables, images, video, and forms. Through this course, students gain hands-on experience designing websites that are interactive, useful, and easy to navigate.
  • Electronic Commerce: This course introduces students to the processes of generating revenue online, including through auctions and marketing. Students also learn about internet security issues and the impacts of electronic commerce on the world economy. This course is useful for students who wish to pursue online marketing or other online business ventures.
  • Intro to Mobile Applications Development: This course teaches students the basic skills they need to program mobile apps. Students learn to use software development kits to build apps for all major mobile platforms. The course also includes topics on native apps (apps developed for a specific platform) and web apps (apps that run in a web browser).


There are many factors that affect the length of an online certificate in web development program. Since programs vary in their breadth and depth, some programs cover more ground than others. For example, whereas some programs require only five courses, others require close to 20. Because of these differences, some certificates can be completed in one semester, while others require four or five semesters. The program you choose depends heavily on your interests, career aspirations, and time constraints.

In addition, the time needed to complete a program depends on whether it is an individually paced or cohort learning program. Programs offered at an individual pace allow students to complete courses at whatever speed they prefer. Students can choose an accelerated path or take their time. Cohort learning, by contrast, requires online students to earn a certificate at the same pace as on-campus students or other online learners. In cohort learning programs, there is less opportunity to advance quickly according to your own needs and abilities.

What Can I Do With a Web Design & Development Diploma?

A certificate in web design and development program is generally cheaper and shorter than a bachelor's or associate degree program in the same field. A certificate shows employers that you have a certain skillset, which can help jumpstart your career. A degree, however, may open the door to more advanced positions in the field.


Today, every business and organization has a web presence, and they all need skilled developers to build and maintain their websites. This means earning a certificate in web design online can lead to a career in nearly any industry. In addition, depending on your specific interests, you can choose to specialize in the technical or creative side of web development. In a corporate setting, web developers commonly work in teams, but many work as freelancers or consultants.

Web Developer

Web developers program the backbone of websites, making sure everything functions properly and efficiently. They are sometimes responsible for maintaining a website after it is already built.

Web Designer

Web designers use many of the same skills that developers use, but they focus more on the appearance of a website than its functionality. A web designer's job is to build graphic elements that make the website visually appealing.


Webmasters use all the skills needed for web development and design to keep a company's website up and running. They are responsible for site maintenance, updates, and sometimes security.


After completing a certificate in web design online, some students choose to transfer to an associate or bachelor's degree program. Earning a degree in web development or a related field can deepen your knowledge of web design and give a huge boost to your income down the road. For example, most senior web developers hold bachelor's degrees and earn more than $85,000 on average. Degree holders generally advance much faster than certificate holders, and can work in a wider variety of fields.

  • Bachelor's in Web Development: Students in this program build on their certificate knowledge by taking courses on programming, database management, and systems administration. This degree can help students refine their web development skills and put them on a path to managing a team of developers.
  • Bachelor's in Computer Science: Computer science students learn how to use programming languages to solve problems and complete complicated tasks. Computer science programs also teach students how to understand algorithms and analyze large amounts of data.
  • Bachelor's in Software Engineering: Software engineering programs focus less on the theory of computer science and more on how to put it to use. Software engineering students learn to create useful products and solve real-world challenges through programming.

Accreditation for Certificate and Diploma Programs

It is essential to make sure a school has proper accreditation before applying to one of its programs. Online certificate in web development programs are no exception to this rule. If a school is accredited, you can rest assured that it meets recognized academic standards and that you can transfer credits to other accredited schools. Plus, employers are much more likely to hire you if you have a certificate from an accredited college.

There are two main types of accreditation: national and regional. You will find that most accredited schools offering professional certificates and vocational training will be nationally accredited. Traditional four-year universities that are research or liberal arts institutions are normally regionally accredited. Whatever school you choose to apply to, make sure that it appears on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation's list of accredited colleges and universities. For web design and development certificates, you can also check that the school's program is accredited by ABET.

Financing Your Online Certificate in Web Design & Development Program

Higher education can be very expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of financial aid options that can help you pay for school. Be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility for grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study awards. The federal government offers low-interest loans for some certificate and diploma programs. You can also keep an eye out for private scholarships, as there are plenty of options for web development and design students.


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.