From structure to content, and visuals to security, web developers are essential to each layer of the most innovative web pages and software applications emerging in today's market. Trained web developers work with graphic designers, software developers, mobile application engineers, and content creators to generate functional web sites across a variety of industries. Whether you're a beginner looking to enter the industry, or a mid-career professional wanting to develop complementary skills, now is the time to begin an online bachelor's in web development.
Web design and development is one of the fastest growing career fields in the country. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for trained developers are expected to grow by 27% from 2014 to 2024. Given these accelerating opportunities, an online degree in web development will boost your earning potential and provide the competitive edge you need to advance in your career.
Choosing a Program
WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?
Employers hire candidates with fresh perspectives and technical skills to complete a job. An online program in web development introduces you to the newest concepts, technologies, and theories of web design, and provides an environment to practice your developer skills. A bachelor's degree will provide a foundation for career advancement and greater earning power.
DO I NEED PREVIOUS WORK EXPERIENCE TO GET IN?
The best online bachelor's in web development programs provide the foundation students need to begin this career. Most schools require a high school diploma or equivalent degree for acceptance, and no prior work experience is required. Many programs encourage students to seek out internships and create capstone projects to build their resume during the program.
HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT ONLINE PROGRAM FOR ME?
This is a personal decision, and the right program will develop your passion into a lifelong career. Look for a program that aligns with the specific skills you want to develop. For example, some degrees offer focused training in mobile application development, while others offer concentrated study in information security or networking. Look for clues within the course catalogue and request more information from the school to find the right program to suit your interests.
CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN WEB DEVELOPMENT?
One benefit to completing an online web development degree is the flexibility to schedule coursework around your life. The ease of online learning allows you to work even while earning a degree. Online programs support the busiest lifestyles, and allow you to complete assignments, take exams, and communicate with professors on your own timeline. If you are planning to work full-time and study, contact your professors when coordinating internships in your program.
WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN WEB DEVELOPMENT?
|1||Brigham Young University - Idaho Rexburg, ID||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
BYU-Idaho’s web design and development degree online gives distance learners the opportunity to personalize their undergraduate education with an emphasis in web design or web development. Like the best online web development degree programs, BYU-Idaho’s 120-credit program develops core competencies in research, design, and programming. Learners receive an introduction to programming languages and web design and development. Coursework addresses technical topics such as CIT fundamentals and software development, as well as broader issues in conflict management, negotiation, and information research. The program culminates in both an internship and capstone course.
Prior to beginning a BS in web design, distance learners must complete a three-semester low-cost online education program called PathwayConnect, or complete at least 15 hours on campus at a CES institution. Credits earned through PathwayConnect may then be applied toward an online degree.
|2||Liberty University Lynchburg, VA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 51%||
Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Virginia, provides an online education with a Christian perspective. The bachelor of science in information technology -- web development program requires students to earn 120-credits. At least half of the major credits and 30 credits total must be taken through Liberty. Courses in the online web development degree include systems administration, IS hardware and software, studies in information security, and database management systems. The program ends with students completing a capstone project. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers in web development, mobile web design, user interface experience, and front end development. Students can apply to the private, Christian university through their online portal. Students are required to take nine credits of Christian life and thought classes, and they must earn 21 elective credits. Distance learners must earn a grade of "C" or higher in major courses and maintain a 2.0 GPA throughout the program.
|3||Fort Hays State University Hays, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Fort Hays State is a public university in Kansas, and the school offers students a web developer degree online. The bachelor of science in information networking and telecommunications has a concentration in web development. It's designed to prepare students for careers in mobile app or web design. The program requires students to earn 124 credits split between general education (55 credits), core concentrations (39 credits), and electives (30 credits). Courses include foundations of information networking, research methods, web scripting languages, and law of cyberspace. Students are required to complete a capstone seminar. The program prepares students to work in the government, entertainment industry, or to start their own e-commerce business. FHSU features the Tiger Media Network as a school-sponsored platform for showcasing student work. Graduates are prepared to take the Certified Web Designer Designer Apprentice and Oracle Certified Associate certifications.
|4||Bellevue University Bellevue, NE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 13%||
|5||Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Arizona State's online bachelor's degree of applied science in internet and web development focuses on design, technology, and user experience. Students work with an enrollment coach to get help filling out forms, figuring out financial aid, and more. The 60-credit web development online degree is aimed at associate degree holders who studied graphic design or have similar industry experience, but is open to all freshman or transfer students. Classes include multimedia design, web planning, and ecommerce strategies. Students transferring in associate degree credits must have completed them with a 2.0 GPA or higher. ASU was named a military friendly school in 2015 by .I. Jobs Magazine. This program is available entirely online. Most courses are asynchronous but it's common for tests to have a time requirement. Up to 75 credits can be transferred towards the degree. At least 30 credits must be taken through ASU.
|6||Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
SNHU started in the 1930s as a private, nonsectarian university. The school has become one of the top distance education schools in the U.S. and offers a bachelor's in information technologies with a concentration in web design and development. The web development online degree focuses on design and programming and the business side of mobile and web design. Students will take courses that cover UX design, mobile app design, and interface usability. Graduates are prepared for web design careers in government, nonprofits, and private business. SNHU's program accepts up to 90 transfer credits and assists students in preparing for certification exams. The New Hampshire-based school features eight, six-week terms for courses and a flexible schedule for working students. Student resources at SNHU include academic and career advisors. Military members and their spouses receive a 30% tuition discount.
|7||University of Maryland - University College Adelphi, MD||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 10%||
Maryland-University College has more than 50 campuses around the world and tens of thousands of online learners; they are a leader in distance education. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree in digital media and web technology that can be taken completely online or in a hybrid format. The 120-credit program lets students transfer up to 90 credits. Students who earn a web development degree online will learn about web design, graphic design, coding, programming, and development theories. Courses include interactive design, fundamentals of digital media, and trends and projects in digital media. The degree lets students choose between a design or web focus and has them complete elective courses. Financial aid is available for online students. The program prepares students to work in technology and design fields. Students learn on industry standard softwares, including Adobe. Learners can take this as a minor.
|8||Wilmington University New Castle, DE||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 33%||
Graduates are prepared for entry-level positions and can analyze software requirements, practice the software development life cycle, and manage projects. Wilmington also offers this program as a completion degree for students who hold an associate degree. Students learn coding languages such as HTML/CSS, PHP, Java, and MySQL. Courses focus on user-centered design, object oriented methodologies, and database design. Full-time students can complete the program in four years.
|9||Southwestern College Winfield, KS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 38%||
Southwestern College is located in Winfield, Kansas, and offers a bachelor of science in computer programming. Students learn the dynamic software development life cycle and how to research, document, and develop program applications. Programming languages that students will use include HTML, XHTML, visual basic, and Java. The curriculum includes core, foundation, and disciplinary perspective requirements. Core courses include Java programming principles, SQL fundamentals, and designing and programming an application. All students are required to complete a capstone project, which requires them to create a portfolio that represents their understanding of the core skills. The project also has students research possible careers to prepare them for life after graduation.
Admission requirements include six post-high school college credits and a minimum GPA of 2.0. To graduate, learners must have completed all foundation and major courses with a minimum 2.0 GPA, earned at least 124 credits, and completed a minimum of 30 credits through Southwestern with a grade of C or better. This school accepts transfer credits.
|10||Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 35%||
Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s bachelor of science in computer information systems program is nationally recognized, winning numerous awards and titles since 1999. The cutting-edge, comprehensive online web development degree curriculum introduces concepts in cyber forensics, cloud computing, programming, and internet web design and development.
While coursework for the 120-credit online web developer degree is delivered entirely through the web, many courses include proctored exams, which must be completed at local universities, libraries, or similar facilities. Required certification exams must be completed at Certiport testing centers and other university-approved locations.
Applicants should have achieved a minimum 2.35 high school GPA, and should provide proof of adequate ACT scores. Students may receive college credit for professional, life, and military experience by completing a prior learning assessment.
|11||Franklin University Columbus, OH||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 12%||
|12||Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Davenport University, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offers a bachelor of science in computer information systems with a specialization in web and mobile development. Students who take this concentration will learn how to create artwork by using layers, color commands, painting tools, filters, and other image techniques. Students take courses that teach them programming languages such as C++ and Java. Major courses include web page applications, mobile application development, and data structures and algorithms.
By taking about 15 credits per semester, full-time students can complete the program in four years. Learners must earn at least 120 credits to graduate. The college capstone course requires students to demonstrate proficiency in their field. The school recommends learners to attempt a certification exam relevant to their degree for this course. Incoming students who already hold a certification can earn course credit.
|13||Champlain College Burlington, VT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 62%||
Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain reaches thousands of students through its undergraduate and graduate online programs. Students can earn a bachelor of science in web design and development from Champlain. The web design and development degree online can be completed entirely online. Courses are delivered in a seven-week term and allow for an accelerated completion time. Students learn back-end programming, user-facing design, and the principles of e-commerce. Courses include writing for the web, web media, web site design, and client side scripting. Students can earn certificates in digital marketing, web design, and web programming. Champlain's program also focuses on teaching skills in communication. Students can transfer up to 90 credits and are required to earn 120 credits to graduate. Learners will take lab science, humanities, science, math, and general electives. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects job-growth in this area through 2022.
|14||Independence University Millcreek, UT||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 37%||
Based in West Haven, Utah, Independence University has offered web-based degree programs since 1971, including a bachelor's of web design and development degree online. Imparting broadly-applicable skills ranging from marketing and graphic design to digital illustration, website design, and web programming, the 36-month program includes coursework in typography, professional development, and entrepreneurship. Learners also develop working knowledge of the programming languages commonly employed in interactive design.
IU’s web design and web developer degree online curriculum highlights front and back-end development, instilling in-demand skills in the field of consumer electronics. Many graduates with a web development online degree go on to work in fields such as human-computer interaction technologies, mobile application design, and eLearning development. Independence University has operated since 1891, offered distance or online education for 37 years.
|15||University of Maine at Augusta Augusta, ME||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 12%||
The third largest public university in the state, UMA is also known for offering customizable, career-focused online programs. Distance learners pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and cybersecurity can choose to specialize in web development, networking, data science, or programming, and the web developer online degree is offered in several different distance modalities for maximum flexibility.
In addition to major courses in systems analysis and design, software development, and systems integration, students explore the fundamentals of business, project management, mathematics, and security through digital and hands-on experience. By completing an internship, as well as individual and group projects, learners build a portfolio to showcase their knowledge and skills.
Applicants must submit official transcripts or GED/HiSET scores, while students who have completed 60 hours or more at a regionally accredited institution are exempt from this requirement.
What Can I Expect from an Online Bachelor's in Web Development Program?
A program's structure and graduation requirements vary depending on a school's focus and faculty strengths. The best online bachelor's in web development emphasizes analytical thinking, strategic planning and the discipline to complete projects over time, all while learning the skills to design and maintain dynamic websites.
CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN WEB DEVELOPMENT
Depending on your specialization, an online bachelor's degree curriculum will include theoretical and technical courses required for web development. In addition to general education courses, your degree will include some of the classes below.
- Intro to Human-Computer Interaction: This course examines the ways people experience technology via an overview of the concepts, theory, and practice of human-computer interactions. Cognitive and social theories of human interaction are explored alongside a study of interactive software and device development. Internet applications, social networking, cloud computing, and mobile applications are reviewed as specific platforms for user engagement.
- Web and Mobile Programming: While Internet technologies shift dynamically, this course focuses on technologies used for enterprise-level communication, including business-to-business services and client-server applications. Students review modern and emerging technologies and learn ways to adapt technologies as industry and client needs grow.
- Introduction to Digital Media: This course provides an intensive introduction to the fundamentals of digital media in web technology, digital design, and animated graphics. Students review techniques, principles, and theories that guide web design and development. Topics include usability, accessibility, and ethics of design and use. Students also review the digital media industry with particular focus on potential career paths.
- Information Security: This course introduces basic concepts of cyber security and information assurance. Students review security policies and models for secrecy, integrity, and availability of information. Topics include cryptography, vulnerability, and web services for information security. Coursework prepares students to effectively archive, recover, and prevent the loss of information.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE BACHELOR'S IN WEB DEVELOPMENT?
Most online bachelor's in web development programs require a total of 120 credit hours, or 30 credits per academic year. Full-time students should expect to complete their degrees -- on average -- in four years, depending how many credits are taken each term. A few programs offer degrees for learners already holding an associate degree or prior coursework. If you have previously completed coursework, check with your prospective school to learn whether your credits are transferrable to your new degree.
Prospective students should also review course schedules and assess the compatibility with their schedule and learning needs. Many programs offer asynchronous courses, in which coursework can be completed as your schedule allows. Individual pacing for some programs lets students accelerate their degree or specialize the focus of their degree. Other schools offer cohort learning, in which students are required to follow a dedicated curriculum path together alongside their peers.
Accreditation for Online Web Development Programs
There are no field-specific accreditations for online degrees in web development, but it is always best to inspect the accreditation of your prospective school.
The United States Department of Education (DOE) creates standards to evaluate and grant accreditation. Throughout the United States, six agencies are responsible for awarding regional accreditation. This accreditation generally guarantees that credits earned can be transferred between schools. Additionally, when learners apply for tuition reimbursement, regional accreditation typically meets minimum requirements. Programs with regional accreditation, however, may be more expensive and require additional classes in the humanities.
Accreditation is also granted through national agencies. It is common for schools with national accreditation to provide vocational coursework and certifications in addition to specific degrees. Though nationally accredited schools may be more affordable, review whether credits earned at a nationally accredited program will meet the standards for licensure and transfer. It is advisable to check with your employer to confirm credits at a nationally accredited program qualify for corporate tuition assistance programs.
Another accrediting body is the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). As a large association of colleges and universities, CHEA provides information on accreditation, maintains quality standards for its members, and advocates for education excellence on behalf of the public to the U.S. government. Please visit the the DOE and CHEA websites for information on accreditation standards and a full list of qualifying schools.
What Can I Do With a Bachelor's in Web Development Degree?
An online bachelor's in web development degree gives graduates added flexibility in their careers. Whether you are employed at a large corporation or working as a freelance developer, students with web design skills can craft a career path that meets their desired specialties and work environments. Potential career paths include:
- Web Developer
Web developers design and maintain websites. They create the visual and interactive elements of websites and are responsible for maintaining a site's capacity, speed, and responsiveness. Common responsibilities include content creation and visual design.
Median Annual Salary: $63,130
Projected Growth Rate: 27%
- Multimedia Artists and Animators
Multimedia artists and animators build the visual effects for a range of medias including games, movies, television, and digital interfaces. Blending technical skills with creative expression, multimedia artists contribute to the user experience and aesthetic efficacy of content encountered online.
Median Annual Salary: $65,300
Projected Growth Rate: 6%
- Computer and Information Systems Manager
A computer and information systems manager coordinates all computer-related activities within an organization. They assess and enhance technology within a company, such as security, storage, and network capacity.
Median Annual Salary: $135,800
Projected Growth Rate: 15%
- Software Developer
Depending upon their specialization, software developers facilitate computer networks systems, or allow specific applications to facilitate an organization's most critical needs. Coupling creative vision with technical knowledge, software developers support the core applications for computer functionality.
Median Annual Salary: $102,280
Projected Growth Rate: 17%
Employment Outlook for Bachelor's in Web Development Graduates
BACHELOR'S IN WEB DEVELOPMENT SALARY
Graduates with a degree in web development benefit from salary increases as they accrue more experience. The following table illustrates expected salaries for professionals in the field of web development and design at different stages of their careers.
|Job Title||Overall Median Salary||Median Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0–5 years)||Median Salary for Mid-Career Employees (5–10 years)||Median Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ years)|
|Project Manager, Web||$58,519||$53,000||$65,000||$74,000|
|User Experience Designer||$71,966||$63,000||$83,000||$92,000|
|Software Developer, Web Applications||$69,114||$64,000||$76,000||$94,000|
LICENSURE AND CERTIFICATION
In the web development industry, professional certifications enhance your resume and lead to additional job opportunities. With ever-changing and emergent technology, web developers often explore certification to remain current and competitive in their careers. Sample certifications are listed below:
- Adobe Certified Expert: As the leading maker of development and design software, Adobe offers certifications in both single products (i.e. Adobe Dreamweaver) or as an Adobe specialist for industry-specific skill sets (i.e. Data Specialist). Certifications are affordable (as little as $180) and are valid for two years.
- Microsoft Developer Certifications: From the HTML5 App Development Fundamentals Exam to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer credentials, certifications offered through Microsoft signal mastery of essential development skills to potential employers. Exams and certifications are often reduced in price for students and are available online.
- Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ): Assessing web content and strategy requires advanced understanding of the latest analytics tools. Google provides free online training resources that certify learners as experts in analytics. Certification is valid for 18 months and recognized widely as the industry standard in the field.
Professional organizations can help students learn more about the job market, network with other web developers, and engage with new educational resources to keep their design skills fresh. Below are a few important organizations for students and graduates of online programs in web development. These organizations provide continuing education opportunities, online job boards, and host networking events for prospective students and college graduates entering the field.
Financing Your Online Bachelor's in Web Development Program
Each student should investigate internal scholarships, tuition breaks, or funding opportunities each school might offer to assist with financing their online bachelor's degree. Students may be eligible for private grants and scholarships through non-profit organizations, companies, employers, and other sources. Federal financial assistance will also offset costs or provide financing opportunities to prospective students. The Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) provides information on grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study options. Completing this application should be the first step in pursuing any financing options.
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.
- Best Online Bachelor's in Web Development Programs of 2017
Rank School Location 1 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA 2 University of Maryland - University College Adelphi, MD 3 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ 4 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH 5 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS 6 Champlain College Burlington, VT 7 Bellevue University Bellevue, NE 8 Franklin University Columbus, OH 9 Stevens-Henager College Murray, UT 10 Limestone College Gaffney, SC