Best Online Web Development Programs

Explore the top web development programs, along with a close look at prospective coursework, admission requirements, concentration areas, career paths, and earning potential for this growing and lucrative field. Web developers are in high demand. Get started on your career with an online bachelor's degree from a top-ranked school.

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Published on August 16, 2021

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Web developers create and maintain the websites people and businesses use every day. Web development students can specialize in back-end development or front-end development — the functionality of the site or the look and feel, respectively — or become full-stack developers who handle both.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% growth for web developers and digital designers between 2020 and 2030, which eclipses the average projected growth rate for all occupations. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $77,200 as of May 2020.

Just about anyone can teach themselves web development from home. However, a web development program offers an efficient learning path for students, along with guidance from mentors and collaboration opportunities with like-minded peers. Gradues often leave these programs with a solid portfolio, a thriving network, and experience for the job ahead.

Read on to learn how top online programs can prepare the next generation of web developers.

What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Web Development Program?

Web development is a branch of computer science. Students should expect courses to provide hands-on training using real-world challenges and projects. Many programs allow students to specialize in one of three types of web development:

Web development students learn common programming languages as well as tools like web frameworks that developers use to build sites. Programs often prioritize portfolio work to give students a dynamic record of their projects to show to future employers.

Web development bachelor's degrees usually take four years of full-time study. Some web development bootcamps take just 6-9 months, focusing solely on web development skills. Students can also choose four-year computer science degrees with a concentration in web development, gaining broader computer science knowledge without sacrificing practical web development training.

Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Degree Programs.

What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Web Development Program?

While programs may vary in requirements, this list includes common courses for web developers.

User Experience (UX)

A user experience course teaches students the principles of user-centered design. Students learn best practices to create dynamic and aesthetically-pleasing websites users want to interact with.

Back-End Development

Students receive an introduction to back-end languages like PHP, Python, C#, and Java. They learn best practices for using web frameworks and creating complex, multi-page websites.

Front-End Development

Students may learn design languages like HTML and CSS and apply UX design to build out the look and feel of the website on top of the back-end framework.

Database Infrastructure

Websites need databases to store and secure information. This course introduces students to the basic types of databases and how they fit into the website framework.

Web Architecture and Servers

To build high-functioning websites, students need an understanding of how web servers function, the different types of servers, and the architectures that work with them to support a website. In this course, students gain an understanding of web protocols used to build secure sites.

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What Are Admission Requirements for an Online Bachelors in Web Development Program?

Online programs typically maintain similar admission requirements to on-campus programs. However, online programs also frequently offer paths for mid-career students, so applicants should check for differences in application requirements.

Application

Students provide their personal information to the school during the application process, along with their previous academic performance and work history. Online programs targeting adult students often focus on work history and experiential learning.

Test Scores

Undergraduate programs often require undergraduate entrance exams such as the SAT or ACT. Students should check the minimum score requirements for their school. Online programs may waive this requirement altogether for students who graduated from high school more than five years ago at the time of program application and possess work experience.

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are usually written by previous teachers. Online programs may also accept letters from previous coworkers or supervisors. Prospective students send a link to their chosen recommenders so that they can complete any questions on the form. Most of the time, applicants do not see the final result.

Essays

College essays also provide the school with new perspectives on students. The program provides the essay topic, and students answer within the required length. Applicants should take essays seriously because they also provide a writing sample for the college.

Official Transcripts

Applicants must submit high school transcripts, as well as any transcripts from previously attended colleges. Online programs may waive high school transcript requirements if students graduated more than five years before applying. Bachelor's programs typically accept coursework from previous colleges, so transcripts provide important records that could translate to more transfer credits.

What Can I Do With an Online Bachelors in Web Development Degree?

Career Outlook

The BLS projects 13% job growth for web developers and digital designers between 2020 and 2030. This projected growth translates to 25,500 new positions. Developers with full-stack skills stand out in the job market, but a strong portfolio can land front-end or back-end developers excellent positions.

These professionals made a median annual salary of $77,200 as of May 2020, according to the BLS. Since nearly every industry requires some kind of web presence in the digital age, web developers can find work in diverse fields.

See where an online bachelor's in web development can take you. Learn more about web development careers.

Career Paths

Web developers can find careers in a variety of disciplines, but this section highlights five common paths.

UX/UI Designer

User experience and user interface designers make websites that engage users and reduce confusion. The job requires both web development skills and user-focused design practices. Unlike front-end developers, these positions focus primarily on user journeys through the site.

Average Annual Salary: $75,340 (as of December 2021, Payscale)


Front-End Developers

Front-end developers handle creating the look and feel of a website. They provide important input into a website's dynamic design and code the website's user-facing components.

Average Annual Salary: $78,970 (as of December 2021, Payscale)


Back-End Developers

Back-end developers build the functionality required for websites to work when users visit them. They handle the programming involving databases and network interactions. They also troubleshoot issues with website performance.

Average Annual Salary: $60,420 (as of December 2021, Payscale)


Full-Stack Developers

Full-stack developers can handle all aspects of a website, including the initial wireframe sketch, the final touches on the finished product, and everything in between.

Average Annual Salary: $79,470 (as of December 2021, Payscale)


Mobile Application Developers

More and more users around the world browse the internet on their smartphones, so companies need mobile app developers to create specialized experiences. Mobile app developers handle the design and development of mobile apps.

Average Annual Salary: $73,410 (as of December 2021, Payscale)


Web Development Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.

Continuing Education

Although students can pursue advanced degrees in web development, a more common path lies in adjacent disciplines. For example, developers can complete additional education in data science and artificial intelligence, learning to build chatbots that provide customer service experiences. Developers can also specialize in mobile apps or learn immersive design.

Students seeking master's degrees in web development learn more programming languages and more complex design principles. They may also learn administration skills so that they can lead their own departments or companies. Advanced degrees also help students network and pursue positions in some of the most competitive companies in the field.

Web development requires a lifelong love of learning, as languages, programs, and tools change regularly. Students who make an effort to keep learning should remain the most competitive in the job market in the future.

How Do I Choose an Online Bachelors in Web Development Program?

Students should consider the following factors in their program search.

Cost

Online programs tend to be cheaper than on-campus program costs. However, even if the tuition cost is the same, online students don't need to pay fees like room and board, moving costs, or even gas to get to campus. Some online programs also offer in-state tuition to out-of-state students or find other ways to reduce the true program cost.

Program Format

Students who need to continue their work while studying should seek out asynchronous programs so that they can complete coursework on their own schedule. However, synchronous programs provide a closer experience to a traditional classroom through live online courses. Accelerated programs work well for students with some college and work experience, while full-time or part-time studies depend on each student's schedule.

Location

While online programs don't require a move, attending a nearby school offers several advantages. Students can leverage the school's network to arrange internships, for example. Furthermore, while online web development programs usually do not include on-campus requirements, students may want to visit campus to attend networking events.

Accreditation

Accredited schools have completed a third-party process evaluating program quality and student services. Students should check their program's accreditation page to find out more. Do not attend an unaccredited school, as you will not be able to receive federal financial aid.

Student Support

Even online programs should offer students support services both during and after the program. Through online student services, students can arrange internships and receive academic and career guidance. After the program, an alumni network can help students seek out open positions or find mentors.

Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Web Development Programs

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Bellevue University true View School Profile Bellevue, NE

BU is a private school located in eastern Nebraska. With regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, this university offers an online bachelor's in web development. Upon completion of the program, degree-holders can create dynamic web applications and pages, write code for web design and development, and work effectively in teams.

This rigorous curriculum provides hands-on training for students interested in web development. Faculty deliver synchronous courses in a cohort learning format and cover topics such as design principles and user interfaces, web development strategies, and the most popular coding languages.

Remote learners need 127 credits to graduate. Required major courses include enterprise JavaScript, internet systems architecture, fundamentals of web development, and business environments for web professionals.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Web Development
School Status: Private
Tuition: $425/credit
Credit Requirements: 127 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous

Contact

Phone: (402) 293-2000
Email: bruinsupportservices@bellevue.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Arizona State University - Skysong true View School Profile Scottsdale, AZ

Located in Phoenix, ASU is a public institution that holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The university offers an online bachelor of applied science in internet and web development for distance students.

This bachelor's in web development features 20 major-related classes, including image editing and manipulation, website design and web technologies, information design and usability, and professional portfolio design. Learners also need to complete a senior project.

Each prospective student should possess a 2.5 or higher GPA and a course history reflecting successful completion of classes in English, math, laboratory science, social science, a foreign language, and fine arts. Additionally, candidates must submit their ACT or SAT scores for consideration.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Applied Science in Internet and Web Development
School Status: Public
Tuition: $740/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (866) 277-6589
Email: asuonline@asu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Liberty University true View School Profile Lynchburg, VA

Liberty — an evangelical Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia — holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school offers many distance programs, including an online BS in information technology with a specialization in web and mobile programming.

Degree-seekers need to earn 120 credits to graduate. Full-time learners can complete the program in 3.5 years. Faculty members deliver eight-week courses entirely online, including classes in client-side programming, web and mobile programming, integrative programming and technologies, and database management systems.

Prospective bachelor's students need a 2.0 or higher GPA for consideration. Online students pay the same tuition rates, regardless of their location. Military personnel and first responders receive a tuition discount.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Web and Mobile Programming
School Status: Private
Tuition: $390/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 3.5 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum

Contact

Phone: (800) 424-9595
Email: luoundergrad@liberty.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Champlain College true View School Profile Burlington, VT

Located in Burlington, Vermont, Champlain is a private institution that is regionally accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education and serves approximately 2,200 students. Among its many program offerings is an online bachelor's in web development.

The school's bachelor of science in web design and development features a fully online curriculum that covers essential programming languages, technical platforms, and software information. Degree-seekers need to accrue 120 credits for graduation. Incoming students may transfer in up to 90 credits from other accredited colleges and universities. Students can also earn transfer credit for professional training certifications, prior knowledge, and military training.

Bachelor's degree-seekers can earn specialized certificates in a concentration area while they pursue their degrees. Available concentrations include PHP programming, software development, web design, and web programming.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Web Design and Development
School Status: Public
Available Concentrations: PHP programming; software development; web design; web programming
Tuition: $318/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (866) 637-6292
Email: cco@champlain.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Fort Hays State University true View School Profile Hays, KS

FHSU is a public university with regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Located in Hays, Kansas, the school offers distance students access to more than 200 degree and certificate programs, including a bachelor's in information networking and telecommunications with a concentration in web and mobile application development.

This bachelor's track — which can be completed as a BA or BS — requires 124 credits. Learners complete 18 credits of informatics core classes, including foundations of informatics, research methods, and introduction to web development. Each enrollee must also complete a capstone seminar. Courses in the web development concentration include mobile web development and back-end web development.

This curriculum prepares students for careers in business, government, entertainment, education, and healthcare. Learners also position themselves to sit for the certified web designer apprentice certification or the Oracle certified associate certification.

Prospective students need a minimum 2.0 GPA for consideration. Applicants should also submit their ACT or SAT scores.


Program Overview

Program Name: Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in Information Networking and Telecommunications With a Concentration in Web and Mobile Application Development
School Status: Public
Tuition: $176/credit in-state; $511/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 124 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery

Format: Online

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact

Phone: (785) 628-5373
Email: informatics@fhsu.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Web Development Programs

Is a bachelor's in web development worth it?

An online degree is definitely worth it. The BLS projects significant career growth for web developers between 2020 and 2030, and graduates can look forward to high salaries in many positions. Thanks to online learning, students can choose the right program for their needs without worrying about moving, quitting their job, or balancing studies with work.

What can I do with a bachelor's in web development?

Web development graduates can pursue work in just about any industry, thanks to the increasing demand for a web presence in the digital age. Students can specialize in a specific type of development such as front-end or back-end development. Plus, the field continues to expand with specializations like mobile app development and augmented or virtual reality.

Are web development majors in high demand?

Yes. The BLS projects 13% job growth for web developers between 2020 and 2030. This rate eclipses the average projected growth rate for all occupations during that period. Nearly every industry should need web support for existing sites, new sites, and new experiences. Many companies in different industries keep in-house web developers on staff. Web developers can also offer freelance services.

How much money can I make with a bachelor's in web development?

According to the BLS, web developers and digital designers made a median annual wage of $77,200 as of May 2020.

What are the highest-paying jobs with a bachelor's in web development?

You can make a lot of money as a web developer or digital designer. According to the BLS, the top 10% of earners in the field made more than $146,430 as of May 2020. Currently, full-stack developers with web engineering skills earn some of the highest salaries in the field. However, with continued skills training and lots of experience, web developers can look forward to a lucrative career regardless of their position or specialization.

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BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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