Best Online Master’s in Web Development Programs
Discover the best online master's in web development programs. Find out what the program includes and what graduates can do with the degree.
Published on March 4, 2022 · Updated on April 26, 2022
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With many organizations expanding their online presence and consumers shifting a large portion of their purchasing activities online, the demand for web developers will continue to grow. According to Adobe, global e-commerce sales could reach $4.2 trillion for 2021. And according to Cybersecurity Ventures, there could be more than six billion internet users by 2022 and 90% of the global population could be online by 2030.
Colleges and universities have recognized that it will be web developers who help facilitate this growth. Many of the top online schools offer advanced degrees in the field, like a master's in web development. These programs teach students how to develop web and mobile applications for organizations using the most popular programming languages and technologies available.
While bachelor's graduates can pursue web development careers, master's graduates have access to a greater selection, along with leadership roles. Much of the value of graduate school comes from the advanced research and specialization opportunities it offers. Here, we explore the online master's in web development and look at the best programs offered in the discipline.
What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Web Development Program?
The typical master's in web development requires between 30-45 credits and two years of training in user-centered web design and development. Students learn to use some of the most popular programming languages, libraries, frameworks, and development techniques. When preparing for graduate school, prospective students might want to update their technical and programming skills to improve their chances of success.
The type of instruction you can expect in a master's in web development program varies, but most online master's in web development programs feature a considerable amount of independent research and study. Students then apply their knowledge by designing and developing working websites and applications that adhere to the proper standards and guidelines.
In most schools, web development comes as an information technology or computer science concentration. By choosing specialized and targeted electives, students may be able to focus their training even more in a certain subfield, such as mobile applications or full-stack development. Learners may also specialize in an interdisciplinary field such as e-commerce.
While most schools award an MS degree in web development, students may encounter other options, like an MA or master of professional studies (MPS). These degree types may differ in the type of electives offered and the focus of the training.
For example, MS degrees usually emphasize scientific research and technical training, MA degrees emphasize interdisciplinary and theoretical approaches, and MPS degrees emphasize practical and career-focused approaches.
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Featured Online Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
What Courses Will I Take in an Online Master's in Web Development Program?
Full-stack development courses teach students the most popular programming languages, frameworks, databases, and skills used in both front-end and back-end development. Learners also acquire project management and organizational skills.
Mobile Application Development
This course teaches students how to develop applications on the two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS. Learners gain experience with webpage creation, form handling, and database connectivity.
In this course, students acquire experience with the tools and languages used for website creation and maintenance. Learners also pick up security, database integration, image manipulation, and responsive web design skills.
Students in this course learn the best practices for software design and development, including programming principles, engineering practices, methodologies, and tools. They learn how to identify design patterns, how to perform a needs analysis, and how to work as part of a team.
This course teaches students to use the most common and popular programming languages to develop web applications and solve problems. Learners examine design strategies, agile methodologies, and object-oriented programming analysis methods.
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Master's in Web Development Program?
The admission requirements for an online master's in web development should look similar to on-campus programs. Applicants do, however, need to meet the technological requirements for online learning. Schools may also require prospective students to possess a computer science bachelor's degree or specific prerequisites.
The list below highlights the most common application elements according to our graduate admissions guide.
The standard college application includes the prospective student's personal information, along with their desired school and program. While some college application systems work with graduate schools, candidates typically apply directly to their ideal school and program at the master's level.
Standardized test scores provide graduate schools with a balanced way to compare applicants. College applications often request these scores in addition to undergraduate transcripts. While many schools have introduced test waivers in light of the COVID-19 situation, prospective students can still boost their admission chances with proper GRE preparation.
Letters of Recommendation
College applications typically include three letters of recommendation from former employers and teachers. The references usually address the candidate's strengths and potential for success in the program and field. When asking for letters of recommendation, prospective students should make their request as early as possible to avoid mistakes and complications.
Resume and Work Experience
Many graduate programs ask prospective applicants to include a resume in their application. The college application resume may be required to meet professional experience requirements for some programs. For others, these resumes simply showcase the applicant's direction and work ethic.
College application essays allow prospective students to talk about themselves and their academic choices. At the graduate level, these essays typically address the applicant's research interests and why they believe they are a good fit with the school and faculty. Candidates should check out our guide on how to write a grad school essay to ensure they make the most out of the opportunity.
Every college application includes official transcripts to give schools an in-depth look at the prospective student's academic history. These records can identify what prerequisites the applicant has taken, what their grades were, and what transfer credits they qualify for. Prospective students can look through our transfer guide to better understand the transfer process.
What Can I Do With an Online Master's in Web Development Degree?
The growth in e-commerce and online operations for organizations around the world has created a strong demand for web developers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 13% growth for web developers between 2020 and 2030, which is 5% higher than the rate for all occupations during that period. These professionals earned median annual wages of $77,200 in May 2020.
A master's in web development also helps graduates qualify for many other computer and information technology occupations, a sector the BLS projects will add more than 667,000 jobs between 2020 and 2030. Some possible careers may include computer and information systems managers, information research scientists, and software developers.
Uncover the professional opportunities provided by a master's in web development. Learn more about web development careers.
Web Developers and Digital Designers
These professionals design and develop websites for individuals and organizations based on their needs and user demands. They have to take into consideration traffic, usability, layout, and performance, among other factors. Web developers may work in front-end, back-end, mobile application, or full-stack development.
Median Annual Salary: $77,200
These professionals design, develop, and upgrade software for organizations and consumers. They may create software based on consumer and client needs or identify an opportunity to improve performances. They may also specialize in applications or systems software, and they often work with designers, programmers, testers, and analysts throughout the process.
Median Annual Salary: $110,140
Computer and Information Systems Manager
These professionals oversee the information technology duties and departments for organizations. They ensure the computer systems meet their organization's needs, while also troubleshooting, securing, and upgrading the systems whenever necessary. They manage the technology staff, provide reports on activities, and offer insight into their department's capabilities and contributions.
Median Annual Salary: $151,150
Computer and Information Research Scientists
These professionals research new and improved technological advances. They look for developments and applications that can solve complex problems for many different industries. They may develop new programming languages, design and develop new software systems, and seek new processes that make computing professionals more effective and efficient.
Median Annual Salary: $126,830
These professionals write code for software developers, allowing computer applications to operate as designed and expected. They may write and debug the code, test it to ensure it runs properly, and make any upgrades and adjustments after implementation. Computer programmers often work with multiple languages, frameworks, and operating systems.
Median Annual Salary: $89,190
Web Development Not For You? Check Out These Related Careers.
While many graduates enter the workforce directly after completing a master's in web development, some continue their studies in a doctoral program. The most direct route is to pursue a Ph.D. in web development, but many computer science fields work well. Graduates may also pursue more interdisciplinary pathways, such as a science or business management degree.
Graduates can expand on their degree by pursuing an industry or vendor certification as well. These programs and credentials can help learners develop specializations in a particular field or with a certain technology.
How Do I Choose an Online Master's in Web Development Program?
Most prospective students consider cost, but they should think about the true program cost to get the most reliable measure. True program cost considers all program fees and study expenses, plus any loss of income as a result of the training. Candidates should also consider comparing online and on-campus program costs, in-state and out-of-state costs, and public and private school costs.
The program format for online learners can considerably impact how and when they study. Prospective students should compare synchronous and asynchronous delivery and the difference between part-time and full-time programs to find their ideal format. Learners may also find that an accelerated or even hybrid program option suits them best.
After choosing between online or on-campus programs, prospective students need to think about school location. Location impacts on-campus learners more, but online students may still need to complete on-campus requirements or want to use the campus facilities.
According to our online accreditation guide, federal financial aid, employment, and transfer credits are all impacted by your school's accreditation. Prospective students should always ensure their school has received the proper accreditation. Though web development programs do not require programmatic accreditation, recognition from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology can help graduates with employment.
When comparing schools and programs, prospective learners should look at the available student services and online student services. Candidates should think about what services mean the most to them and find schools that offer them. Support from wellness counselors, career advisors, and college mentors can foster student success. Check out our ultimate guide for internships to learn more about what these programs in particular have to offer.
Best Accredited Online Master's in Web Development Programs
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Frequently Asked Questions About Master's in Web Development Programs
Yes. A master's in web development provides excellent postgraduate flexibility. Graduates from these programs can qualify for many computer and information occupations, a sector that the BLS projects will grow by 13% between 2020-2030.
Not only do graduates have access to several in-demand careers, but they can earn high median annual wages. In May 2020, computer and information technology occupations earned median annual wages of $91,250 compared to $41,950 median annual wages across all U.S. occupations. Prospective students should determine if the value of an online degree is worth it to them.
After completing a master's in web development, graduates can pursue various computer and information technology occupations, including web development and software development. They can also take on computer systems manager positions or analyst roles.
Within each of these occupations, graduates have the option to specialize in a particular industry, such as healthcare, e-commerce, or marketing. They may also continue their training in a doctoral program.
Yes. Many organizations need web developers to help them expand their online operations, manage their websites, and improve their e-commerce functionality. The BLS projects the addition of more than 25,000 web developers to the U.S. economy between 2020 and 2030. Furthermore, nearly 18,000 positions open annually to replace professionals leaving the field for typical reasons.
Professionals aiming for related fields, such as software development, should also benefit from a strong demand. The BLS projects 22% growth between 2020 and 2030 for these professionals on top of nearly 190,000 annual openings.
Web developer salaries depend on many different factors, including location and employer. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for these professionals was $77,200 in May 2020. The top 10% of earners in the field made more than $146,430.
Another factor that influences salary is the industry. For example, the publishing industry paid developers median annual wages of $123,870 in May 2020, whereas computer systems design services paid $75,450, advertising services paid $71,930, and management services paid $70,790.
One of the highest-paying jobs for graduates with a master's in web development is computer and information systems managers. According to the BLS, these professionals earned median annual wages of $151,150 in May 2020. The top 10% of computer and information systems managers made over $208,000.
Computer and information research scientists also earn high salaries. According to the BLS, they earned median annual wages of $126,830 in May 2020. The top 10% of these professionals made more than $194,430.
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