Many businesses and organizations utilize web technology to advertise their products and services. Before they can do so, they need knowledgeable experts who can create a visually appealing and user-friendly website. Website developers typically earn a bachelor’s degree prior to applying for positions, but online web development certificate programs offer a cheaper alternative to degree programs. At the certificate level, web development programs instruct students in programming, HTML, CSS, computer architecture, networking, and content management. Many programs also have students take business classes. Upon earning certificates, students will have the knowledge and skills necessary to find success as professionals.
Types of Web Development Certificates
Vocational certificates are open to all students who have earned a high school diploma or GED. It serves as a foundational program through which students can get the expertise necessary for establishing entry-level positions within the field. Although students will need to earn a degree before they can qualify for advancements, vocational certificates are a cheaper and quicker way to kick-start a career. While enrolled, students will take some general classes in communications and business. Then they will take major-area classes like web programming, web infrastructure, and programming languages. Before students can enroll, however, they must have the following:
- High school diploma or equivalent.
- IT experience.
Typically, web development online certificate programs at this level take around a year to complete. Students who don’t attend classes on a full-time basis may need to remain enrolled for a longer period of time. Projects include developing websites, learning programming codes, and designing graphics, all of which can be done over the Internet.
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field.
- GPA of 2.0 or higher.
- IT work experience.
- Passing GRE scores.
It can take around six months to a year to complete a pre-master’s certificates, although the program may take longer for students who take classes on a part-time basis. Assignments include designing graphics for web pages, readings on business strategies, website development, and content writing exercises. All course work can be completed on a computer.
Post-master’s certificates are designed for students who have earned a graduate degree, but who want to build upon their knowledge of web development. They are also useful for professionals who want to stay up-to-date on new technology. While enrolled, students will take advanced programming and website design classes. They will also conduct research on web technology, write papers, and study business methodology. Although admissions requirements depend on the individual school, students typically need to have the following:
- Master’s degree in a related field.
- GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- IT work experience.
- Recommendation letters.
A post-master’s certificate can take anywhere between six months and a year to complete, depending on how many students take each term. Course work will include practice developing websites. Students will also put together a professional portfolio to showcase their website design capabilities. As website design requires knowledge of computers, online students may have an edge over traditional students.
What’s Next for Certificate Holders?
After earning certificates, students can go on to become professional web developers. Web developers are responsible for researching technology, designing websites, and ensuring that networks are secure. They earn an approximate annual salary of $66,100, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and the field is projected to grow 22% through 2020. However, salary figures and job outlooks will vary by location and employer.
Students who want to pursue even higher education should consider earning a certificate in software or an operating system. Doing so will make them into more viable web developers. It may also help them earn a higher salary or qualify for a promotion. Certifications exist for a variety of areas, including A+, Linux, Microsoft Office, and quality analysis. As an alternative, students who have earn a post-master’s certificate may want to pursue a doctoral degree, which will enable them to enter the field of academia.