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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CAREER GUIDES

Web Developer Career

OVERVIEW

What Is a Web Developer?


 

Web development is one of many promising IT career options that offer professionals the opportunity to leverage their technical skills and creativity to craft engaging, functional websites and applications. There are three main types of web developers, each with specific responsibilities:

 

  • Front-end developers write and implement the code that forms a website's visual and interactive elements. They work directly with clients to ensure that the websites offer an enjoyable, aesthetically pleasing user experience. 
  • Back-end developers write the code that powers the parts of the website that users don’t see. Back-end developers manage the website’s databases, server, and application programming interfaces (APIs) to facilitate optimal website performance, quick loading speeds, and powerful cybersecurity measures. 

 

 

 
  • Full-stack developers are proficient in front-end and back-end development. From user interface and user experience design to server configuration and version control, full-stack developers oversee the entire development process. 

RESPONSIBILITIES

What Does a Web Developer Do?

A web developer's daily responsibilities vary significantly depending on the type of web development services they provide and the industry in which they work. While front-end developers focus on creating a satisfying user experience, back-end developers deal with the hidden mechanisms that make a website run. Full-stack developers handle duties from both realms.  

Front-End Developer Responsibilities

Many web developers begin their careers in front-end development. Typical front-end developer work duties include: 

  • Discussing website functionality and design plans with clients and other stakeholders.
  • Writing code for user-facing content with JavaScript, CCS, Swift, and other programming languages.
  • Integrating audio and visual elements into the website.
  • Forming interactive elements such as navigation menus, search bars, and contact forms that increase user engagement.
  • Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to help the website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Testing websites and troubleshooting any errors or performance issues. 
  • Maintaining accurate documentation regarding code, deployment processes, UX/UI components, and website performance.  

Back-End Developer Responsibilities 

  • Writing code with Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, and other server-side programming languages.
  • Ensuring servers are updated and secure. 
  • Designing, maintaining, and continually updating databases.
  • Creating APIs that allow multiple programs and applications to share data and operate in unison.
  • Implementing various cybersecurity measures, including strong user authentication and authorization processes.
  • Configuring server settings.
  • Troubleshooting and debugging websites and applications.
  • Collaborating with deployment teams to release updates and patches.
  • Overseeing continuous integration and deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.
  • Integrating third-party services such as payment processors into the website.

Front-end and back-end web developer roles often overlap. In many workplaces, front-end and back-end developers work in partnership to ensure that the website is secure, functional, and optimized for the user experience. 

Where Do Web Developers Work?

The internet’s widespread applicability across industries empowers web developers to work in a diverse range of settings. Many web developers work on-site in their company’s IT department. From large corporations to small businesses, companies frequently hire in-house web developers to maintain their online presence. Other website developers are employed by digital agencies, hosting providers, and developer networks. They can work for gaming and entertainment companies, financial institutions, government agencies, educational institutions, healthcare organizations, publishing companies, e-commerce companies, and many other organizations. Some web developers are freelancers who contract their services as needed for clients with varying website needs. The web development field offers ample opportunities for individuals interested in remote and hybrid work environments. 

EDUCATION & BEST DEGREES

What Education Does a Web Developer Need?

Web developer jobs are often highly specialized, requiring a combination of real-world experience, higher education, and professional certifications. The skills and education needed to succeed as a web developer depend on the specific type of web development, industry, and employer. Many web developers begin their career journeys as front-end developers and later learn the intricacies of back-end and full-stack development. However, this is just one of several routes you can take during your web developer career. 

To succeed in web development, you’ll need a combination of practical experience, education, certifications, and a portfolio of work ready to display to prospective employers. Earning a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, cloud computing, information technology, computer science, or a related IT field will help you learn the specific programming, coding, and scripting skills you will need to succeed in this career. Certifications can further strengthen your skill set and show potential employers your dedication to continuous learning. The online degree programs at WGU offer several top industry certifications at no extra cost. 

Best Degrees for Web Developers

Cloud Computing – B.S.

A three-track program designed to arm you with the certifications and...

A three-track program designed to arm you with the certifications and credentials you need for a career like systems administrator, computer systems analyst, cloud support specialist, AWS support administrator, and more.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 35 months.
  • Tuition: $3,985 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 37 total courses in this program.
  • 3 Tracks: Choose between a multi-cloud, AWS, or Azure focused track to learn specific software specialties.

Certifications at no extra cost, including:

  • Amazon AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • Amazon AWS SysOps Administration–Associate
  • Azure Fundamentals
  • Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure
  • LPI Linux Essentials
  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Cloud+
  • CompTIA Security+
  • CompTIA Project+

Earning certs on the path to your degree gives you credentials that will boost your résumé right away, even before you complete your online degree program.

Transfer: Your previous college coursework and existing certifications may waive course requirements, helping you finish even faster.

Software Development – B.S.

You're a creative and tech genius who wants the bigger opportunities....

You're a creative and tech genius who wants the bigger opportunities.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 40 months.
  • Tuition: $3,985 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 34 total courses in this program.

Certifications included in this program at no additional cost are:

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Project +
  • ITIL®1 Foundation Certification

There are a wide variety of job titles this degree program prepares students for, including:

  • Software Developer
  • Network Architect
  • Software Engineer
  • Hardware Engineer

Software development is the second-highest rated specialty within IT. Secure your future with a degree and additional certifications.

Front End Web Development Certificate – College of IT

The Front End Web Development Certificate equips learners with the skills...

The Front End Web Development Certificate equips learners with the skills necessary to create responsive, visually appealing, and functional websites.

  • Time: 6 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $3,950 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 6 courses total in this program.

This certificate is designed to help aspiring web developers begin their journey, gain valuable experience, and add a critical credential to their résumé. You are also guaranteed admission into a WGU College of IT degree program. This certificate will prepare you for the next step in your career.

This certificate can help build fundamental skills in front-end development, and also help those with no technical background begin to build vocational identity for a long-term career in IT. Learners will gain critical skills including version control, scripting, web development, JavaScript programming, and UI design. 

Information Technology – B.S.

Award-winning coursework and value-add certifications make this online...

Award-winning coursework and value-add certifications make this online program a top choice.

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 48 months.
  • Tuition: $3,625 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 36 total courses in this program.

Certifications included in this program at no additional cost:

  • CompTIA A+ 
  • CompTIA Network+ 
  • CompTIA Security+ 
  • CompTIA Project+ 
  • CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
  • CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist 
  • Amazon AWS Cloud Practitioner
  • ITIL®*^ Foundation Certification
  • LPI Linux Essentials

Job titles this degree may prepare you for include:

  • Application developer
  • Business systems analyst
  • IT manager
  • Database administrator

Back End Web Development Certificate – College of IT

The Back End Web Development Certificate helps students gain a critical...

The Back End Web Development Certificate helps students gain a critical foundation in databases, Java, SQL, and other areas that are crucial for success in the field.

  • Time: 6 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $3,950 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 5 courses total in this program.

This certificate is designed to help individuals who want to pursue web development gain important skills and experience, boosting their résumé right away. In this program you will take courses that move directly into a College of IT bachelor's degree at WGU, where you are guaranteed admission after completing your certificate. This program is an important step for your career.

Build your foundational skills in back end web development with a focus on SQL queries, user interface, database management, Java fundamentals and frameworks, and more.

Computer Science – B.S.

Problem solvers and math lovers needed! Your task:...

Problem solvers and math lovers needed! Your task:

Lay the groundwork for the computing breakthroughs that will enable tomorrow's technologies. 

  • Time: 71% of graduates in similar programs finish within 27 months.
  • Tuition: $3,985 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 38 total courses in this program.

You'll have the opportunity to earn these certifications:

  • Linux Essentials
  • Axelos ITIL Foundation

Utilize your previous college courses or IT experience to help you complete your degree faster.

Careers that this program can help prepare you for include:

  • Computer systems analyst
  • Computer programmer
  • Artificial intelligence specialist
  • Software engineer
  • Machine learning engineer

How Much Does a Web Developer Make?

$78,580

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developer salaries typically range from $43,000 to $166,000. The median salary for web developers in 2022 was $78,580 a year. Your annual salary will likely depend on a variety of factors, including your past IT experience, programming expertise, and education. Software publishing and consulting developers typically earn higher salaries than web developers in other fields. 

What Is the Projected Job Growth?

17%

The demand for web developers increases as the world becomes increasingly reliant on the internet. The BLS projects that the web development profession will grow by 17% from 2022 to 2032. Website developers who understand mobile platforms are in especially high demand. Landing your first job as a website developer—in an industry expecting 16,700 new web developer openings every year for the next 10 years—can start today with an online degree and a passion for technology. 

SKILLS

What Skills Does a Web Developer Need?

Web developer skills span a spectrum of technological proficiencies and interpersonal capabilities, including: 

  • Communication skills. Web developers leverage strong communication skills to discuss website plans with clients, present reports, and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders. 
  • Computer programming. As a web developer, you’ll use HTML, Java, CCS, Python, and other programming languages to write the code that controls websites and applications. It’s also essential to understand version control systems like Git, Subversion, and Mercurial to track changes and collaborate with team members. 
  • Web testing and debugging. Web development is a continual process of writing code, testing it for functionality, checking for bugs or errors, and upgrading websites and applications as needed to improve the user experience. 
  • Design skills and creativity. Building accessible, enjoyable websites and applications requires an eye for design and an imaginative mindset. 
  • Analytics. Web developers often integrate analytics tools to monitor user interactions and help their organizations reach new audiences. 
  • Writing and presenting reports. Web developers write reports about development progress, challenges and obstacles they’ve encountered, bug fixes and updates, and website performance.
  • Search engine optimization. Web developers should understand fundamental SEO strategies to integrate SEO best practices and collaborate with SEO specialists to create high-ranking websites.
  • Project management. Strong web developers maintain organized records regarding ongoing projects, prioritize tasks by order of importance, and manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and quality expectations. 

Our Online University Degree Programs Start on the First of Every Month, All Year Long

No need to wait for spring or fall semester. It's back-to-school time at WGU year-round. Get started by talking to an Enrollment Counselor today, and you'll be on your way to realizing your dream of a bachelor's or master's degree—sooner than you might think!

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Interested in Becoming a Web Developer?

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