Many people who want to become Web Developers do not have a college degree, or do not have one in a field that is related to Web development. If this is you, you may be apprehensive about whether you can get a job without one. Read on to learn how you can become a Web Developer without having to pursue a relevant college degree first.
What is a Web Developer?
A Web Developer builds websites and web applications for companies or clients who hire them to create a product that serves a specific purpose. They are responsible for meeting the project objectives while providing a positive experience for the end user. Web Developers write and test the product’s code and are often responsible for maintaining performance and capacity.
Various specializations fall under the Web Development umbrella. A front end developer focuses on the visual elements of a website or application—that is, the interface that the end user sees and interacts with. A back end developer designs and creates the site’s behind-the-scenes structure and functionality. However, the type of web developer most desirable to employers is a full stack developer with front-end and back-end development skills.
Web developers may work solo or as part of a team, often depending on whether they are freelance or work full-time for a particular company. Almost any business in any industry needs a web developer, but whether they have a web development team or hire a freelance developer will depend on their circumstances. Businesses need web developers because having an online presence increases their client base. Many businesses also need web developers because they want to connect with potential customers through their own web applications.
Read more about what a Web Developer does.
Can You Really Become a Web Developer Without a Degree?
You do not need a degree to enter the field of web development. It is true that many Web Developers hold college degrees in related fields, such as computer science or information systems. However, this is not necessary. Any college degree will help you in your studies.
Even if you don’t have a college degree, you very likely have relevant “soft skills,” such as communication and teamwork. Many careers that those without degrees frequently pursue, such as customer service, are a great way to build this type of skill. And a web development bootcamp can help you acquire the technical expertise you’ll need.
Steps to Become a Web Developer
Scout Your Path
Thinking about becoming a Web Developer? Before you make a financial commitment to pursuing your new career, you’ll want to make sure it’s the right one for you. You can use free materials like this Noble seminar on web design and development to learn more about the path you’re considering. Once you’ve checked out what the field has to offer, you can then decide whether you want to take the plunge.
Start Your Learning Journey
Once you’ve decided to become a Web Developer and begun to think about your specialty, it’ll be time to choose a learning method and get started. You’ll want to consider a number of factors when you decide how to go about learning these skills. Are you a self-starter with a crowded schedule? If so, then on-demand learning might be right for you. However, in most cases, live instruction is more effective.
Many students choose live instruction because they know they will benefit from real-time access to an expert instructor and that the set structure and deadlines of an organized class can help keep them on track in their learning process. Today, options for learning in real-time include both live online courses and in-person learning. Live online is a great option for students who learn best in their own space, especially those who may find the social aspect of in-person training distracting. Some students, however, gain motivation from learning along with others in a physical space. Consider what is right for you, and check out the many options available for live instruction in web development.
Create Finished Products
In most courses and certificates, the program you pursue will include creating web development projects of your own. You’ll need these projects to be finished and polished before you consider using them as a selling point for your work. Be sure to get feedback on them from professionals outside the context of your school. This will allow you to develop them further and address any potential problems before a hiring manager sees them in your portfolio.
Some employers will also want to see evidence that you’ve applied your skills in the real world. So if you’re able to get an internship or secure some freelance real-world projects, that work can give you an advantage on the job market. Be sure to make it clear in your portfolio that you created these websites or apps for a real business. If you can demonstrate that a real business valued your skills, that looks good to another company as they consider hiring you.
Build a Portfolio
Once you have those finished projects, you’ll need to create a website that can serve as your portfolio–a display of the successful web development work you’ve done. For a complete portfolio, you will need multiple polished projects demonstrating the full range of your skills.
What you provide on your site must also be more than simply links to what you’ve done. You need to give a hiring manager looking at your site an idea of the context of your work and the thought process behind it. Was this an assignment for a bootcamp? If so, how did you make it your own? Or was this real-world work? If so, what did you contribute to the success of the business you worked for, and what did you learn from it?
Make Industry Connections
No matter what specific job you’re searching for, making connections in that industry will always be vital. LinkedIn is a great tool for this, as are any networking events that your local business community might hold. As a Web Developer, naturally you’ll want to connect with anyone in the field of web development. However, you’ll also want to think about what industry you’d like to work in. You should reach out to different people if you want to work as a Web Developer in the transportation industry than you would if you wanted to work at a large and prestigious tech company.
You can also ask to meet up with these professionals for what are called “informational interviews.” An informational interview is not a job interview, but rather an opportunity to talk with an expert in your field and benefit from their knowledge of the world you’re looking to enter. Also, if you get to know these people through your informational interview, they may think of you when they are hiring or hear of a friend who is looking for a new employee.
Begin Your Job Search
Do you have a certificate in hand, a finished portfolio, and some solid connections with professionals in the industry? Congratulations—you’re ready to begin your job search. For this purpose, Indeed and LinkedIn can be great resources for finding listings to apply to, among other job websites.
However, don’t forget the old maxim that when it comes to getting a job, “it’s who you know” that matters. Now that you have those industry connections, pay attention to what they’re up to, and if you see that one of them is hiring, be sure to apply promptly. And even if they’re not the hiring manager, if you see a job ad from a company that one of your connections works at, you should definitely reach out to them about your interest in the position. They may be able to draw the hiring manager’s attention to you and your qualifications.
How to Get There
Now that you’ve read your way through the whole path, you may be wondering how to get going with Step 2, “Start Your Learning Journey.” Noble Desktop has many certificate programs and courses that can help you begin.
Learn the Skills to Become a Web Developer at Noble Desktop
To become a Web Developer, you must learn specific skills critical to the job. Noble Desktop can help you build these skills through in-person or live online instruction. Either way, you’ll have access to expert instructors who can clarify issues when you are confused, provide feedback on your work, and guide you through becoming a Web Developer. Small class sizes and the option to retake any course for free once you’ve completed it are additional incentives for studying with Noble Desktop.
If you’re a beginner in web development, Noble’s hub of articles and resources on web development is a great place to start and plan your learning path. Noble’s web development courses are excellent if you’re eager to start learning but not yet ready to commit to a full certificate.