If you don’t have a college degree, or you do have one, but it is not in a field directly relevant to web development, don’t worry! You don’t need a computer science or other IT degree to begin your desired career. Having a two-year or four-year computer science degree is just one way to become a Web Developer, but you can take many other paths. Aspiring Web Developers can learn coding and other necessary skills in a bootcamp. Even if you don’t have a degree, you may have already acquired crucial soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, in your current position, especially if your job involves customer service or mastery of technical procedures. Or perhaps you do have a college degree but fear it may be irrelevant to your web development aspirations. You may be surprised to find that just about any college degree can contribute something to your qualifications. College teaches study skills applicable across fields.
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.
Do I Need a Degree to Become a Web Developer?
If you don’t have a college degree, or you do have one, but it is not in a field directly relevant to web development, don’t worry! To become a Web Developer, you don’t need a computer science or IT degree. A two-year or four-year computer science degree is just one way to become a Web Developer, but you can take many other paths. A bootcamp is an effective way for aspiring Web Developers to learn coding and other necessary skills.
Additionally, even if you don’t have a degree, you may have already acquired crucial soft skills, such as communication and teamwork, in your current position, especially if your job involves customer service or mastery of technical procedures. Or perhaps you do have a college degree but fear it may be irrelevant to your web development aspirations. You may be surprised to find that just about any college degree can contribute something to your qualifications. College teaches study skills applicable across fields.
Read more about if you need a degree to become a Web Developer.
Common Degrees for Web Developers
While some colleges confer bachelor’s degrees in Web Development itself, there are a number of other degrees that Web Developers commonly hold. These include, in order of frequency :
- Computer science
- Information technology
- Computer engineering
- Computer information systems
- Electrical engineering
- Graphic design
- Information systems
- Computer applications
While many Web Developers have a degree in one of these fields, it is not necessary to major in any of them to become a Web Developer. Any college degree you may already have earned has likely provided you with skills that will be relevant to your study of web development.
Tips for Starting a Web Developer Career Without a Degree
Although college does generally provide one with skills that help with studying web development, a college degree is not necessary to become a Web Developer. As of fall 2022, only a third of Web Developer job ads listed a college degree as a requirement, and, as with any job ad, there is likely some degree of flexibility even in those cases. Entering the web development field without a college degree is now quite common. Here are some tips that can help aspiring Web Developers who have no degree and, for whatever reason, find that doing one is not a good fit for their lives at present.
- Research web development and decide what specialty you want to pursue.
- While you can pursue any type of web development without a degree, it may be easier to start out as a Front End Developer. Front end developers specialize in the visual elements of a site or application. It is more common for front end development positions not to require a college degree, and there are also more jobs available for front end positions than in any other specialty. Front end is an especially good fit if you have design or other creative experience.
- Back end development jobs are somewhat less common and are more likely to list a degree as a requirement. However, it could still be a good fit for you, especially if you have previous coding experience when you start, or if you are good at thinking in terms of structures and systems. Back End Developers are responsible for a site or application’s internal structure and code.
- Even though Full Stack Developers are ultimately the most desirable to employers, it is not generally recommended that you aim to become a Full Stack Developer right away. This is because your studies will take longer and be more expensive, creating more of a barrier to getting started.
- Research web development bootcamps and choose one that is a good fit for you and your situation.
- Bootcamps are designed to launch you into a web development career without your needing to pursue a degree in the field.
- They provide a much quicker turnaround than college. If you are able to attend full-time, some can teach you the basic skills in as little as a month.
- In choosing your bootcamp, consider how much time, energy, and money you will be able to invest in your studies. Bootcamps vary widely in what they require of you.
- Also, you’ll want to think about your schedule and your current commitments. Could you take a month off to do a full-time bootcamp? Or would a 4-month or 6-month program that meets on weeknights and weekends be a better fit for your life?
- You’ll also need to consider the quality of the program and, if possible, its record career outcomes. You can use resources like CourseReport and Switchup to find reviews of most tech schools, and some of these reviews may also indicate how successful the schools’ bootcamp alumni have been in finding jobs. In reading these reviews and looking at school websites, you should also assess the level of support that the bootcamp will offer you as you seek a job after you complete it.
- Commit to practicing regularly and making the best use of the resources available.
- As with any skill you want to learn, web development will come to you faster and more easily if you devote time to a regular practice schedule. While attending classes can provide you with vital knowledge, you have to do plenty of coding and other practice on your own if you are to build skills quickly.
- Create a strong portfolio to showcase your skills.
- When Web Developers apply to jobs, potential employers expect them to have a portfolio of projects they can use to demonstrate their skills. Having graduated from a bootcamp is helpful, but what matters most is showing the employer what you learned and what you can do with it.
- Once you’ve created your portfolio, make sure you get plenty of feedback from mentors and skillful peers.
- Make the most of any career support offered by your bootcamp or school.
- Many bootcamps offer mentoring, career workshops, and other forms of career support to those finishing their programs. Don’t be shy about using as many of these resources as possible. Your finding a job is in the school’s interest, as well as yours, so making good use of its career support will create a win-win situation.
- Apply, apply, apply.
- As you look at job ads while you’re finishing the program, you may feel intimidated and question if you are really qualified. This is understandable. However, degree or no degree, you can now call yourself a Web Developer. So go ahead and apply to as many jobs as you reasonably can, even if you’re not totally certain you match all the qualifications in every ad.
- Continue to build skills as you begin your job search.
- Although searching for a job can be an overwhelming process, you’ll gain an advantage if you keep practicing and “upskill” even after you’re done with the bootcamp.
- Employers like to see that a potential hire is passionate about what they do and motivated enough to learn new skills. If your portfolio demonstrates that your skills are still growing, you will be more likely to be their candidate of choice.
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.
- You do not need a degree to become a Web Developer
- While some Web Developers have college degrees in computer-related fields, any college degree can provide skills that will aid you in your study of web development
- You can also become a Web Developer without a college degree if you pursue a bootcamp and follow these tips:
- Research web development and decide on a specific career path
- Research the schools and bootcamps you are considering
- Once you choose a bootcamp, commit to practicing your skills regularly outside of class as well
- Create an excellent portfolio to demonstrate your skills
- Use all the career support resources your school provides
- Apply to as many jobs as possible
- Keep building your skills as you search for a job
- You can receive comprehensive training to become a Web Developer through an in-person or live online course with Noble Desktop