Online Certificate Programs in Web Development

Many businesses and organizations use 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. Such developers typically earn a bachelor's degree prior to applying for positions, but online web development certificate programs are a solid and considerably cheaper alternative. 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.

Vocational Certificate

A vocational certificates is open to all students who have earned a high school diploma or GED. The degree serves as a foundational web dev education, allowing students to get the expertise necessary to compete for the field’s entry-level positions. Although students will need to earn a degree before they can qualify for more senior roles, the vocational certificate is a faster and cheaper way to kickstart 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.

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 online.

Pre-Master's Certificate

After earning a bachelor’s, students should weigh additional education options. Pre-master’s certificates can prepare them for the advanced courses they will take while earning a master’s. They can also qualify students for advancements into supervisory or managerial roles. At the pre-master’s level, students will take classes in advanced JavaScript, PHP, HTML, and web applications. They may also take business classes to help improve their marketability.

It can take around six months to a year to complete a pre-master’s certificate, 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 copywriting exercises. All coursework can be completed on a computer.

Post-Master's Certificate

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.

A post-master’s certificate can take anywhere from six months to a year to complete, depending on how many students take each term. Coursework will include practice developing websites. Students will also put together a professional portfolio to showcase their website design capabilities. As site design requires knowledge of computers, online students may have an edge over traditional students.

What’s Next for Web Development Certificate Holders?

After earning a certificate, students can go on to become professional web developers. Web developers are responsible for researching technology, designing websites, and ensuring that networks are secure. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2014 employment report, web devs earn an average annual salary of $68,670, and the field is projected to grow by 27% from 2014 to 2024. 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 qualified web developers. It may also help them earn a higher salary or qualify them for a promotion. Certifications exist for a variety of areas, including A+, Linux, Microsoft Office, and quality analysis. As an alternative, students who have earned a post-master’s certificate may want to pursue a doctoral degree, which will enable them to teach in a postsecondary setting.