Web Programming Degrees: Associates, Bachelors & Online Course Info

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What will you learn in a web programming degree program? Read about degree requirements, the pros and cons of an associate's and bachelor's degree and potential careers.
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Studying Web Programming: Degrees at a Glance

Private and public companies, nonprofit organizations and government agencies strive to create an engaging, interactive and informative online experience for multiple audiences. The World Wide Web uses a number of complex programming languages to deliver information and engage people. Web programming professionals understand a range of programming concepts and apply their knowledge of Internet protocols to the design, development and administration of company websites. Employers want job candidates who possess modern programming skills, knowledge of emerging technologies and Web management capabilities.

The associate's degree program offers a foundation in multiple programming languages, Web design and development skills. The bachelor's degree program, which schools generally offer through a Web development curriculum, delivers in-depth usability, software and programming training. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) combines web developers with information security analysts and network architects and predicts growth of 22% - which is faster than average - for that professional category from 2010 to 2020. The growing e-commerce industry will contribute to the job growth for web developers. The BLS predicts job growth of 12% (about as fast as average) for computer programmers during that same decade. Web administrators are expected to see slower-than-average growth.

Associate's Bachelor's
Who is this degree for? People seeking entry-level computer support, Web programmer, Webmaster, software or Web developer positions Aspiring Web programmers, Web developers or Web administrators; other analyst, programmer, support and manager roles might also be possible with this degree
Common Career Paths (with approximate median annual salary) - Computer support specialist ($48,000)*
- Web administrator ($80,000)*
Bachelor's degree holders can pursue the same career paths as associate's degree holders, plus:
- Computer programmer ($73,000)*
- Web developer ($78,000)*
Time to Completion 2 years full-time 4 years full-time
Common Graduation Requirements - Roughly 60 credit - Roughly 120 credits
- Internship
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *O*NET OnLine (May 2011 figures).

Associate's in Web Programming

The associate's degree program emphasizes software tools, systems analysis and programming skills through practical training, oftentimes in a laboratory environment. You will learn Web publishing, administration and development techniques using the latest technologies and programming languages. In addition to Web programming, you will explore the relationship between Web design, user experience and engaging content. Some schools require that students work part-time in an internship after the first year of study. You might find that some programs require experience with common productivity software.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • The computer support specialist profession is expected to grow by 110,000 jobs nationwide over the 2010-2020 decade*
  • Employers are seeking job candidates with strong technical, programming and Internet skills
  • Many programs transfer to a bachelor's degree program

Cons

  • Web administrators are expected to see slower-than-average job growth over the 2010-2020 decade*
  • Competition from bachelor's degree holders might present a challenge for several positions
  • Computer support specialists earned markedly lower salaries than bachelor's degree holders in programming and development positions

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

The associate's degree program delivers a combination of general education, technical and e-commerce courses. You will learn the most modern versions of common tools and Web technologies, including hypertext markup language (HTML), VB.NET, Java Script and Visual Basic. The full-time course curriculum provides a foundation for learning increasingly advanced techniques and processes. Following are some common courses offered by the programs:

  • Client operating systems
  • Database design
  • Web page creation
  • C# programming
  • Scripting languages
  • Web coding
  • C++ programming

Online Degree Info

The online associate's degree programs exist in hybrid and complete online options. In addition, some schools offer accelerated 8-week or 10-week formats. You can expect to take courses similar to traditional programs, although you may need access to your own technologies, including a laptop and programming tools. Despite the distance, some programs require a supervised, industry-related internship.

Stand Out with This Degree

Web programming and development positions might require skills beyond programming tools and languages. Some employers prefer job candidates who possess design knowledge and experience working with technology companies. Some positions require knowledge of marketing techniques and Web design. Following are a few steps you can take to stand out:

  • Take basic courses in Web design using common applications. Learning the basics of graphic editing programs, including Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, might enhance your marketability.
  • Pursue internships in the technology industry. Schools offer students the opportunity to take multiple internships. Consider building a diverse internship portfolio that includes work with technology companies in addition to those that interest you.
  • Get familiar with Web analytics and reporting tools. Marketing efforts require analysis to discover the best methods. Some schools offer introductory and advanced Web analytics courses that familiarize students with important metrics and analysis techniques.

Bachelor's in Web Development

The bachelor's degree program delivers a diverse knowledge base in mobile, emerging and 3D virtualization technologies. Students also focus on intellectual property and human-computer interaction concepts. You might find that programs require a strong foundation in mathematics; college algebra is a common prerequisite that supports courses in statistics and business calculus delivered later in the curriculum. In addition to a required internship, students might participate in a capstone project, which synthesizes knowledge gained in the classroom with a practical approach.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Web developers earned relatively competitive salaries (median of $78,000 in 2011*)
  • Web developers are expected to see a faster-than-average increase in employment (22% over the 2010-2020 decade when grouped with information security analysts and network architects)*
  • Programs deliver specializations in emerging and mobile technologies, which might improve your marketability

Cons

  • Web administrators earned a higher median annual salary ($80,000 in 2011) than Web developers and computer programmers*
  • Companies tend to outsource computer programming positions overseas to take advantage of lower wages
  • If you are interested in traditional employment, the move toward consulting might impact your employment search

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Courses and Requirements

The bachelor's degree program emphasizes the development of Web pages, databases, Web design and programming online information systems. Major courses deliver training in database systems, a common framework on which companies build information-driven websites. You will learn a range of concepts and skills in graphic design, business and programming. Some common courses offered by the program include Web application development, graphic design fundamentals, database management systems, developing Web pages, object-oriented programming, information security and database programming.

Online Degree Info

Several colleges offer a complete distance-education program. Courses deliver training in user experience, usability, emerging trends and website management. You might find programs that offer concentrations in Web server design, software development and digital commerce. Schools generally design online programs for working students or those seeking advancement; many programs deliver accelerated courses to meet the needs of professionals.

Stand Out with This Degree

Computer programmers and Web developers manage multiple projects from inception to conclusion. Developing project management skills might improve your prospects; some companies seek candidates with project development expertise. Consider taking project management courses and pursuing opportunities to participate in senior or capstone projects. In addition, learning to absorb the inner workings of new technologies quickly might ease the transition into working with customized Web technologies. Finally, consider gaining experience in the industry you plan to enter. For example, some companies manage large inventories, so job candidates with warehousing or purchasing knowledge would be an asset to a Web development team.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS - IT - Web Development
      • Bachelor: Information Technology
      • BS - Business Administration - IT
      • BS - IT - Security
      • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security - Computer Systems Security
      • BS - Management - Cybersecurity Management
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Herzing University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Technology Management
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration
      • B.S. - Information Technology Admin and Management With No Declared Minor or Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    3. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
      • Bachelor of Information Technology - Digital Investigation
      • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Keiser University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security
  • Campus and Online Programs
    5. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • B.S. - Web Design and Development
  • Online Programs Available
    6. Southern New Hampshire University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA Graphic Design and Media Arts/Web Design
      • BS Computer Science
      • BS Game Programming and Development
      • BS Information Technologies w/conc in Database Administration
      • BA in Game Art and Development
      • BS Business Studies in Computer Information Technology
  • Campus Locations:
    7. Virginia College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Management Information Systems
  • Online Programs Available
    8. Utica College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
      • BS in Cybersecurity - Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation
      • Online Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Online Programs Available
    9. Thomas Edison State University

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Computer Science
      • BS in Computer Information Systems
      • BS in Information Technology
  • Waverly, IA

    Wartburg College

Featured Schools

Colorado Technical University

  • BS - IT - Web Development
  • Bachelor: Information Technology
  • BS - Business Administration - IT

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Herzing University

  • Bachelor: Technology Management
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Security Technology Concentration
  • B.S. - Information Technology: Network Management Concentration

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American InterContinental University

  • Bachelor of Technology: Information Assurance and Security
  • Bachelor of Information Technology - Digital Investigation
  • Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

Are you a US citizen?

Keiser University

  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Forensics/Information Security

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Full Sail University

  • B.S. - Web Design and Development

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Southern New Hampshire University

  • BA Graphic Design and Media Arts/Web Design
  • BS Computer Science
  • BS Game Programming and Development

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Virginia College

  • Bachelor: Management Information Systems

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Utica College

  • BS in Cybersecurity - Cyber Operations
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Information Assurance
  • BS in Cybersecurity - Network Forensics and Intrusion Investigation

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