Earning a Master's in Web Development Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Web Development Online?

With the ubiquity of the internet and the lightning-fast speed of technological development, web development remains a thriving industry. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the industry will grow 15% in the next decade, which is much faster than the economy as a whole. Because of this, pursuing a master's degree in web design development online may certainly pay off.

A master's degree can serve as a good option for people working in the industry who want a boost in their careers through higher salaries or leadership and management positions. Professionals who already possess an undergraduate degree, but who want to switch to the web development industry, may also choose this path. Plus, an online degree allows distance learners to study and continue working full time. For more information on this degree and potential careers, read the guide below.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Web Development Graduates

Master's in Web Development Salary

A master's degree in web design development online can lead to high salaries, depending on the industry and experience level. Information technology professionals like web developers work in industries that might seem unexpected, such as rental services and audio and video equipment manufacturing. These industries provide annual mean wages of up to about $100,000. Income for web developers also increases steadily throughout their careers, with a possible increase of $30,000 from entry-level positions to late-career positions. The tables below, which draw from BLS data and PayScale, provide a more detailed overview of salary information.

Top Paying Industries for Web Developers

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Rental and Leasing Services $106,650
Other Personal Services $103,490
Scheduled Air Transportation $97,790
Audio and Video Equipment Manufacturing $94,900
Software Publishers $92,330

Master's in Web Development Careers

Graduates with a master's in web development online can find a variety of jobs that employ their skills and strengths. For instance, a web developer with graphic design proficiency might look for web art director jobs, while someone knowledgeable in wireless networks could become a mobile app developer. No matter what job they land, web development professionals must concentrate for long periods of time, as the workday involves reading, writing, and testing code on a computer. They should also boast analytical skills and an eye for detail.

Pay by Experience Level for Web Developers

Entry-Level (0-5 Years) $51,000
Mid-Career (5-10 Years) $64,000
Experienced (10-29 Years) $71,000
Late-Career (20+ Years) $80,000
Senior Web Developer

Annual Median Salary: $86,636

In short, senior web developers build websites. They use programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create code for web pages. They must account for the website's technical capacities, like how much traffic a site can receive. Web developers at the senior level must possess advanced programming skills, such as animation and interactivity.

Senior Computer Programmer

Annual Median Salary: $101,331

Computer programmers construct information technology features not limited to websites. They might design applications or software programs as well. These professionals read, build, update, troubleshoot, and test code. Many individuals in senior positions also work in management roles, leading a team of programmers on several projects. People working in senior positions also typically hold a master's degree.

Web Art Director

Annual Median Salary: $77,234

Web art directors take charge of a company or organization's overall online visual strategy. Images and graphics must represent the company's brand and message while remaining visually appealing and easy to use. Web art directors need to implement these principles with both graphic design and web programming skills.

Software Developer

Annual Median Salary: $103,560

Software developers can create either computer applications or systems software that helps computers run smoothly. These professionals plan, design, and test software. Once the product hits the market, developers continue maintenance testing to build updates. Sometimes developers write the code, and other times they work in tandem with computer programmers.

Mobile App Developer

Annual Median Salary: $71,894

Developers create mobile applications for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. In addition to the foundational programming languages, these developers must also understand cloud computing, wireless networks, C++, and Objective C. They test the application multiple times before its release and then construct updates to improve the application and keep it functioning.

Source: PayScale

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Web Development Program?

Web development courses often include both theory and practice, with students putting their knowledge to the test through online projects. Of course, each master's degree in web design development online features a unique curriculum. However, many programs feature variations of the commonly offered courses listed below.

Curriculum for an Online Master's Degree in Web Development

Web Design and Construction

Most master's programs in web design include a foundational course covering the basics of building a website. The material covers programming languages like HTML and CSS, page layout, and database connectivity. Students practice major principles, like making websites accessible, aesthetically pleasing, and user friendly.

Website Optimization

This course teaches students how to optimize courses for specific purposes. For instance, companies that want to use their websites to collect marketing data might need data on the demographics of their visitors or statistics on click-throughs. Students in this course learn how to create these features, among others.

Digital Imagery in Web Design

Often, websites feature complicated imagery that a basic knowledge of programming languages like HTML cannot build. This course delves deeper into these skills, training students on how to construct static and interactive imagery and media. Learners study concepts like information design and gain practical skills through programs such as Adobe Photoshop.

Website Interface Design

This course also goes beyond the basics of programming languages, covering several advanced components of website interface design. At the end of the course, students know how to put together handy website navigation systems, scrolling features, and drop-down menus, for instance. Students also might learn about programs and tools like Dreamweaver, Figma, and Invision.

Interactive Web Page Scripting

Students who want to create dynamic websites that respond to readers in creative ways should enroll in this course. It examines programming languages like JavaScript and features online interactivity. Learners also study concepts like loops and functions, and they might even study online web-based games.

Certifications and Licenses a Master's in Web Development Prepares For

  • WOW Certified Professional Web Developer: This credential certifies that candidates possess web development skills at the professional level. Candidates must take an exam that covers the foundational knowledge of programming languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The exam also covers server scripting, web audio and video, online security, and web project management.
  • CWP Enterprise Developer Certificate: Offered through the International Web Association, this certification tests candidates on specialized and advanced skills in web development. Professionals should understand concepts like Java Database Connectivity solutions, distributed object models, and Java APIs. To earn specialist status, candidates should possess at least two years of work experience.

Professional Organizations and Resources

Professional associations give students and individuals in the workforce resources to advance in their field. These organizations often operate through local groups, so members can connect with peers in their community or through events like conferences. Most professional associations offer a career board or membership directory, which can help students and recent graduates find jobs and reach out to potential colleagues. Students can also find useful educational resources through professional associations. Read below to find a sample of these organizations and resources.

  • American Webmasters Association: AWA brings together professionals who create and manage websites. Members receive discounts on trainings and access to job boards. The group also publishes resources, like guides on web hosting or e-commerce websites.

  • W3C Developers: As a part of the World Wide Web Consortium, this branch offers resources to web development professionals. The organization produces free online courses for front-end web technologies, in addition to open-source tools like HTML checkers and CSS validators.

  • Interaction Design Association: Professionals building interactive design features for websites or mobile applications can find like-minded professionals through the Interaction Design Association. The group hosts conferences all over the world, runs over 200 local chapters, and sponsors a student design challenge.

  • International Web Association: Established in 1996, IWA remains one of the oldest professional organizations for people working with the web. The IWA sets industry standards, provides certification in areas like development and online security, and runs online continuing education courses.

  • Developers Alliance: The Developers Alliance focuses on both professional development and advocacy in public policy. Members receive access to workforce development research and analysis reports. They can also network through the membership directory.

  • The Odin Project: This website aims to educate aspiring programmers and developers through free, online educational materials. The open-source format means that anyone can log on, find useful tutorials, and practice their programming.

  • jQuery: This tool operates as a library for JavaScript, simplifying the coding process for programmers. In addition to the downloadable API, jQuery educates users through a learning center and blog.

  • Stack Overflow: Essentially a professional social network for programmers and developers, Stack Overflow allows professionals to connect with millions of others working in the industry. Members use Stack Overflow to ask programming questions and offer advice.

  • Web Tools Weekly: Subscribers to this newsletter receive one email every week. WTW features a weekly tip and a roundup of tools for front-end developers. The website also features an archive, with resources dating back to their first issue in 2013.

  • Smashing Magazine: Founded in 2006, this online magazine publishes articles for web designers and developers. In addition to putting out articles, the magazine also publishes books, hosts events and conferences, runs a job board, and offers webinars for paying members.