A masters in web development includes advanced coursework on website development and design to prepare students for a wide range of computer science and information technology careers.
This graduate program may be beneficial to you if you’re looking for ways to advance in your current field or increase your earning potential. It can also help you develop more in-depth knowledge and skills, which many employers value.
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Key topics explored in the program include front-end and back-end web development, programming languages, web design methods and models, and database management.
Online Masters in Web Development Programs
A masters in web development is a type of computer science graduate degree designed to teach students advanced website and private network building skills.
The curriculum of the program focuses on website development and design, including the use of various programming languages and publishing and design tools. An undergraduate degree in web development introduces students to foundational concepts and practices of web development.
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A bachelors in web development, computer science, information technology, or similar can prepare students for a masters program in web development. A master’s degree in web development might be beneficial to you if you’re interested in potentially increasing your salary or gaining access to more job opportunities. A masters can also help prepare you for senior or management positions in the field.
Some web design and development careers that professionals may pursue with a masters in web development include:
- Senior web developer or designer
- Computer and information systems manager
- Computer and information research scientist
- Senior software developer
This graduate program reviews web development and design fundamentals and dives deeper into more complex web development concepts, management roles, and database administration. This area of study may be offered as a stand-alone MS in Web Development degree program, or it may be offered as a concentration within a computer science or information technology masters program.
Web Design and Development Careers & Salaries
Many employers value job candidates with an advanced degree because it demonstrates their commitment to the field and that they’ve likely developed in-depth knowledge and advanced skills.
There are several computer and information technology careers that a master’s degree in web development may help prepare you for. Salaries can vary depending on the job title, employer, geographic location, and level of experience and education. Management-level positions typically have higher salaries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these are the annual median salaries of careers in computer and information technology and related fields.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$164,070|
|Computer and Information Research Scientists||$136,620|
|Software Quality Assurance Analysts and Testers||$99,620|
|Web and Digital Interface Designers||$83,240|
Daily responsibilities can widely vary depending on the specific job title. Web developers and designers are generally responsible for creating websites, ensuring that websites function properly, and designing website applications and tools.
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Senior web developers may be responsible for all these things along with leading a team of web developers and designers. There are also several types of web developers, such as front-end and back-end developers, which could affect what kind of responsibilities they may have.
Master of Web Development Curriculum & Courses
The core coursework of a masters in web development focuses on the practical application of website development methods and processes. Elective courses may be offered to allow you to branch out and explore topics you’re most interested in.
These are some common core and elective courses that may be offered in a web development masters program:
- Web Application Development: This course reviews key concepts and principles of web application development, with an emphasis on programming languages used and data transfer methods.
- Server-Side Web Development: You’ll learn how to build the back end of websites and applications using various programming languages and applications.
- Foundations of Analytics and Data Visualization: In this course, students are introduced to different types of data and data analytics.
- Database Design and Implementation: This course teaches students how to design databases and implement various techniques used for database building.
- Website Design and Management: You’ll learn about advanced coding and programming techniques, along with best standard website design and development practices.
- Web Enabled Information Systems: Students are introduced to software development processes, including back-end and front-end software development techniques.
- Technology Leadership: This course teaches students leadership characteristics and responsibilities related to technology operations.
- Usability Design for Websites: You can gain in-depth knowledge of website development and design, with an emphasis on usability design.
- Web Graphics Production: In this course, you’ll learn about image processing and how to create digital graphics using popular interface design tools and applications.
- Database Administration: This course teaches students about the management of different databases and the roles and responsibilities of a database administrator.
Skills that you may acquire from these courses include leadership, communication, project management, digital design, and best web development practices.
How to Choose an Online Masters in Web Development Program
Since web development and design encompasses a broad range of subjects, you might be wondering how to choose the right program for you.
Here is a list of things you can consider that may help you narrow down your search for the right online master’s in web development program:
- How many credits does the program require? Most master’s in web development programs require 30 to 45 credits to graduate. The amount of credits might affect how long the program takes to complete.
- Is the institution or program accredited? Accreditation is an important factor to consider because it can affect student opportunities, such as financial aid and employment.
- What types of concentrations are available? Some institutions may not offer concentrations with a web development masters program. Others may give you the opportunity to specialize in a specific sector of web development and design, such as cybersecurity or user experience.
- What are the admissions requirements? Admissions requirements can vary depending on the school and program. Some colleges and universities may have stricter admissions requirements, while others have more general requirements.
Some programs may offer more electives than others or core coursework that better suits your career interests. You can also explore various financial aid opportunities from different schools.
These are some general admissions requirements for a master’s in web development program:
- Bachelor’s degree
- Personal essay
- GRE or GMAT scores (if required)
- Official undergraduate transcripts
GRE or GMAT scores may be requested to determine admissions eligibility, but some schools and programs do not require them. It could be helpful to contact the administration office of any colleges you’ve attended to confirm that you can gain access to and transfer any official transcripts you may have.
Admissions requirements can vary between schools, but you can typically find specific admissions requirements on a prospective school’s website or by contacting the admissions office.
As you explore different master’s degrees in web development, you may consider whether the school is accredited. The accreditation status of a school can affect your eligibility to receive federal financial aid. It can also affect graduate admissions, job opportunities, and eligibility to receive certification.
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Regionally accredited colleges and universities are screened by third-party accrediting agencies to prove that they meet high educational standards. You can review a list of regional accrediting organizations and accredited institutions on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Financial aid and scholarships allow qualifying students to cut down the upfront cost of college by receiving financial assistance or monetary awards.
Financial aid is often granted to students who demonstrate financial need. Your state Board of Education may offer specific details on how to apply for state financial aid. The US Department of Education provides a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for students to determine if they’re eligible for federal assistance.
Scholarships can be based on income as well, but they can also be awarded to students for other things, such as merit. Scholarships may be offered by various types of organizations or colleges and universities. Applying to as many scholarships as you’re qualified for may potentially increase your chances of winning one or more.
What Is a Web Development Masters Degree?
A web development masters degree is an advanced computer science and information technology degree that teaches you about the complex processes of developing and designing websites and web applications. Undergraduate computer science programs include foundational coursework, but this masters degree dives deeper into technical theory and research and the practical application of web development and design.
A masters in web development may include coursework related to front-end and back-end development. This can give students a broader understanding of how a website is developed, from the creation of its structure to its data, its visuals, and how users interact with it.
What Do You Learn in a Masters in Development Program?
Web development and design is a broad term because it encompasses several aspects of developing and designing websites, networks, and applications.
Core coursework typically focuses on the following topics:
- Database and website development
- Database and website management
- IT strategy and management
- Information systems analysis and design
Elective courses are usually offered so you can personalize your degree. Available electives may include topics on UX strategies, graphic design, or cybersecurity.
How Much Money Can You Make with a Masters in Web Development?
A masters in web development can help you develop skills that are applicable to a range of computer science and information technology career paths.
Salaries can widely vary depending on a number of factors, but these are the annual median salaries of potential career paths, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Computer and information systems manager — $164,070
- Software developers — $127,260
- Database administrators — $99,890
- Web and digital interface designers — $83,240
- Web developers — $78,580
Professionals with a higher level of education and a considerable amount of work experience typically have a higher earning potential. Entry-level jobs tend to have a lower starting salary.
What Can You Do with a Master’s in Web Development?
A master’s in web development can be beneficial for entering or advancing in a web developer position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most web developers work for computer systems design and related services. They also work for educational services, information services, and advertising and public relations services.
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Some professionals choose to be self-employed. This masters program can also help you develop skill sets that are applicable to similar careers, such as web designer, UX designer, database administrator, computer programmer, and software developer. In addition, holding a masters degree may help you qualify for senior or leadership positions in the field.
What Does a Web Developer Do?
Web developers have a variety of responsibilities relating to the creation and maintenance of websites and applications. They’re typically responsible for creating and testing websites and applications, writing code using programming languages, monitoring website traffic, and collaborating with a web design team.
Roles and responsibilities can vary because there are several types of web developers. Some web developers focus on the back end of a website, which involves creating the framework of a website and constructing it from scratch. A front-end web developer focuses on how the website looks and ensures that applications function properly for users.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Masters in Web Development Online?
A 36 credit hour master’s degree in web development may be completed in 1 year with full-time enrollment, including during the summer, if no thesis is required.
If you enroll in a 36 credit hour program but don’t study during the summer, it will take longer than 1 year to complete. Some programs may have different coursework schedules that include a minimum of 48 credit hours. If a thesis is required, the process of conducting research and writing a thesis will add on more time. Studying part-time can also add on more time.
What Jobs Can I Get with a Masters in Web Development Degree?
A web development master’s degree is very versatile because it can be applied to a wide variety of careers in the computer science and information technology field.
Some examples of careers that graduates with a master’s in web development may pursue include:
- Web developer
- Software developer
- Computer programmer
- Computer and information systems manager
Educational requirements for these positions can vary depending on the employer and where you live. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many computer and information systems managers have a masters degree or higher.
Should I Get a Masters in Web Development?
Whether you should pursue a master’s in web development ultimately depends on your interests and career goals. There are several things you can consider to determine if this is the right path for you. If you already have an undergraduate degree in computer science, information technology, or web development, the foundational knowledge you’ve learned can be applied to a masters program.
A graduate degree may give you more insight into web development and design and prepare you for mid- to senior-level positions. Although it’s a commitment, earning a masters might help you work toward future career goals and increase your earning potential.
What’s the Difference Between a Web Design vs. Web Development Master’s Degree?
Although web design and development tend to go hand in hand, they can be offered as separate programs.
|Master’s in Web Design||Master’s in Web Development|
Web design degrees focus on teaching design methods and strategies to create appealing layouts and visuals for a website. Web development degrees focus on teaching the technical aspects of creating a website from scratch and ensuring it functions properly.
What’s the Difference Between a Master in Web Development vs. Software Development?
Web development and software development share many similarities, but here are some differences that separate the two.
|Masters in Web Development||Masters in Software Development|
Web development and software development masters degrees may cover the same or similar topics, but the programs have different focuses in regard to the types of programs developed and their uses.
Is a Masters in Web Development Worth It?
Yes, a masters in web development is worth it for many students. Web developers and similar occupations are expected to have explosive job growth over the next several years.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, web developer positions are projected to have a 30% growth rate over the next ten years. This is much faster than the average growth for all occupations. A master’s in web development can be beneficial in gaining access to more job opportunities.
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Although many web development and related positions are attainable with an undergraduate degree, employers tend to value job candidates with advanced degrees.
Universities Offering Online Masters in Web Development Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
The Academy of Art University offers an MA in Interaction and UX and UX Design program online. Potential courses include Visual Design and Typography, Motion Graphics and Video, History of Graphic Design, and Human Centered Design. The aim is to have an interview-worthy portfolio at the end of the program.
Academy of Art University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission.
Boston University offers an online program for an MS in Computer Information Systems with a concentration in Web Application Development. The program commonly enrolls either part-time or full-time and requires a total of 40 credits. This can usually be accomplished in 12 to 24 months.
Boston University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Champlain College offers a fully online program for an MS in Information Technology with concentrations in Software Engineering and Project Management. Potential courses include The Practice of Digital Investigations, Managing Risk in IT Organizations, Databases, and Project Management. The program requires the completion of 33 to 39 credit hours, including a capstone.
Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Dominican University offers an online Master of Science in Software Development program online. Potential coursework includes Front End Web Development, Web Development Server-Side, and Agile Software Development. A choice of completing a capstone or an internship is offered. The program may be finished in 3 semesters, or 18 months.
Dominican University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
East Carolina University offers a Master of Science in Network Technology program online. Concentrations are available in Web Technologies, Information Security, Digital Communications Technology, and Computer Networking Management.
The program aims to instill an understanding of managerial processes and techniques for comprehensive systems management.There are typically thesis and non-thesis options for completion.
East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Fort Hays State University offers an online program for a Master of Professional Studies in Web and Mobile Applications Development. Potential courses include Proseminar in Informatics, Research Methods in Informatics, Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction, Front End Web Development, and more. An optional internship may also be completed as part of the program.
FHSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Harvard University offers a digital media design master’s degree through its online extension school. The program consists of 12 courses, with taking just 1 at a time typically being the norm. Admission into the full program may be granted after completing 2 courses and maintaining satisfactory grades.
Harvard University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education.
The Illinois Institute of Technology offers a master’s degree in information technology and management with a career-focused specialization in Web Design and Application Development. Coursework is designed to enhance leadership and managerial skills in addition to technical knowledge. The program is designed for experienced information technology professionals.
Illinois Institute of Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Maryville University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Software Development. Potential courses include Agile Systems Analysis and Design, Advanced Topics in Software Development, Object-Oriented Software Architecture, User Interface Design, Database Principles, Web Applications, and more. Program may be completed in 1 year.
Maryville University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The Minneapolis College of Art and Design offers a Master of Arts in Graphic and Web Design program online. Courses often feature synchronous meetings and small class sizes so as to encourage a community environment. Usually, 1 or 2 courses are taken each semester. The program aims to provide hands-on experience and the opportunity to build a portfolio.
MCAD is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Southern New Hampshire University offers an MS in IT with a concentration in Web Design. The program aims to provide hands-on skills with current tools and technologies. The program may be completed in 15 months. There are usually no set class meeting times, and access to coursework is typically available all times of the day.
SNHU is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc.
Touro University offers a Master of Arts in Web and Multimedia Design as an online program but with synchronous class meetings. This STEM-certified program aims to provide hands-on experience and the skills to develop a professional portfolio. Classes are typically taught by faculty with real-world experience working in the industry.
Touro University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
The University of Denver offers a Master of Science in Information and Communications Technology with a concentration in Web Design and Development. Courses typically run for 10 weeks each and are commonly available in the evenings and online. GRE or GMAT scores are typically not required and the program may be completed in 18 months.
The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Florida offers an online program for a Master of Arts in Mass Communication with a concentration in Web Design. The program requires the completion of 37 credit hours and includes both live class meetings and recorded lectures. The program aims to provide the opportunity to build a portfolio and to network with professionals in the field.
The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Wilmington University offers an online program for an MS in Information Systems Technologies with a concentration in Web Design. This 36 credit program can be finished in an average of 1 year, and it typically includes a field experience or internship component. Courses usually start every 8 weeks.
Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Getting Your Masters in Web Development Online
An online masters degree in web development can give you the opportunity to build upon your web development and design skills and potentially advance in the field. This graduate program could be beneficial if you want to qualify for a senior or management-level position.
You can learn how to understand and write code using common programming languages as well as learn the ins and outs of website and private network development.
If you’re ready to take the next steps toward gaining your advanced web development degree, you can begin by researching accredited master’s in web development programs that best support your interests.