2022 Best Online Associates in Web Development [Developer Guide]

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Getting a web developer associates degree is a quick way to break into the larger IT field while learning useful and specialized job skills.

Best Online Associates in Web Development

A web developer training program can introduce you to many foundational web design and digital coding skills.

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In addition, you can pursue more creative pathways as a web designer, or you can study the computer programming and network integration skills that are the specialty of web developers.

Online Web Developer Associates Degrees

Online Web Developer Associates Degrees

Web developer associate’s degrees can be pursued through online study, and an associate degree can generally be completed in half the time it would take to get a bachelor’s degree. An associate in web development provides instruction in basic World Wide Web concepts and in fundamental digital website design skills.

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In programs like these, students with little or no prior experience working with web design and computers can learn many practical skills, such as:

  • Internet communications concepts
  • How to use code to build webpages
  • What tools help digital designers create modern websites
  • Website layout, design, and navigation concepts and principles

Websites are often the focus of many business and communication functions, so web designers and developers can end up in many different fields. For example, they’re needed in publishing, advertising, marketing, or graphic arts.

Web Design and Development Careers & Salaries

Web Design and Development Careers & Salaries

In addition to giving you introductory training in computers and software-related terminology and concepts, a web developer associates degree can open doors to the fast-growing web design field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer and information technology occupations are expected to see 13% job growth over the next ten years.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Web Developers and Digital Designers — Publishing Industries (Except Internet) $123,870
Computer Systems Analysts $93,730
Computer Programmers $89,190
Web Developers and Digital Designers — Computer Systems Design and Related Services $75,450
Web Developers and Digital Designers — Advertising, PR, and Related Services $71,930
Web Developers and Digital Designers — Consulting Services $70,790
Computer Network Support Specialists $65,450
Graphic Designers $53,380
Computer User Support Specialists $52,690
Desktop Publishers $47,560

Getting an associate degree in web development could be a strategic way to start building a solid foundation for a career where you help others manage and design websites.

Technology companies and IT teams need people with technical skills to develop websites’ core architecture and ensure proper website functioning on the World Wide Web. This can also include monitoring website analytics and security.

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Businesses and organizations of all sizes need talented web design professionals to help them design engaging and user-friendly websites for a range of functions, such as marketing and e-commerce.

Associates in Web Development Curriculum & Courses

Associates in Web Development

Courses will vary by school and program, but students in associate web developer programs will typically learn about foundational topics related to the internet, website frameworks, and practical website design methods. Here are some course examples:

  • Web Development Basics: You’ll learn about universal principles and concepts in website design and development, and you’ll study the technology and software concepts that make websites work.
  • Introduction to the World Wide Web: An overview of the World Wide Web, including its impact on business and society, regulatory issues, and emerging trends and technology developments.
  • Introduction to HTML: This course introduces you to the basic coding language known as HTML, the coding that tells web browsers how to display text and related website features.
  • CSS and JavaScript for Web Developers: You’ll learn about popular software tools and coding languages used by web developers and designers.
  • Responsive Website Design Principles: You’ll learn basic design principles and methods for increasing website traffic and engagement from website visitors.
  • UX and UI Design for Websites: This course helps you think about web design from the perspective of website users and introduces you to proven design methods used in the industry.
  • Introduction to Digital Media: This course introduces you to digital media careers, methods, and technologies, including basic video production, storyboarding, and animation skills.
  • Advanced Topics in Coding: You’ll learn about more advanced coding and engineering tools and methods for challenging troubleshooting needs or advanced design and integration challenges.
  • Fundamentals of Software Integration for Websites: You’ll learn about the most common types of software integration for websites, including email and database integrations.
  • Web Design for E-Commerce: E-commerce is virtually inseparable from the need for responsive websites, and this course teaches website design and software integration skills for this growing industry.

You can compare programs’ curricula to help you weigh your own learning interests and course priorities.

How to Know If an Associates Degree in Web Development Is Right for You

Associates Degree in Web Development

When it comes to picking the right degree program, it can sometimes be difficult to know what to look for. Here are some factors you may want to consider when comparing programs:

  • Degree or no degree? There are different pathways that can teach you web development skills, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. You can learn web development online without enrolling in a degree program, or you can choose to pursue an associate degree or a bachelors degree.
  • Course offerings. Some programs have curriculum designs that emphasize different areas of specialization.
  • Tuition costs. Getting an associate from a 2 year school instead of a 4 year school or taking advantage of an in-state tuition discount may make quite the difference in tuition costs.
  • Technology resources and access. As you compare programs, you can ask about which resources a school provides. Some may offer more exposure to real software tools and hands-on learning.

You can get more clarity on which program is a good fit for you by comparing course designs and learning formats at different schools.

Web Developer Associate Degree Admissions Requirements

Web Developer Associate Degree Admissions

Common admissions requirements for web developer associate degree programs include:

  • SAT or ACT scores (only some schools require them)
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Satisfactory GPA
  • Personal statement

Admissions requirements can vary by school and program, so you may want to consider what’s required at prospective schools as you compare associate programs in web development.

Web Developer Degree Programs Accreditation

Web Developer Associate Degree Accreditation

One way to narrow down your choice of schools is to focus on fully accredited colleges and universities. Regional accreditation typically offers the best assurances and can help ensure that you’re enrolling in a program with rigorous curriculum and training.

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Accreditation can also be a precondition for some forms of financial aid or professional certification. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) has more information and resources regarding accreditation.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Web Developer Associate Degree financial aid

If you want to finish your associate degree quickly but are unsure about tuition or other educational costs, financial aid might be available to assist you. Luckily, many accredited community colleges offer associate degree programs with competitive tuition rates.

If you do need to apply for financial aid, you may be eligible for federal or state grants, employer programs, scholarships, or student loans. Terms of aid offers can vary, so it’s beneficial to review all financial aid packages carefully. To see if you qualify for need-based aid, you can submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Is Web Development a Good Career?

Web Development career

Yes, web development is a good career for many professionals. Web developers and designers play a valuable role in helping businesses and organizations of all sizes connect and communicate with their buyers, prospects, and audiences.

The median salary for web developers and digital designers is $77,200 (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Many web developers and designers work as freelancers, but there are also opportunities to work as part of creative teams. For example, a professional may work in a web design or marketing agency or work as part of a corporate IT team.

Some employers may require additional training and qualifications, but associate-level training can be a strategic way to get started in this growing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for web developers and digital designers are forecast to grow 13% over the next ten years, which is faster than average.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

Web developers careers

Web developers help individuals and organizations plan, design, develop, operate, maintain, and secure their websites.

Depending on their training and interests, web developers and designers can take creative content, such as photos and text, and make it display properly on a webpage. Some web developers specialize in website design methods, such as UX and UI design. Web developers can also utilize other IT skills or work with IT professionals to integrate database systems or other software tools into website functionality.

A web developer might also acquire specialized knowledge in website and data security in order to help employers or clients fend off malware and other cyber threats.

What Skills Do You Need for a Career in Web Development?

Career in Web Development

Some web professionals acquire both web development and design skills, but it’s also common for web designers and web developers to work as collaborators. For this reason, web developers and designers can benefit if they’re good with team collaboration, professional communication, and project management.

Here are some of the skills and knowledge that are often needed to work as a web developer and design professional:

  • Coding skills—such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Creation and integration of web applications
  • Website testing, monitoring, and security
  • Web design principles
  • Website functionality and design for e-commerce

A web developer often works with web designers and copywriters and helps with core functionality and integrations. Digital designers specialize in design principles and think about how website users interact with webpages.

Do You Need a Degree to Be a Web Developer?

Web Developers degree

There is a growing need for web developers. Many organizations, businesses, and individuals need help designing, launching, maintaining, and updating websites.

Getting an online web development associate’s degree can help you develop in-demand skills for this field. That said, some people learn web developer and design skills by taking online classes outside of a degree program.

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One benefit of earning an associate degree is that it may offer advantages down the road if you decide to pursue further education. In addition, an accredited degree program generally offers a well-rounded course of study taught by qualified experts.

What Can You Do with a Web Development Associate Degree?

associate degree in web development

With an associate degree in web development, you can develop foundational knowledge and skills related to web development and design.

Where your education leads you can depend on your degree specialization, skill level, and work experience, among other factors. That said, websites are now indispensable fixtures of modern commerce and communication. So, many companies, organizations, and sellers need help designing, developing, maintaining, and securing their websites.

Professionals who hold associate degrees in web development often work as web developers, web designers, or computer support specialists.

Is Web Development Hard?

Is Web Development Hard

Since web development can involve technical and exacting work, some people may find it challenging. Whether or not you find web development to be difficult can also depend on your personal interests and aptitudes. For instance, having an interest in learning technical coding and computer programming may make your studies more enjoyable.

A well-designed associate degree curriculum will generally cover the foundational web development and design skills needed to enter the workforce. Since websites have many design features, details, and functionalities, learning web development can take time, specialized training, and lots of practice.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree for Web Developer Online?

Associate Degree for Web Developer

Getting a web developer associate’s degree usually takes 2 years when you attend full-time and follow a traditional 16 week semester.

These programs include a range of general education courses as well as courses that focus specifically on digital web design and development topics. Online programs that offer shorter 6 week or 8 week terms may help you finish in less time if you stay enrolled year-round.

What’s the Difference Between a Web Designer vs. Web Developer?

Web developers focus on core technical development and functional integrations of webpages and websites. Meanwhile, a web designer helps people design the navigation structure, page layouts, and various esthetic design features.

Web Designers Web Developers
  • Specialize in esthetic and functional design concepts
  • Design responsive websites with the user in mind
  • Plan webpage layout and navigation
  • Use CSS and HTML coding, photo editing software, and other web design tools
  • Help ensure website and server are properly integrated
  • Test and troubleshoot technical functions of a website
  • Integrate email, plug-ins, security tools, and related applications
  • Use HTML and back-end coding platforms to develop a website’s core functions

In general, web developers do more technical tasks, and web designers are the ones who plan the layout and appearance of a website.

What’s the Difference Between an Associate in Web Development vs. Computer Science?

Getting an associate in web development is one way to get your feet wet when it comes to computers and coding. An associate in computer science can introduce you to this growing field as well. Here are some differences between the two degree paths.

Associate in Web Development Associate in Computer Science
  • Teaches practical skills you can apply in building or designing websites
  • Offers more direct training in HTML and related web design coding languages
  • Involves less exposure to general computer science topics
  • Involves a range of computer network, computer engineering, and IT topics
  • Could help equip you for many kinds of CS or IT technician and support roles

A web development degree is more specialized, while a computer science degree can give you broader exposure to more topics.

Is an Associates Degree in Web Development Worth It?

web development skills

Yes, an associates degree in web development is worth it for many professionals. Professionals with web development skills help businesses and organizations of all sizes maintain a public presence on the World Wide Web.

As websites grow to serve more and more purposes, web design and development professionals can help people manage these complex website needs. Web developers and digital designers are expected to see 13% job growth over the next ten years, which is much faster than average (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

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Digital web design and development professionals also have opportunities to work in diverse settings. Many are self-employed, while others may work for large web hosting companies, digital design and marketing agencies, or media companies.

Universities Offering Online Associates 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.

Bismarck State College

Bismarck State College campus

Bismarck State College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Web Page Development and Design. The program requires students to complete 60 credit hours to graduate and can typically be completed in 2 years. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a typing speed of 20 to 30 WPM and need to submit official transcripts.

Bismarck State College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Brigham Young University – Idaho

Brigham Young University campus

Brigham Young University—Idaho offers an Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology. To graduate, students must complete two of the five certificates offered by the school. Applicants may choose between the Preferred Path, which requires students to complete the PathwayConnect courses, or the Advanced Path, which requires ACT or SAT test scores.

Brigham Young University – Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso Community College campus

Cerro Coso Community College offers an online Web Professional Associate of Science degree. The program allows students to choose between Development or Design tracks. To graduate, students must complete 60 credit hours. Those interested in the program may apply online with copies of their high school transcripts.

Cerro Coso Community College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Champlain College

Champlain College campus

Champlain College offers an online Associate’s in Web Design and Development. Each class is 7 weeks long. A total of 60 credit hours are needed to graduate. Those interested in the program must submit copies of their high school transcripts, a resume, and a short-answer essay.

Champlain College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Dakota State University

Dakota State University campus

Dakota State University offers an Associate of Science in Web Development. The program requires the completion of 60 credit hours to graduate and can typically be completed online in 2 years. Those interested in studying online must create an account with the school and submit an online application along with test scores and transcripts.

Dakota State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

East Coast Polytechnic Institute

ECPI University campus

East Coast Polytechnic Institute offers both an Associate of Science and an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Information with an emphasis in Web Development. To graduate, students must complete 61 credit hours. Interested applicants may speak with an admissions advisor prior to applying. Official high school transcripts must be submitted.

ECPI University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Harrisburg Area Community College

Harrisburg Area Community College campus

Harrisburg Area Community College offers an Associate in Applied Science in Web Development and Design. Students may choose to specialize in Interactive Web Media, Web Application Development, or General Web Studies. To graduate, students must complete 60 credit hours. Those interested in the program may apply online anytime through the school’s website.

Harrisburg Area Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University campus

Kansas State University offers an Associate in Web Development Technology. All classes offered in the program can be taken online and are 8 weeks long. Students must complete 61 credit hours to graduate. Applicants must either have a high school GPA of 3.25 or appropriate ACT or SAT test scores.

Kansas State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Montgomery County Community College

Montgomery County Community College campus

Montgomery County Community College offers an online program for a Web Development and Design Associate of Applied Science. Students must complete 62 credit hours to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must apply online through the school’s website and complete placement assessments.

Montgomery County Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

St. Petersburg College

St Petersburg College campus

St. Petersburg College offers an online Web Development Associate of Science degree program. To graduate, students must complete 60 credit hours with a minimum grade of C in all courses. Interested applicants must submit official transcripts and an online application through the school’s website.

SPC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Getting Your Web Development Associate’s Degree Online

Web Developer Associate's Degree Online

If you like the idea of helping others turn their vision into an attractive, responsive, secure, and functional website, now could be a strategic time to break into the computer and digital design field.

There are also many online options out there to choose from. Credible online associate degrees in web development and online website design degrees come from fully accredited colleges and universities, and they are often known for their flexible and convenient scheduling.

If you’re ready to develop in-demand, practical computer skills, you can start exploring web development associate degrees today.

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Keith Nickolaus
WRITTEN BY
Keith Nickolaus
Keith has a Ph.D. and a M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of California - Berkeley and a B.A. in Literature from the University of California - Santa Cruz. A retired educator, Keith lives in Berkeley and researches and writes about trends in education leadership, innovation, and policy.