Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Web Development: Guide to Online Programs for 2021

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Web Development: Guide to Online Programs for 2021
Imed Bouchrika by Imed Bouchrika
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

Spurred by global factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, capital and profits have been shifting. Because business and casual transactions moved online at the height of the pandemic, statistics show that ecommerce sales jumped by 32.1% while total retail sales of traditional companies increased by just 6.9% (U.S. Department of Commerce, Q4 2019 to Q4 2020).

Web developers are the architects and engineers in this virtual market and are among the best compensated among college majors. No wonder many young people are interested in getting a bachelor’s degree in web development.

An entry-level web developer can have a starting annual salary of $50,480, which can grow up to $95,000 as one gains specialized skills and experience (Payscale, 2020).

Just as transactions and profits have shifted in the economy, so have enrollment in universities. In this period of travel restrictions, social distancing, and the risk of contracting the virus in public spaces, 2020-2021 education trends and forecasts point towards distance learning and online degree courses as the new norms.

This article walks prospective “web devs” through the options that would help them make a decision on the best online bachelor’s degree in web development. What are the differences between an on-campus degree and one that’s earned online? Enrollment requirements, tuition considerations, additional expenses, and coursework will be discussed. We’ll also seek to answer the question, “What are the factors to consider when choosing an online bachelor’s degree in web development program?” After reading this article, the prospecting web development student should be confident in acquiring such a degree and dream job.

Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development Table of Contents

  1. Can you get a degree completely online?
  2. Will employers take my online degree seriously?
  3. Are online degrees recognized all over the world?
  4. Online vs. Traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development
  5. How much does an online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development cost?
  6. What are the requirements of an online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development?
  7. Courses to Expect in Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development
  8. Things to Look for in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development Program

Can you get a degree completely online?

Not all online courses or degrees are completely online. One will need to validate if it’s a complete/fully online program or one that’s hybrid.

But, yes, there are online courses for fields such as technical as aerospace engineering (32 online schools), aviation (30 online schools), and in various IT fields. For web development, 119 unique programs are offered in 63 online schools.

Share of Biology Majors in 2018

Biology MajorsShare
Biology65%
Biochemical Sciences8%
Microbiology5%
Physiology4%
Zoology4%
Other14%
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2020

Also consider that Ivy League universities—the most revered and prestigious learning institutions in the U.S.:  Brown, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia universities, and the University of Pennsylvania—now offer online courses, some fully online, some hybrid programs that combine online training with classroom lectures. These are available to online students at a fraction of the cost of classroom education.

Harvard Extension School admits nearly 2,000 degree candidates and over 13,000 non-degree students every year.

“The Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE)” report of 2020 (pre-pandemic) showed the steady growth of fully online programs. “At community colleges, about 42 percent of online and blended associate programs were designated as fully online. For four-year schools, that count was 57 percent for bachelor’s programs, 73 percent for master’s degree programs and 80 percent for non-degree graduate programs,” according to the report.

Only a year later, when the pandemic affected economies and the educational system, CHLOE reported a spike in the number of institutions that offer fully online programs. To wit: “More than 80% of institutions relied primarily on either fully online (31%) or emergency remote learning (ERL) (50%) courses in Fall 2020” (CHLOE 6: Online Learning Leaders Adapt for a Post-Pandemic World, 2021).

Learning institutions had no other option but to go online. Those that won’t are in danger of obsolescence. The Smithsonian magazine, the official journal of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, agrees and notes the closure of 800 of India’s 10,000 engineering colleges due to low enrollment. While in the U.S., educators are fearing the same fate.

no. of web development programs

In his book Innovator’s University and in the various event appearances that he made such as the “Innovation + Disruption Symposium in Higher Education Symposium” (in 2017), Harvard business professor Chris Christensen, issued a dire warning: “Fifty percent of American universities will close or go bankrupt in 10 to 15 years.” This, if they do not adapt to the powerful disruption in the education sector—online learning. Christensen is the guru of “disruption theory” and the originator of the catchphrase “disruptive innovation.”

The university of the future would no longer be parochial and loyal to one institution. One mode of evolution for the educational system could be for students to be given the freedom to take different courses from various universities—based on the strength of each school in a specific subject area. Such an unfenced learning ecosystem will encourage competition and bring out the best.

What do web developers do?

Web development involves building the infrastructures within the worldwide web. The web developer’s role goes beyond that of the web designer, whose main concern is the “look-and-feel” of the website. If the project were a car, the web designer would be more concerned with the contours of the car’s body, the comfort of the seats, the “pleasantness” of the cabin’s ambiance, and the comfort of the driver and his passengers. The web developer is responsible for the engine, the chassis, the wheels—the “soul” of the car—what powers it, how fast it can go, what accessories it can operate, and what it can and can’t do.

If the web designer is the architect, the web developer would be the engineer.

The web designer would be concerned with user interface design, user experience, and information architecture or how the content of a website is arranged so that it’s accessible to the website visitor in the easiest, most intuitive way. The web developer looks at the web designer’s blueprint and uses coding languages to parlay the visually appealing plan into commands that will define how a website will operate—its necessary component parts (visual elements, different types of content, structure), how all of these work together (content management system, database management, etc.), its functionalities (i.e. static or data-driven, ecommerce capability, password protection, etc.), and its limits (how much internet traffic it can handle).

But the best online bachelor’s degree in web development programs provides courses and training that equips the web developer for both the aesthetic/architect and the functionality/engineer roles.

A web developer can specialize in three different areas:

  1. Front-end Developer: fulfills roles similar to that of a web designer, i.e. look-and-feel and the interactive components of a website that the website user sees and manipulates. Required skills for this specialist include HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, React, AngularJS
  2. Back-end Developer: responsible for server-side codes that ensure good data flow between the front-end (user-side) and the back-end (server, database, etc). Some required knowledge: Java, PHP, Ruby and Ruby on Rails, C#, MySQL, MongoDB
  3. Full-Stack Developer: capable of doing client-side (front-end) as well as server-side (back-end) programming. These are developers who, because of the breadth of their training and experience, have learned the tools of the other two developers. They are not masters of both ends. Even so, very few attain this level of expertise. Full-stack developers are a big boost to project development since all the required knowledge resides in one person, eliminating the communication lag and cutting short the time spent on troubleshooting issues.

Source: The Changing Landscape of Online Education, 2021

Will employers take my online degree seriously?

In “Educational Credentials Come of Age: A Survey on the Use and Value of Educational Credentials in Hiring” (2018), Gallagher came up with the following findings:

  • Degrees still have great value in the hiring process
  • But micro-credentials and new hiring practices are beginning to change the equation.

“Digital badges, which are awarded by numerous entities (including as part of degree programs) follow as the second-most commonly encountered in hiring process—and the most popular microcredential type in terms of general awareness” (Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy, 2019).

Hiring managers still look for educational credentials. But the form of acceptable credentials is changing, albeit at an “evolutionary pace” (in 2018, at the time of survey). The COVID-19 pandemic, however, served as a catalyst in the educational landscape. The Rise of the EdTech industry, projected to become a $2 billion industry by 2021, is seen as a sign of the times. The Director of AI English in Australia, Li Kang, observes, “Online Learning is the future and if there was no virus, that realization would have taken another few years but this has accelerated the process.”

The increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics as a basis for human resources professionals to recruit and hire is also likely to affect organizations’ preferences in educational and training credentials.

The recent entry of highly reputable institutions such, as Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and others into the online education market has also greatly elevated the perception of hiring managers of online bachelor’s degrees.

Still, in the information technology field in general, and in web development, in particular, certifications in specific computer programs from industry-recognized bodies (i.e. Microsoft, Adobe, Scrum, etc.) are recognized by HR professionals. These are additional tiers of proof of a web developer’s skills on top of any degree or certification from any school that they may possess. In line with common practice in the IT field, many of these certifications may be digital. Exams, including that of Microsoft, can be taken online.

The Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy report definitively points out that “Online credentials are now mainstream—entering a transformative phase in online education’s lifecycle.”

hr leaders and online degree

Are online degrees recognized all over the world?

Online programs cover a wide range of disciplines, from business to medicine, engineering, computer sciences, design, and many more. It will be difficult for one to find a country, especially today, where schools are not offering online courses.

However, this is not to say that all employers regard online degree programs and online degree courses as highly as diplomas from traditional universities. In the same vein, not all online degrees and courses from different universities will carry equal weight with human resource officials. So it’s important for the prospective student to know which institutions offer the best online bachelor’s degree in web development.

All over the world, top universities, among others, are now offering fully online degrees. These include:

Traditional Grading vs. Standards-Based Grading

Traditional GradingStandards-Based Grading
Grades are based on assessments, such as quizzes and projects. Grades are based on learning targets and standards.
Assessments are converted to a percentage system.Assessments are measured through criteria and proficiency levels.
Academic grades are mixed with points for attitude, effort, and attendance.Academic grades are based on academic performance only. Credits for attendance and effort are not part of the grades.
All assessments are graded and recorded. Only selected assessments are graded and recorded. Practice assignments are not recorded.
All assessments scores are averaged to come up with a final grade.Only the most recent works of the students are graded and assessed based on how these meet learning standards.

4 Reasons Why Online Degrees Are Moving Education Forward

There are reasons why people take traditional degrees and why people are now taking online degree programs. One reason for the former is because that’s the way we’ve been used to doing things. And usually, unless something happens that moves us away from that, we’ll stick to it.

Today, there are innovative disruptions and compelling health reasons for the world to take a different route towards education. Four of these call for the most attention.

1. The Skyrocketing Cost of Formal/Traditional Education

Education is a basic need and a “common good.” In a report by the International Commission on the Futures of Education of UNESCO, glaring “injustices” were exposed during this pandemic, particularly in the inequality in “access to education.”

Their recommendations include two, which are relevant to online access/online degrees:

  • Commit to strengthening education as a common good. Education is a bulwark against inequalities. In education as in health, we are safe when everybody is safe; we flourish when everybody flourishes.
  • Expand the definition of the right to education so that it addresses the importance of connectivity and access to knowledge and information. The Commission calls for a global public discussion— that includes, among others, learners of all ages—of ways the right to education needs to be expanded.

When the cost of education rises faster than the inflation rate and goes beyond the reach of the less privileged in society, it becomes an injustice. It forces the underserved families of society to give up one need for another…or to make alternative choices so that their other basic needs are not neglected. Perhaps online learning and online degrees are the “rethinking” and “reshaping” of education that UNESCO is calling for, in order to address these injustices.

2. Growth of EdTech Industry and Dropping Online Learning Costs

Trends are pointing to the growth of the education technology (EdTech) industry, its mass availability, and dropping costs. Richard Price, from the Clayton Christensen Institute, which studies “disruptive innovations,” says that the traditional campus model has failed to create an equity of access to education. In fact, it continues to inhibit access because of its prohibitive cost. But EdTech companies and even traditional learning institutions who now offer online degrees are doing exactly the opposite by making available the same content at just 60% of the in-person class cost. All these might be the beginnings of a turning point that could universally lower the cost of education and provide greater access across all socio-economic classes and ethnicities of learners.

3. Unpredictable Environment Makes Learning Unpredictable

The unpredictable guidelines of governments all over the world with regard to travel restrictions, social distancing, other pandemic protocols—and the effect of these on traditional, classroom-based classes (i.e. school closures). In a recent report, the World Health Organization observes some shortcomings of governments that work against public support for anti-COVID-19 measures. And among these is a lack of consistency in policies, or the implementation of conflicting measures, i.e. the reopening of schools. These also create a lack of predictability that hinders a return to some degree of normalcy. “Predictability is a basic psychological need that prevents stress and mental overload. This pandemic is characterized by everything but predictability. Still, countries can strive for predictability by setting objective epidemiological criteria for restrictions (and their shifts up or down) on, for example, travel, gatherings, educational institutions and workplaces.” (Pandemic fatigue Re-invigorating the public to prevent COVID-19, 2020). In the absence of these, in-class operation of traditional educational institutions will be unpredictable and unstable.

4. Real Risk Management Considerations

The continued presence of new COVID-19 strains, even with the opening of schools in some states puts students in traditional colleges at risk. For colleges that decide to open, the undeniable risk to both faculty and students on campus is a “given” that they need to deal with. This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Plan, Prepare and Respond: Resources for Administrators, Faculty and Staff” page, is dedicated to colleges and institutions of higher learning and seeks to outline the required preventive protocols, as well as steps that school administrators must be prepared to implement, should infection inside the campus or among students occurs. Many parents and students are looking to online education as an alternative channel for them to continue to receive learning without having to risk their lives.

Source: Trends in College Pricing and Student Aid, College Board (October 2020)

 

Online vs. Traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development

Why do some students choose the traditional mode of acquiring a Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development and why do others go for online degree programs? There are good reasons for both. To help the inquiring student decide on the best route for him, here are points to consider regarding the differences between these two learning modes.

Schedule

Classroom-based Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development programs have regular weekly meetings at assigned classrooms. Some students like this regularity and rhythm.

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development Programs, meanwhile are very flexible. A student will be given a deadline. And he needs to finish all the modules of that course by that date. How, when, and where the student takes these online classes is left entirely to him. For instance, he can take his classes three days in a row and then not take classes the rest of the week.

A lot of things are going on in a student’s life which may hinder or facilitate his ability to attend a certain class. An Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development Program makes allowances for these. One can jump into a class anytime he’s free, when he feels like it, or when he has already fulfilled his higher responsibilities. One no longer has to tailor the rest of one’s life to fit his academic schedule. He can now, instead, pattern his academic pursuits so that it harmonizes with the rest of his life.

Every now and then, there might be synchronous online class meetings that one needs to attend with the rest of the class. Usually a teacher opts for the synchronous method when collaboration among the students is needed (i.e. members of different groups in class are working on a project such as a business case). This creates synergy and more stimulating discussions arise as a result. This is very helpful for some students who may feel unmotivated when they do this alone.

Most of the time, however, classes and activities will be done asynchronously. Each student can decide when he or she wants to take these.

School Preference, Environment and Socialization

For traditional schools offering Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development Programs, there will be limits to the number of students they can accept to a course. And usually this limit is imposed by the size of the room and how many students it can accommodate.

The campus will be the setting for most everything that happens – whether in class, in different facilities within the school, or at other school-related events. The shared physical space makes it easy for some students to connect and make friends with classmates.

The classroom for Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development students will be wherever they are – in a café or on their dinner table. They will take their courses alone. Some students are better able to focus this way and actually prefer this.

Students of the online classroom can also get to know each other. Perhaps even more so. The use of social media is allowed by some teachers and students can communicate there. Other classes use a chat room or a messaging app.

These online messaging tools are direct lines of communication between student and teacher. The Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development student can “raise his hand” virtually or
let the instructor know that you got lost somewhere in is discussion of artificial intelligence.
The teacher has the option to respond to you right away, at the end of the class, or even after the class is over.

The online teacher will have to set the tone so that a learning atmosphere is maintained and productive conversations, rather than casual chatter, takes place in the discussion boards or the messaging platform. Students also need to be aware that unlike in traditional classrooms, where one’s statement can soon be forgotten, a digital record of whatever one says in an online class will be retained.

college tuition increase in the U.S.

Pacing, Time Management and Study-Life Balance

The teacher sets the pace in a traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development classroom. The timetable is determined by the syllabus and how long the academic term is. A teacher steeped in traditional methods will provide very little wiggle room for adjustments to this. The class can’t stay on a topic longer than planned, even when mastery hasn’t been achieved yet. Even when students find a particular topic very interesting and would like to go deeper into this, the instructor will have to move on after the allocated time.

Students just have to show up in class. No complicated time management is required on their part as far as scheduling their classes because this has been predetermined.

Meanwhile in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development program, the student controls the pace of classes. He manages not just the time he spends for classes, but his time allocation for other life priorities as well: life responsibilities, work/profession (if he’s a working student), daily errands, his health, personal relationships, etc. If he is able to, he can even multi-task and take his classes while accomplishing another personal task.

Time management is a crucial skill that will determine, to a large extent, a student’s success in his pursuit of an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development/

Most online students, complete the required 120 credit units and earn their Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development within 4 years. Some, even less.

Teaching Methods, Materials, and Learning Experience

The primary mode of instruction in the traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development program is the classroom lecture. The classroom white board is a familiar tool for keeping students’ attention on the point of discussion. There will be assigned readings and homework that need to be turned in physically.

Class activities can be assigned to groups that can meet either during class or outside of the class schedule. Some students find these opportunities to meet outside the classroom fun. Student evaluation is done through oral recitation and exams given inside the classroom.

Textbooks and readings would be the primary learning material in the traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development setting. The teacher may also bring to class certain teaching aids. In some classes, a field trip to places relevant to the discussion would be called for.

For Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development programs, lectures can be synchronous (live) or asynchronous (recorded). Online whiteboards replace classroom whiteboards. Teacher demos can be done online (live or pre-recorded).

The learning materials are online (Learning Management Systems/LMS, online learning platforms, or other education technologies) and can be downloaded or viewed asynchronously. Online instructors take advantage of the latest education technologies to make each class unique. For the first session, he could use gamified learning; then create a video for the next; then schedule a virtual tour for the class after that. PowerPoint presentations can also be used.

Cloud technologies such as Google Docs, Google Drive, etc., allow students to share resources and even to collaborate on documents in real-time. This is particularly useful for Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development as they write out programs and code as a group via apps like Brackets, Coda or Codeshare.

This kind of dynamic teaching requires more time and preparation by online instructors, in contrast to the traditional teachers’ lessons plans that may have changed very little in the past five years.

Submission of assignments and student or teacher evaluation can all be done online. Students can take their exams via learning management systems or examination software.

Interaction

Interaction in traditional, on-campus classes is through face-to-face meetings. Discussions are live and impromptu. Gregarious students find these dynamics mentally and emotionally stimulating. But this is intimidating for timid students, the physically challenged, those from minority groups or from underprivileged backgrounds – who might be experiencing discrimination and bullying in a physical class.

Finding professors/instructors and arranging a personal meeting on campus, during school hours, can also be challenging.

The Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development student will learn to be very comfortable with various kinds of virtual interaction – chatting, web conferences, video calls, discussion boards, etc.

Since most of these channels allow for asynchronous exchanges, students are better able to think questions through and to prepare their answers. In virtual classrooms, there are no physical disabilities, or racial differences, or status symbols, or social inequalities. Normally silenced in physical class settings, students belonging to minority groups are able to participate actively and get the most from their classes.

“Not all students have the confidence (or language skills) to freely express themselves in a traditional course setting,” explains Elearning executive Kenneth Chapman. He reports their survey findings which show that a large number of students are more at ease when they participate in online classroom discussions, than in a physical classroom. An online college environment levels the field so that everyone has an equal chance to excel.

Consulting with teachers is not a problem since online consultations are easier to schedule than physical meetings. Learning management systems and other applications offer functionalities for teacher-student consultations, including reminders.

Many of the advantages mentioned above will translate into dollar savings for the student. Others, will have no dollar value but will be invaluable for working students, single parents, or those who reside in remote locations.

The inquiring student should decide what is most important to him as he pursues his Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development.

Additional Expenses

Aside from tuition expenses, there are other considerable expenses that come with going to a physical campus. Room and board, for instance, transportation, clothes for school, and others. Yale’s School of Management estimates these other “personal expenses” to be around 30% of tuition fees.

Is an online degree cheaper?

Because of lower costs associated with the operation of an online program vis-à-vis that of a campus-based program, online education is able to challenge the prices of traditional college degrees.

A year’s tuition fee at Harvard costs $47,730. If one adds all the additional expenses (travel, room and board, textbooks, etc.) the cost goes up to $78,200. Compare this to the cost of getting an online degree from Harvard Extension School at $49,500. With the minimal additional expenses typical of online education, an online degree would only be 15%-25% of the cost of Harvard’s traditional degree.

But each traditional institution will have its own price structure for its on-campus programs and its online programs.

The cost of traditional education varies widely, from college to college. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (2021), the average tuition cost for four-year institutions is $28,123. But this can vary widely between public and private colleges ($10,000 to$37,000 up).

Historically, the cost of traditional education has consistently risen in the last 10 years. Online learning, however, is disrupting this trend. According to The Changing Landscape of Online Education report for 2021, close to 40% of four-year colleges generally have lower tuition fee rates for online programs.

COVID-19 has further decelerated this rising trend of tuition fees in traditional colleges. The College Board announced that this year’s tuition fee increases are among the lowest since 1990-91.

Meanwhile, this year’s spring enrollment statistics show the biggest drop in college enrollment in a decade, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC).

But the price structures of a college education are evolving in the COVID era. And as demand for online education increases while the demand for traditional college degrees drops, it is possible that further changes in price structures will be seen in next year’s survey. If Chris Christensen’s prophecy holds true, as online education becomes more available to all, traditional learning institutions will be forced to fall in line with the online education revolution, or die.

university of florida online tuition vs. in-person tuition

Is an online degree as good as a regular degree?

Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development programs are not watered-down versions of traditional, in-class programs. Both follow the same curricula and develop the same skills that a web developer would need in the real world. No foundational knowledge or hands-on training is skipped. Both need to complete 120 to 122 academic credits. An enrollee in a traditional bachelor’s web development degree who takes full load each year will be able to complete degree requirements in four years. Most online enrollees are also able to earn their Bachelor’s degree in Web Development in about four years.

The bottom line is that a Bachelor’s Degree holder in Web Development—whether from a traditional college or an online program—should be able to do all the specific tasks that such a specialist is responsible for in the process of building a website from start to finish.

How much does an online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development cost?

The cost of an online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development varies widely from state to state and from college to college, depending on whether it’s a public institution, a private non-profit institution or a private for-profit institution. Some traditional schools charge different rates from their on-campus vs. online students.

According to the CHLOE Report of 2021, taken following the onset of COVID-19 disruptions, different schools have different rationales behind their tuition fee structures. But based on the survey, the majority of private four-year, public four-year, and public two-year institutions have “standard tuition rates for programs, regardless of delivery mode (on-campus or online).” Other institutions report that they “have generally higher tuition rates for online programs.” A number, mainly, from among private four-year college institutions, say they “have generally lower tuition rates for online programs.”  (CHLOE 6, 2021)

Many traditional schools also have different tuition fee rates for in-state and out-of-state students. Most online schools, however, charge both kinds of students the same.

So it’s up to the prospective bachelor’s degree student to inquire about different colleges’ price policies—particularly with regard to a bachelor’s degree in web development.

But just to give inquiring students an idea, the per-credit cost for an online bachelor’s degree in web development would range between $320 and $500. On the average, total tuition cost would be between $16,000 and $120,000.

Is an online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development worth it?

An online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development gives you access to learning at a time when there is difficulty or hesitancy among students to enroll in colleges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dire economic situation, and the rising costs of traditional education. It will provide one with the same knowledge and skills as an on-campus bachelor’s degree in web development. One can have near-full control over one’s learning pace, schedule, and college budget. This allows the learners to have more balance in their work, study, and personal lives. More importantly, it enables one to achieve one’s goal of acquiring the best online bachelor’s degree in web development.

What are the requirements of an online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development?

Admission Requirements

Applicants to a Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development program must be high school graduates and must submit their transcripts. They will also be required to submit their SAT or ACT scores.

Different institutions have varying minimum GPA requirements (2.0 to 2.5). Additional requirements vary from university to university.

General Requirements

The following are not requirements for entry into an online bachelor’s degree in web development. However, there are traits—whether innate or that have been developed—which have been found to be key to the success of web developers:

  • Communication skills
  • Natural curiosity
  • Attention to detail

There are some basic knowledge and skills that will be necessary for the web development student to get a good start:

  • basic computer operation
  • can send/fetch email
  • can open email attachments
  • knows how to use web browsers
  • knows how to do online research
  • can download and install software
  • knows how to add browser plug-ins
  • skilled in using word processor application
  • knows how to use a presentation application
  • familiar with different kinds of file formats: .pdf,.rtf,.doc, .docx, .txt, and others
  • knows how to operate document scanners or document scanning apps to convert handwritten work to a PDF file
  • able to follow instructions from handouts, step-by-step tutorials, and online videos

What are the technological requirements of students for online learning?

The standards of different colleges and universities may vary. Similarly, these technological requirements may vary among different lines of discipline, some of which would require more powerful hardware.

The general minimum technological requirements would look something like this:

  • computer (desktop/laptop) or mobile device (tablet/smartphone) that’s less than five years old, ideally with i3 processor or equivalent (2GHz or higher)
  • Windows 10 or Mac OS 10.11 or higher
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2GB free disk space
  • stable internet connection (at least 56K, recommended 10 Mbps or faster)
  • speakers or headphones clear enough to enable the student to understand the learning content
  • microphone (on computer or headset)
  • webcam
  • internet browser
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
  • Media Player

Source: FutureLearn (n.d.)

Courses to Expect in Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development

The student will typically take courses in the following areas:

  • JavaScript
  • Databases
  • Design
  • Web Fundamentals
  • Web Frontend Development
  • Web Backend Development
  • Web Full-Stack Development
  • CSS
  • Interaction Design
  • Web media
  • .NET
  • User Interface Evaluation & Design

An online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development student will also choose from electives, such as those on Information Design, Cybersecurity, Technical Teamwork, and Software testing, depending on the track one wants to take and the career one envisions.

Source: Digital Promise

Things to Look for in an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development Program

Although the curriculum is designed to produce a uniform set of competencies in web development, the prospective student should take into account some practical and critical aspects about the college(s) you are considering.

Availability in one’s location

The policy of different schools with regard to the acceptance of students from out-of-state or overseas will vary. The prospective student should call and inquire with the school before making plans.

Accessibility

The student should check the coursework details to see if the resources required are available in one’s location.

Teaching methods

Not all online schools and programs are fully online. Clarify whether an  Online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development is fully online or hybrid, whether it’s asynchronous or synchronous.

Reputation

Everything looks good on a website. Find out the people behind the institution. Go to the Board of Trustees page, check out the faculty and the alumni. The student should take due diligence and check the school’s reputation online, check the Better Business Bureau for complaints and issues, ask local residents or alumni, or inquire with the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education.

Accreditation

Accreditation from a reputable accreditation body is a strong testimonial for the institution’s integrity and academic standards. Check this on the website, their brochures, or call the school. Be careful of counterfeit accreditation bodies that just exist for marketing purposes or don’t exist at all. The Council for Higher Education has a database of institutions and programs accredited by recognized U.S. accrediting organizations. Accreditation can come from regional bodies (i.e. Higher Learning Commission and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education) or national bodies (i.e. Distance Education Accrediting Commission). Experts say regional accreditation goes through a more rigorous process and employers look at this kind of accreditation first. The more reputable and renowned schools have, historically, been regionally accredited.

Hidden costs

Compared to traditional degrees, the best online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development have less associated costs and usually does not require regular transportation expenses, room and board, etc. But there are fees and fee structures that may not be explicitly mentioned in literature or websites, i.e. technology or online access fees—some on a per-credit basis. Some schools charge higher tuition fees for distance learners. In some institutions, fees for the use of campus facilities and services may be built into the tuition. But students who do not intend to use these may not have to pay these. Inquire with the Admission or Registrar’s Office.

Internet and Support Services

The quality of online services depends on the dependability of the school’s server and content delivery systems. Inquiring students can ask about the reliability of the school’s hardware and network, if there are frequent downtimes, how long, and what contingency plans are, and if data backup is available. Also just as important, one should find out if technical support is available to students (24/7 or office hours only?) should they encounter technical issues.

On-site requirement

There are fully online programs that still require students to come to the campus at certain times, i.e. during orientation, at various periodic intervals, or during examinations. One should find out how often this is required so these can be factored into your schedule and budget.

Transferability of credits

Clarify if credits that a student earns in one online program are transferrable if one decides to transfer to another college/switch programs.

The Worldwide Web Developer

Even as prospective students search for the best online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development program, they will need to start practicing the research skills and detail-mindfulness that will be their strengths in their profession. The price and costs of an online bachelor’s degree in web development are not the only things to consider. Doing one’s homework before making any plans will ensure that one ends up in the institution that is best geared towards one’s personal goals, priorities, and life circumstances. All this is necessary for online Bachelor’s Degree in Web Development graduates to eventually enjoy the web developer salary and other returns on their investment that they will have worked hard for.

 

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