What Can You Do With a Web Development Certificate?

Web development certificates are technical degrees that give you the building blocks you need to launch a career in web development.

With a web development certificate, you can become a professional web developer earning an average income of $76,500 right away. Most programs provide a foundational curriculum in full-stack web development along with career training and networking opportunities.

Read on to learn more about what it takes to be a web developer and how a web development certificate can take you there. This article will discuss what you can do with a web development certificate and where to earn one.

Can You Become a Web Developer With a Certificate?

You can become a web developer with a certificate, but some certificate programs have education prerequisites. That means that you may need to complete an undergraduate degree to become a web developer, depending on what program you choose. However, a certificate will get you much closer to a career in web development nonetheless.

Web development certificates typically come from coding bootcamps. These programs are typically less than a year and aim to teach the basics of web development and current industry standards. 

Video: How Important are Developer Certifications?

Best Coding Bootcamps of 2021

Coding bootcamps vary according to affordability, accessibility, and intensiveness, so make sure that you look around to find which bootcamp is right for you. Each one offers a different web development certificate.

App Academy

App Academy has trained web developers who now work for Google, Amazon, Facebook, Uber, Microsoft, and several other top companies in the industry. Tuition is steep at $17,000, but it is paid only once the graduate attains a salary of $50,000 a year or more. The program involves career support and networking opportunities along with skill development.

Coding Dojo

Coding Dojo is a more affordable option, with a total tuition of $6,995. 86% of graduates find job placements within six months of graduating, and the average starting salary for graduates is $76,500. This program is offered online or in-person, part-time or full-time. You can choose either a software engineering or a data science pathway.

General Assembly

General Assembly offers many different courses related to web development, from software engineering to data science to user experience design. Their three-month programs are offered in-person or remotely, with full-time or part-time options. Their goal is to provide accessible education that grants participants entry into a diverse, promising, and lucrative field.

The General Assembly charges students $14,950 in tuition, paid in installments after the student earns a job paying at least $40,000 a year.

Lambda School

Lambda is a six-month full-time or part-time bootcamp with a higher cost than the shorter programs, at $30,000. However, the bootcamp requires no tuition deposit until the graduates start earning a salary of $50,000 a year or more. Lambda offers remote programs in both data science and web development.

Tech Elevator

92% of Tech Elevator graduates find jobs after graduating, thanks to an industry-relevant curriculum and an extensive training program in finding a job and doing well in the job market. This full-time, 14-week bootcamp is offered in person or online, with tuition starting at $15,500.

To apply, you must take a skills assessment and complete an application. If selected, you must interview with a team leader and take a second skills assessment. 

This is a full-time program in web development intended for emerging professionals in the field.

Byte Academy

Byte Academy is an online or in-person bootcamp that can be taken full-time or part-time. There are two primary course options: data science and web development. The web development certificate focuses on making usable web pages and manipulating data with Python, whereas the data science program focuses on machine learning and other data science topics.

Byte Academy costs $14,950, about average for certificate programs in web development. Its students have privileged access to internships and other real-world experiences due to a partnership with SpryteLabs. Byte Academy also provides students with mentorship from experienced programmers along the way.

Flatiron School

Flatiron School provides students a 15-week program of study for $17,000, focused on either cybersecurity, data science, or software engineering. You can also take it part-time over an extended period. 

Flatiron School offers scholarships to students from underrepresented groups in the industry, intending to diversify the tech industry.

Video: Coding Dojo Bootcamp Review from a Software Developer

Are Web Development Certificates Worth It?

Web development certificates make the difference between being hired and not, and they are certainly worth the time and effort it takes to acquire them. Most bootcamps come with job placement assistance, plus learning in cohorts with instructors and mentors starts you with a base professional network in the field. 

Web development is a growing field that offers competitive salaries, and getting a certificate opens the door to all of that. eCommerce stores are growing by 15% each year, and online interactions influence 56% of in-store purchases; this shows how important online markets and websites are today and in the future.

Considering that the average salary of a web developer is $76,500, the cost of $6,950 – $17,000 it’d take to pay for a bootcamp is quite worth it. Add to this that most programs offer a pay-as-you-earn option for post-school tuition payments, and you’ve discovered a great way to change career paths affordably. 

What Certifications Are Needed for a Web Developer?

The field of web development does not require a certificate per se, but they can help you find work in the field more easily. Web development certificates tell employers that you have current, marketable skills in the field and that you’re ready and willing to put them to work. 

Which Certification Is Best for Web Development?

The best certification for you depends upon your needs and desires as a professional. If you’re looking to be a front-end web developer, you might prefer different programs than someone interested in back-end development. Most programs will offer an introduction to all of the above, but some have different emphases. 

Understanding the Differences Between Web Development Programs

The primary difference between web development programs is whether they’re focused on teaching front-end skills, back-end skills, or both.

Front-end skills include working with the browser’s user interface and languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Back-end skills include working directly with data, using languages like SQL, Python, or Ruby.

Some programs are offered full-time, and others are offered part-time. Either way, you’re sure to get the skills necessary to succeed. It may take longer to complete a part-time course, but that way, you’ll also have the flexibility to work while completing your degree.  

Knowing JavaScript is essential to get a first web developer job. But how good should you be at it? I have a detailed article about exactly how much JavaScript you need to know to get a first job and how to learn it fast.

Is HTML Certification Worth Getting?

HTML makes up the foundational structure of web pages, and it’s essential for almost every web developer. Therefore getting a certificate in HTML is certain to be worth it if you want to become a web developer. 

Most bootcamps will offer training in HTML, so in most cases, you need not worry about specifically finding HTML certification. You can simply trust the program to be comprehensive.

LinkedIn Web Development Certifications

LinkedIn offers industry certifications for your profile, which you can earn by completing small, 15-minute skill quizzes. These are available for a wide range of web development tools, languages, and technologies, including all of the following:

  • .NET
  • C
  • C#
  • C++
  • CSS
  • Git
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • JSON
  • MongoDB
  • MySQL
  • PHP
  • Python
  • React.js
  • Ruby-on-Rails
  • WordPress

Altogether, LinkedIn offers 52 technical skill quizzes for web developers and skill quizzes in design and business. Completing these quizzes and earning the associated skill badges makes you 30% more likely to be hired while completing the quiz, and scoring poorly will not have any ramifications.

LinkedIn also offers short courses in different skill areas aimed at helping you earn the skill badges for your profile. 

If you don’t want to go the proven route and are maybe more interested in more unconventional languages than are used in web development, like C++ for example. Then you might wonder if C++ can be used for web development. Short answer is yes, but it is definitely not prefered choice. Read more about it in this detailed article.

Do You Need a Computer Science Degree for Web Development?

Although many web development certificate programs require an undergraduate degree, they do not require a degree in computer science or a related field. Rather, a computer science or software engineering degree could serve as a stand-in for a web development certificate that either provides entry into the field. 

Best Computer Science Programs of 2021

The following are the top ten computer science schools in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report

  • Stanford University
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign
  • Cornell University
  • University of Washington
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • University of Texas – Austin 
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

These programs offer students a well-rounded education, including the core concepts of computer science and their practical applications. You can learn to develop abstract solutions and algorithms necessary to power artificial intelligence and engineering through a computer science degree. 

At these schools, you’ll learn modern programming languages and gain an understanding of where they came from and how they’re used. You’ll be able to create high-performing software programs and work together with other programmers to make grand ideas a reality. 

You’ll also learn about how computer science functions in the context of today, emerging as an educated young professional who cares to be responsible toward the world and toward the ways technology is developing. 

Video: Does a Web Developer Need a Computer Science Degree?

Best Software Engineering Programs of 2021

These are the top ten software engineering programs in the United States, according to U.S. News and World Report

  • Stanford University
  • University of California – Berkeley
  • University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign
  • Cornell University
  • University of Washington
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Princeton University
  • University of Texas – Austin 
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Finding pretty much the same list as above is a no surprise, software engineering programs often overlap with computer science programs, providing the same basic understanding of computer systems and programming languages. It also overlaps frequently with electrical engineering.

As such, the benefits of a software engineering program and similar to those of a computer science program; the differences will depend mostly on where you choose to attend school and what kinds of courses they offer, and less on any distinct differences between software engineering and computer science.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

In short, web developers create websites. They work with technical and design teams to make functional user interfaces based on a given product’s needs and design specifications. 

They use numerous coding languages to bring websites to life, whether it be front-end languages used to make the interface and communicate between the server and the client or back-end languages used to work with data and communicate between the server and the database. 

Web developers are also often in charge of monitoring site traffic and developing better search engine optimization for websites. They can structure websites and develop content rules for the site to appear higher up in web searches. 

Job Outlook for Web Developers

Web development is projected to grow as a field by 13 percent between 2020 and 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Each year, there are expected to be about 18,000 new job openings for web developers in the nation on average. This is larger than average growth for the U.S. job market. 

Skills Needed for Web Development

Web Developers use a broad range of different languages, and it’s impossible to become an expert in every one. Rather, most programs offer the opportunity to learn a handful of different languages to give you a picture of how websites are put together and teach you the basics of object-oriented programming. 

In addition to programming, web developers must also be good communicators who can work well with information technology and design professionals and creatives who can bring ideas to life. Web developers must also be client-oriented and detail-oriented and be able to solve complex problems on the fly.

Differences Between Web Development and Web Design

A web designer is responsible for creating the layout of a website. They’ll usually use visual design tools to put together an image detailing the proposed layout of a website. The web developer then takes the proposed layout, called a mock-up, and codes the website to make the design a dynamic reality.

Web designers and web developers both have a hand in things like web properties, colors, and design principles for the web. They both need to be aware of modern challenges in web development, such as the need for mobile interfaces for all websites. 

Where To Find Jobs in Web Development

If you’re looking for a full-time job in web development, you’ll likely have success looking at one of many job boards that allow you to search by title, job description, and location. 

The best online job boards for web developers include: 

  • ZipRecruiter: This is used by 1.8 million businesses to match with candidates. 
  • LinkedIn: Allows you to scope out relevant jobs and message recruiters directly. 
  • Monster: Offers career advice for candidates in addition to offering a large collection of jobs.
  • FlexJobs: This is the best site available for work-from-home jobs and flexibly scheduled jobs.
  • Indeed: This is one of the largest online job boards available today. It has a broad range of job postings, including a host of jobs in web development.
  • Stack Overflow: A hub for exchanging information in web development and other fields, also offers job postings for full and part-time positions.

Why You Need a Web Development Portfolio

Whether you learn through a web development certificate program or formal schooling or teach yourself, you can prove your skills in web development by providing links to online projects you’ve completed. Hosting your portfolio on a personal website is key to making yourself marketable because it shows employers what you’re capable of accomplishing.

Because web development focuses on creating and doing projects, it lends itself to a portfolio more than other careers do, and it’s a primary way that employers weed through prospective candidates.

You can also visit another article that I wrote where list best beginner coding projects for practice – which are also great to be included in your portfolio.

Tips for Creating a Solid Web Development Portfolio

There are numerous things you can do to make your web development portfolio stand out, including the following:

  • Showcase the clients you’ve worked with. Future clients and employers will want to know what kinds of people and companies you’ve made websites for in the past.
  • Have 8-10 projects on display. This is enough to show diversity in your portfolio without overwhelming the reader. However, if you don’t have this many to show just yet, don’t fret; just display the best of what you have. In the end, quality beats quantity. 
  • Write a short description of each project highlighting your motivations and process. This will show employers how you think through different projects and how you communicate with others.
  • Include custom photography. Stock images are overused and may cause employers to lose interest in your site.
  • Make sure the site isn’t broken! Some applicants make the mistake of failing to keep their portfolio site up to date, accidentally submitting a broken site to a potential employer.
  • Make the viewing process as straightforward and easy as possible. The more a recruiter or hiring manager can gain from a scan of your page, the better. 
  • Know what kind of work you’re looking for and tailor your portfolio. That way, you’ll be sure that you’re displaying the best of what you have available according to what prospective employers are likely looking for. Give some thought to what exactly you want to be doing before you put your portfolio site together.
  • Find a balance between personal and professional work. Ideally, your portfolio will showcase the best of what you’ve accomplished in educational training or on the job and what you’ve done on your own time.
  • Integrate images for each project. At least one solid project cover is necessary for engagingly presenting your projects.
  • Specify what your role was in any given project. If you worked on a project alone from start to finish, say so, but also say which role(s) you had if you worked in a group, and give credit to the other group members. 
  • Show your personality. Your language, tone, and site appearance will make a difference in how future employers perceive you, so don’t be afraid to show who you are. Consider how you want to come across to prospective coworkers.
Video: 10 Web Developer Portfolio Tips

Can Online Courses Prepare You for a Job in Web Development?

Online courses are not typically as thorough or rigorous as a full bootcamp and will most often not be enough to get a job in web development. There are numerous providers who offer online courses in web development topics, whether it be Coursera, Udemy, or Udacity. These courses are intended for those interested in the field to learn more or those who are currently in the field and want to develop their skill sets.

So, online courses might prepare you for a job in web development to a degree, but they alone will typically not be enough to market yourself to future employers. A degree or certificate program is preferable to online courses taken through these offerers. 

Online Coding Challenges and the Technical Interview

Similar to online courses but more practical are online coding challenges. These mimic the technical questions you might see during the interview process for certain jobs, and they are a great way to get to know different languages. Sites that offer coding challenges for free include HackerRank and CodeWars.

HackerRank even has a database of job postings available for those who pass certain technical challenges. This provides you privileged access to a section of the job market, a great asset for anyone finding their way in the field of web development. 

You can also prepare for the technical interview part of applying for jobs with textbooks, like Cracking the Coding Interview by software engineer Gayle Laakman McDowell. This book teaches you how to respond to difficult, complex coding challenges that will likely come your way as you interview for jobs. These include writing algorithms and solving logical problems.

Final Thoughts

Web development certificates are a great step to take if you’re looking to start a career in web development. They can transform someone with no relevant training into a viable candidate for highly technical jobs in the industry. Many programs offer a pay-as-you-earn tuition option, agreeing to collect tuition in accordance with your earnings rather than upfront. 

Titles you may qualify for with a certificate in web development include Software Engineer, Web Developer (Front-End, Back-End, or Full-Stack), or Data Scientist.