If you’re considering the different types of two-year degrees available, you’ve probably come across a Web development degree in your search. This associate’s degree is offered by most community colleges, universities and online schools, and it prepares you to build basic web pages, web applications and mobile apps. It’s one of the most popular two-year degrees you can get, and the demand for web programmers is expected to keep increasing for at least the next ten years. The degree doesn’t require advanced computer science training, and being a web developer
is not quite the same as being a software engineer or computer scientist. Web developers with associate’s degrees usually work on simple application programming and website design, such as HTML and CSS theming and MySQL programming.
The Skills You’ll Learn
As a web programmer, you will need to know a few development toolkits, such as Django, Laravel, Android, iOS and maybe Microsoft .NET. A two-year degree covers the specifics of working with these programming languages and building apps with a model-view-controller, or MVC, architecture. This type of software pattern is the most common approach used in Web programming because it’s perfectly suited to building database-driven Web apps, and most websites on the Internet these days are dynamic, database-driven MVC apps.
You will also most likely be spending ample time working on Android and iPhone apps, and these mobile frameworks are similar to web frameworks in many ways. They use MVC architecture, and user data is usually stored in a database. For example, in Android, user contacts are stored in a SQLite database, and when you build an app that needs to access the user’s contacts, you query the database model using a method from a controller class.
Keeping the model, view and controller code separate is a software engineering technique that makes it easy to maintain, debug and update software, especially when working with other programmers. A web development degree also teaches you the business side of working in web design, and depending on the school you go to, it may also offer training in visual design.
Finding Work in Web Design
When you’re finished with your degree, you’ll be able to apply for most web programming jobs, and if your programming skills are strong, you should have no problem finding work. The most important point is that your programming skills have to be strong because there are already many developers with somewhat underdeveloped skill sets applying for jobs.
Employers test applicants during their interviews to make sure they know how to quickly and efficiently write the most common types of functions, choose the right data structures and algorithms and debug Java, PHP or Python apps. If you’re more interested in the design side of website creation, some schools offer a more design-focused degree that covers graphic art and some template programming. You will still need the template programming and scripting skills to find work, but you can use your eye for design to win over employers rather than your coding knowledge.
When it comes to fast, affordable degrees, web development is one of the timeliest and most in-demand. If you have a good ability to focus and a strong creative side, you should consider getting a web development degree.