What You Should Know About This Degree
Web development is an integral part of the larger world of Computer Information Systems. It is often referred to interchangeably with software developers, but the two are very different. Web developers are creative individuals who are proficient in programming languages and who use that knowledge to develop websites, webpages, and applications. Their focus is on design and function. By comparison, software developers create the programs for the software that operates on computers and mobile devices.
A Master of Science in Web Development degree will prepare you for a leadership role in web development. Though each program is different, most will educate you in the fundamental concepts of web and web application development from both the client and server sides, as well as rich internet application development. They will prepare you for interacting with databases such as MySQL and Oracle, as well as NoSQL databases like MongoDB.
There are six separate regional institutional accreditors in the United States, each of which oversee specific areas of the country. Any Master’s in Web Development Program should be accredited by one of these agencies in order to ensure and standardize the quality of higher learning that its graduates receive.
By earning a Master’s in Web Development, you have already demonstrated your knowledge and expertise, but certifications can serve as additional validation of your proficiency. Certification can set you apart from your peers and provide you with an advantage in employment opportunity and promotion.
There are several web development certifications available. Some require years of industry experience for eligibility and others simply involve passing an exam. The following six certifications are among the most valued in the industry: Adobe Certified Expert (ACE); Certified Web Development Professional; Zend Certified PHP Engineer; Microsoft Developer Certifications (MTA and MCSD); Amazon Web Services (AWS Certified Developer); and PMP Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP).
Here are some questions to ask when researching Master’s in Web Development programs:
- Am I eligible for this program? To gain admission to a Master’s in Web Development program, you will need to have completed a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. Many programs will require letters of recommendation in support of your application, a personal statement explaining your interest in the program, demonstrated experience in computer information systems or graphics, and your official college transcript. Most will require a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0.
- Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Some of these programs are offered in-person, some are a combination of on-campus and online, and some are offered entirely online. Most online programs allow their classwork to be done asynchronously, making it possible for students to continue working while earning their degree. No matter which type of program you choose, you will find engaged faculty, access to an extensive network and an active learning environment that provides you with access to valuable resources.
Though many colleges and universities are getting away from requiring standardized tests, others continue to require tests like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Whichever program or programs you decide to apply to, make sure that you review the application requirements to make sure that you have taken all appropriate examinations and have provided all documentation in time for their stated deadlines.
The tuition for Master’s in Web Development is generally charged based upon the number of credits being taken, plus any additional fees or course costs. Part-time programs generally cost less than full-time. If you need help paying for your graduate education, be sure to research scholarships, tuition reimbursement and financial aid options.