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A web developer with in-depth knowledge of coding websites can earn a handsome salary and work in a variety of different industries. It can be difficult, however, to find the right program at one of the best web development colleges.

Some programs teach all the skills a professional needs to know, while others simply teach how to use specific coding languages like HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.

Many programs in which web development is a key component go by different names. For example, a school might offer a bachelor's degree in computer science with a specialization in web development.

Regardless of what it's called, computer and information sciences make up 4% of all undergraduate degrees earned in a given year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Follow this guide to explore the best schools for web development in our data-derived bachelor's and master's rankings lists.

Why Go to School to Become a Web Developer?

Earning a computer science degree can lead to lucrative employment. Individuals with bachelor's-level education in the field earn a median salary of $88,000 a year, according to June 2022 Payscale data.

Web developers earn solid income that far outpaces the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), web developers earn a median annual salary of $77,200. The BLS also projects a faster-than-average employment growth rate of 13% from 2020-2030 for these professionals.

They can work in many different settings, including for themselves or in web publishing, advertising, or computer-related industries. Consider other benefits of completing web development degrees or bootcamps below.

  • Gaining Ancillary Skills: A web development degree develops additional abilities in writing, business, and psychology.
  • Preparing for an Innovative Career: Web developers can work from anywhere, earn higher-than-average salaries, and have fun while being creative at work.
  • Improving Problem-Solving Abilities: Learners use cutting-edge tools and techniques for problem-solving in technology and business contexts.

Should You Go to School for Web Development or Cybersecurity?

Learning either cybersecurity or web development at college can set graduates up for success. In both programs, students can learn about other careers in tech or see if the field is right for them.

Either way, a degree from an accredited school can help each learner land their first job after graduation. Advanced degrees in either field may lead to additional opportunities for promotion and salary increases.

Consider the following situations to help determine which degree might be right for you:
Situation Cybersecurity Degree Web Development Degree

You want to protect websites from cybercriminals.

This degree can prepare you to pursue a cybersecurity job as a penetration tester or vulnerability assessor.

This degree can prepare you to build safe websites to keep out hackers.

You are looking for a job in a fast-growing technology field.

The BLS projects information security analyst employment will grow by 33% from 2020-2030.

BLS projections indicate that web developer and designer employment will grow by 13% from 2020-2030.

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What to Expect From the Best Schools With Web Development Programs

Computer science is the foundation of a web development degree. Enrollees learn to write software and understand how people interact with these programs. Computer science also helps learners assess the security risks involved in building certain features on web and mobile platforms.

Accredited computer science schools typically require courses in web design technologies, mobile programming, building information structures with Java, or data visualization. Coursework increases in complexity with degree level.

Types of Degrees in Web Development

Students can earn web development degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Often, an associate or bachelor's degree opens opportunities to consider entry-level technical jobs.

Master's degrees prepare experienced technicians to pursue leadership roles. A Ph.D. and other doctorates equip learners to engage in research or teach at the postsecondary level. In general, salaries increase as you attain higher levels of education. Learn more about each degree level in the paragraphs below.

Associate Degree

These two-year undergraduate programs typically occur within community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and research universities. Some schools may call the degree an associate of applied science in web development. Typical features for this degree include:

  • 60-67 credits
  • Courses in web design technologies, graphic design, and digital media
  • Options to emphasize either web development or web design

Upon graduation, students may apply for jobs as web and digital interface designers, graphic designers, and special effects artists or animators. An associate degree applicant typically needs a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Bachelor's Degree

This commonly awarded undergraduate degree requires four years of study with a blend of major courses and general education. Students can consider a bachelor's in computer science with an emphasis in full-stack web development or a bachelor of science in web development.

At the best web developer colleges, these programs may include the following components:

  • 120-124 undergraduate credits
  • Core courses such as mobile programming, human-computer interaction, and freelancing for the technical professional
  • Coursework exploring Java software development, human factors in software development, and distributed internet application development
  • A senior capstone project
  • Tuition of around $400 per credit

Upon graduation, students should possess the skills to construct professional websites. Graduates may seek positions as graphic designers, web application developers, or chief technology officers. The degree also meets part of the qualifications for admission into a master's program.

For most bachelor's programs, each applicant needs a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some schools may require completion of particular courses or apply GPA minimums for admission.

Master's Degree

A master's degree in web development offers opportunities for upward mobility in tech-related careers. Typically, a master's in computer science with an emphasis in web design includes the following:

  • 30-45 graduate credits
  • Core coursework exploring business data communication networks, database design and implementation for business, and information structures with Java
  • Concentration courses such as web application development, server-side application development, and foundations of machine learning
  • Tuition rates of $900-$1,000 per credit
  • A total of 12-20 months of study

Graduates can pursue roles within major corporations in finance, retail, healthcare, or public service. They often take leadership positions in web development, software engineering, or technology management.

Many master's-level students hold bachelor's degrees in technology-related fields, along with extensive professional experience. Graduates can pursue doctorates in computer science or other technology-related fields.

Doctoral Degree

The most advanced academic degree requires original research in the field. Many doctoral students are seasoned professionals who aspire to conduct research, teach, or lead teams of experts.

A Ph.D. in computer science with a concentration in web development could require:

  • 70-90 graduate credits beyond the bachelor's degree
  • Courses in programming languages, data visualization, and object-oriented design
  • A dissertation consisting of original research
  • Per-credit cost of about $1,400
  • Fellowship opportunities in teaching or research

Applicants usually need master's degrees in the field, but some schools accept candidates with bachelor's degrees.

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Jobs for Graduates of Web Development Programs

There are plenty of entry-level jobs in web development for graduates of academic programs at all levels. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, computer science is one of the top three disciplines sought by employers.

The following list includes five of the top occupations for graduates with web development degrees.

Web Developers and Digital Designers

Web developers and digital designers create websites. They may work as front-end developers who design the technical features for website aesthetics. Others serve on the back end of website design to design the site's framework and functionality.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +13%

Median Annual Salary: $77,200

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts protect organizations' networks from security breaches. These professionals check systems for vulnerabilities, recommend security enhancements, and develop security protocols.

Many information security analysts work in computer systems design, data organizations, or finance and insurance. In addition to a bachelor's degree, these professionals often need to earn industry certifications.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +33%

Median Annual Salary: $102,600

Software Developers

Software developers design computer programs or applications. These professionals analyze user needs and design pieces of systems that work together to meet those needs.

Software developers often work for computer systems design companies or in manufacturing. With experience and education, software developers may become computer and information systems managers.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +22%

Median Annual Salary: $110,140

Special Effects Artists and Animators

These professionals create realistic animations and graphics for movies and video games, including simulations used as tools for teaching cybersecurity skills. They design scenery and create three-dimensional movements through computer graphics.

Most special effects artists and animators are self employed, but some work for the movie industry or software publishers.

Required Education: Bachelor's degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +16%

Median Annual Salary: $78,790

Computer and Information Systems Managers

These managers plan, coordinate, and manage organizations' computer-related activities.

Computer and information systems managers may have titles such as chief information security officers, chief technology officers, IT directors, or IT security managers. Their roles and responsibilities may vary depending on the size and scope of their firm.

Required Education: Bachelor's Degree

Job Outlook (2020-30): +11%

Median Annual Salary: $159,010



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Choosing the Best College for Web Development for You

Selecting the right program requires careful thought and research. Start by developing a clear understanding of what web development entails. What does a web developer do? What skills does it take to be successful? Do you already have a technical background, or do you need to develop those abilities?

Consider the following factors when researching available programs.

  • Available Specializations: Some schools provide more specialized programs than others.
  • Program Length: Determine how long you can spend pursuing your degree by researching credit requirements and timelines.
  • Internship Opportunities: If your degree will take longer than two years, try to find a program that includes an internship in the curriculum.
  • Accreditation: Look for a school with regional accreditation from an organization like the Higher Learning Commission.
  • Alumni Network: A robust alumni network focused on internet technology can help pave the way for aspiring web developers to pursue entry-level jobs.

Should You Get Your Degree Online?

Online education provides many benefits but comes with a few drawbacks. Students who need additional flexibility in scheduling may find online or hybrid degrees ideal for their circumstances.

Internet-based education has grown rapidly. According to NCES, 37.2% of college students took an online course in 2019. During the pandemic, this percentage increased dramatically, making distance education a much more common experience.

Prospective students should seek programs at some of the best schools for web development to ensure they receive quality instruction and learn up-to-date technologies.

Top Schools for Web Development Bachelor's Degrees

The following ranking of the top colleges for web development in 2022 includes public and private schools' bachelor's programs. To find out more about how we rank schools at all degree levels, visit the methodology page below.

#1 Online College in Tennessee

Lipscomb University

School Information
Location Nashville, Tennessee
Admission Rate 63%
Graduation Rate 68%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The programs at Lipscomb University help professionals move into new careers or advance in their current field. The bachelor's in web development curriculum provides foundational knowledge in various general education subjects.

Degree-seekers gain the knowledge and skills necessary to secure positions in their field. After fulfilling general education requirements, degree-seekers take major courses focused on their field of study. Adding a minor to their bachelor's degree can help learners qualify for positions in niche fields.

As an accredited institution, the school delivers programs that prepare learners to succeed in professional positions or master's programs. Bachelor's degree-seekers who study full time typically complete their program in four years. Information on the acceptance of transfer credits can be found on the institution's website. Since the school holds accreditation, it can issue federal financial aid. Students can access the school's support services online and in person. Peer tutoring helps learners excel academically.

The school holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#2 Online College in California

University of California-Irvine

School Information
Location Irvine, California
Admission Rate 27%
Graduation Rate 84%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Irvine, California, University of California-Irvine is a public institution. The school offers four-year bachelor's programs for undergraduate degree-seekers. After earning a bachelor's degree, graduates can continue their education or enter the workforce. Program curricula feature general education and major classes. 

Learners can specialize their curriculum by pursuing a minor or concentration. The school reports an 18-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, which helps learners receive individual attention. To get the most out of their educational experience, degree-seekers can attend events and join student organizations.

The institution offers affordable tuition rates, which help students minimize out-of-pocket expenses. The school charges in-state students $11,442 per year and out-of-state learners $41,196 per year. The school admits 27% of undergraduate applicants. 

Prospective applicants can contact the admissions department for information about financial aid opportunities. The institution holds accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission. 

#3 Online College in Oklahoma

University of Tulsa

School Information
Location Tulsa, Oklahoma
Admission Rate 36%
Graduation Rate 72%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Oklahoma-based University of Tulsa delivers 160 academic programs, including bachelor's programs. Undergraduate students can pursue a bachelor's degree in a variety of fields, including web development. Bachelor's programs feature general education classes in areas such as English, the sciences, and arithmetic.

While earning upper-division credits, students learn about subjects relevant to their major. In addition to gaining knowledge in their field, degree-seekers develop analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Full-time bachelor's degree-seekers typically graduate in four years. Learners who enroll part time may need longer to graduate.

Degree-seekers at the school pay an average of $1,320 per credit. Of the school's learners, 98% receive financial aid and 29% take out loans. The school accepts 36% of learners.

#4 Online College in Minnesota

Saint Cloud State University

School Information
Location Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Admission Rate 90%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 31% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, Saint Cloud State University is a public school. The school offers four-year bachelor's programs for undergraduate degree-seekers. Bachelor's degree-holders can enroll in a master's program or enter the workforce. 

Bachelor's programs require foundational coursework and field-specific classes. Adding a minor or concentration to their bachelor's degree can improve graduates' competitiveness for specialized positions. Students benefit from a student-to-faculty ratio of 20-to-1. Student organizations often host events on campus.

The institution offers affordable tuition rates, which help students minimize out-of-pocket expenses. The school charges in-state degree-seekers $7,394 per year and out-of-state learners $15,686 per year. The school accepts 90% of applicants. The admissions department can help prospective learners understand application requirements and financial aid opportunities. The school holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. 

#5 Online College in Virginia

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Liberty University delivers 229 online and on-campus programs from its location in Virginia. Undergraduate students can major in a variety of fields, including the BS in information technology: web and mobile programming track. 

General education requirements for bachelor's degree-seekers include classes in areas such as the liberal arts and sciences. Specialized, upper-division classes build on foundational knowledge from general education classes. Bachelor's degree-seekers gain transferable critical-thinking and problem-solving skills to prepare for roles in their field. Full-time learners pursuing online studies usually earn their bachelor's degree in four years. Busy students may enroll part time.

The school allows students to transfer credits into their online bachelor's program. Learners pay an average of $750 per credit. The institution reports that 99% of learners receive financial aid and 57% take out loans. According to the school, 51% of undergraduate applicants receive admission.

Top Schools for Web Development Master's Degrees

The following rankings explore the best universities for web development. Using our distinct methodology, we created a list of the five best graduate programs in 2022.

#1 Online College in California

Naval Postgraduate School

School Information
Location Monterey, California
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Based in Monterey, California, Naval Postgraduate School educates degree-seekers through in-person and flexible online programs. Degree-seekers at the school access high-ranked master's programs.

Learners who want to excel in web development can enroll in the institution's master's degree in computer science. The program features a rigorous curriculum, helping enrollees develop foundational knowledge in the field. 

Experiential learning opportunities help graduate students gain practical skills and prepare to impress employers after graduation. Master's students work with faculty advisors, who provide advice and insights into the field. Learners currently employed in the web development field often qualify for career advancement after graduation.

The institution holds accreditation, which means students can submit the FAFSA to receive federal grants and loans. The school delivers in-person and virtual student support services, such as tutoring and career counseling. Admissions advisors provide prospective applicants with details about application deadlines and requirements.

#2 Online College in Louisiana

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

School Information
Location Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 68%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College delivers 228 academic programs, including a master's program in computer science and engineering. The curriculum provides students with advanced knowledge. Classes explore topics specific to the learner's field of study to prepare them for the workforce.

Students without transfer credits typically need about two years to complete their master's program. Information on the acceptance of transfer credits can be found on the institution's website. Degree-seekers can access support services from the institution. Learners can take advantage of peer and professional tutoring from the school.

To fund their education, 96% of the school's students obtain financial aid and 32% take out loans. Grants and scholarships can help students reduce out-of-pocket expenses. The institution accepts 75% of graduate learners.

Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

#3 Online College in New York

Rochester Institute of Technology

School Information
Location Rochester, New York
Admission Rate 71%
Graduation Rate 67%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Rochester Institute of Technology is a private institution educating master's students from its Rochester campus. The school offers a top-ranked master's degree in computer science for graduate degree-seekers. Enrollees in the master's program complete core and specialized coursework, along with experiential learning components.

Students develop transferable skills through core coursework and specialize during advanced web development classes. As an accredited institution, the school delivers programs that prepare learners for high-level roles in the workforce. 

Students enrolled in the school's master's programs can access academic advising, faculty mentorship, and career counseling. Graduates can transition to a web development career or advance their current career in the field after earning their master's degree.

Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal aid, including grants and loans. At the school, 98% of students obtain financial aid to pay for their degree.

Rochester Institute of Technology Fast Facts:

Number of Master's Programs: 62

Online Master's Program Offerings: 13

In-State and Out-of-State Graduate Tuition: $47,522

Applies Transfer Credits: No

#4 Online College in Pennsylvania

Robert Morris University

School Information
Location Moon Township, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 65%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Pennsylvania-based Robert Morris University is a private institution offering master's-level programs. The school's master's programs include a respected master's degree in web and mobile information systems. The web development program's rigorous curriculum helps enrollees develop field-specific knowledge, which they apply during experiential learning opportunities.

Core classes help students develop transferable skills and prepare for advanced web development classes. The school delivers accredited programs to prepare learners for career advancement and provides support services, such as academic advising and career counseling, to support master's students' overall success. Graduates who are new to the field and those with established web development careers can apply for advanced positions with a master's degree.

At the accredited institution, degree-seekers who demonstrate financial need can qualify for federal aid. According to the school, 99% of the student body receives financial aid to fund their graduate education.

Robert Morris University At a Glance:

Number of Master's Programs: 18

Online Master's Programs: 10

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

#5 Online College in Indiana

Purdue University Northwest

School Information
Location Hammond, Indiana
Admission Rate 29%
Graduation Rate 38%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 39% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Among Purdue University Northwest's academic offerings are master's programs in many fields, including web development. The master's degree in computer science, offered through the public institution located in Hammond, Indiana, provides a flexible, advanced course of study. The web development program prepares learners to pursue positions in the field or advance their current career.

Enrollees develop specialized knowledge in the field and soft skills that apply to experiential learning opportunities and professional roles. Students can select electives and pursue practical learning experiences to prepare for careers in specific areas of the industry. Master's degree-seekers can access support services including faculty mentorship, academic advising, and career counseling.

Full-time students typically require 1-2 years to earn their master's degree in web development. Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal grants and loans.

Purdue University Northwest Numbers:

Total Master's Programs: 20

Online Master's Options: 3

Students Receiving Aid: 82%

Students Receiving Loans: 35%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Frequently Asked Questions About Web Development


Are the best schools for web development hard to get into?

Some schools are harder to get into than others. Anybody can apply to the top web development schools, but applicants should do their research in advance and prepare their applications to stand out among other candidates.

Can other majors lead to a career in web development?

As with many career fields, web development offers more than one available pathway. Students with degrees in other fields can make excellent web developers.

Is coding required for web development?

Having programming knowledge is an asset, but it's not required. Many people create websites with software that allows them to manipulate graphics and text. They may rely on coders to fix problems or add more complex features.

Is it worth it to go to college to become a web developer?

College graduates generally earn more money than people without degrees. However, you do not have to attend college or pursue a major in web development to become a web developer.


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