A strong Web presence is vital to today's businesses. The ability to create interactive experiences for Internet users can help you find work in a wide variety of industries, and an education from one of the top schools for Web development degrees can give you the skills you need to make a splash with your online portfolio.
Writing code for websites is an important part of Web development, but it's far from all you'll study in a bachelor's degree program in the field. Graduates of most programs also learn the skills necessary to communicate using visual elements, develop security strategies and enhance user navigation and usability.
There are also several online degrees available for Web development students who may not have the time in their schedule to earn their degree in a traditional college environment. If you're hoping to study Web development on your own time and potentially at a reduced price, look into online Web development degrees.
Best Colleges for Web Development Degree Programs
We gathered a big batch of data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and analyzed it with our eight-point methodology to figure out which institutions across the country could be called the top ten schools for Web development. Click the button below to see just how we calculated the rankings, and read on to find out where the best colleges for Web development degree programs can be found.
Full Sail University is one of the nation's top schools for Web development degree programs. This for-profit, nationally accredited university also features an open enrollment policy, meaning that standardized test scores and past academic performance won't prevent you from being admitted.
The Web development degree plan at Full Sail is structured as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program that splits its time between Web development and Web design. Students who attend the fully online version of the program can expect to spend 29 months of full-time study, while the campus-based program typically requires a full-time investment of just 20 months.
Students at Fountainhead College of Technology in Knoxville, Tennessee, seem to have embraced the digital learning paradigm, at least according to the numbers. The NCES reports that 100 percent of students at this for-profit school were enrolled in at least some online coursework in 2015. Fountainhead also posted the No. 1 graduation rate among schools that made our list.
Although Fountainhead doesn't currently offer a degree plan tailored specifically toward Web development, its programs in computer programming and software application development approach the type of skillset that Web developers need to succeed. Both programs can be taken either on campus or online, although the online computer programming degree is a two-year associate plan rather than a four-year bachelor's.
The Web development program at East Coast Polytechnic Institute, commonly known as ECPI University, comes packaged as a specialization track within the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in computer and information science with a major in software development. The curriculum focuses on technical aspects of Web development such as object-oriented programming, interface design, database integration, Linux administration and more.
Campus-based students at ECPI who need some schedule flexibility may be able to attend some courses at night or on weekends, and alternative tuition payment plans are available for those who need some financial flexibility as well. Just four other schools on our list had higher distance education enrollment rates than this Virginia Beach school.
The student-faculty ratio at the New England Institute of Technology was 13:1 in 2015, which suggests that you're likely to have access to individualized instructional and advisory time from professors and staff. The average student-faculty ratio in 2016 was 16:1, according to a study done by U.S. News and World Report.
The program for aspiring Web developers at NEIT can be taken at either the associate or bachelor's level and takes more of a media-focused approach than some other degree plans in the discipline. The B.S. program in graphics, multimedia and Web design covers search engine optimization, logo design, animation, Web video, user interface design and Web content management systems.
This medium-small private institution in Gunnison, Colorado, ranked No. 2 among schools on our list for the affordability of its average cost of tuition and fees. According to the NCES, students paid an average of less than $8,500 for the year in 2015.
Students at Western who want to go into Web development after graduation can earn a degree in computer science, which covers many of the same subjects that are often taught in dedicated Web development programs. Coursework includes database management systems, programming languages and two sections of Web applications development, as well as an optional track that covers computer networking and software engineering.
The B.S. degree in Web design at the University of Advancing Technology offers a curriculum that has one foot on the aesthetic side of Web work and the other planted firmly in the technical details. Courses in typography, layout design, digital asset creation and 2D animation are taught alongside sections in Java programming, user experience design and Web technologies.
If you're shopping for online Web development degrees, don't overlook the B.S. in advancing computer science that's available at UAT. This 120-credit bachelor's program contains coursework in dynamic website building, advanced Web programming and mobile platform software development.
Neumont College of Computer Science, a fully campus-based institution in Salt Lake City, Utah, posted the No. 3 graduation rate among schools that made our top ten and had higher percentage of Web development students among its graduates than any other school in the country. More than half of the degrees completed at Neumont in 2015 were Web development degrees.
Just two other schools in our top ten reported a lower average rate of tuition and fees than the Madison, Wisconsin, campus of Herzing University. The degrees for Web developers at Herzing consist of a B.S. and an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in software development, with a computer programming concentration available for bachelor's students.
Herzing also offers online degrees for Web development students, providing its software development degrees in the virtual classroom as well as on campus. The bachelor's degrees are designed as three-year programs, taking just 36 months of full-time enrollment to complete, while the associate program typically takes 20 months of full-time study.
Our No. 9 school had the distinction of charging the lowest average tuition and fees cost of any school on our list. Students at Farmingdale State College paid an average amount of just over $7,800 in 2015, which works out to less than half as costly as the average calculated across all of our top schools.
Degrees and common career paths in Web development
Once you're on your way to becoming a Web developer, degree requirements in your program will prepare you for quite a few different specialized segments of the IT career market. Check out this list of degree plans that can lead to a Web developer career and find out how they might expand your employment horizons.
If you're hoping to train for a career in Web development while still working your current job, look into programs that feature online courses for busy learners. Not only can online courses help you earn your Web development degree without putting additional stress on your schedule, but online programs are often more affordable than the traditional, campus-based variety.
Career outlook for Web Development Majors
Getting a job after college can be a challenge, but knowing which careers in your field are on the rise can help take some of the guesswork out of the application process. Here's a rundown of employment projections for some up-and-coming Web development careers.
To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.
- Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.
Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.
- In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
- Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
- Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
- Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
- Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
- Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
- Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
- Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed September 2017, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- School pages, accessed October 18, 2017: Learning Outcomes, Online BS in Web Design & Development, Champlain College, https://www.champlain.edu/online/bachelors-degrees/bs-web-design-and-development-degree/learning-outcomes; Web Design & Development Bachelor's Degree, Full Sail University, https://www.fullsail.edu/degrees/web-design-and-development-bachelor; Computer Programming Degree, Fountainhead College of Technology, http://fountainheadcollege.edu/technical-education-career-training-programs/areas-of-study/computer-programming; Application Development, Fountainhead College of Technology, http://fountainheadcollege.edu/technical-education-career-training-programs/areas-of-study/application-development; Web Design & Development Bachelor's Degree Program, ECPI University, https://www.ecpi.edu/programs/web-design-development-bachelor-degree; Graphics, Multimedia and Web Design, New England Institute of Technology, https://www.neit.edu/Programs/Associate-Degree-Programs/Communications/Graphics-Multimedia-and-Web-Design; Graphics, Multimedia and Web Design Bachelor's Degree, New England Institute of Technology, https://www.neit.edu/Programs/Bachelors-Degree-Programs/Graphics-Multimedia-and-Web-Design; Computer Science (CS), Western Colorado State University, https://www.western.edu/university-catalog/academic-programs-undergraduate/computer-science-cs; Web Design Degree (BS), University of Advancing Technology, https://www.uat.edu/course-listings/web-design-degree#bachelor; Advancing Computer Science Degree, University of Advancing Technology, http://www.uat.edu/course-listings/advancing-computer-science-degree#bachelor; Bachelor's Degree in Web Design & Development, Neumont University, https://www.neumont.edu/bswd.html; Online and On-Campus Software Development Degree Program, Herzing University, https://www.herzing.edu/technology/software-development-degree; Software Development Degree, Coleman University, https://www.coleman.edu/programs/undergraduate/software-development.php; Computer Programming and Information Systems, Farmingdale State College, https://www.farmingdale.edu/academics/curriculum/bs-computer-programming-and-information-systems.shtml;
- 21 Liberal Arts Colleges With the Lowest Student-Faculty Ratios, U.S. News and World Report, Jordan Friedman, April 19, 2016, accessed October 18, 2017, https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2016-04-19/21-liberal-arts-colleges-with-the-lowest-student-faculty-ratios
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed October 17, 2017: Web Developers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm; Software Developers, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Computer-and-Information-Technology/Software-developers.htm;
- Software Development Versus Software Engineering, Software Engineer Insider, accessed October 17, 2017, https://www.softwareengineerinsider.com/articles/software-development-software-engineering.html
- Professional organization pages, accessed October 17, 2017: Member Benefits, World Organization of Webmasters, https://webprofessionals.org/join/benefits/; Membership Benefits, International Web Association, http://iwanet.org/iwa-membership/member-benefits/; CWP Certification Levels, International Web Association, http://iwanet.org/profdevel/certification-levels/; ASP Membership Benefits, Association of Software Professionals, http://asp-software.org/www/join/asp-membership-benefits/;
- The Web Development of Tomorrow Scholarship, Web Adaptive, accessed October 17, 2017, https://www.webadaptive.com/web-development-scholarship
- Scholarship directory data is copyrighted material which is reproduced on this website by permission of Wintergreen Orchard House, a division of Carnegie Communications. Copyright © 2017-18 by Wintergreen Orchard House. All rights reserved.
- School pages, accessed July 31, 2018: Web Development Degree Online, Southern New Hampshire University, https://www.snhu.edu/online-degrees/bachelors/bs-in-information-technologies/web-design-and-development; Web Development Degree, Franklin University, https://www.franklin.edu/degrees/bachelors/web-development; Computer Science Degree Requirements, Penn State University, https://turing.cs.hbg.psu.edu/cs/csdegree.html; Curriculum, Computer Science, Clemson University, http://www.clemson.edu/degrees/curriculum/27.pdf; Digital Media A.S. Degree, St. Petersburg College, https://go.spcollege.edu/asdigitalmedia/#tab=3; Multimedia Design & Development, DeVry University, https://www.devry.edu/d/multimedia-design-and-development-guide.pdf;