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How to Become a Web Developer

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for web developers are expected to grow 20% by 2022. But what do their jobs actually entail? How can you get started in the industry? If you'd like to jump aboard the train while it's still in the station, here are just a few things you need to know about becoming a web developer.

What They Are

Web developers are responsible for the planning and building of websites. Contrary to popular belief, they aren't coders, programmers, or designers, though all three of these things might be required by the job. The overall function of a web developer is to nurture an idea into a full-blown and fully-functioning site. They're the managers of web creation.

What They Do

It can be difficult to pin down the exact responsibilities of a web developer since so many of their duties are project-specific. For example, one client might ask them to code a new website from scratch while another just needs their site performance evaluated and tweaked for maximum efficiency. Generally speaking, however, the successful web developer has at least a basic understanding of the following:

  • Scripts
  • Code
  • Content production
  • Web design
  • Web analytics

Training Requirements

There are no national exams to become a web developer. In fact, many start their careers as freelancers or independent contractors with nothing more than their own self-taught experience. However, if you'd like something a little more substantial for your resume, there are plenty of schools, programs, and workshops that can teach you the basics of web development. A BS/MS in web programming will look quite impressive to hiring managers.

Technical Skills to Cultivate

Whether you're teaching yourself or hiring professors to do it for you, there are five major programming languages that clients will expect you to know:

  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • HTML5
  • PHP
  • CSS

There are many more, of course, but these are some of the most-requested in the industry. Don't panic if all the acronyms look intimidating to your untrained eye! These are exactly the kinds of things that web development courses will teach you.

Finding Work

There are many roads you can take toward finding employment as a web developer. As previously mentioned, some people work as freelancers until they build up their resumes; others secure jobs at tech companies or online agencies. You can even find work in advertising departments to make a living as a brand-specific web developer. The possibilities are endless when you open your career to all opportunities!

If you're considering a career in web development, use this guide to streamline the process and get yourself hired sooner rather than later. It might be a job that's very much in demand, but you'll still need to follow the right path for a successful and lucrative career as a web developer.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015