How online education can prepare you for a career in web development

posted on Wednesday, May 02 2012

As smartphones and tablet computers become increasingly popular, more people are accessing the internet on the go than ever before. Browsing the web has become an increasingly engaging and immersive experience, and individuals who want to embark upon an exciting new career path can enroll in an online bachelors degree program in web development.

Designing interactive experiences for the internet is one of the most rapidly changing fields in technology. Although web design and development are sometimes offered as separate online bachelors degree programs, many online colleges offer a combination of classes from the two disciplines to give students a varied and well-rounded education.

Web design tends to focus on the aesthetics of internet pages. Classes taught in web design degree programs often include color theory, composition and typography. More technologically specific courses could include the use of software such as Flash to embed video, audio and animations into web pages. Today, some online colleges favor the teaching of HTML 5 as opposed to Flash.

However, web developers do most of the heavy lifting in creating sophisticated, complex and seamless interactive experiences for their clients. Web developers make extensive use of coding technologies such as advanced HTML to create websites with advanced functionality, such as e-commerce platforms.

Common subjects taught in online bachelors degrees in web development include client- and server-side coding and database technologies. Client-side means that most of the programming is done by the user’s browser, using JavaScript, JQuery, Microsoft’s Silverlight and other browser plugins. Server-side means that the user interacts with databases stored on the website’s server, and utilizes coding solutions such as ColdFusion, Perl, PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails and Microsoft’s proprietary .NET framework.

Individuals who want to become web developers should be technically minded and able to grasp computer programming and networking concepts. Although much of the software used by web developers is user-friendly, the coding principles behind them can be quite complex. Students who want to enroll in online bachelors degree programs in web development should be curious and analytical, with good problem-solving skills.

In addition to websites, web developers can also be instrumental in the creation of smartphone applications. This growing field attracts some of the most creative, inquisitive minds in technology, and is likely to become an integral part of the sector in coming years. With more than 500,000 applications available on Apple’s App Store, developing smartphone applications is becoming an increasingly popular career choice for web development graduates.


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