How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree?

Let’s first answer the question – is it necessary to have a degree to become a web developer? A degree is not required to enter the field of web development. Because of its adaptability, web development is a topic that offers several entrance options for interested individuals. Web designers and developers have a wide range of technical skills and knowledge.

Some web developers have taught themselves to code, giving them the edge they need to get an entry-level position in the industry.

Similarly, you can enter the web development field without the need to enrol into a full-fledged degree program. Not only that, but you can also find a promising job or sufficient freelance work to help you make ends meet. If you are interested to know more, this article guides you on how you can do so.

What Does a Web Developer Do?

Simply put, a web developer is one who creates websites. Moreover, their job extends to ensuring that the website isn’t only functional and has a smooth and comprehensive interface, but also that it is appealing enough for the client’s customers to be compelled to use it. Every website serves a certain purpose, and it is upon the web developer to ensure that the website they create fulfils the client’s requirements.

There are two types of web developers, namely front-end developers and back-end developers. As the name implies, front-end developers have everything to do with the ‘face’ of the website, i.e. the display, design, theme, colors, and other elements that are visible to the visitors. Front-end developers are sometimes referred to as UI/UX developers.

UI/UX developers primarily focus on HTML and CSS for user interface development but don’t do a lot of JavaScript work beyond interface manipulation. UI/UX Developers often work closely with UI/UX designers and graphic designers to bring designs to life with code.

Then come the back-end developers, who handle everything that goes behind the scenes of a website – the things that visitors don’t see but are equally important in the function of the website. Back-end developers are responsible for making sure a website works as expected and serves its purpose. Moreover, they deal with the different functions and components of the website, and they work closely with database engineers, security analysts, and other team members. Their mainly responsible for writing the code of the website.

After a website’s design is complete, it’s time for the development team to make it a reality. They’re also in charge of the website’s performance (how quickly pages load, how much traffic the site can manage, etc.). They may focus on front-end or back-end programming, the complete stack, or even interface or mobile app design.

Full-stack developers are developers who do both the front-end and back-end work on a website.

Let’s Check Some Stats

  • Only 18.9% of web developer positions require applicants with a degree.
  • 33.3% of web developer jobs in the US need a bachelor’s degree – a small amount only.
  • Front-end developers are in high demand. More opportunities for front-end developers are available than back-end developers, and most employees do not need any degree for employment.
  • BLS estimates a growth of 13% in web developer positions yearly. Senior web developers in the US have an average income of $125,127 a year.

What If You Don’t Have a Degree?

Normally, people who obtain their Bachelors in Computer Science or Software Engineering apply for web development positions in reputed companies. However, not everyone can go through a 4-year program, or doesn’t have the means to go about it. Luckily, they don’t necessarily need a Bachelor’s degree to start a career in web development. Thanks to the vast resources available on the internet, you can learn web development through various free or paid courses and tutorials.

People often join web development without a computer science or similar degree. However, it would be best if you had a few factors, including:

  • You can learn web development through self-study and practice.
  • Universities can’t keep up with the internet and computer software’s fast pace.
  • 50% of companies can’t find competent software developer candidates; thus, skills-based hiring is advised.

Young programmers nowadays learn in similar methods. Millennials are more inclined to learn to code online, according to a poll of 98,000 programmers. Young programmers prefer online courses over classroom settings.

Without a degree, your web development skills must speak for themselves. You can also self-teach web development, software engineering, and programming languages to succeed in this area.

What is Required to Work as a Web Developer?

Opportunities for professional growth in the area of web development do not need a university education or a degree. Web development does not need a formal education. No one is hiring web developers on any forums with specific requirements to have a degree, and most full-time web developer job postings do not indicate a minimum level of education.

When it comes to working as a web developer, there are certain essentials that you must know about, as these things help you do your work efficiently and avoid any mistakes or errors. For starters, you should have an updated and smoothly running laptop or desktop computer, which allows you to code and perform other operations easily. Plus, you would need a compiler that understands web programming languages and converts them into the required output.

If you are a front-end developer, you might also need a UI/UX design tool, wireframing software, online communication and collaboration tools, etc. These things will help you progress much quicker and better in your career.

Opportunities for Web Developers Without a Degree

The three most common career opportunities for web developers without a degree are as follows:

  1. Front-End Developer

Those who work on the front end of a website or online application are responsible for how it appears to the user. They make sure that everyone can use the final manufactured goods perfectly by considering factors like presentation and design. Because of the reduced entry barrier and increased availability of front-end developer employment, many entry-level people who want to be developers start their careers in this field.

The average salary for a front-end developer in the US is $92,986 ($39.82/hr) annually.

Front-End Developer Job Stats

  • There are 14,578 front-end developer opportunities available worldwide, with 11,685 requiring no four-year degree. 
  • There are 3,019 frontend developer jobs available in the US that do not need a college diploma (or any degree). As a result, 34.2 percent of developer positions in the US might require a degree.
  1. Back-End Developer

These developers are responsible for the infrastructure and services used for the user experience and support for the front-end. They are in charge of everything on a website’s back end. Back-end developers are among the highest-paid professionals in web development. It is necessary to be able to code using different web programming languages. Furthermore, back-end developers should also be aware of databases.

The average starting salary for back-end developers in the US is about $95,037 ($40.7/hr) per year.

Back-End Developer Job Stats

  • 5,959 of the 7,883 back-end developer positions are offered to people without a degree in computer science or a related subject.
  • Out of a total of 1,813 jobs, 1,089 back-end developers in the US do not need a degree.
  1. Full-Stack Developer

Full-stack developers are in great demand, and have an all-inclusive set of technical and interpersonal skills. The ideal applicant will know web architecture and expertise in websites’ front and back-ends. They must be able to switch roles as required, since they are in charge of everything regarding the website or web application, from the user interface to the servers that hold data.

The average yearly salary for full-stack developers in the US is $100,628, or $43.10 per hour.

Full-stack Developer Job Stats

  • A college education is not required for 23,909 of the world’s 31,902 full-stack development positions. Employers require degrees are needed for 25% of development positions worldwide.
  • Only 8,499 of the 13,401 development roles in the US need a Bachelor’s degree. As a result, a degree is necessary for 36.5 percent of full-stack developer jobs in the United States.

How You Can Become a Web Developer with No Degree

Follow these methods even if you do not have any degree and want to become a front-end, back-end, or full-stack web developer.

  1. Decide on a Career in Web Development

To begin, decide if you want to specialize specifically in which field of web development before joining this profession. It’s not a bad idea to reconsider your selection as you gain experience with the numerous tasks connected with each role. Still, having an ultimate goal is beneficial, and deciding on a particular web development job path helps to focus your objectives significantly.

Students who commit to the 4+ year curriculum necessary to get a bachelor’s degree in computer science have plenty of time to think about their future careers.

  1. Attend a Web Development Boot Camp or Web Development Course

Several high-quality web development courses, boot camps, and online certification programs exist. They do not take as long as a four-year college degree and will not put you in student debt.

Although the majority of the content in these courses is freely accessible elsewhere online, taking them might speed up the process of gaining the skills required to become a web developer. Technical mentoring and code challenges provided by premium resources can help you become a better web developer far faster than you could with free resources alone.

  1. Gain Experience Developing Websites and Web Applications

Whether you have a degree or not, you will need to learn how to code to work in the web development sector. We can’t get away from it. To improve, you need to practice and understand the language and software of your code well.

Most businesses don’t care whether you learned to code on your own, at a conventional institution, or via an online school. They are just interested in your coding abilities. Many jobs nowadays need web design ideas, languages, and software knowledge – so be prepared! 

  1. Create An Online Portfolio Of Your Work

Although it may appear difficult to someone who has never written code, getting started is relatively simple.

  • Dig in and start with small projects to learn web development quickly.
  • Be familiar with coding languages such as HTML to create simple, static websites.
  • Simple formatting effects may be implemented using CSS language
  • Find a repository of JavaScript samples and play around with them.

Your site design and development efforts will improve in unison with your knowledge. As you build increasingly complex projects, your portfolio will eventually catch the attention of hiring managers, leading to your first job interview.

  1. Try Mock Interviews and Coding Exams

After you’ve learned your bit of coding, the next step is to get ready for interviews. Web development interviews are not the same as those for other fields. You may be handed an assessment to test your code that you must complete in a specified amount of time. Although many businesses continue to employ these assessments, the practice has seen better days.

  1. Polish Your Professional Online Profiles

Before you apply for development jobs, spend some time polishing your online profiles and résumé. It would help if you made sure the documents and profiles you supply are clear, concise, and professional since employers spend a minimum of seven seconds reviewing a candidate’s resume.

You should have a thorough and up-to-date profile on LinkedIn since it is one of the most popular places for developers to look for work. Upload a recent, professional headshot and a detailed account of your online education and certifications.

  1. Hunt for Entry-Level Positions in Web Development

Web development is one of the most in-demand specialists in the economy, so acquiring a job will be a piece of cake for you. For many firms, finding a great developer job may seem like hunting for a needle in a haystack. Still, there are feasible alternatives to the typical in-house web development function.

If you don’t have a degree but want to work as a web developer, we recommend applying through LinkedIn.

  1. Experience is More Important Than Your Degree

The most challenging component of becoming a web developer without a degree is finding work in the sector, whether it’s an internship, a job, or a freelance client.

At this stage, you need to:

  • Maintain a consistent schedule of skill development, including soft and hard talents.
  • Learn more about various programming languages.
  • Observe and learn from other programmers.
  • Focus on experience rather than salary. 

Seek recurring engagements, even for little, low-paying, seemingly insignificant web projects, whether you are an expert in either the front end or the back end or both, is called a “full-stack developer” – because you need experience! 

Wrapping Up

It’s not and never about a degree; it’s all about your skills & experience! – The more time and effort you invest into web development, the more likely you will find employment. Simply said, there is no difficulty. Furthermore, as you acquire practical experience, your lack of a formal degree will become less of a barrier to prospective employers.

When gaining expertise in a particular sector or area of study, wage increases of up to 260 percent are usual. While it is true that applicants for senior positions in web development must have a greater skill set, the fact is that tasks at both the highest and lowest levels/positions are relatively similar. The most crucial qualification is real-world experience, and a senior web developer job often requires five or more years of web development employment.

That brings our degree-optional blog for aspiring web developers to an end. If there’s one thing you should remember while your job hunt, having the perfect skill set and experience is much more of a value than your degree. If you can stay motivated and continue to learn new programming languages, you will soon be at your dream web development job with a fantastic salary.

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