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Think about your favorite websites: the color scheme, the placement of the buttons, the way you navigate with ease to find just what you’re looking for. Now think of the worst ones. Maybe you’re just trying to purchase some tickets and they seem to have made the process as difficult as possible on purpose. You just can’t find the venue or the time of the event or where the shopping cart button is. Nothing seems to work intuitively.

It can be maddening.

Well, a website is only as good as the developer who built it. What do you think, websites make themselves?

An experienced Website Developer figures all the details out. They think about the clients’s products or services and develops an appealing website to meet or exceed the target markets’ expectations. A Website Developer is not born over night; the job requires some serious computer and design skills. Think you can hack it? Okay, then: time to get educated.

Education

Generally employers will be looking for those with at least a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field such as computer science or information technology. If you’re a really good self-taught developer you may get away with an associate’s degree, but it can be hard to prove yourself; in today’s trying market, an undergraduate degree is the safest bet.

Expect this common coursework in your degree program:

  • software programming
  • computer program languages- HTML, CSS, c#, JavaScript, OOD, TDD
  • design principals

Certifications

Web Developers are expected to get certified to prove their level of expertise. Check out the following certifications:

  • Certified Web Developer
  • Certified Internet Webmaster
  • Advanced Web Developer
  • Mobile Application Development Certification

Many online schools offer these certifications. Also, software companies and other computer product makers offer certifications in their own products and services; for example, you can pursue a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) certification, which can compliment traditional certifications in Web Development.

Job Expectations

The main job of a Website Developer is to make websites look and work good. That might include some creation of content and keeping the performance and other technical aspects in check. It’s a pretty big responsibility because as we know a website for any business or organization is the first impression for potential customers or clients.

Website Developers usually work full time; some freelance and work remote, so hours can vary depending on assignments.

Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is expected to grow by 20% from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than average for all occupations.

The demand should stay high as e-commerce continues to expand. The availability to purchase products and services online only increases year after year. Also consider the boom in mobile devices in just this past decade. Anyone can purchase goods from anywhere as long as their phone stays charged! Some Website Developers focus only on mobile applications, a sign of how big the market currently is.

The BLS website also reports the median annual pay for Developers was $62,500 in May of 2012. The top 10% earned more than $105,200. When companies can ensure that customers can find them and use their sites, they consider it well worth the pay.