Best online master’s in web development 2021: Top picks

    Consider your career pathway with a web development master’s degree. Web developers apply both technical and analytical skills with design and development. During a typical day, web developers may apply their skills in user interface, writing underlying code, or managing all aspects of a business’s website.

    Web developers build websites, web applications, and application databases along with interactive web interfaces. Web development is in demand across healthcare, finance, and other top-paying industries. Graduates of the program may seek a variety of roles such as web designer, technology applications engineer, or web architect.

    Considering a career in web development? Then explore ZDNet’s ranking of the best online web development master’s programs to help you get started.

    The best online master’s in web development degrees

    ZDNet’s ranking methodology includes data collection from the National Center for Education Statistics and ranking formulas using the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

    Our data-driven approach weighs several components such as academics, affordability, and programmatic excellence. ZDNet’s experts provide a rigorous data review prior to publication.

    Unless otherwise indicated, data is drawn from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and College Scorecard.

    1. Boston University

    Boston, Massachusetts

    About the program: BU’s online master’s of science in computer information systems with a concentration in web application development offers 40 credit hours of web applications, client-side and server-side development, and mobile web applications as well as real-world projects and interaction with databases.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: Not publicly available
    • Avg. annual net price: $58,560
    • Time to completion: 12–20 months; part-time or full-time
    • GRE/GMAT: N/A
    • Minimum GPA: Not publicly available
    • Enrollment periods per year: Two
    • Course delivery methods: Asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Boston University is regionally accredited by New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

    2. University of Denver

    Denver, CO

    About the program: DU’s online master’s of science in information and communications technology with a concentration in web design and development offers 48 credit hours of business foundations, technical foundations, and enterprise architecture combined with a capstone, concentration courses, and electives.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: Not publicly available
    • Avg. annual net price: $17,856
    • Time to completion: One to two years, part-time or full-time
    • GRE/GMAT: N/A
    • Minimum GPA: 2.5
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Asynchronous

    Accreditation: The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    3. Fort Hays State University

    Hays, Kansas

    About the program: FHSU’s online master’s of professional studies — web and mobile applications development offers 30 credit hours of informatics, research methods, and human-computer interaction courses along with a capstone, program specific classes, and electives.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: Not publicly available
    • Avg. annual net price: $4,478.25
    • Time to completion: One to two years
    • GRE/GMAT: Not publicly available
    • Minimum GPA: 3.0
    • Enrollment periods per year: Three
    • Course delivery methods: Asynchronous and synchronous

    Accreditation: Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

    4. Southern New Hampshire University

    Manchester, New Hampshire

    About the program: SNHU’s online master’s of science in Information technology with a concentration in web design offers 36 credit hours of web construction, interface design for websites, and operating systems while applying the latest technology and analytical thinking skills.

    • Acceptance rate: Not publicly available
    • Graduation rate: Not publicly available
    • Avg. annual net price: $9,405
    • Time to completion: One to two years
    • GRE/GMAT: N/A
    • Minimum GPA: 2.75
    • Enrollment periods per year: Five
    • Course delivery methods: Asynchronous

    Accreditation: Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

    What to expect in an online master’s in web development degree program

    Prospective students should expect term projects, presentations, and real-world experiences.

    As a final step, students typically complete a capstone project. While enrolled, students apply both theory and practical application to web development and design.

    There are options for students to enroll in electives. Learners may participate in discussion forums, live lectures, and video conferencing.

    A master’s web development program can be challenging. Many programs offer flexible scheduling and convenient access to the online learning platform.

    With part-time, asynchronous instruction, working professionals can achieve a school-work balance. Learners are encouraged to develop their time management, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills.

    Master’s in web development courses

    Prospective students will learn to develop interactive, web and mobile applications and apply practical experience in UX principles, web design, and information architecture. Learners will enroll in core courses and build knowledge of programming languages.

    Business data communication and networks

    Students will learn the foundations of data communication and gain knowledge of web design from the bottom-up. Learners will obtain an overview of management concepts and network security.

    Database design and implementation for business

    Students will acquire the most recent relational and object-relational mapping techniques for continuous data and object modeling and management. Learners will obtain in-depth experience with Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle.

    Information systems analysis and design

    Students learn object-oriented approaches for information systems analysis and design. Learners develop knowledge of database utilization, software system architecture, and project control along with other methods for a high-quality information system.

    Information structures with Java

    Students learn key concepts of the object-oriented method for software design and development with the Java programming languages. Learners increase knowledge of fundamental data types and advanced content such as creating user interfaces.

    Web development degree levels

    Consider which web development certificate program or degree best fits your career goals.

    If you are seeking a fast-track program, then enroll in a bootcamp or certificate program.

    With a two- or four-year program, you will gain more exposure, in-depth knowledge, and practical application. For a long-term career investment, a web development master’s degree may be the best option.

    Certificate in web development

    • Length: Six to 18 months
    • Cost: $1,000-$20,000
    • Post-grad careers: UX/UI designer, web developer, and web designer

    With a web development certificate, you will acquire the technical skills for coding, programming, and building websites. Learners will gain proficiency in HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

    Explore programs that incorporate building websites for the internet, intranet, and extranet. Enhance your project management and people skills.

    Certificate programs offer multiple opportunities for hands-on experience and real-world projects. Graduates may seek roles as UX/UI designers, web developers, or web designers.

    Associate in web development

    • Length: Two years
    • Cost: $7,000-$20,000
    • Post-grad careers: Database programmer, systems Analyst, and IT consultant

    With an associate degree in web development, you will learn the foundational skills for developing, testing, and providing secure web applications.

    To succeed, practice manipulating data. Incorporate the time and effort for testing and maintaining computer programs. Increase your knowledge of programming languages.

    To build efficiency, pay attention to details and communicate effectively. Learners gain real-world experience, participate in labs, and complete hands-on assignments.

    Graduates may jumpstart their careers as network engineers, systems developers, and database administrators.

    Bachelor’s in web development

    • Length: Four years
    • Cost: $38,000-$61,000
    • Post-grad careers: Computer programmer, graphic web designer, front-end developer

    With a four-year web development degree, you will acquire the core skills for design and development. The best programs enhance your core competencies into HTML, Dynamic HTML, and Dynamic CSS.

    Learners complete term projects, real-world projects, and labs. Prior to enrolling, discover your career interests in designing and implementing database systems.

    For program success, enhance your interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Successful learners exhibit adaptability and accountability. Graduates may seek careers in front-end, back-end, and full-stack development.

    Master’s in web development

    • Length: One to two years
    • Cost: $10,000-$120,000
    • Post-grad careers: Technical architect, web programmer, UI/UX designer

    Weigh the advantages of pursuing an online master’s web development degree. Consider the long-term career opportunities with advanced competencies in front-end, back-end, or full-stack web development.

    Learn to apply both theory and practical application along with your critical thinking skills for website design.

    With labs, real-world projects, and internships, you will develop the proficiency needed for a front-end web developer, webmaster, or website UI/UX designer.

    In conclusion

    Imagine a career where you can apply your web development skills in the public or private sector. Consider the benefits of enrolling in a part-time or full-time, flexible web development master’s program while learning about systems development, networking, and web security.

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