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5 Best Grad Schools with Online Master’s in Web Development

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Updated: February 23, 2024, Reading time: 19 minutes

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Web development is an exciting and in-demand field that opens a wealth of employment opportunities to those skilled in creating, building, and maintaining websites and web applications. This dynamic field encompasses web design, database management, and website programming.

Earning an online Master’s in Web Development degree can help prospective students grow their careers and boost their earning potential. Usually, this master’s degree tackles topics such as programming languages and coding, software and application development, web design fundamentals, front-end development, graphic design, and so much more.

All of these are designed to help students land senior-level and leadership positions within the field.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics finds web developers have a median pay of $80,730 per year. They often work in a variety of work settings and industries, including computer systems design, business organizations, advertising, e-commerce, management consulting, and publishing.


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Overview

Many universities and colleges offer online master’s degrees in Web Development. This means working professionals will be able to pursue an advanced higher education degree in web development without compromising their budding careers.

Some of the best online master’s in web development programs will equip graduate students with sufficient knowledge and skills in Python, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Ruby, allowing them to create a functional and user-friendly website page. Most master’s in web development degrees require students to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field.

If you have a passion for website creation, design, and development using information architecture and use experience best practices, then an online master’s in web development is just for you.

Methodology

An overwhelming amount of businesses across all sizes and industries have some form of online presence to help establish connections with the right audiences, and ultimately generate profits. Key to this is developing functional, interactive, and user-friendly websites that effectively communicate brand identity and messaging, and professionals who are looking to advance in this field would do well to gain access to the best educational preparation they can get.

We’ve got you covered! We have put together a set of graduate schools that offer the best online master’s in Web Development degrees. Each program selected is based on the following characteristics:

Visit our Methodology section for more information.

Best Online Master’s in Web Development Programs

Boston University

Boston University

Boston, MA

Master of Science (MS) in Computer Information Systems – Web Application Development

Boston University is home to more than 36,000 from more than 130 countries. Currently, it has 17 schools and colleges that offer over 300 programs of study. Many of their academic programs on offer are available online, making them more accessible, especially to working professionals. The online programs are designed through the unique collaboration of the faculty members from the Distance Education office and the faculty members throughout the schools and colleges within Boston University.

Standout Features of Boston University’s Online Master of Science in Computer Information Systems, Concentration in Web Application Development Program:

The online Master’s in Web Development program features courses designed and developed by PhD-level faculty and professionals with hands-on experience in the industry. Class sizes are kept small, which means students get to be given the attention they deserve. Students might also be required to complete case studies and real-world projects to ensure that they acquire in-depth, practical experience.

Did You Know?

Boston University ensures that online students receive equal and prompt attention and assistance throughout their distance learning journey. This is done through the establishment of the Student & Faculty Support office. Students are assisted from application and registration to the program of their choice to technical support during their educational journey to graduation details.


Maryville University

Maryville University

St. Louis, MO

Master’s in Software Development

Founded as a private academy for young women in 1872, Maryville University has grown into a private college that is known for its comprehensive and innovative education. In recent years, the university started to leverage technology to set high standards in distance education.

They currently offer the highest-quality online programs to thousands of students. The regionally accredited university has partnerships with top businesses, including Edward Jones and Boeing, to design and develop future-focused academic programs.

Standout Features of Maryville University’s Online Master’s in Software Development Program:

The online Master’s in Software Development program is offered under the John E. Simon School of Business. It is designed to prepare students for a lucrative and rewarding career in technology, encompassing software technology project management and troubleshooting.

They gain a mastery of the technical aspect and enhance their leadership skills through creating and developing big ideas as well as managing them to launch and beyond.

Did You Know?

Online students at Maryville University can earn the same high-quality college education as their on-campus counterparts. Most of the graduates from Maryville have a job or are enrolled in advanced education programs, all within six months of graduation.

For eligible students, the Early Access program can be taken advantage of. This allows them to jumpstart their graduate studies by completing graduate courses, which can then be counted toward their undergraduate and graduate degrees.


University of Denver

University of Denver - University College

Denver, Colorado

Master of Science in Information & Communications Technology, concentration in Web Design & Development

The University of Denver is a private research university in Denver, Colorado. It was established in 1864 as the Colorado Seminary and was later renamed to University of Denver in 1880. It is currently classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity”, and has a student population of over 13,700.        

Standout Features of the University of Denver’s Master of Science in Information & Communications Technology, with a Concentration in Web Design & Development program:

The University of Denver is Higher Learning Commission-accredited. Its MSICT program is continually developed and updated with the input of its own advisory board composed of industry leaders and employers, which helps guarantee the program’s affinity with current and future industry needs and demands.

Did You Know?

The University of Denver is part of the Colorado Technology Association, a nonprofit that brings together representatives from various private and public sectors that are involved in the IT Industry and has programs related to public policy, education, leadership, and more.


Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University

Hays, Kansas

Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Web and Mobile Applications Development

Fort Hays State University is a public university in the city of Hays, Kansas. It was established in 1902 and was originally a branch of the Kansas State Normal School, the present-day Emporia State University. It is named after Fort Hays, a now-closed frontier military outpost, and was originally located on its grounds. At present, Fort Hays State University is composed of five colleges and has a population of almost 13,000 students.

Standout Features of Fort Hays State University’s MPs in Web and Mobile Applications Development Program:

This degree program is designed as a Master of Professional Studies instead of the typical Master of Science design in many other degree programs. As such, it has a more multidisciplinary design that lets students combine skills in a major area with one or more cognate areas to give them a customized education. This program also brings Mobile Applications/Mobile Web Development into the mix together with Web Development, which can add another skillset to students’ arsenal.

Did You Know?

Aside from Web & Mobile Applications Development, Fort Hays State University also offers its MPS program with a range of other concentration areas, including Information Assurance Management, Cybersecurity, Computer Networking, and Human Resource Information Systems, among others.   


Dominican University

Dominican University

River Forest, Illinois

Master of Science in Software Development

Dominican University is a private university in the suburb of River Forest, Illinois, part of the greater Chicago metropolitan area, which it shares with nearby Concordia University Chicago. It was originally established in 1848 by the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters, a Roman Catholic religious order.

First known as the St. Clara Female Academy, it became Rosary College in 1922 and became coeducational only in 1970. The current name was adopted in 1997, and at present, Dominican University has over 3,200 students.

Standout Features of Dominican University’s Online Master of Science in Software Development Program:

For this program, Dominican University does not impose computer science prerequisites; the program welcomes students from a wide range of academic backgrounds, and in fact, the different perspectives students can bring from other educational backgrounds are welcomed. Students may also qualify for Course waivers if they can demonstrate proficiency in a certain set of areas, such as familiarity with Java and C#.

Did You Know?

For students who may not yet fully decide on going for the full Master’s Degree, Dominican University also offers certificates in Web Development, Mobile Applications Development, and Database Management. These certificates are stackable toward the full master’s degree once students decide to take their education further.


Differentiating Web Development from Web Design

Common usage typically sees the terms web development and web design program being used interchangeably. The two terms, however, have certain differences.

Web Design is mainly concerned with how a website “looks” or “feels.” It typically comes from a graphic design-oriented standpoint. Web design typically falls under the responsibility of graphic designers, and although low-code or no-code design platforms do exist, graphic design professionals who dabble in this field are also expected to have at least some familiarity with common or popular programming languages like HTML and CSS.

Web Development, on the other hand, is more concerned with the underlying functionality of websites, particularly the components that, taken together, make up a website’s core structure. Web developers are also tasked with building and maintaining the various tools and components that make up a website, from the parts of the webpage that users interact with directly, to the server-side components that handle data management tasks. Compared to Web Design which is largely a creative process, web development tasks tend to make bigger use of technical skills.  

These two professional fields work together on website design projects, where a web developer takes the input of web designers to build the website. These days, however, it isn’t uncommon to see professionals who are skilled in both web design and web development.

it is also common to find a web design master’s program that incorporates web development and vice versa. This means a web design graduate program can also be a good choice for those who want to advance their careers in web design and development.

The Importance of Web Development and Web Developers

The increasing prevalence of digital technologies has permeated the everyday lives of many people all over the globe, many of whom rely on their mobile devices to connect with the outside world. This means businesses and organizations strive to be where their customers are, which means establishing an online presence. One of the best ways they can accomplish this is to have a web page where potential customers can find more information about the products they offer.

This compels many of them to hire the expertise of web developers and programmers to create an advanced website design. It is the role of web developers to lend their technical skills and knowledge to ensure that websites and applications provide the best user experience. A lot of companies rely on web developers to drive their apps and online businesses to success.

With the help of a web designer and developer, the process of designing, developing, and managing a website is so much easier. These web development professionals often write codes, create layouts, design web-enabled information systems, enhance the website performance, and add features that contribute to the functionality of the web page. This can then impact the way users interact with the website, aiding conversion and building customer relationships.

Here are other reasons why web development is an integral part of the digital world.

Web Development Boosts Brand Identity

Brands are all about grabbing and retaining customers’ attention. This can be easily done if there is a solid brand identity in place. Companies seek to establish a strong brand identity so they can communicate their values and missions as well as showcase their products and other offerings. Since most transactions take place online nowadays, from orders and payments to shipments, a good working website is of utmost importance.

This is where web developers come in. Advanced knowledge of website development can make a world of difference when it comes to establishing brand identity. Depending on the business’s branding, a website can be designed as sleek and simple with easy navigation features and user-friendly interface design or it can be bright and brilliant to easily catch attention. It can exude quiet elegance and sophistication or it can be easy in the eyes. Web designers and developers harness web design principles to execute branding successfully.

Web Development Can Help Achieve Cost Effectiveness

Businesses that want to reduce their operating costs and increase profitability in the process will want to seek the help of web developers to develop websites that can house all the information that customers need along with other features that can aid customer conversion. Web developers may take a closer look at automating some of the processes on the website and ensuring that the user interface is excellent to keep the attention of potential customers.

Web Development Can Enhance a Business’ Reliability

A business website, which serves promotional and mass communication purposes, should be designed in a way that will foster potential customers’ trust in a business. This means it needs to load fast, provide a good user experience, and house all the necessary information in one place. Customers often rely on websites to find out what they need to know about a certain product or service before they make up their minds to purchase. It is important that a business website can be relied upon when it comes to product research and similar needs.

Online Master's in Web Development - fact

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the standard admission requirements for online Master’s in Web Development programs?

The admission requirements often vary depending on the college or university offering the Master’s in Web Development degree program. However, the primary requirement is often a Bachelor’s in Computer Science, Software Development, or other related discipline. Some universities require students to meet a minimum GPA.

Other admission requirements include a professional resume, two letters of recommendation, and a portfolio of relevant projects.

How do students complete their Master’s in Web Development degree?

To earn the degree, students must be able to meet and complete all the master’s program requirements, including the core courses, electives, final examinations, and capstone projects, if applicable. While not all master’s programs in Web Development require a capstone project, some might require students to complete a thesis.

How long does it take to complete a master’s degree in Web Development?

Many of the online programs in Web Development require the completion of 30 to 50 credits. This can usually take graduate students two years or more to complete. This depends on the coursework and other program requirements. Those who choose the thesis track may need to take more time to earn the degree.

There are also universities that offer the accelerated track option. In this case, students who are currently earning an undergraduate degree may take graduate courses that can be credited to the master’s in web development program. This allows them to earn both degrees at a much faster pace than their traditional counterparts.

What are the most common career paths for graduates of Web Development master’s degrees?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 16% growth in the job outlook of web developers and related professions. This is much faster than average, making the field an ideal choice for those who want to pursue a dynamic career. Some of the best technology careers in the field include web developers, digital designers, software developers, UX designers, UX researchers, multimedia programmers, applications and game developers, and so much more.

Is a Master’s in Web Development a good fit for those without a Computer Science background?

It depends. While web development is typically a highly technical field that sees entry by students from computer science/information technology-related undergraduate degrees, some individuals do have proficiency in this aspect that they have earned outside of their bachelor’s degree, and an interest in the field would count just as much as the right educational credentials.

Indeed, many Master’s in Web Development programs accommodate a wide range of academic backgrounds and operate on the recognition that these varied backgrounds can bring fresh perspectives that help rethink and innovate the field.

Key Takeaways

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