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Web developer employment is expected to increase at a pace of 13% each year, which is faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, web developers are well compensated for their skills, with senior web developers in the United States making an average of $125,127 a year. But what if you lack a formal education? It’s easier than you might think to work as a web developer without a degree in computer science or any other field.
There are several reasons for this:
The skill sets needed to work as a web developer can be totally self-taught online without any official education. Higher education finds it difficult to keep up with the rapid rate of innovation in software and online development. Employers are forced to adopt skills-based hiring since 50% of businesses struggle to find competent people to fill developer positions. There are numerous CEO success stories in the tech sector, including those of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg.
This pattern may also be seen in how young developers choose to study programming. A recent survey of almost 100,000 developers found that the majority of young people would rather learn to code online. Online education is really more popular among young developers than both schools and textbooks put together. Your abilities as a web developer will have to speak for themselves, though, since you lack a formal degree. You will need to study web development, software engineering, and a variety of programming languages independently, without a lecturer looking over your shoulder if you want to succeed.
Do you need a degree to become a web developer?
No, a degree is not required to work as a web developer. A degree is not typically listed as a requirement in full-time job postings for web developers, and none of the websites that post openings for freelance web developers do either.
The precise figures are as follows:
Only 20% of positions for web developers around the world include a degree as a necessity. Out of a total of 162,844 opportunities, there are 130,226 web developer jobs available without a degree.
Only 32.9% of positions for web developers in the US specify a degree as a qualification. Out of a total of 51,271, there are 34,421 opportunities available for web developers without a degree. This report, together with the upcoming was produced using Boolean search operators on LinkedIn Job Search. To do a live search of the numbers, simply follow any of the links in this article.
Web developer career paths that don’t require a degree
The three most common career paths for web developers that don’t require a degree are as follows:
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- Full-stack developer
The portion of a web application or website that is visible is developed by front-end developers. They make sure people can view and interact with the finished product as intended, taking into account things like performance, responsive design, and accessibility, among other things. Front-end web development is where many new web developers start their careers because it requires fewer programming abilities and offers more job prospects than back-end development.
Coding languages like Ruby, PHP, Java, Python, and C# are among those that must be mastered. Also, many back-end engineers require knowledge of databases like MySQL and SQL. The average base salary of a back-end developer in the United States is $116,635 per year ($49.95 per hour). Out of a total of 7,883 jobs accessible globally, there are 5,959 back-end developer jobs without a degree. As a result, a degree is required for 24.4% of back-end developer employment globally. Out of 1,813 open positions, 1,089 require no degree and are accessible in the United States. This means that in the United States, 39.9% of employment for back-end developers specify a degree as a necessity.
Out of the 31,902 open full-stack developer positions globally, 23,909 require no degree. Consequently, a degree is required for 25% of full-stack developer employment globally. Out of a total of 13,401 opportunities, there are 8,499 full-stack developer jobs without a degree accessible in the US. Consequently, a degree is required for 36.5% of full-stack developer employment in the US.
Steps to becoming a web developer without a degree
Follow these steps to become a web developer without a degree:
1. Choose a web development career path.
Try to decide which category of web developer you want to enter first: front-end, back-end, or full-stack?
Once you begin to understand the duties of the various roles more, you can always modify your opinion. Yet, it’s helpful to have end points in mind from the beginning, and deciding on a specific professional path in web development greatly helps you focus down your ambitions.
The four or more years it takes to earn a computer science degree from an institution of higher learning provide students plenty of time to consider their career options. They pick up knowledge of the front end, the back end, and everything in between. Without a degree, I suggest you skip all that. Instead, choose a specific career path from the start, and move towards that. Time is your most valuable resource and focus it wisely.
2. Enroll in a web development course or bootcamp.
There are many top-notch online web development courses, bootcamps, and certification programmes available today. They don’t require as many years to complete as traditional degrees, and you won’t accrue student loan debt as a result.
Although though the content in these courses is frequently available for free online, they are nevertheless useful for becoming a web developer as quickly as feasible. In contrast to free resources, they frequently include code challenges, classes that are organised properly, and additional benefits like technical mentorship that can seriously speed up your development as a web developer without a formal education.
3. Practice building websites and web applications.
Create web sites and applications if you want to work in web development, whether you have a degree or not. There is no avoiding that. Continue practising and developing a close friendship with your code editor as the only ways to improve.
Whether you are self-taught, attended a university to study programming, or completed an online course doesn’t really matter to employers. They only actually care about your coding skills. Coding is the only route to becoming a web developer without a degree. A lot.
4. Create a public portfolio of web projects.
If you’ve never written code before, this task could seem overwhelming, but getting started is actually rather simple.
As a means to acquire comfortable with the fundamentals of web programming, start out with relatively straightforward projects.
Learn how to use HTML to create straightforward static pages.
Use CSS to apply simple stylistic effects.
Projects will evolve as your web development abilities do. Your portfolio will start to open up professional chances as you continue to construct projects of escalating complexity, and before you realise it, you’ll be finding your first interview.
5. Practice coding assessments and job interviews.
It’s time to get ready for job interviews once you’ve gained some coding experience.
Web developer job interviews frequently proceed somewhat differently from those for other professions. In particular, you’ll frequently be required to finish a code test within a specific amount of time. Although it is an outdated practise, many employers still insist on this kind of test.
The good news is that there are lots of tools available to help you become skilled at passing these tests:
6. Optimize your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles.
Make sure your public profiles and Resume are in order before you start applying for web development jobs. Considering that recruiters only spend 7 seconds on average reading resumes, it is imperative that you present papers and profiles that are professional, clear, and brief.
Currently, a tech recruiter will frequently review your GitHub and LinkedIn profiles as soon as they receive your resume. Also, it’s crucial that you keep yours current and complete because LinkedIn is one of the top job search websites for developers. Include any online courses you have done, credentials you have earned, as well as a profile picture that looks professional.
After completing that, you are now prepared to begin submitting applications for open positions for web developers.
7. Apply to entry-level web developer positions.
You have the advantage while looking for opportunities because you are one of the most in-demand specialists on the market as a web developer. While hiring an in-house web developer is often a full-time position, finding one is like looking for a needle in a haystack for businesses. As a result, there are several excellent alternatives to the traditional full-time position.
8. Start gaining work experience as a web developer.
The hardest parts of becoming a web developer without a degree are over once you find any form of work in the field, whether it be an internship, a job, or a freelance client.
All that is left for you to do is:
Continue to develop new technical and soft skills.
Develop your understanding of programming languages over time.
Take advice from the nearby developers.
Whenever possible, space out your work.
Because employers dislike seeing significant gaps in employment on a programmer’s CV, the last bullet item is particularly crucial. Try to get ongoing employment as a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer, even if it’s for small, low compensated, and seemingly pointless web projects. Because of the ninth and last stage, this is essential.
9. Emphasize your expertise instead of a degree.
Without a degree in computer science or software engineering, you need to start accruing those priceless “years of experience” as soon as feasible as a web developer.
The work market is such that your prospects improve as you accumulate more months and years of web development experience. Just like that. Also, as you gain more first-hand experience, employers will become less concerned about your lack of a degree.
Let’s take back-end developers as an example:
- Junior back-end developers earn an average base salary of $60,995 per year in the United States.
- Senior back-end developers, on the other hand, earn an average base salary of $161,175 per year in the United States.
Your income will typically increase by 264% as you get more senior. Although senior web developer positions may require a broader skill set from candidates, let’s be honest: the duties of a junior and senior developer are not all that dissimilar. What counts most is your work history, and the typical senior web developer position calls for five or more years of web development experience.
This brings our career guide on becoming a web developer without a degree to a close. I want to underline that having high-demand skills and work experience are considerably more important for landing a job as a web developer than having a college degree. Keep striving, expand your knowledge of programming languages, and and you will become a well-paid web developer in no time.