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How to Become a Developer

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Considering a career as a web or software developer? You can earn a comfortable salary while creating websites, programs and applications for organizations, computer systems designers and software publishers. 

Seeking more information on how to become a developer? Benzinga is here to show you the ropes. 

Developer Overview

Here’s some detailed information on the job description for both web and software developers. We’ve also included salary data, education requirements and the outlook for the profession in the coming years to help you decide whether this career is a good fit. 

Job Description

Web developers build website code using a programming language. They also insert and test web applications, embed visual elements, collaborate with other developers to finalize layouts, monitor website traffic and more. 

Software developers create user-friendly applications to facilitate the completion of tasks by the end user. In this role, you will test programs to confirm optimal functionality, work with computer specialists to develop software and make recommendations for software upgrades to key members of management. 

Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2019 median pay for web developers was $73,760. This equates to $35.46 per hour. Here’s a quick look at the average salary for the top industries that employ web developers: 

  • Advertising and public relations: $68,050
  • Computer systems design: $72,050
  • Management, technical and scientific consulting: $68,560
  • Publishing: $121,160

Software developers earned an average annual salary of $105,590 or $50.77 per hour in 2019, notes BLS.gov. Here are the average annual wages, by industry, for the top employers of software developers: 

  • Company and enterprise management: $104,420
  • Computer systems design: $100,080
  • Finance and insurance: $107,960
  • Manufacturing: $110,290
  • Software publishers: $114,320

Both roles are full time and you can expect to work 40 or more hours per week. 

Education Requirements

The education requirements for web developers vary by employer. You can get hired with a high school diploma or associate’s degree in web design. But if you want to work in a specialized role, you will need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or a similar major. 

Employers who hire software developers require a bachelor’s degree in software engineering or computer science. More complex roles may also require a master’s degree. 

Job Outlook

The expected growth rates for web and software developers through 2028 are 13% and 21%, respectively, according to BLS.gov. This is good news for aspiring developers as the industry average for all other occupations is just 5%. 

Tips to Become a Developer

Keep these tips in mind as you work toward becoming a web or software developer. 

Decide Your Path 

Still undecided on what path you want to take as a developer? Does web development sound intriguing, or are you more interested in software development? You must decide so you’ll know which steps you should take to achieve your career goal. 

Meet the Educational Requirements 

You may qualify for job opportunities as a web developer if you have a high school diploma, background knowledge and hands-on experience building websites. If you want to work as a software developer, you will need to enroll in a bachelor’s degree program before employers consider you for job opportunities.

Boost Your Knowledge 

It never hurts to acquire supplementary knowledge outside of what you learn in the classroom or on the job. Online courses are an ideal way to boost your knowledge without spending a fortune. There are several affordable options to choose from on core topics related to both web and software development. Even better, you can complete the courses at your own pace. 

Best Universities for Becoming a Developer

Here are the best online bachelor’s degree programs for aspiring web developers. 

1. University of Florida 

The online computer science bachelor’s degree program from the University of Florida is a good fit for future web developers and software engineers. It features courses on computer organization, data structures and algorithms, operating systems, applications of discrete structures, digital logic and so much more. You can complete an internship to gain hands-on experience before earning your degree. 

Learn more

2. Oregon State University 

Oregon State University offers an online bachelor of science in computer science. It’s featured through the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You will receive instruction from accomplished faculty and have access to a plethora of resources to help you succeed in the program. 

Learn more

These online courses are worth considering if you want to level up your skills. They will also help enhance your knowledge of core web and software development concepts.  

1. The Complete Web Developer in 2020: Zero to Mastery 

Source: Udemy
Source: Udemy

The Complete Web Developer in 2020: Zero to Mastery course will take you from novice to subject matter expert in record time. Led by senior software developer Andrei Neagoie, the class covers HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, NPM, APIs and so much more. Enroll today to unlock 34 hours of on-demand video, 128 articles and 44 downloadable resources. You will also receive a certificate of completion when you finish the course. Get started today for only $59.99. 

Enroll now. 

2. How to Become a Software Developer From Scratch

Source: Udemy

Led by expert IT developer Bartosz Kamiński, this Udemy bestseller covers the fundamentals of pursuing a career as a software developer. You will also discover vital practices and techniques you can leverage to set yourself apart from the competition and thrive in the field. 

How to Become a Software Developer from Scratch is divided into 6 modules: 

  • IT Industry
  • Daily Work
  • The Project
  • Basics of Software Development
  • Advanced Software Development 
  • Practicalities

A seat in this course is only $59.99. It includes full lifetime access to 30 lectures condensed into 13 hours of on-demand video, 1 article and 1 downloadable resource. 

Enroll now

Prepare for a Career as a Developer 

Whether you dream of becoming a web or software developer, your career goal is within reach. Take the first step by checking out our top recommendations for degree programs and courses. Select options that are most suitable and put in the work until you land a rewarding role in the field.