Can I Be A Web Developer Without A Degree?

Career
December 31st, 2019

The rise of the internet has brought with it the rise in web-related jobs, and web developers are no exception. If a person or company has a website, they can almost always benefit from the help of a web developer. Fortunately, college may not always be required to become a web developer.

Can I be a web developer without a degree? A college degree is not a requirement for becoming a web developer. However, a web developer without a degree needs to otherwise prove their skills. This can be done by gaining real-world experience or by simply acquiring common skills required of web developers.

  • There are tons of programming languages in use around the world, and knowing how to work with multiple languages will make it easier to land a job.
  • While learning programming languages, aspiring web developers should start building a portfolio of projects to show employers and clients.
  • Other skills, like communication and time management, are also essential to succeeding as a web developer.
  • After gaining some skills and experience, it is time to apply for a web developer job.

With a bit of patience and the ambition to study programming languages, almost anyone can be a web developer. Of course, a college degree will provide more structure than if you teach yourself. However, don’t worry if you can’t or don’t want to go to college.

How to Become a Web Developer without a Degree

Becoming a web developer is not easy, with or without a degree. You have to learn special skills to work on web applications, and you have to prove that you are capable of handling complicated tasks. That’s hard enough if you have a degree, so if not, you will have a few extra hoops to jump through.

  • As you start learning about web development, you’ll soon learn that there are different programming languages. Unfortunately, some are more common in certain regions than others.
  • It would take a long time to reach proficiency in all of the major languages, so you’ll have to narrow it down by where you live or where you want to live and work. Then, you can focus on learning the most popular language for that region.
  • After you learn at least one programming language, you’ll want to start working on web development projects. You can start with your own projects, or you can take an online course that assigns you projects to complete.
  • You’ll then use these assignments and projects to build a portfolio. If you don’t have work experience as a web developer, your portfolio will serve as that experience.

At this point, you’ll be able to apply for jobs or reach out to potential clients, if you want to freelance. For the job search, you may find some jobs that require a degree. However, that shouldn’t get in the way. Some employers might let you substitute experience for education.

Of course, you should also follow general job search steps, like updating your resume and writing cover letters. You can also take advantage of online forums to share the knowledge you gain to show off what you know. If you want to read more about the steps to becoming a web developer, click here:

“You need to complete a crucial first step: Research.”

What Programming Languages Are Best?

Once you decide you want to become a web developer, you’ll need to learn at least a couple of programming languages. Some languages are more common in certain regions, while other languages are common for specific functions. Learning a couple will be a good start, but you should know what languages are popular.

  • JavaScript is one of, if not, the most popular programming language out there. It’s popular for front-end web development--the web development that the user sees. You can use the language to create interactive web pages.
  • The similarly named Java is another great option since it’s very versatile. Once you write the code, you can run it on a variety of platforms without having to make significant changes.
  • C++ is a great language to learn if you want to also work on computer graphics and video games. It comes from the C language family, which is another popular option.
  • If you want to code the back-end of a website, you should learn PHP. This language works with the server-side of websites, and it can collect data and display information.

We barely covered the basics of programming languages, but each one is a great language to learn as a beginner. They’re all popular enough that you’ll probably use them at least once in your career. Still, you may only need to learn one or two.

Depending on what you want to specialize in as a developer, you can focus on certain languages. Front-end web developers should learn JavaScript, while back-end developers should focus on PHP. You can read about some more popular languages here.

Should You Work Full-Time or Freelance?

More and more careers give you the option of working full-time or going freelance. Web development is certainly no exception, so you should consider which path is better for you. Both options have pros and cons, so neither option is perfect for everyone.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of working full-time as a web developer.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
You work for one company that provides you with enough work.You’re stuck with what that company has in terms of assignments.
You can take advantage of benefits, like insurance and retirement savings.Not all companies have the same benefits packages.
You’ll know how much you can expect to make.You might be capped at a certain salary when you start, and it can be hard to get a raise.

If the cons of full-time employment outweigh the pros, consider freelancing.

AdvantagesDisadvantages
You can work for different companies and on different projects.You have to search for clients and projects, especially at the beginning.
You can work when and where it’s convenient.You need to motivate yourself to get up and work.
You can negotiate rates with each new project.You won’t always have a steady income.

Freelancing can be a good option as you start out since you can build experience with different clients. However, like freelancing in other industries, freelancing as a web developer isn’t easy. You can learn more about what it’s like to be a freelance web developer here.

Where to Find Web Developer Jobs and Clients

Once you learn a couple of coding languages and have updated your resume, you’re ready to hit the ground running. But wait, you have to find work as a web developer. The good news is that many companies need web developers to help with their websites.

  • Online job boards, like Indeed and LinkedIn, are great places to find web development jobs. You can search for web developer jobs in your area, or remote, if you want to work from home.
  • If you have an outstanding portfolio, clients may come to you to work for them. So make sure you keep your portfolio up to date.
  • You can also let others in your network know that you’re looking to become a web developer. Someone may have a job lead that you may not otherwise know about.
  • If you can, start freelancing as a web developer. Even if you want a full-time position, freelancing will get you experience that could lead to a salaried position later on.
  • Don’t be afraid to work with a job recruiter. Web development is a growing field, and a job recruiter can help you send your resume to different employers.

There are tons of things you can do to start your web development career. Even if you don’t have a degree, you can show off your skills with your portfolio. You can learn more about the process of becoming a web developer here.

Final Thoughts

Web development isn’t easy; it requires special skills and knowledge that a lot of people don’t have. But that’s why web developers are in high demand. If you’re able to put in the work to learn web development, you can get a job, no degree required.

About TopWorkLife

Hello, my name is Simon. On this blog, I write together with a group of writers. We are working on bringing great information that might boost your career.

The Purpose of Top Work Life is to share our knowledge, research and curiousity in the business world. What does it take?

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