Web developers are specialist software engineers who design and build websites and web-based services and applications.
There are non-graduate routes into web development through apprenticeships or trainee developer roles with IT companies or digital agencies. You could also find a role through demonstrating practical knowledge and experience of programming languages and computer systems.
Many employers, however, require you to have a good degree in computer science, software development or web design and development.
At City, University of London we can prepare you for a rewarding career as a web developer with a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in computer science and related subjects.
We were the first institution to award degrees in computer science and we have been at the forefront of this exciting field for six decades.
What can I expect as a web developer?
You can expect a varied career in a field that is constantly evolving.
You will need an analytical approach, strong team-working skills and a keen attention to detail, together with the drive and initiative to keep up to date with developments in a fast-moving industry.
Web developers tend to work in one of two disciplines:
- Back-end development, working on the ‘server side’ of the website and dealing with the functional aspects such as how data is managed
- Front-end development, focusing on the aspects that the users interact with, such as the appearance of the site and how multimedia features work.
If you are interested in both sides of web development, it is possible to combine them and work as a ‘full stack’ developer.
As a web developer, you will be involved in every stage of the project lifecycle. This could include:
- Working with the client to determine the objectives of the project
- Identifying what needs to be developed and the most appropriate scripting language
- Establishing an implementation plan
- Using development tools to write and test code and develop databases
- Testing the completed project to ensure it is fully functional and meets all the client’s requirements
Remote and home working is common, allowing a good degree of flexibility and working hours tend to be regular, although this can vary depending on the demands of individual projects.
Related courses at City
Whatever your level of interest in becoming a web developer, City's courses can help you take one step closer to a career, develop specialisms that'll set you apart from the field or broaden your horizons with study in related subjects.
- MSci (Hons) Computer Science
- BSc (Hons) Computer Science
- Web Programming Part 1 short course
- Web Programming Part 2 short course
Who can I work for as a web developer?
Website design and development companies and digital marketing agencies are major employers, but as organisations rely increasingly on digital engagement and services, there are in-house opportunities across a range of sectors, including:
- government departments and agencies
- local government
- larger charities
There are also freelance and consulting opportunities for experienced developers or those with specialist experience in particular systems or sectors.
What about web development work experience?
Any relevant work experience through a summer placement, work shadowing or year out is valuable in developing your interpersonal skills and making contacts.
Many of our computer science degree programmes include a year out in industry where you will put your study in to practice by working on real-life projects.
What are my prospects as a web developer?
Just about every organisation now requires an online presence, so web development remains a growing industry with good career prospects.
As your career progresses, you may have the opportunity to move into a senior development role, working on bigger projects and if you’re working for an agency, taking on more clients. You may also start managing teams of junior developers.
Depending on the size of the company and the sector you work in, you could continue to advance to lead developer or head of development, moving into the strategic management side of the business.