By CSDH Staff
If you’re looking for an affordable way to earn your degree in web development, look no further. This ranking of the top five cheapest online bachelor’s degrees in web development has got what you need. Online bachelor’s degrees in web development are still fairly uncommon, but thankfully there are some incredible and affordable options available. It’s still pretty common for bachelor level web development programs to be paired with business degrees or a concentration in information technology degrees. But as web development becomes more and more complex, more universities are developing bachelor’s level web development degree programs, and some of those are featured here. Just because these degrees are cheap doesn’t mean they don’t provide a quality education. All of these schools are regionally accredited–the highest level of accreditation available in the United States.
#1. Brigham Young University-Idaho
Online BS in Web Design and Development
Brigham Young Idaho is one of the few universities offering a full-fledged bachelor of science degree in web design and development, instead of just offering web design as a concentration in another program. Beyond the skills needed to create a website, students in this program will also acquire key skills in graphic design, typography, object-oriented programming and more. Courses featured in this program include web frontend development, web backend development, creating online media, human-computer interaction, interaction design, social media design, and digital media analytics and strategy.
- Tuition: $4,018
#2. Fort Hays State University
Online BS or BA in Information Networking and Telecommunications: Web-Development Specialization
Fort Hays State University’s online bachelor of arts in information networking and telecommunications offers a concentration in web and mobile application development. The concentration includes courses like interactive systems design, advanced web development, web scripting languages, law of cyberspace, video production, audio production, and research methods in information networking. This degree is also designed to prepare students for the exams required for the Certified Web Designer Apprentice certificate and the Oracle Certified Associate Certification.
- Tuition: $6,399.90
#3. Bellevue University
Online Bachelor of Science in Web Development
- Tuition: $7,752
#4. Baker College
Bachelor of Science Online in Information Systems-Web Development
Baker College’s online web development degree is offered as a concentration within their information systems program. Online web development courses offered in this concentration include world wide web design, web development I and II, web scripting, interactive web design, project management, networking essentials, statistical methods, database programming, database management and design, and introduction to network security.
- Tuition: $9,360
#5. University of Maryland University College
Online Bachelor of Science in Digital Media and Web Technology
- Resident Tuition: $7,296
- Non-resident Tuition: $12,336
Web Development Career Information and Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, database managers typically hold bachelor’s degrees in database management or a related field. They start in entry-level positions and often move into management within five years.
The median pay for web developers is $66,130 per year. The job growth, according to BLS, is 15% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster than average and amounts to a total increase of 24,400 jobs.
Web Development Essential Information
Web developers come in many flavors. Some focus more on backend development, others on frontend development. Developers who do both are the most prized among all developers in the industry, and these are called full-stack web developers. Bachelor’s degrees in web development almost always thoroughly cover both front and back end development. A bachelor’s degree is not necessary to gain an entry level job in web development, and your skills can carry you far without ever earning a bachelor’s degree in the field. However, one thing many bachelor’s degrees in web development do offer is a broader education in information technology or business. This is the kind of thing that can mean the difference when applying for that management job. Between two candidates with similar portfolios and skills, the developer who gets promoted is most often the one with some management training or a better grasp of the big picture, and a bachelor’s degree can be what gets you there. However, it’s certainly not necessary to earn your bachelor’s right away. A good strategy is to earn your associate’s degree and start working in the field, gaining valuable experience. Pull the trigger on the bachelor’s degree when the time is right for your career and you have an exact purpose in mind for the degree.
Paying for your Online Bachelor of Science in Web Development
For an affordable web development education, community college is a great place to start. Earn your associate’s degree and jump right into web development. Community college tuition can be covered, in many cases, by just one or two federal grants. Good grades in community college will practically guarantee you excellent financial aid and allow you to transfer into just about all the best state universities.
Many community colleges have online programs as well, so chances are you will be able to attend community college without ever having to set foot in a classroom. This is especially true for web development, as earning your associate’s degree at a community college will get you started in the industry, and you can return to school to earn your bachelor’s once you know what will help you advance at that given point in your career.
The best source of financial aid is always FAFSA. Always exhaust FAFSA funding first. Federal education grants are essentially free money, and federally subsidized student loans have low interest and provide you with tons of flexibility when paying them back. After that private grants and scholarships should be where you look. Finally, if all else fails and it’s your only option, you can apply for private student loans. Private loans tend to be the worst deal and the most expensive form of funding. So make sure you exhaust other sources first.
Is online learning right for you?
Online learning provides students with unparalleled flexibility. Most students who earn their degrees online right now are older than the traditional college age and require a higher level of flexibility in order to fit a degree into their already busy life. However, with more and more degrees being offered online, and the first generation to grow up with the internet hitting college age, the online option is going mainstream. How do you know if it’s the right fit? That’s not an easy question to answer, and you should ask yourself several questions before enrolling. Are you the kind of person who can learn by watching videos? Would you be comfortable taking tests online? Can you handle not having any face-to-face interaction with your professors and fellow students? Are you highly self-motivated and disciplined? While online education is a great option, it’s not ideal for all students. If you need the flexibility and are comfortable with the format and technology, online education offers unprecedented levels of flexibility.
Sources and Resources
National Center for Education Statistics: Tuition and graduate rates.