Do web developers require a degree to get a job? Is an online web development certificate or nanodegree enough to get a job in this desirable field? As it turns out, some of the biggest tech companies in the world don't require a formal degree or certificate, and there isn't a recognized professional body that gives out certification credentials to web developers. This means you're free to pursue education your way if you want to enter this field.
Do I Need Formal Certification or Licensure?
Good news for people who want to work as full-stack, back-end, or front-end web developers: There isn't really a set standard for how you can break into the industry. Is there such thing as a certified web designer? Not really. You can get a degree in computer science or a nanodegree in something like intro to programming to learn many of the requisite skills for this job, but it's not an absolute must. Usually, it's your experience and what you have to show for that experience, such as a portfolio, that really counts.
Do I Need a Degree?
Most web developer jobs are considered pretty solid professional careers, especially when they're with major corporations like Google and Apple. It may seem like you'd need a degree to work in a place like that, but that's not necessarily true. Google is one of a growing number of high-profile tech companies that don't always require applicants to hold degrees. The tech industry isn't necessarily credential focused; it's your ability to do the work that often counts. That opens the door for self-taught techies along with everyone else.
That being said, when it comes to the web developer certification path, some formal education may actually be a good thing, particularly if you're totally new to coding or you like to have a bit more structure when you learn. Having someone with experience in the field to explain things to you and give you specially developed projects to do can really make a difference in how smooth your learning experience is. A Udacity nanodegree program may strike just the right balance for you, giving you access to formal education without the cost and time commitment of a full degree.
Getting a Web Developer Job
As many college graduates will tell you, education doesn't necessarily translate into a guaranteed job. But career-focused education in a nanodegree program can set you up pretty nicely for professional life. Portfolios are a big deal for web developers. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show off what you can do with code. So focusing on actually doing can be more important than anything else. Other things, like your soft skills (i.e., your personality and how you relate to other people) certainly matter, and being able to use tools like Photoshop or Github can also be important, depending on the job. If you fulfill these requirements without having taken the traditional route to educational success, you can be confident that there's a job out there for you in the web development space.