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Best Online Master’s Degrees in: Web Development

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Web Development

Value
The best online master’s degree in web development for value is the University of Denver, a renowned private research university, whose online school, University College, offers an online master’s degree in web design and development. This university ranked among PayScale.com’s top 2012 ROI Rankings, with an annual return on investment (ROI) of 5.4%, and an annual ROI of 6.7% for students receiving financial aid. And UniversityCollege.du.edu is proud to note that, of the jobs featured in Money Magazine’s ranking of the top 100 best jobs in America, nearly half are direct career outcomes reached through this university’s academic programs.

Flexibility
The University of Denver online master’s degree in web development wins the award for best flexibility. Students gave UD a high score for most flexible class schedules on College Prowler, and the Why University College page of the school’s website highlights information about how University of Denver has managed to make flexibility a priority, while still maintaining the highest quality, in all of its degree programs.

Career Support
The University of Denver recognizes the positive impression that the right career support can make on students. On the university’s own website, DU.edu, students can explore the Career Center for available jobs and internships, interviewing and resume-building skills, videos and podcasts of helpful hints, and a calendar of current and upcoming events. The Career Center even assists undecided students with deciding on a major, finding the right career path, or finalizing their advanced degree plan. For all this, the University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for career support.

Financial Support

The University of Denver wins the award for best financial support for its online master’s degree in web development. The Financial Aid section of DU.edu is a step-by-step guide to the financial aid application and awarding process. Students can find an abundant amount of information here — not only how to request financial aid and properly apply their awards, but also how to take advantage of exit counseling and loan repayment assistance, if needed.

Technology Support
The award for best online master’s degree in web development for technology support goes to the University of Denver. UD’s Information Technology Services department features a comprehensive virtual Help Desk, developed to help resolve technical issues for all university students, faculty, and staff. At the Help Desk, students can submit a request for support, see helpful online “how-to” guides, and find information for how to contact the full-service Help Desk staff via phone, email, or walk-in appointment, on-campus.

Student Engagement
The University of Denver has developed many distinguished programs to encourage student engagement and, in fact, the university website’s Current Students section features a wealth of information right on the landing page. Here, students can find a multitude of ways to get involved by being directed to a full calendar of events and activities, and exploring what the dedicated team for Student Support and Outreach has to offer. The touchstone of UD’s student engagement efforts is its unique “C.A.R.E.” philosophy, which stands for Communicate, Assess, Refer, and Educate. For its many outstanding efforts, the University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for student engagement.

Disability Support

The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for disability support. The dedicated Disability Services department at the University of Denver has not one, but two programs, that provide support for students with disabilities: the LEP is a comprehensive, fee-for-service program that provides academic support services, and the DSP is a no-cost program providing basic accommodations to students with documented disabilities. On the main web page for the Disability Services Program, students can find information about disabilities, accommodations available, downloadable handbooks, and staff contacts.

Library and Research Support
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for library and research support. UD features efficient online access to all Penrose Library resources, like requests for materials, catalogues of government documents and special collections, and even virtual library tours, just to name a few. Students obviously appreciate these benefits: they gave UD 1,132 out of 1,141 points in the Best Library category of top universities, on College Prowler.

Learning Support
The award for best online master’s degree in web development for learning support goes to the University of Denver. UD ranked in the top 150 of U.S. News & World Report‘s list of the best Student Services and Technology among top online degree programs. On the Web Work page of the university website’s Technology Services section, among the many innovative resources available here, students can access and find technical support for UD’s many internal web networks, like “OmniOpdate Campus” and “DU Web Central.”

Faculty Credentials
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for faculty credentials. The University of Denver has placed much importance on the idea of faculty development and, as a result, the faculty has benefited from being able to enhance their own academic curriculum for students, as outlined through the Office of Teaching and Learning. UD is among the top 50 best national universities for Faculty Credentials and Training, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Faculty Accessibility
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for faculty accessibility. Among the guiding principles of the graduate learning experience at the University of Denver, is the promise of personalized instruction, as highlighted in the Graduate Students section of DU.edu. Perhaps the university achieves this by keeping class sizes small: according to U.S. News and World Report, the student-to-faculty ratio at University of Denver is nine to one, and 59.7% of classes have fewer than 20 students.

Alumni Engagement
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for alumni engagement. UD’s renowned Alumni Relations department maintains a visible presence via the university website and on various social media sites, and also keeps a busy schedule of reunions, alumni activities, and symposia, for alums. Alumni Relations offers many ways for alums to get involved, with programs like “Ascend: The Campaign for the University of Denver,” “DU Online Network,” and more.

Prior Learning Options
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for prior learning options. At UD, the Office of the Registrar provides many services especially for those who need prior learning consideration, or would like to transfer credits from prior education. Here, transfer students can find all of the information they’ll need regarding the application process — including transcript evaluation, submission deadlines, and what supplemental materials may be required. Those needing to transfer credits can use the handy online database, the Transfer & International Education Course Reporting System, to look up transfer credit equivalencies.

New Online Student Orientation
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in web development for its new online student orientation resources. With its comprehensive resources and web page, Discoveries at DU.edu, the department responsible for new student acclimation, offers a lively and informative welcome to the University of Denver. Here, students can learn about the university’s signature orientation activities, including move-in dates and welcome events, and also find direct links to all of the online student resources they’ll have access to once they’ve embarked on obtaining a higher education at UD.

Explore a Master’s Degree in Web Development

Web development is a growing field of study, which includes areas such as Web design, content development, network security, and e-commerce. Online master’s degree programs in this field are designed to prepare students with the technical and analytical skills they need to pursue careers as Web developers, computer network architects, and Web designers. Openings can be found in both the public and private sector since virtually all companies, organizations, and even government agencies include a Web component in their operations strategy.

Online students have the flexibility to enroll full or part time and adjust their course schedule as needed to balance with their work hours. Since the number of credit hours a student takes each term varies, the estimated time to completion for this type of program is one to two years. Please note, the number of credit hours transferred into the program and whether or not the student remains continuously enrolled in the program can also influence how long it takes to complete the degree.

Class Curriculum

Students enrolled in a Web development program should expect a curriculum that combines theoretical concepts with practical applications. Foundational courses in networking, systems development, and Web security are found in many programs. In addition, some curriculums incorporate courses in business strategy and leadership to prepare graduates for management positions. Several examples of required courses include:

  • Web Architecture This is an introductory course in Web architecture and connectivity. Discussions will cover topics such as transmission control protocol/Internet protocol, domain name server, hypertext transfer protocol, simple mail transfer protocol, and file transfer protocol.
  • Principles of E-Commerce. This type of class covers the principles, models, and practices of e-commerce. Topics will include internet retailing, marketing, payment, and order fulfillment.
  • Advanced Web Application Development.This class will build on foundational concepts in design, coding, and scripting. It will also cover database connectivity, Web-based applications, data interchange, and message exchange components.

Common course work for Web development students includes computer lab exercises, research projects, proposals, and exams. Students should also be prepared to work in groups for certain projects since Web development is very much a team effort. For this reason, strong communication skills are also important for success in a management capacity.

Building a Career

Graduates with a master’s degree in Web development have strong analytical-thinking skills as well as extensive technical knowledge in their chosen area of specialization. Due to the importance of building and maintaining a strong Web presence and/or establishing electronic records systems in today’s business world, Web development graduates are seen as a valuable asset to a variety of different employers. They can pursue careers as Web developers, designers, information security analysts, or computer network architects, to name few options.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for information security analysts, Web developers, and computer network architects are expected to grow by 22% over the projection period of 2010 to 2020. This is faster than the 14% growth expected for jobs overall. The median annual salary for this group of occupations was $75,660 in 2010, with the majority of professionals working in the computer systems design industry. Web development professional who worked for securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage companies earned the highest salaries with an annual mean wage of $109,480. However, these statistics do not always reflect actual job opportunities or starting salaries since location, level of experience, education, the type of employer, industry, and general economic climate can all have an influence.

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