Pursuing a career in web development can be exciting and incredibly lucrative. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the [median annual wage](https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm) for web developers was $77,200 in 2020. Aside from potentially earning above the average national salary, the job outlook for web developers is also looking up, with employment rates growing faster than the average for all professions.
There isn’t a clear-cut way to start a career in web development. However, you do need to develop a deep understanding of how web development works and gain the necessary skills to become successful. In this post, we’ll discuss the different ways to venture into the world of web development.
## Earn a degree
If you have a college degree in a field that’s not related to computer science, you can still go down the path of academic education to chase a career in web development. Today you don’t even need to physically enroll in a university to take these qualifications, as many top universities offer online post-grad degrees. An [online master’s in software development](https://online.maryville.edu/online-masters-degrees/software-development/) is 100% coursework and you will develop the key competencies needed to become a web developer, while also deepening your understanding of the tech and principles behind software design and development. It’s also wise for non-computer science graduates to choose a master’s degree in software development, since this is shorter than a bachelor's degree.
## Join coding bootcamps
If you are already familiar with coding and other key concepts in web development, you can expand your knowledge and find better footing as a developer by [joining a coding bootcamp](https://medium.com/professional-growth/20-educational-and-coding-bootcamps-to-consider-in-2021-d7d49e71d927). Simply put, coding bootcamps are short technical training programs that help newbie web developers sharpen their skills. The length of a coding bootcamp largely varies, with some lasting for only one week, while others run for over six months.
But despite being shorter than a regular college degree, coding bootcamp can be just as effective in enhancing the web development mastery of a student. This is due to the fact that coding bootcamps prioritize high-impact learning, with most curriculums focusing on skills that are of high relevance in today’s industry. Because of this, graduating from a good coding bootcamp is an effective way to start your career in web development.
## Seek internship and project opportunities
To further hone your web development skills and jumpstart your career, you should take on programming projects through freelance work or internship opportunities. Aside from elevating the foundation of your technical skills, the aforementioned opportunities can also help you develop soft skills such as time management, interpersonal skills, and communication skills — all of which are necessary for finding success in the real world. What’s more, taking on projects can help you build and curate a portfolio that shows off how competent you are as a web developer.
You don’t need to follow a strict set of rules to come into your own as a web developer. You can have a rewarding career in web development through a college degree, a bootcamp certificate, or widening your experience through various opportunities. Once you feel like you’re good enough to be let out in the real world, be sure to look for [a company with great values](https://codingcat.dev/post/finding-a-company-with-great-values) that treats you as a precious resource.