DALLAS — A growing number of online web developers are now earning bachelor’s degrees, and it could soon be a requirement for the jobs that go to them.
But there are risks to a bachelor of science degree.
Many are not computer-savvy enough to write a web page, or do web-based consulting.
Others simply don’t have the necessary skills to get a job in the industry.
The Bachelor of Science in Web Development degree in computer programming, or BSDW, is designed for people who want to become computer programmers, said Daniel Farrar, a professor of computer science at Texas A&M University who has been studying online web development since 2008.
Farrar and other online web professionals have come together to start the Web Development for Developers (WDD), a nonprofit group that works to help get more computer programmers into the profession.
The group has helped train nearly 2,500 web developers since 2008, he said.
Ferrar’s group has also worked with several computer schools and universities to create an online bachelor’s program that includes an online version of a BSDN course.
It’s a requirement, but not a prerequisite, for most of the jobs available in the digital web.
Farrer said there are plenty of positions that are available to those who have the required knowledge.
“There are plenty people who have all of the required skills that are needed for a job, and there are others that need to go into more technical roles,” he said, noting that there is a growing demand for software development and design jobs.
“If you’re going to be a web designer or you’re a developer, you’re probably going to need a bachelor in computer science,” Farror said.
“It’s not a requirement.
We think there are enough people who are going to find jobs in that field, and they’re going be the ones who want the degree.”
What are online courses?
Web developers are programmers who create websites and apps.
The skills that a bachelor degree requires are usually computer programming skills, but they’re not necessarily required to become a software developer.
There are online programs for students to develop websites and other software projects, and Farram said there is plenty of demand for those skills.
“I think the industry has changed quite a bit since 2008 when I started teaching online,” Ferrar said.
“The market is very mature now and we have a lot of new businesses that are looking to get into the online industry, and we’re seeing more people looking to do that.”
Farrars group is one of several that is helping to train new programmers for the job market.
The nonprofit, known as WDD, has helped training more than 2,300 programmers since 2008 and has about 10,000 graduates, he added.WDD also is helping other computer programmers to get their bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
Many of those students are starting their careers online, and are taking classes to gain their bachelor degrees, Farrart said.
While Farrs group has worked to get more people into the industry, there are other reasons to get an online degree.
“It’s nice to get the knowledge you need to be able to build the next thing you want to build,” he added, “but you also need to have the skills to build it.
I’m not saying that you have to be an expert programmer to build websites, but you need some of the skills.
There’s a lot to learn.”
Ferrara, the Tarrant County computer programmer, said online classes offer a way for students like himself to learn.
“They teach you how to code and learn the basics of a computer,” he explained.
“They teach a lot about how to design a website, how to develop an application.
You can build websites from scratch, or you can develop an app from scratch.”FARRAR said it is a good option for students who want a degree that’s close to their skill set.”
You want the most important skills you can possibly have as an individual and a member of the workforce,” he noted.”
And you want that degree to be available to everyone, so that you can apply for whatever job you’re applying for, and you can be the best candidate.”
Farrell said there’s still a lot more work to do in getting more people interested in coding.
“We have a big gap between the skills that the workforce needs and the skills the workforce is really looking for,” he acknowledged.
“In order to bridge that gap, we need more people to get involved, to be part of the coding community, and to be involved in making sure that the skills are there.”