This ranking was originally published in June 2017 and was last updated in June 2020. The 2020 updates may affect the ranking order, but the list has not been re-ordered.
The web is a constant presence in our lives, but people rarely think about the work that goes into developing the websites that populate the web. If work as a website developer interests you, this list of the top 10 great value online associate in web design is for you! An associate degree can be a wise first step in this field, maybe as an affordable leg up to start on your bachelor’s at a more expensive four-year school, or to move directly into the workforce. Online education works with your schedule and is a convenient option for this exciting field.
Ranking Top Value Colleges for Associate in Web Development Online
In compiling this list of the top ten great-value, online associate degrees in web development, we looked at several factors. Tuition value was primary (10 points), followed by individual attention given to the student (as represented by the student-to-faculty ratio, 10 points), and curriculum relevancy to the current needs of the field (10 points). Further bonus points were awarded for recognition of excellence in online education (5 points) and extended student services for online degree seekers (5 points). A final five points were awarded for schools that offer a discounted rate of tuition for online students. In the case of a tie, schools are ranked in order of decreasing tuition.
Tuition quoted in the bullet point is the out-of-state rate, as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics, a service of the US government. Student-to-faculty ratios and enrollment figures are also from this source. Any per credit hour rates quoted in the ranking paragraph come from the individual school’s website with the conditions indicated (out-of-state, online, etc.).
#10 – Brigham Young University – Idaho
Brigham Young University – Idaho sees part of its mission as providing quality education to people of diverse interests and abilities. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 22:1, their online associate in applied science is a 60-hour program in web design and development with a focus in either web design or web development. The program includes coursework in visual media and graphic design. Brigham Young University – Idaho offers the full range of IT services for their online students. They are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
#9 – Stark State College
North Canton, Ohio
Stark State College participates in the Ohio Transfer Module, which allows for 36-40 hours of credit to transfer to any Ohio public college or university. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1, their online associate degree in web design and development is a 64 credit hour program including coursework in programming logic and problem-solving, and active server page development. Non-resident tuition is $303.60 per credit hour. Stark State College students and alumni are eligible to receive help from the staff in the career development office.
#8 – Cerro Coso Community College
Cerro Coso Community College is charged with providing education to an 18,000-mile, four-county region of eastern California, so their progression into distance education is a natural one. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 24:1, their online web professional associate in science requires 33 hours in the major, including the courses of digital imaging and web production management. The career center at Cerro Coso Community College can help with resume writing and job interview skills when the time comes.
#7 – Harrisburg Area Community College-Harrisburg
Harrisburg Area Community College’s non-resident tuition rate is $267 per credit hour. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1, their online associate in arts in web development and design is a 64-credit program with three possible specializations: web application development, interactive web media, or general web studies. Topics covered in this program include website publishing and multimedia fundamentals. Transfer agreements are in place with two schools offering related bachelor’s programs online. Harrisburg Area Community College’s career services office can help with professional growth and development that can be the key element in your post-graduation job search.
#6 – Bismarck State College
Bismarck, North Dakota
Part of Bismarck State College’s vision is to provide high-quality education to the local and global community. 44 percent of the student body is enrolled exclusively in online coursework. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1, their online associate in applied science in web page development and design is a 60-hour degree plan including coursework in search engine optimization and e-commerce. Online students at Bismarck State College are eligible for the resident tuition rate of just $240.81 per credit hour.
#5 – Mohave Community College
Mohave Community College has an incentive plan to entice you to try them out. If you have never enrolled there before and take just one class your first term, they will charge you only fifty percent of the tuition rate for which you qualify. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 13:1, their online associate of applied science in computer graphics and web design is a 60-61 credit hour program including coursework in an introduction to business and Photoshop. Mohave Community College’s non-resident tuition rate is just $283.50 per credit hour, and they participate in the Western Undergraduate Exchange, which offers significantly reduced tuition rates to residents of 15 western states.
#4 – Georgia Northwestern Technical College
Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers in-state tuition rates to Georgia residents as well as to residents of Alabama and Tennessee. Their out-of-state tuition rate is $200 per credit hour.
With a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, their online website design/development associate of applied science is a 64 credit hour program including studies in Java programming and visual basic. Georgia Northwestern Technical College employs a career planning staff that can help with interest assessments and hiring projections to help you hone in on the career of your choice. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
#3 – Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College, part of the Technical College System of Georgia, is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1, their online associate degree in website design is a 64 credit hour program including courses in web technologies and C# programming. Non-resident tuition is just $200 per credit hour. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College offers a full service IT/Tech Support department during regular business hours.
#2 – Eastern Gateway Community College
Eastern Gateway Community College has an out of state tuition rate of $240 per credit hour. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 30:1, their online AAB in internet and interactive digital media is a 62 credit hour program including studies in web languages and interactive media programming. Eastern Gateway Community College offers students and graduates access to Ohio Means Jobs, a service intended to provide a pathway to full or part-time employment. They are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
#1 – Riverland Community College
Riverland Community College sees its mission as inspiring personal success through high-quality education. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 19:1, their online web developer associate in applied science is a 60 credit hour program including studies in web animation and digital video. The program can be completed in two years. Students and alumni of Riverland Community College are eligible to use the College Central Network, a national job posting and resume service. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Riverland Community College, and online students pay a tuition rate of $218.06, regardless of residency.
About the Field of Web Development
Web development is one of the most popular sub-fields of IT for three reasons. First, it’s a growing branch of information technology with plenty of job opportunities for individuals with a proclivity for computer skills. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a job outlook growth of 13% by the year 2028. Secondly, the educational requirements for a secure position in web development are minimal. Usually, an associate’s degree in web development is sufficient for entry-level roles. Finally, web development is a potentially lucrative field. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for developers was nearly $74,000 in 2019, and top earners made almost twice that during the same year.
About Online Associate’s Degrees in Web Development
Breaking into the web development field as an up-and-coming IT professional is already surprisingly easy, given the minimal educational requirements for entry combined with the potential for a handsome wage. Online associate’s in web development have made securing a position in the field even easier and more convenient, though. These distance education options allow students to work on their degrees from home, often eliminating any mandatory campus meetings.
In many cases, online web development associate’s degree programs are just as credible and rigorous as any on-campus option. Some colleges and universities use identical curricula for their online programs, and many classes are even taught by the same respected faculty members who teach on campus.
Types of Online Web Development Associate’s Degrees
Most associate’s degrees in web development are similar in terms of content, but they may go by slightly different names. Here are some of the program titles you might see when looking for a two-year degree in the field:
- Associate of Science (AS) in Web Development
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Web Development
- Associate of Web Development and Design
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Information Technology: Web Design
Aside from the labels they go by, you’ll find other distinctions when looking for online associates degrees in web development.
Part-Time Versus Full-Time Web Development Associate’s Degree Programs
Some online web development associate’s degree programs are made even more flexible through part-time study options. You may find these less demanding tracks appealing if you work full-time or have children to care for or other obligations aside from your schoolwork. When considering part-time study options, keep in mind that it may take you several years to complete your degree requirements.
Full-time associate of web development online programs are more demanding of your time and effort, but will pay off with a more rapid completion time. If you have the time to fully immerse yourself in your studies and want to start your information technology career as soon as possible, then this is likely the best option.
Hybrid Versus Fully Online Associate of Web Development Programs
Some web development associate degree programs are classified as online offerings but are actually hybrid options. Hybrid associate’s in web development programs combine online classes with traditional on-campus instruction. These less flexible options may provide more in terms of interactive learning but lack the convenience of fully online options. If you learn best through in-person instruction or are concerned about managing your time in a self-paced online program, you may want to consider the possibility of a blended learning option.
Asynchronous Versus Synchronous Associate’s in Web Development
Even fully online web development associate’s programs can vary in terms of course delivery. These programs usually fall into one of two categories: primarily asynchronous or primarily synchronous programs. Primarily asynchronous programs are self-paced and require no specific log-on times, making them the most flexible of the two types of online programs. These options allow students to complete coursework at their convenience and view prerecorded lectures anytime day or night.
On the other hand, synchronous online web development associate degree programs do require students to keep a certain schedule, logging in to their learning platforms to watch streaming lectures and participate in real-time class discussions. Though less flexible, these programs provide more structure and interaction than their asynchronous counterparts.
Online Associate of Web Development: Admissions
Each college will set its own admissions requirements for an associate of web development degree program. Still, there are some common guidelines you should be aware of when considering these postsecondary options in IT. Generally speaking, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent to be considered for admission. More competitive programs will set a minimum GPA requirement for entry as well.
Web Development Associate’s Online Programs: Curriculum
Like admissions requirements for these programs, the curriculum for an online web development associate’s degree will vary based on the school and program you choose to attend. Typically, though, these degree plans will consist of approximately 60 credit hours of coursework and will include both general education requirements as well as core classes required for the web development major.
The general education requirement for an associate’s in web development online option will be similar to other kinds of associate degree programs. This means they will span fundamental topics in the various academic disciplines of liberal arts, mathematics, science (life and social), and more.
Core course titles, on the other hand, will cover topics relevant to your area of study (i.e., web development) and will impart skills necessary for your occupation after graduation. Some sample core courses taken from actual associates degrees in web development offerings are listed below for the sake of reference. Keep in mind that the specific courses prescribed for your degree plan will vary.
Core Course Titles
- Designing Digital Images for the Web
- Introduction to Python
- Structured Systems Analysis and Design
- Web Application Programming
- Web Design Theory
- Desktop Publishing
- User Interface/Experience Design
- Object-Oriented Programming
- Emerging Web Technologies and Trends
- SQL Database Design & Programming
- Web Assistive Technologies
Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Associate of Web Development Degrees/Programs
If you have questions about online web development associate’s degree programs, you’re not alone. Many prospective students considering this pathway toward a career in information technology have numerous concerns and unanswered questions. In an effort to help you make the best decision possible about your future career, we’ve addressed some of the most commonly asked questions about this particular postsecondary degree below. Keep in mind that the information provided here is general in nature and not meant to be representative of any specific academic program.
Q: What is the expected completion time for an online associate’s in web development degree program?
A: The standard completion time for an associate in web development online program is approximately two years. However, completion times may vary by program and course load.
Q: How much does an associate in web development online program cost?
A: It depends on the college or university you choose to attend. Costs can vary widely. While it’s possible to find programs for a few thousand dollars per year or even less, some programs cost up to three times that. When considering expenses, remember that financial aid is often available.
Q: Is an online associate of web development program worth it?
A: Generally, graduates of these programs who secure lucrative positions as web developers report that the time and effort they put into their program was well worth it. Still, you should consider any personal sacrifices such a program will require of you and weigh these against the potential rewards of a two-year degree in web development.
Career Questions for Associate of Web Development Online Programs
Q: What are my career options with an online associate’s in web development?
A: A position as a web developer is the obvious choice for graduates of web development associate’s degree programs, but there are other options as well. Some of these include web analyst, computer programmer, software developer, IT consultant, and IT project manager, for instance.
Q: Are jobs in web development in demand?
A: Yes. Opportunities for trained web developers are currently growing much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Q: What advancement opportunities do web developers have?
A: With experience and/or further education in the field, web developers can go on to become senior web developers, project managers, or computer and information systems managers, for example.
Q: What professional organizations exist in web development?
A: Some popular professional associations in the field of web development include:
- Association of Web Design Professionals
- American Webmasters Association
- International Webmasters Association
- Information Architecture Institute
- Computing Research Association
This concludes the list of the top 10 great value online associate in web development.