How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree (9 steps)

How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree

How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree: Not having a degree is cool for nearly 19% of web developer jobs around the globe, according to our research. But, in the United States, about a third of these jobs (that’s 33.3%) might ask for a degree. Still, the ones not need a degree are in the lead. So, if you’re diving into front-end development, know this – there are more than double the job openings compared to back-end roles, and a good chunk of them don’t demand a degree.

The number of jobs for web developers is set to go up by 13% every year, and that’s faster than most other jobs, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Plus, if you’re rocking web development skills in the United States, senior web developers rake in around $125,127 each year.

Here’s the information presented in a table format:

Overview of Web Developer Landscape– 19% of global web developer jobs don’t require a degree. – In the U.S., 33.3% of jobs may ask for a degree, leaving a significant portion that doesn’t require one. – Expected 13% annual job growth. – Senior web developers in the U.S. earn around $125,127 per year.
Degree Requirement Statistics– Only 20% of web developer jobs worldwide require a degree. – Globally, there are 162,844 web developer jobs, and 130,226 of them don’t ask for a degree. – In the U.S., 32.9% of jobs want a degree, leaving 34,421 jobs open for those without.
Web Developer Career Paths– Front-end developer – Back-end developer – Full-stack developer – UI/UX Designer – Content Management System (CMS) Developer
Front-end Developer– Focus on the visible part of websites. – Skills: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and optionally Vue, Angular, React, or JQuery. – Avg. Salary (U.S.): $100,781 per year. – 19.8% of global jobs and 34.2% in the U.S. ask for a degree.
Back-end Developer– Works behind the scenes, handling web security, data storage, and server-side operations. – Skills: Ruby, PHP, Java, Python, C#, and databases like MySQL. – Avg. Salary (U.S.): $116,635 per year. – 24.4% globally and 39.9% in the U.S. ask for a degree.
Full-stack Developer– All-in-one developers with knowledge of both front-end and back-end technologies. – Skills: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, C#. – Avg. Salary (U.S.): $104,195 per year. – 25% of jobs globally and 36.5% in the U.S. ask for a degree.
UI/UX Designer– Expanding field with high demand. – Proficiency in design software (Sketch, Figma, Adobe XD) and interaction design principles. – Avg. Salary (U.S.): $60,000 – $120,000 or more.
CMS Developer– In-demand role for managing online presence. – Skills: CMS proficiency, web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP), database management. – Avg. Salary (U.S.): $60,000 – $100,000 or more.
Web Security Analyst– Crucial role in identifying and resolving security vulnerabilities. – Skills: Security knowledge, penetration testing, firewall, IDS, secure coding practices. – Avg. Salary (U.S.): $80,000 – $120,000 or more.

What happens, though, if you don’t have a degree?

Guess what? You don’t need a computer science degree or any other fancy degree to become a web developer, and that’s more common than you might think. So, throw away that popular belief because in the world of web development, not having a specific degree is pretty normal.

Also read: How to Become an IT Manager without a Degree

There are several reasons for this:

Web developers learn everything they need online, all by themselves. Traditional schools can’t keep up with the speedy changes in software and online development. Because of this, employers now look for skills more than degrees when hiring developers. And get this – lots of big-shot tech CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, and Bill Gates didn’t even go to college. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

Let’s talk about how young developers like to learn to code – they’re all about doing it online. A recent survey spilled the beans: most young folks prefer learning to code on the internet over using textbooks or going to school. Now, without a fancy degree, your web development skills become your voice. To shine, you’ll dive into learning different programming languages, software engineering, and web development, all at your speed without a professor watching your every move.

In this discussion, let’s cover:

  • Do you need a degree to become a web developer?
  •  Web developer career paths that don’t require a degree
  •  Steps to becoming a web developer without a degree
  •  How much time does it take to become a web developer?
  •  Is It Useful to Get a Web Development Certificate?

Do you need a degree to become a web developer?

How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree

No, you don’t need a degree to be a web developer! Seriously, most full-time job ads for web developers don’t ask for a degree, and guess what? Even freelance web developer gigs don’t demand one. So, you can jump into the world of web development without worrying about those fancy degrees.

Also read: How to Become a Graphic Designer Without a Degree(10 Steps)

Here are the exact statistics:

  • Only 20% of web developer jobs worldwide say you need a degree. There are a whopping 162,844 web developer jobs out there, and guess what? 130,226 of them don’t ask for a degree.
  •  In the US, about 32.9% of web developer jobs want a degree, but there are still 34,421 jobs open for web developers without one. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

How do we know all this? Well, we used some fancy tricks on LinkedIn Job Search to find these numbers.

Web developer career paths that don’t require a degree

Here are the top three paths for you that don’t require a degree:

  • Front-end developer
  • Back-end developer
  • Full-stack developer
  • UI/UX Designer
  • Content Management System (CMS) Developer
How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree
Source: Klizo solutions Web developer career growth 2024 without a degree info graphics

Front-end developer

Front-end developers handle the part of a website or app that everyone sees. They make sure it looks good, works fast, and is easy for everyone to use. It’s like they’re the artists of the web world, making sure everything looks just right. Front-end developers focus on stuff like making websites work on all devices, perform well, and be user-friendly. And you know what’s cool? Many new web developers kick off their careers in front-end development because it’s not as tricky as some other types of coding, and there are lots of job options waiting for them.

Familiar with: When it comes to building cool stuff on the web, front-end developers use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. It’s like their secret code to make websites look awesome and work smoothly. And guess what? Some jobs might want them to know fancy stuff like Vue, Angular, React, or JQuery.

Salary: If you’re a front-end developer in the US, you can expect to pocket around $100,781 each year, or about $43.16 per hour. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

Job Availability:

  • There are 14,578 jobs for front-end developers around the world. And guess what? A whopping 11,685 of them don’t need a degree. So, only 19.8% of front-end developer jobs worldwide ask for a fancy certificate.
  •  In the US – out of 4,590 front-end jobs there, 3,019 don’t care about degrees. That means only 34.2% of front-end developer jobs in the US want you to have a degree.

Back-end developer

Back-end developers are like superheroes working behind the scenes. They focus on making sure all the cool stuff you see on a website works smoothly. It’s not just about looks – they handle things like web security, storing data, getting data when needed, and using fancy JavaScript tricks. These developers are the secret sauce, working from the server side to make everything come together. And guess what? They team up with front-end developers, who make things look awesome, to create the final masterpiece.

Also read: How to Become a Therapist without a Psychology Degree (9 skills)

Familiar with: Back-end developers have a bunch of cool tools in their coding toolbox. They use languages like Ruby, PHP, Java, Python, and C#. Many back-end developers also know their way around databases, like MySQL and SQL.

Salary: In the US, a back-end developer’s base pay is typically $116,635 per year, or $49.95 per hour.

Job Availability:

  • Worldwide, there are 7,883 jobs for back-end developers. The cool thing is, that 5,959 of them don’t care if you have a degree or not. So, only 24.4% of back-end developer jobs worldwide ask for a degree.  
  • In the US – out of 1,813 back-end jobs there, 1,089 don’t need a degree. That means only 39.9% of back-end developer jobs in the US want you to have a degree. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

Full-stack developer

Full-stack developers! These amazing folks are like all-in-one wizards, and everyone wants them on their team. What’s their magic? Well, they need to know lots of techie stuff, like how websites are built and the languages for both the front and back ends. They’re like the captains of the whole web application ship, from making things look cool to managing all the data on the servers.

Familiar with: If you’re aiming to be a full-stack developer, you’ve got to be buddies with languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, and C#. Yep, it’s like having a coding language party in your brain. But hey, each language has its superpower, and you’ll need them all to rock the full-stack world.

Salary: In the US, the average base pay for a full-stack developer is $104,195 annually or $44.63 per hour.

Job Availability:

  • There are about 31,902 spots worldwide for full-stack developers, and a whopping 23,909 don’t ask for a degree. That means only 25% of these jobs globally need you to have one. 
  •  In the US, out of the 13,401 full-stack gigs, 8,499 are cool with no degree. So, in the US, you’re looking at 36.5% of full-stack jobs where having a degree is optional.

UI/UX Designer

The profession of UI/UX design is expanding quickly, and there is still a great need for qualified designers. Talented UI/UX designers are frequently needed by a wide range of industries, such as technology, banking, healthcare, and e-commerce, to improve their digital goods and services.

Familiar with: Proficiency with design software such as Sketch, Figma, or Adobe XD; an awareness of user research and usability testing; a grasp of interaction design principles; and the capacity to produce aesthetically pleasing and intuitive user interfaces are usually the most in-demand abilities for UI/UX designers. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

Salary: Experience, location, industry, and size of the organization are some of the variables that might affect UI/UX designer pay. In the USA, UI/UX designers made, on average, between $60,000 and $120,000 or more per year as of 2023. Designers in in-demand fields who have several years of experience and proficiency may be paid more.

Content Management System (CMS) Developer

CMS developers are in great demand, especially given the increasing importance of websites and digital information. Many different types of businesses, from startups to large corporations, use content management systems (CMS) to manage their online presence. The overall demand for jobs in web development and digital marketing may affect the number of open positions.

Required Skills:

Those who want to work as CMS developers usually need to have the following abilities:

CMS Proficiency: Thorough knowledge of and familiarity with well-known CMS systems, such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.

Web Development Skills: Proficiency in web technologies, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP, is a prerequisite for web development.

Theme and Plugin Development: The ability to design and modify themes, plugins, and modules for content management systems.

Database management: familiarity with database systems, since content management systems (CMS) sometimes require database work to store and retrieve content.

Version Control: Knowledge of using Git and other version control systems to manage code changes.

Security Awareness: Understanding security best practices to protect the CMS and its content is known as security awareness.

Salary: A CMS developer’s typical yearly salary in the USA ranges from $60,000 to $100,000 or more, depending on the previously listed parameters. Compensation for CMS developers can also vary depending on experience, geography, and employer.

Web security analysts

Web security analysts play a crucial role in identifying and resolving security vulnerabilities in websites and web applications. The increasing importance of cybersecurity is creating a demand for specialists with expertise in online security. A wide range of industries, including technology, healthcare, and finance, are actively looking for individuals to ensure the security of their digital assets.

 Skills Required:

Those who want to succeed as Web Security Analysts usually need to have the following abilities:

Security Knowledge: A thorough grasp of security best practices, common vulnerabilities (such as SQL injection and XSS), and web application security principles.

Penetration Testing: Ability to carry out vulnerability analyses and penetration tests to find and neutralize possible threats. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

Firewall and Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): Ability to monitor and prevent security problems through the configuration and management of firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS).

Security Tools: Possessing knowledge of security tools for testing and securing web applications, such as Burp Suite, OWASP ZAP, and Metasploit.

Secure Coding Practices: Building safe applications from the bottom up can be facilitated by developers who possess knowledge of secure coding methods.

Incident Response: The ability to react to security problems, look into breaches, and put remedial measures in place.

Security Certifications: It’s usually advantageous to hold a certification in security, such as the Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), or Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Depending on experience, region, and sector, web security analysts in the USA often make between $80,000 and $120,000 or more a year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Glassdoor, and cybersecurity industry associations are good places to go for industry statistics, wage surveys, and job boards with the most recent information on employment trends and availability.

You can also check out this video it will help you

Steps- How to become a web developer without a degree

How to become a web developer without a degree

Follow these guide to become a web developer without a degree:

  1. Choose a web development career path.
  2.  Sign up for a web development course or boot camp.
  3.  Develop your web application and website-building skills.
  4.  Create a public portfolio of web projects.
  5.  Practice coding assessments and job interviews.
  6.  Optimize your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles.
  7.  Apply to entry-level web developer positions.
  8.  Commence building experience as a web developer.
  9.  Emphasize your expertise instead of a degree.

1. Choose a web development career path.

When you start your web development journey, first figure out if you’re more into front-end, back-end, or the whole package as a full-stack developer. Having a clear target makes things easier. You can always switch things up as you learn more, but having a starting point helps you stay on track and focused.

If you go for a long four-year computer science degree at a university, you’ll learn about a bunch of things – the front end, the back end, and everything in between. But if you’re skipping the degree, my advice is to choose a specific career path right from the start. Don’t waste your precious time on all the extras. Be smart about how you use your time and focus on what matters to reach your goals.

2. Sign up for a web development course or boot camp.

You don’t need to get into student debt or spend years on a traditional degree to become a web developer. There are awesome online boot camps, certification programs, and courses on the internet that get you up to speed without the fuss. Even though you can find similar info for free online, these courses are great because they often include coding exercises, organized lessons, and cool extras like technical mentoring. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

There are plenty of online boot camps and courses that teach web development, and some won’t cost you a dime. If you’re ready to invest some money, there are also paid options that offer more structured learning.

3. Develop your web application and website-building skills.

To be a web developer, you’ve got to build websites and apps, no matter if you have a degree or not. The secret? Practice, practice, and get cozy with your code editor. Employers aren’t too concerned about where you learned – be it self-taught, online courses, or university classes. What matters to them is if you can code. So, roll up your sleeves and code your way into becoming a web developer.

To become a web developer, get to know web design basics, web application frameworks like Node.js and Django, SQL databases, and front-end languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Depending on your chosen path, you might dive into back-end languages such as PHP or Ruby.

4. Create a public portfolio of web projects.

Getting started is easier than you think. Begin with simple projects to grasp the basics of web development:

  • Learn HTML for creating basic web pages.
  •  Use CSS to add simple styles and effects.
  •  Experiment with a JavaScript library and try out ready-made code.

As you grow more comfortable, take on projects with increasing complexity. Building a portfolio of your work will unlock professional opportunities, leading to your first job interview before you know it. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

5. Practice coding assessments and job interviews.

Once you’ve got some coding experience, it’s time to prepare for job interviews. Job interviews for web developers might be a bit different – they often involve a coding test you need to complete within a set time. Even though it might seem old-fashioned, many employers still use this method to assess your skills.

you can practice and get better at these exams using various online resources like AlgoExpert and LeetCode Cracking the Coding Interview. These tools help you sharpen your skills for those coding challenges you might face in job interviews.

6. Optimize your LinkedIn and GitHub profiles.

Before you start applying for web development jobs, make sure your resume and online profiles are in good shape. Recruiters typically spend about seven seconds reviewing a resume, so it’s essential to present professional, clear, and concise materials. Tech recruiters often check your GitHub and LinkedIn profiles first, so keep them updated. LinkedIn is especially important for developers, so ensure your profile has a professional photo, any certificates you’ve earned, and details about the online courses you’ve completed.

Once you’ve done all that, you’re finally ready to start applying for web developer jobs.

 7. Apply to entry-level web developer positions.

As a web developer, you’re one of the most sought-after professionals in the job market. Businesses often find it challenging to hire skilled web developers, opening up great alternatives beyond the typical full-time, in-house positions. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

Explore remote talent networks like these, for example:

  1. Toptal
  2.  Turing

Toptal is like a matchmaker for businesses and freelance web developers. They connect skilled developers with companies, and the best part? You don’t necessarily need a degree. However, only 3% of candidates make it through their tough selection process.

Turing is another company that brings businesses and remote web developers together. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree, but having three or more years of experience is recommended. Keep in mind, that only 1% of applicants get through the screening process.

You can also explore freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. They don’t require degrees, but keep in mind, you might face tough competition and lower pay. It’s good for gaining initial work experience and earning extra money, but relying on them long-term might have drawbacks. Now, let’s look at how to secure a regular web development job. Working full-time as an in-house web developer usually gives the best salary and additional perks like paid time off, health insurance, stock options, and more.

The following websites are my picks for anyone looking to work as a full-time web developer without a degree:

To find the best job results and avoid those needing a degree, you can use something called Boolean search. It’s like a trick to get exactly what you want. You combine words using special symbols, and bam, you get the perfect results!

8. Commence building experience as a web developer.

Now that you’ve landed a web development gig, whether it’s an internship, a job, or freelancing, you’re on the right track! Here’s what you should do next: [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

  • Keep learning: Get better at both the techie stuff and the soft skills.
  •  Stay updated: Keep improving your knowledge of programming languages regularly.
  •  Seek guidance: Connect with fellow developers around you and learn from their experiences.
  •  Stay active: Don’t take long breaks between projects. Employers prefer to see a consistent work history on your CV.

Remember, even small, seemingly insignificant projects contribute to your growth as a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer.

9. Highlight your skills and knowledge instead of focusing on a degree.

Without a computer science or software engineering degree, the key to success is accumulating valuable “years of experience” as a web developer.

Here’s the truth: the more months or years you invest in developing websites, the better your chances of landing a job. It’s that simple. Moreover, as you gather more real-world experience, companies tend to worry less about your lack of a degree.

Let’s take back-end developers as an example:

  • In the US, beginner back-end developers usually earn a starting salary of $60,995.
  •  On the other side, experienced senior back-end developers in the US make an average annual base pay of $161,175.

Your pay will increase by a whopping 264% on average as you gain more experience. While senior web developer positions may demand additional skills, the reality is that junior and senior developers share similar responsibilities. What truly matters is your work experience, and most senior web developer roles expect candidates to have five or more years of web development experience. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

That wraps up our tips on becoming a web developer without a degree. Remember, job experience and valuable skills matter much more in the job market than having a college degree as a web developer.

So lets answers few questions for you:

How much time does it take to become a web developer?

If you’re new to coding and want to become a web developer, you can pick up the skills in three to six months through online classes and coding boot camps. The quickest time is around three months, but if you’re learning part-time due to a busy schedule, it might take six to twelve months. Based on our student’s experiences, dedicating three hours a day to Treehouse Techdegrees allowed them to complete web development programs in about four to five months.

Is It Useful to Get a Web Development Certificate?

In short, it is worth it to be a certified web developer. Getting a web development degree is increasingly valuable. It helps you gain the skills employers seek, boosts your chances for career growth, and can lead to higher pay.

Advantages of becoming a self-taught web developer

Self-taught web developers enjoy various advantages. They become skilled at effective research by solving problems independently, instead of relying on a professor. This approach not only proves beneficial in their future careers in web development but also instills a strong work ethic for their professional journey. [How to Become a Web Developer Without a Degree]

Success Stories of Web Developer Without a Degree

Web developers who have achieved significant success without a formal degree are well-documented in success stories. Numerous people have achieved professional success by using online courses, hands-on training, and self-study.

David Heinemeier Hansson

Despite lacking a traditional computer science degree, Danish programmer David Heinemeier Hansson managed to achieve success. He became well-known for developing the Ruby on Rails framework and went on to co-found the project management tool Basecamp. His successes show the worth of practical skills and contributions to the open-source community.

Lynn Root

Lynn Root, a programmer, started as a self-taught person without an official degree. She became well-known in the Python community and went on to work for companies like Spotify. Lynn emphasizes the importance of having a robust network and continuously learning new things in the tech sector.

Laura Medalia

Laura Medalia is a self-taught web developer who first learned how to code with the help of the internet. She built the website Coding Blonde to inspire more women to work in technology. Laura’s narrative highlights the opportunities available to anyone who chooses to pursue self-directed learning and skill development.


There are various paths you can take in web development, whether you choose to specialize as a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer. Front-end developers, focusing on the visible parts of websites, can earn around $100,781 annually

In conclusion, the web development field emphasizes the value of abilities, real-world experience, and a solid portfolio, and it provides plenty of options for people without a formal degree.

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