Web development combines creativity and analytical skills perfectly. It's for the detail-orientated and those with an eye for design.
But, if no other reason inspires, the salary certainly will. With demand going strong, the average UK web developer earns £42,500, according to IT Jobs Watch. This represents a 6.25 percent increase since this time last year and an increase of 3.90 percent from the year before that. Plus, if you specialise, your earning potential could double.
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Obviously, there's much more on offer than money. The web developer role can be varied, fulfilling, and most importantly, fun.
Here is why you should consider a career as a web developer...
You don't necessarily need a degree
A large number of developers out there don't have any formal qualifications. Of course, a degree in computer science is extremely advantageous, however, a lot of the same skills can be self-taught.
If you know a programming language and have experience with database management, there's nothing stopping you pursuing a career in web development. A lot of organisations offer training on the job, so you'll be up to speed before you know it.
Your earning potential is huge
Organisations are willing to pay high salaries to attract the best developers. And while salaries will vary depending on specialism, with web development, you'll likely secure a job with great earning potential.
According to Glassdoor, the average London-based web developer can earn up to £50,000 a year. And the career path doesn't stop there, you can expand into other areas where the money is higher.
As with many jobs in IT, 'web developer' encompasses a lot of things and you'll have the ability to specialise in different areas. The good thing about specialising is that it normally means more money and more demand.
According to IT jobs Watch, a UI web developer has a median annual salary of £100,000 in the UK. This role has grown in demand drastically over the past few years, reporting an impressive salary increase of 104.08 percent year on year.
You'll be in high demand
The reason why developers in general command such high salaries is down to one thing: demand.
According to IT Jobs Watch, these are some of the most in-demand web development specialisms in the UK.
- C# Web Developer (average salary of £47,500)
- PHP Web Developer (average salary of £40,000)
- .NET Web Developer (average salary of £45,000)
- Java Web Developer (average salary of £55,000)
- Full Stack Web Developer (average salary of £45,000)
- Front End Web Developer (average salary of £36,000)
You can expand into other areas
There's no need to be tied into one particular area. Web development comes with loads of transferable skills, ideal for other disciplines.
Take the mobile sector, for example, web developers can easily transition to mobile development. With similar interfaces, creating mobile applications can access a different market while also making developers much more attractive to potential employers.
In fact, an increasing amount of companies are looking into new ways of engaging with customers. For example, companies are looking into chatbots and applications developed for 'home assistants' like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. This could be an area that a customer-facing web developer could comfortably move in to.
You can become a specialist
If you'd rather stick to just the one thing, web development is great for those wanting to become an expert.
Selecting an in-demand programming language will mean you'll always have work and will have more options career-wise. The money for specialisms will be higher too.
Developers are often thought of as problem solvers - and they are - however, web developers have the luxury of being able to flex their creative muscles.
For front-end web developers creativity is key. You'll be able to create first-class user experiences and charming websites. Plus, if you work for a startup, you'll get much more creative rein.
You'll be part of a community
Sometimes the people you work with are just as important as the work. And web development is lucky, because not only will you be most likely working in a team, you'll have countless online communities at your fingertips.
The online community for developers is huge, and if used to the full can be a source of technical support and a place with like-minded people. Online communities are a great resource that you can gain a lot from, not to mention what you can give back.
You can work freelance or as part of an organisation
Freelance developers enjoy higher wages and more creative freedom. Thanks to high demand for their skills, freelance developers have the opportunity to pick and choose their projects and the progression of their career.
For a full review of both options, read our analysis: Freelance vs permanent.
It is future proof
As we progress towards an ever more tech-filled future, developer skills are increasingly in demand. We could even see programming languages become more valuable than traditional spoken languages.
With web technology in constant growth, it’s a pretty exciting place to be. And with countless companies on the lookout for new talent, it's a perfect chance for aspiring developers to find their perfect role.
If you opt for a smaller company, you'll be able to take on more responsibility, and while the pay might be a little less (which is to be expected) you'll be able to have more creative control and take real ownership of projects, which is pretty exciting.