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Is Web Development A Secure Future?
With the number of activities, we perform over the World Wide Web every day, it is hard to imagine life without it. As the world doesn’t work without the internet, there is no internet without web developers. These individuals are responsible for designing, creating and publishing the websites which we surf during each browsing session. Web development has been a relevant career for almost three decades now and as of 2019, the stats still show these professionals in high demand. This case study examines the current as well as an outlook of the web development industry and furnishes an evidence-based answer to the question that whether web development is a secure future or not.
Web development forms the core of the internet today. A web developer is the professional responsible for building that core. These individuals are responsible for developing websites and applications for multiple platforms. With the help of different programming languages and tools, they manage the features, functionality and security measures of individual websites. Web developers need to have expertise in various aspects of programming like multiplatform development, web and mobile applications as well as object-oriented programming.
The uniqueness of a website or mobile application revolves completely around the creativeness of the web developer. They are responsible for infusing innovative features using fundamental project management skills. Typically, there are two main domains in web development. These are front-end and back-end web development. The names of each field provide a glimpse of what they might be. Both hold equal significance in web development and careers are abundant in them too. We will dive deeply into the details of each during the further sections. For now, it is important to know that jobs can easily be found in each sector.
Web development is a career path that has shown a continuous upward trajectory for the past few years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rates are expected to rise by 15% for the ten-year period between 2016 to 2026. In 2016, there were 162,900 jobs available in the field. By 2026 this number is projected to swell up to 187,200. This is the highest percentage of change for any industry according to the official government body monitoring the trends in the market. The overall change in all applications was recorded at about 7%.
There are several departments within web development where these professionals can expect to find employment. According to the number available from 2016, around 17% of web developers were part of systems design and related services. The majority were spread across publishing, advertising, and management consulting domains. Around 1 out of 6 web developers in the United States were self-employed. Overall, according to US News, web development is ranked as the sixth best technology job in the country. These rankings are since which job can offer the greatest mix of factors like stress-free work environment, elusive salary and potential for progress, etc.
The average take-home salary for web developers was $67,990 per annum in the year 2017. The highest paid professionals in the industry had paychecks going up to $93,670 a year. The entry level position for a web developer is the associate position. Employers prefer a combination of qualifications and experience in the professionals they hire. The preferred level of education is a Bachelor’s degree but it can vary from one employer to the other. Some of them put more weight on how much exposure the candidate has in the real-world and how well he can cope with the latest trends in the market. Being updated is a trait employer look for more than anything else. According to Andrew Ruditser, a technology coordinator at Maxburst Inc., it is important to; “Focus on the portfolio… Even if you don't have real world experience, you can make up your own mock projects. It's not about being polished; it's about being creative."
Theories and Implications
Companies in almost every sector are witnessing a growing demand for digitization. Consumers are increasingly becoming tech savvy and they are moving away from traditional methods of research and purchase. They prefer to find most of the relevant information online. For them, it is more convenient to be able to execute the complete purchase operation in one place at the same time. Most of these tasks are being carried out on our smartphones. However, companies and businesses are still to catch up with the pace at which users are switching to mobile. While many companies have updated websites, they don’t have dedicated mobile versions and applications for these. This is a major deterrent to potential consumers and a considerable chunk in revenue can be lost just by missing out on this simple feature.
Experts in the industry believe that the biggest shift is in mobile technologies. Companies are rallying towards creating mobile-friendly approaches for their consumers. Companies are on the lookout for specialists in front-end development, web design, integration, consultant strategists and app developers to name a few. Front-end developers are the ones with the highest potential increase in salaries. In 2016, their salaries rose more than anyone else in the market with a percentage of 6.1%. The most valuable skills now are SharePoint followed by Visualization and Web Services. Developers who can handle both front-end and back-end development are known as ‘full stack developers.’ Although these professionals are also in considerable demand, most companies prefer to split the roles to increase efficiency.
With digitization in full swing, the demand for web developers is growing and their roles are becoming diversified. Besides the need for their own digital solutions, organizations are also on the lookout for sophisticated tools to deal with their operational requirements. Considering the world, we live in today, governmental authorities are continuously tightening the lasso and plugging loopholes in the system which can be exploited for criminal purposes. There are regulations being made and laws amended on a constant basis. MiFID II and GDPR are two of the latest examples. Compliance with these regulations is becoming a challenge and this is just one aspect of the task organizations face.
Businesses providing compliance and risk management, customer and content management, human resource and financial management tools are in great demand. Web developers are therefore working on system design projects to create tailor-made solutions for various organizations. Moreover, there are dedicated teams looking after these systems on a regular basis. These can be located on or off-site depending on the preference of the company. A web developer is a key player in these teams because they are aware of the fundamentals and structure of the program. They can help identify errors and bugs if they arise and then work on developing a fix for them.
With the roles in web development becoming quite extensive, the question is not about whether it is a secure future but more about what the most relevant skills in the industry are. Since the demand for professionals has grown, it has become simpler to acquire additional skills conveniently using various platforms like boot camps, certificate courses, and online classes, etc.
Web development professionals continue to thrive in their respective domains. In the olden days, the roles for web developers were quite limited. The internet had not taken over so extensively and companies didn’t see the potential in spending a significant chunk of their revenues on web-based services. Now things have changed. Most businesses have realized the need for respective solutions to cater to various aspects of their operations. Those that haven’t been feeling the brunt and slowly moving towards gaining the required expertise in these areas. From financial services to manufacturing, marketing to consultancy and much more besides, web development is becoming a substantial requirement.
According to various accounts from industry experts, a compilation of statistics and observing market trends, web developers are in need of refreshing their skill sets. This industry is among the most dynamic ones and the pace at which it is changing is quite extreme. Every year brings about new challenges, prospects, and threats for organizations. Without the proper professionals, there are gaps left in the system which can cause considerable losses. Web developers need to gain expertise in current trends in the industry and must keep themselves updated with the relevant knowledge so that they can retain their status of being an asset to organizations. Without the necessary knowledge, companies head out in search of other potential candidates.
In-demand Jobs that fresh-grad should target:
Junior Web Developer
The field in question, I.e. web development holds a secure future. However, there is a catch. The professionals who are proactive in their learning process are the ones who will always find a place for themselves in the industry. The trends in web development change rapidly. A few years ago, it was website design and development, now the focus is on applications. Similarly, the requirements continue to shift, and older skills are rendered useless. It is no difficult feat to learn new skills on the go and this is the secret to maintaining a secure future in the industry.