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What is a Webmaster?
A webmaster or web manager is an individual who designs, creates, tests, and maintains websites. Webmasters are responsible for the look, feel, navigation, and aesthetics of a website along with the technical aspects of coding, functionality, performance, speed, hardware, software, and capacity.
Web managers may be responsible for generating and updating webpages or other website content depending on the employment arrangement and scope of job responsibilities. Successful webmasters are active, effective listeners who seeks to understand both the big picture and minute details of the customer.
Skills of a Webmaster
A degree in Web Management may include deep knowledge in CMS, software systems, SEO, system design, SEM, system connectivity, information technology, application design, database management, computer programming, user design, site optimization, and computer networking.
Earning a college degree in Web Management and Webmaster will require students to understand software and hardware across a variety of operating systems. Creative problem solving can help resolve connectivity, site migration, and systems integration challenges.
As a rapidly expanding profession, web managers can be specialists or generalists. Specialists can be experts in a number of domains such as U/X, coding, security, administration, speed optimization, mobile applications, or crawl experts. To obtain expert-level status, students will need to earn a degree and spend substantive time learning. Knowledge and skills in operating systems, devices, industry, networks, applications, and programming are a must.
How to Become a Webmaster
Currently there are no degree or licensing requirements to become a web manager or webmaster. However, employers strongly prefer job applicants with a formal education from an accredited college or university along with quality work experience.
In an ultra-competitive sector, webmasters can work independently or part of a larger organization. Those that work in larger organizations will benefit from earning a college degree online or in a traditional classroom setting.
Data collected by the U.S Department of Labor reveals that over 80% of web managers and web designers had a formal college degree or professional certificate in web design or web development prior to entering the field.
Top Webmaster & Web Developer Degrees
If you are serious about taking your career to the next level, there are several formal educational tracks to consider. Both degree programs and certificate programs can be earned via distance education or on-site at a variety of accredited colleges and universities. To help you find the best web design degree, we have created a summary of the most popular tracks below.
Online Certificate in Web Management
Online certificates for web managers vary from condensed six-month programs to multi-year certificates. It stands to reason that the longer the certificate program, the more involved the program will be with broader curriculum.
Working professionals and students will often utilize certificate programs in conjunction with a related degree or as a stand-alone credential to remain competitive or upskill in their given organization.
Online Webmaster Associate's Degree
Online associate’s degrees for webmasters are typically two-year programs designed to provide students with key knowledge and skills in web management. Associate degrees are conferred as either an Associate of Arts (AA), Associate of Science (AS), or Associate Applied of Science (AAS) depending on the design of the program. In all cases, associate degrees blend general education courses with core technical know-how to provide a balanced, well-rounded education.
Degree specific curriculum include business principles and technical classes such as: multimedia, user experience, web design, computer hardware, systems design, database management, security, software applications, content management, and digital communications.
Online Webmaster Bachelor's Degree
The online bachelor’s degree in web management will be conferred as either a Bachelor of Science (BS) or Bachelor of Arts (BA). Bachelor degrees typically take full-time students around four-years to complete. A bachelor degree will build on the core knowledge found in lower-level degree programs and certificate tracks. Core classes may include the following:
- Introduction to Business Management
- Cloud Solutions
- Programming Basics
- Computer Networking
- Database Management
- Program Scripting
- Project Management
- Logic and Design
- Web Interface Design
- Server Side Scripting
- Structured Query Language
- Software Engineering
- System Analysis and Design
- Web Application Development
- Interface Design
Bachelor degrees help students build a robust set of technical skills along with design know-how and communication acumen. Graduates will be equipped to launch a career as a webmaster or continue on to earn a graduate degree in the field of study.
Online Webmaster Master's Degree
The on-site or online master’s degree program for webmasters can be found in a school’s course catalog as either a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degree. Master degrees can be completed in one to two-year program after completion of all lower-level academic requirements are met.
Students with find graduate degree programs in predetermined blocks or as a series of electives. Specific classes may be taken to create a core set of skills in a dedicated area or you may prefer to take many different types of classes to have a more well-rounded education. The master degree pathway will require most students to take a capstone class along with a thesis project.
Capstone courses are intended to encompass a wide variety of skills and knowledge acquired over several years of study. The thesis project requires students to research, design, create, and present an approved project in the field of study to substantially add to the existing body of knowledge.
What Colleges Offer Web Management Degrees?
Several dozen accredited colleges and universities from around the country offer degrees for webmasters. Colleges range from local community colleges to top-tier private universities in web management and multimedia management. You can simply connect with schools below, utilize our proprietary matching portal, or search by degree below to learn more.
Finding the best college degree program for you will wholly depend on your personal priorities and career objectives. To help you figure out which path makes the most sense for you, consider reading The Complete Guide to the College Admission Process today
What Does a Webmaster Do?
Web managers perform a host of activities as part of their jobs. The span and scope of the job will ultimately depend on the organization. Generally, larger organizations tend to hire more specialists while smaller companies employ more generalist to complete requisite job functions. We have assembled a list of daily activities and job responsibilities of a webmaster to help you better understand the job.
1) Managing sitemaps, applications, images, page templates, internal links, external links, domain names, content, interfaces, database performance, server load, and search engine optimization initiatives
2) Building, designing, and maintaining websites through the use of CMS tools, digital media, plug-ins, and various applications
3) Managing and directing activities associated with website updates
4) Researching, writing, and editing content or managing the content creation process
5) Meeting with stakeholders to define the scope of a project, resolve issues, prioritize needs, create content parameters, and effectively manage resources
6) Creating back-up data files cloud-based services, external hard drives, and local directories for instant recovery
7) Securing a website and data through software, applications, and plug-ins
8) Selecting programming languages, design tools, plug-ins, or applications
9) Analyzing code to ensure it is properly structured, functional and compatible with a variety devices, operating systems, and browsers
10) Designing and constructing databases to website and web applications
11) Performing website tests on a set schedule or as needed as upgrades or revisions occur
12) Understanding relevant web-based technologies, service providers, and programming practices
13) Designing and implementing website design plans, equipment upgrades, privacy measures, performance, and accessibility requirements
Employment Information & Web Specializations
Webmasters can work for virtually any company in any industry. The core skills or building and maintaining websites is not limited by a specific trade or business type. Having an online presence that can be crawled, indexed, and ranked is key to growing any online or offline business.
Outside the direct employment situations for web managers, students may elect to step into similar fields. Skills used by webmasters may be parlayed into careers in the following domains: software developer, research scientist, systems architect, network administrator, information research scientist, computer programmer, computer network architect, database administrator, and information security analyst.
Where Do Webmasters Work?
A web manager can work for a variety of employers in virtually any industry. Webmasters work for large multi-national organizations, public companies, private corporations, non-profit organizations, and government entities in every corner of the globe.
A web manager that works for the NSA may perform the exact duties as a webmaster at the Gates Foundation. As more and more assets are moving to digital formats, the demand for trained web managers will continue to expand in every sector of our economy.
Top Webmaster Skills
The most important skills of a webmaster will typically depend on the scope of the work required along with organizational needs and customer requirements. However, a generally accepted set of skills will include the core items below:
- Photo Editing
- Digital Imaging
- Database Management
- Design Software: Illustrator, Photoshop
- Visual Design
- Content Management
- Site Security
- User Experience (UX)
- SEO, SEM, Social Media
Webmaster Salary & Career Outlook
Webmaster salary numbers average $74,110 a year in the United States. The highest ten percent are currently earning in excess of $122,000 a year which translates to nearly sixty dollars an hour. The top paying states for webmasters is currently Washington, Virginia, California, and New York. Wages will fluctuate by industry, job scope, organization, education, and work portfolio.
Employment growth for webmasters is quite robust. Web managers are expected to see a job bump of 15% in the industry. A fifteen percent increase in jobs translates to nearly 25,000 new jobs in the U.S. in the coming decade. Similarly, employment growth for database administrators and software developers is expected to jump by 11% and 24% respectively. Combining exceptional growth with increasing wages will encourage droves of new entrants into the field to help meet demand.
Students seeking additional information outside academia may consider associations. National and international associations provide an opportunity to learn, grow, and share with like-minded professionals. Top rated webmaster associations include the American Webmasters Association (AWA), Web Professionals (WP), and the International Webmasters Association (IWA).