How to Become a Full Stack Developer in North Carolina
If you’ve recently become interested in web development as a career, you might have noticed the term “full stack developer” often mentioned in articles and job advertisements, but what does the term mean exactly? To answer the question, you will need to understand how various programming languages work and how websites are built.
Programmers have traditionally come in one of two varieties, front-end developers or back-end developers. Each specializes in certain types of coding and programming, with differing functions. Front-end developers use languages like HTML, JAVA and CSS to create and communicate how a website appears visually. Back-end developers use languages like MySQL, Python and PHP to create the invisible, functional parts of a website. While these classifications for web developers still exist, a new type of developer has emerged on the scene and is growing in popularity: the full stack developer.
Full stack developers need to know and work in both front-end and back-end coding languages, enabling them to create a complete website without the help of another programmer. Their knowledge makes them versatile employees, who can be utilized in many different areas of a company, which is why big tech companies currently love them. The extensive knowledge of a full stack developer is also advantageous for freelancers, enabling them to work independently while keeping a lower overhead.
North Carolina Licensing Requirements
There is no professional licensure or regulation for full stack developers in North Carolina. Training in the career field runs the gamut, from accelerated programming courses, commonly known as “boot camp training,” to graduate-level degrees. With no statewide requirements, employers will want to establish a job candidate’s expertise through educational minimums, depending on the job opening.
Educational Programs in North Carolina
With the wide variety of training programs for this career, it will be essential to keep your career goals in mind when considering the options. For instance, you should decide if you want to freelance, work as a programmer at a tech company or supervise a team of programmers. Other considerations include finances, whether or not you can learn online, how much time you want to spend attending courses, and the reputation of the course you are considering. Training programs in North Carolina include:
- Wake Technical Community College offers both certificates and an Associate in Applied Science for Web Developer.
- University of North Carolina Charlotte offers a Full Stack Web Developer Certificate.
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill provides boot camp-style skills training.
Full Stack Developer Salaries and Expectation for Growth
In North Carolina, web developers and computer programmers made average annual salaries of $78,840 and $94,700 in 2019, respectively, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While not explicitly tracked by the BLS, full stack developers should expect comparable salaries, perhaps somewhat higher or lower, depending on experience and education.
The career field is expected to continue to grow in the United States, with Projections Central predicting a 13 percent increase for the category between 2018 and 2028.
Opportunities in North Carolina for Full Stack Developers
Even in a state like North Carolina, which is not a known hub of activity for the tech field, there are plenty of opportunities to build a career. If you choose the life of a freelancer, you could work from anywhere, make your own schedule and answer to only yourself. However, with companies like Vanguard, Randstad US, Ceros, Genesis10, RBC and Aerotek hiring full stack developers, finding employment should also be easily accessible to those with the proper qualifications. Whichever you prefer, the life of a full stack developer has abundant potential.