How to Become a Full Stack Developer in West Virginia
Web and app development are not new careers, but being able to tackle development projects from all sides is a new skill. Called full stack development, this is an emerging career with strong growth in West Virginia, around the U.S. and as a remote work option.
A full stack developer is a professional skilled at coding and building websites and apps from both the front, user end and the back end that users never see, the inner workings. If you can do both, you will be a highly desirable job candidate for many employers.
What Licensing or Degree is Needed in West Virginia?
Full stack development is a new career, one that is growing. There are no requirements yet set for anyone to call themselves a full stack developer or to work as one in West Virginia. It is a show-by-doing type of career. If you can prove to an employer that you have the necessary skills, you can do the job.
You don’t even need to have a degree, but you will have to learn several skills to be able to land a job. You may choose an online program or community college degree to get all the necessary courses, but you can also pick and choose classes. Make sure you learn at least one front-end and one back-end coding language at minimum. Employers also prefer to hire individuals with some knowledge of web, app and user experience design.
Full Stack Training Options in West Virginia
If you want to learn and train for web and app development in West Virginia, you have a few options. You can also find several of coding bootcamps and programs online for a more flexible choice. Options include:
- Blue Ridge Community and Technical College. A two-year degree, like the one offered at Blue Ridge, takes longer to complete than a certificate or online program. However, you can use a degree to continue your education or advance your career. This program is an associate degree in software development engineering. It includes courses in front- and back-end languages, web design, app development and more.
- West Virginia Northern Community College. Northern also offers a two-year degree. The computer information technology program is less focused on coding but still provides much of what you need to work in the field. Courses include a few coding languages, operating systems, database programming and an internship.
- Mountwest Community and Technical College. At Mountwest, you can choose an associate degree in information technology with a concentration in mobile app development. This leaves out web development, but it does fill an important and growing niche in the industry.
Career Outlook and Average Salaries for Full Stack Developers
Full stack development is such a new career that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not yet report on salaries and job growth. If you look at similar careers, though, the BLS shows they are growing rapidly. Job growth for web developers is 13 percent and for software developers, 21 percent.
The average annual salary in the U.S. for a web developer is $82,370. In West Virginia, it is just $49,810. Other sources, like Indeed.com, report specifically on salaries for full stack developers, and these are more promising. The average annual salary in West Virginia is $90,314. Because full stack developers can do more, they earn more.
Landing a Full Stack Development Job in West Virginia
Strong job growth in this field translates to a lot of opportunities once you have finished a degree, certificate or bootcamp program. Many companies and organizations need developers to build their websites and apps. You can find work as a full-time employee or work as a freelancer and contract developer.
In West Virginia, some recent job listings give you an idea of what is available throughout the state: full stack WordPress developer for American Public University, Charles Town; full stack Java developer for Open Systems Technologies Corporation, Clarksburg; and .NET/Dyanmics 365 developers for Nomensa, Junior.