Interested in becoming a web developer, but not sure if web development is a good career?

The world of web development can seem intimidating when you’re just starting out. Throw post-pandemic economic uncertainty into the mix, and it’s understandable if you have concerns about switching careers.

Some feel that the only thing that makes becoming a developer worth it is the high salary. But in reality, web development can be a hugely rewarding, flexible, and varied career path in its own right.

Of course, what you’re paid will always be a major consideration when it comes to your career (good news then that despite the economic downturn, web development salaries have continued to rise!). But there’s so much more to web development than the salary.

In this post, we’ve rounded up some of the lesser-known benefits that make web development a career worth considering. Feel free to jump down the page if there’s something that catches your eye! 👇

  1. High demand means plenty of choice when it comes to roles 🌎
  2. You can choose a career that aligns with your values ✅
  3. Satisfying work, tangible results 💪🏻
  4. Opportunities for growth in almost any direction 🚀
  5. You can express your creativity 🎨
  6. Lots of opportunities to collaborate and pick up new skills 🤝🏻
  7. The community spirit! 🍻
  8. You can work from anywhere 💻
  9. The flexibility of freelancing 🕺🏻
  10. It can be really (really!) fun 🎉
  11. BONUS - It's well paid 💰

High demand means plenty of choice when it comes to roles 🌎

Across almost every industry, web developers are in high demand. In the US alone, the number of people employed as developers is forecast to grow 23% by 2031 — much faster than other occupations.

Don’t get us wrong: it’s not always easy to get your foot in the door as a developer. Securing that first opportunity requires hard graft, and you’ll need to really put in the hours to get your skills up to scratch. But once you’ve got a year or so of experience under your belt, you’re likely to have a lot more choice available to you than at the same point in another profession.

Here are just a few examples of where training as a web developer could take you:

  • Creating mobile apps for an international game developer 👾
Scrimba student Anthony Moreno worked and credited on a Call of Duty title!
  • Building banking interfaces at the cutting edge of FinTech 📈
  • Developing new learning platforms for schools and universities 🎓

With so many companies looking for talent, web developers often have lots of freedom to try out different industries and types of organizations. Many senior developers, for example, choose to hone their skills at large companies before moving to startups where they can really influence the direction of the product.

You can choose a career that aligns with your values ✅

Web development is a hugely transferable skill. There aren’t many organizations that don’t have a web presence of some kind. So no matter where you start out, if there’s an industry you really care about — for example, conservation or education - it’s likely you’ll be able to move into that area once you get some experience.

And one of the things that make web development so great to work in is the fact that so many of the best developers started out in completely different careers. The relatively low barrier to entry of frontend web development in particular means that it’s entirely possible to retrain and start a new career, even after 10, 15 or 20 years in another role.

👉 Need proof? Check out our recent podcast with Michael Robards, a career changer who became a software developer for Coca-Cola at 51!

If you’re in a career at the moment that you don’t find fulfilling, web development might be the skill you can use to unlock a role in an area that really matters to you. And your previous experience will definitely come in handy! Skills such as:

  • project management
  • problem solving
  • data analytics
  • design
  • team management
  • customer research

and more are all extremely transferable to a career in web development.

Long-term job satisfaction is all about balance — for example, between work you care about and work that pays you enough for the lifestyle you want. With such high demand for talent, becoming a web developer gives you enough choice to find the role with the right balance for you.

Satisfying work, tangible results 💪

We won’t lie — the feeling of being able to say ‘I made that!’ never gets old. From solving FizzBuzz for the first time to building websites that handle millions of visits a day, a career in web development is full of the satisfaction that comes with cracking complex problems.

And you don’t need to train for years before you can start making cool stuff! Once you pick up the basics of frontend development, it won’t be long before you can make things like:

  • Websites and blogs 💻
  • Games and puzzles 🎲
  • Calculators and forms 🔢

If you become a web developer, you’ll be making tangible products that people use every day — which isn’t something you can say about every job out there.

Of course, the flip side of that is the frustration that comes with struggling to get something to work (or the stress of potentially breaking something that people rely on!). If you’re easily frustrated or not a fan of problem-solving, web development might not be the role for you. But if enjoy figuring out puzzles and having the autonomy to work things out for yourself, it can be a seriously rewarding career.

Opportunities for growth in almost any direction 🚀

One thing that’s sometimes unclear to people before they make the move into web development is what their career progression might look like.

A standard progression over the course of a career might be something broadly along the lines of: Junior Developer → Senior Developer → Tech Lead → Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

💡 Bear in mind that terminology varies between organizations, and ‘Tech Lead’ in one company might be ‘Principal Developer’ in another. Most companies also have several levels to each role, for example, ‘Level 2 Senior Developer.

But this path is by no means the only one available. Once you become a web developer, a wide range of careers open up to you (including setting up on your own as a freelancer!).

  • If you love working with and coaching people, you might move into team leadership or mentoring.
  • If you like getting to grips with customer problems and researching their ideal solutions, you might want to become a Technical Product Manager.
  • If you want to craft entire systems from scratch, you could expand your skillset into full stack development (👉 find out more about frontend vs backend vs full stack development here)
  • You could even move across to a lucrative role in technical writing, crafting documentation for complex systems.

Dream of becoming a technical expert who sets the direction of an entire organization? Or want to work closely with customers as an all-in-one consultant? Whatever you want from your career, a solid grounding in frontend web development will set you on the right path to achieve it.

You can express your creativity 🎨

Creativity might not be the first word that many people associate with web development. But it’s a much more creative career than the stereotypes would have you believe.

If you become a web developer, you’ll be entering a career where there’s no one ‘right’ way to solve a problem. Creating good software requires ingenuity, imagination, and a healthy dose of flair.

Web developers work closely with user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers to bring a design on a page to life. Developers use programming languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript to add style, functionality, animation, and more to web interfaces, making them as engaging and user-friendly as possible.

The best developers are often highly creative thinkers, always thinking of new ways to approach their craft. In fact, more and more web designers are teaching themselves to code, and vice versa. Having both skills in your arsenal means you can design and build products from scratch, opening up a wealth of creative possibilities.

Lots of opportunity to collaborate and pick up new skills 🤝

One of the best reasons to become a web developer is the opportunity it gives you to work cross-functionally with different stakeholders across your organization.

In your day-to-day as a web developer, you’re likely to work with:

  • A product manager responsible for the vision and direction of what you’re building, making sure it meets the needs of the business and of customers.
  • A UX designer responsible for crafting the overall experience of using your product or software.
  • A UI designer responsible for designing the interactive elements of your product (such as buttons and menus) that you then build.

Web developers work collaboratively with these roles to craft products that run smoothly, are user-friendly, and fit the overall aims of the organization.

Outside of your immediate team, you’re also likely to have close contact with customer-facing roles like Customer Success Manager or Integrations Manager. You might be helping to troubleshoot a customer problem, or gathering feedback on your latest release.

You might also work closely with the product marketing team to help them showcase what you’ve built!

If you’re looking for a career with plenty of variety and exposure to lots of different business functions, web development could be a really great fit.

The community spirit! 🍻

The global web development community is one of the most vocal, supportive, and fast-growing communities in tech! There are countless Slack groups and Discord servers across the globe that bring web developers together to chat, solve problems and help each other out.

👉 Check out our roundup of the top 9 web developer communities to join to find out more!

It can be a bit counter-intuitive if you come to web development from an academic background, or any environment where googling the answer is considered ‘cheating’ — but web development thrives on crowdsourced knowledge and sharing solutions to common problems.

From the moment you take the first step on your journey to becoming a web developer, you’ll be part of a community of helpful folks around the world who can keep you motivated, inspired, and continuously learning.

You can work from anywhere 💻

Working from home is no longer just an occasional luxury for most people — in fact, 25% of all professional jobs in the US are now fully remote. Most career paths now have some provision for hybrid working, either requiring a certain number of in-office days per week or leaving it completely up to the individual to decide.

The digital-first nature of web development means that it’s particularly well-suited to remote working. Even as a Junior Developer, you’ll have the opportunity to work from home from anywhere in the world.

The abundance of remote-first opportunities makes web development a great career path for a huge range of people, including:

  • 👩‍👧‍👦 Parents who want the flexibility to work from home
  • 👨‍💻 Neurodivergent folk who have a preferred work setup that meets their needs
  • ✈️ Digital nomads who want to take their work with them on their travels

But if a fully remote career isn’t on your agenda, don’t worry — the demand for in-office tech teams isn’t going anywhere either. There are loads of benefits to having a physical workspace, including a better tech setup (second screen, anyone?) and the opportunity to hang out with colleagues you don’t work closely with every day.

Whether you prefer remote, hybrid, or in-office working, the high demand for web developers means that once your career gets going, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your style of working.

The flexibility of freelancing 🕺

Not everyone who becomes a web developer wants to work a 9-5. The good news is, freelance web developers are highly sought-after: demand grew by over 40% on freelance platform Upwork in the year to 2022.

Of course, freelancing isn’t for everyone. Being employed by a company secures you perks, sick pay, a pension, and all sorts of other useful stuff. But if you want the freedom and flexibility that comes with freelancing — or want to earn some extra money on the side of your day job — becoming a web developer is a great start.

We recently interviewed designer, developer and Scrimba teacher Gary Simon about how he grew his freelance business from $3k a month to $100k a year. To future-proof yourself as a freelancer, Gary says, it’s all about continuous learning. Whether it’s staying active on developer communities or refreshing yourself on how to rank highly for your services on Google, success as a freelancer requires a constant commitment to learning new things.

💡 If you want to hear more from web developers who made it work as a freelancer, check out these episodes of the Scrimba podcast 👇

️🎙️ Get started freelancing on Upwork with no experience
🎙️ Becoming a six figure freelancer with Gary Simon

It can be really (really!) fun 🎉

Web development can be hard work — it wouldn’t be so well-paid if it wasn’t! — but for most developers, there’s absolutely no shortage of fun and exciting moments to keep you engaged.

Web development is evolving at an incredibly fast pace, which means you never stop learning. From the increased accessibility of AI to exciting new developments in PWA (progressive web application) technology, there’s constantly something new to discover and add to your practice.

It’s definitely the case that no two days are the same for a web developer. This is a career that requires constant testing and innovation to adapt to fast-changing technology and consumer behavior. And that means there are plenty of opportunities to have fun as you build (and break!) brand-new systems on a day-to-day basis.

A career in development is a uniquely rewarding mix of good pay, good perks, and enjoyable, varied projects to work on (which might be why nearly 24,000 students have taken Scrimba’s Frontend Developer Career Path to date!).

BONUS - It’s well paid 💰

Okay, we said we wouldn’t mention salaries — but this one bears repeating. Starter salaries for web developers are good (often great), and there’s potential for it to be an incredibly high-earning career.

We take a deep-dive into salary data in our in-depth guide to becoming a developer in 2023, but to give you a quick idea:

  • Average web developer salary in the USA 🇺🇸: $53,628-$107,028
  • Average web developer salary in the UK 🇬🇧: £25,690-£49,434
  • Average web developer salary in Australia 🇦🇺: A$57,500-A$100,000

And those are just national averages: if you’re, say, a Senior Developer working in London, you’re likely to be earning a whole lot more.

👉 Curious to know why web development is such a high-earning career? We recently took a deep-dive into web development salaries on the blog, but at a high level it boils down to: high demand, a technical skillset, and significant levels of responsibility.

What next?

2023 is a great year to become a web developer. It’s a growing field, there are more remote opportunities than ever before, and salaries are the best they’ve ever been.

If you want to find out more about how to become a web developer in 2023, we’d recommend checking out our complete guide. In there, you’ll find loads more information on web development as a career and how to get started.

And if you’re ready to jump in and start learning, our Frontend Development Career Path is designed and created by industry-leading developers to transform beginners into hireable web developers. You’ll learn everything from the basics of web dev to advanced interview techniques, all for the fraction of the price of a coding bootcamp.