In recent years, the Internet has become a big part of our lives. People are spending more time online than ever before. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by savvy companies as they look to build their digital presence and promote their products online.

This highly connected world has created huge demand for websites and made web development a sought-after skill.

Web development is the process of building and maintaining websites. Professionals working in this field are typically called developers (or software engineers, coders or programmers, depending on your level of expertise). The role is generally divided into three specializations: front-end web development, back-end web development, and full-stack development.

If you’re drawn to the art of building beautiful, engaging websites and ready for a career change, then it might be time to tap into your inner front-end developer. We’ll introduce what it means to specialize in the front end, and which certificates could help you get hired.

What’s The Difference Between Front-End and Back-End Development?

Back-end (or server-side) development is concerned with the behind-the-scenes workings of a website. Data is stored, read, and optimized on the back end, which comprises of:

Back-end developers ensure that these three components run together smoothly. They analyze the needs of the company and provide effective programming solutions.

Front-end (also known as client-side or user-side) development is all about how users interact with a site. It’s concerned with visuals and includes elements like the text, fonts, sliders, and drop-down menus.

The role of a front-end developer is to structure these elements and bind them together so the site looks visually appealing. They must build a positive user experience and make navigation and interaction easy.

A front-end developer should be:

Front-End Developer Certificates

Demand for front-end developers is rising every year. If you have the right skills you can expect excellent job prospects and a rewarding compensation package. One way to validate yourself is to obtain certification. These help your resume stand out to prospective employers and give you an edge in the competitive job market.

Some popular front-end developer certifications include:

Thinkful: Software Engineering Bootcamp

This course will cover all the skills and programming languages you need to become a front-end developer. You'll build a strong foundation in both front-end and back-end programming, all in the company of a one-on-one mentor. You'll finish up the course with professional career coaching to help you polish up your resume and portfolio, and prep for interviews.

A bootcamp results in much more than a specific certification: you'll complete projects hands-on, partner with other students in your cohort, and ultimately graduate with the complete range of hard and soft skills that will get you hired.  

W3C: Professional Certificate in Front-End Web Development

This certification focuses on the three languages that form the foundation of front-end web development: HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. Under this certification, you will learn how to build and implement creative and innovative concepts. You will also work on practical examples to form an in-depth understanding of the topics.

This certificate covers essential techniques that are needed to build responsive and interactive user experiences online.

About the exam:

This certification comprises of 5 courses that are designed to progressively test your skills. The courses take you from beginner to master and are based on HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. The courses are:

  1. CSS Basics: This course covers fundamental CSS selectors, relative positioning through CSS, and best practices in web design. It lasts for 5 weeks.
  2. HTML5 & CSS Fundamentals: This course covers HTML5, Page Layout, and Flexbox. It lasts for 6 weeks.
  3. JavaScript Introduction: This course covers page interaction using JavaScript, the DOM API, CSS styles, HTML5 forms, and the HTML5 canvas. It lasts for 5 weeks.
  4. HTML5 Coding Essentials & Best Practices: This course includes basic HTML5 tags, graphics, animation, and tests API usage for web storage. You’ll have the chance to practice your coding through interactive exercises. It lasts for 6 weeks.
  5. HTML5 Apps & Games: This course covers HTML5 game development techniques, APIs like service workers, and persistent techniques for data storage. It lasts for 4 weeks.

The course is self-paced.

Total duration: 2-4 months.

Microsoft: Professional Certification in Front-End Web Development

Created by Microsoft, this program focuses on front-end development fundamentals. You’ll be introduced to popular tools and must demonstrate you understand how to use these techniques. At the end of the certification process, there is a final project that will test your knowledge.

There is a series of 11 courses that you will have to complete to earn this certification.

About the course:

The University of Michigan: Web Design for Everybody

This certificate is provided 100% online by The University of Michigan. It’s geared towards front-end development and is spread over 5 courses, designed to last for 3 months. It will teach you how to code in HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

The certification is ideal for beginners. The courses are:

  1. Introduction to HTML5: This course will introduce you to the basics of HTML5, covering both theoretical and practical aspects. It lasts 10 hours.
  2. Introduction to CSS3: This course will introduce you to CSS3 and will teach you how to write and test code. Its duration is 18 hours.
  3. Interactivity with JavaScript: This course will familiarize you with JavaScript and teach you how to use it to manipulate DOM. Its duration is 12 hours.
  4. Advanced Styling with Responsive Design: This course introduces frameworks like Bootstrap. You’ll learn how to create responsive sites that display perfectly on a range of different devices. Its duration is 10 hours.
  5. Web Design for Everybody Capstone: This front-end development course ties everything together by building a professional-looking portfolio. Its duration is 11 hours.

About the course:

TemplateMonster: HTML5 and CSS Certification

As the name suggests, this free certification program focuses on HTML5 and CSS. These key technologies allow front-end developers to display formatted and styled content on the Internet.

The program has been developed to improve your portfolio, bulk out your resume, validate your HTML5 skills, and ultimately boost your chances of getting hired.

Professionals responsible for the following tasks should benefit from this certificate:

The certificate is free and can be passed online.

The University of Washington: Front-End Development With HTML, CSS & JavaScript

Provided by Washington University, this program allows you to demonstrate your skills in creating responsive websites that work on both desktop and mobile devices. The course is ideal for complete beginners, or professionals looking to expand into front-end web development.

You’ll learn the following front-end skills:

The course can be completed online or in Seattle.

UC San Diego: Front-End Development Certificate

This certification program will give you experience in developing sites using HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery. At the end of the course, you’ll build a website using techniques taught throughout the program. This work can be added to your professional portfolio to show employers you understand front-end development principles.

The main learning objectives include:

Take Your Career to the Next Level

That concludes our selection of front-end developer certificates. Most of these programs center around the key building blocks of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as understanding these technologies is fundamental to starting a career in web development.

A certificate can’t hurt in a competitive job market, but it won’t make you a full-fledged software engineer. If you’d like to gain a broader skill set and further boost your chances of success, enroll in our full-stack developer bootcamp. This online course teaches you both front-end and back-end skills. It’s designed by industry experts to help you achieve your goals and become a highly-paid full-stack developer.

To learn more about the different types of web development, check out our other blog post: Front-End Developer vs Back-End Developer.

Learn to Code with Thinkful

Take the proven path to a high-income career with professional mentorship and support, flexible ways to pay, and real-world, project-based learning.

Share this article