Is front-end web development still a good career in 2018?

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I recorded a full podcast episode to answer this for you, but let me run through the specifics:

1. Is front-end development still a good career choice?

The median income for a front-end developer on PayScale is $68,058/year. The median income for a PHP developer is $62,370. The number of available front-end developer jobs on Indeed is 20,853. For PHP developers, it’s 13,607.

So, higher median income and more available jobs when compared to a common back-end developer job. I’d say yes… it’s still a good career choice. However, there’s a few things to keep in mind if you want to be solely a front-end developer.

2. Learn design. If you’re not going to be building full, back-end supported applications, then what will people be hiring you for? One of the answers is the quality of your designs. So, learn color theory, typography, visual spacing, etc… so, you get real good at creating functional and visually appealing designs that blow people away. That’s what those who hire you will be expecting.

3. Learn JavaScript. It’s the other major thing that you’ll get hired for… being a master of JavaScript. Also, the median income for a JavaScript Developer is $69,194. The number of available jobs is 36,102. So, a slight higher median income and quite a few more jobs when compared to a front-end developer. What that tells you is there’s an emphasis on JavaScript when it comes to front-end development. Plus, a lot of developers hate it. So, if YOU learn it… you have an instant advantage.

4. Transition to the full stack. Never forget that while you CAN make a good living as a pure front-end developer… you can always make more and open yourself up to more opportunity by learning the full stack. So, once you learn front-end development, if you want to grow and make even more, learn back-end development, as well.

Finally, one of the better courses out there for learning this is the Ultimate Web Designer and Developer Course by Brad Hussey. It not only teaches you the HTML, CSS and JavaScript (along with jQuery and Angular), it also has a full section on visual design… which is harder to find. So, you can learn all the coding stuff you need to learn, but also learn visual design.

Source: My answer on Quora.com

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John Morris

JOHN MORRIS

I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Front-end web development is one of the top 10 marketing jobs. Whether you work for someone or self-employed, this work is in demand. Flexibility is a great advantage, you can work from your home for any organization around the world.

  2. Front end dev is NOT in demand. Ive got 1 year professional experience and 2 years experience as a React hobbyist programmer as I have a knack for building gorgeous, reusable web components. Ive been unemployed 9 months now and still cant get a job in the field. I literally apply for jobs 7 days a week and land interviews all the time and always pass them with flying colors, I just literally never get picked. The web industry is dying and people really need to quit assumig that its “hot” right now because it certainly is not! I’ve applied to everything from remote work to in house, to contrsct work. Employers only post jobs to make them look as if their business is doing good and growing, they’re not actually hiring.

    1. I don’t know. I think it’s easy to take your personal experience and extrapolate it out to the entire industry, but that doesn’t make it true. I find it really hard to believe that any plurality of employers in tech are posting jobs simple to “look good” and aren’t actually hiring. That seems pretty far-fetched. My guess is something else is going on.

  3. Totally agree with you. Front-end web development is one of the top 10 marketing jobs. Whether you work for someone or self-employed, this work is in demand. Flexibility is a great advantage, you can work from your home for any organization around the world.

  4. October-December 2018, I was working at home for two companies, 80hrs a week, day and night doing React front-end dev. We finished one project and I am still working on the other one.

    Since 2015 I have been focused on front-end only, and have over 20 years of UX Design and 18 development experience. 2016 I was out of work for 3 months during the beginning of the year, then it kicked in. Keep pushing ahead, recreate yourself, udemy.com and find great recruiters. Contracts are everywhere. Volt is a decent recruiter.

  5. For what is worth. A family member in Argentina recently (Aug 2019) finished a 6 month Front-end course and got hired as a junior right away by an European company that has branches in Southamerica.

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