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Why Should I Learn Mobile Web Development?

Choosing a tech career can be tricky. You’re tech savvy, and sure, you know all the up-and-coming trends. But knowing trends is simply not enough when it comes to choosing a career, because these days it can be hard to tell which trends will skyrocket and which will sink.

Take mobile web development, for example. There’s no doubt it’s huge right now. And for good reason—as of January 2014, Americans are using mobile devices to access the Internet more frequently than desktop computers. And they’re using mobile devices for everything, too—from searching for a home to ordering a meal. It’s obvious we’re drawn to the portability and convenience of mobile devices.

So will that trend continue? Is it even worth it for you to learn mobile web development? To put it bluntly: Yes!

But don’t take our word for it. We have some stats and an expert opinion to help you decide if you should be part of the future of mobile web development.

Mobile web development: the basics

First let’s look at some basics. Web developers work on code at the back end of a website, making sure everything functions properly. To this end, they need skills like JavaScript, jQuery, HTML5 and Java. Job duties include building and maintaining websites, fixing problems identified by testing and evaluating code to ensure it meets industry standards. Mobile web development specifically focuses on websites meant to be seen via smartphone, table or other mobile device.

Josh Meah, chief operating officer at JackMyRep, has experience hiring mobile web developers. He looks at a candidate’s technical proficiency and tries to match that with either back-end or front-end work, depending on what the job calls for. He also seeks candidates who can fit in with his company’s culture and someone who can be “comfortable with that innovative, demanding and collaborative environment.”

Mobile web development: Is it something people want?

In a word, yes. Most people savvy enough to have a website understand the importance of mobile web development.

“It's gotten to the point where clients think you have to have mobile, even when their desktop projects aren't where they need to be,” Meah says. “In other words, the sense of urgency clients have about mobile is occasionally unreasonable.”

His clients come from different industries and have different needs in terms of whether their customer base uses desktop computers or mobile devices more often, so mobile might not be something they even need, just something they’ve heard a lot about.

And it’s not just large businesses getting in the game, either. Small businesses need mobile websites if they want to attract the growing number of people who are using search engines from mobile devices, the New York Times reports. After all, as of last year, 46 percent of those polled used a mobile device as a primary research tool

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes this demand for web developers, too. (Note that there’s not a category specifically for mobile web developers.) The BLS predicts jobs for web developers will grow by 20 percent through 2020. Its predication is favorable due to a growing e-commerce industry and an increased use of mobile devices requiring sites that work on such devices.

Mobile web development: Are you in?

So, why should you earn a mobile web development degree? You mean, besides the cool job duties, potential tech job perks and the fact that it’s a fast-growing job in which you’ll be paid to work with computers all day?

Well, mobile web development doesn’t look like just another tech trend that’ll be gone tomorrow, replaced by something newer and flashier. In fact, Meah sees “an exponential demand for mobile far, far into the future” due, in part, to the decreasing cost of mobile devices.

Does this sound like the perfect tech career for you? Your first step can be looking into a software application development degree.

Elizabeth Xu

Elizabeth is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She enjoys writing engaging content to help former, current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.

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