Online Mobile App Development Schools

How to Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Mobile App Development Online

According to the Pew Research Center, only 35% of Americans owned smartphones in 2011. Today, that number is 81% and growing. Many people also own other smart devices, such as tablets and even refrigerators. Earning a bachelor's degree in mobile app development online prepares students to create mobile applications that run on these devices.

Bachelor's programs in the field cover basic computer science, user experience design, and software programming. This guide outlines common career paths, curricula, and financial aid options for students enrolled in online mobile app development programs.

How Much Can You Make in a Mobile App Development Career?

No degree can guarantee a specific career, including a degree in mobile app development. However, graduates with a bachelor's in the field can qualify for a variety of technology positions. Many graduates create and sell their own mobile applications. Others pursue roles as computer programmers, software developers, web developers, and computer support specialists.

After gaining work experience, some professionals pursue roles in information technology management. The chart below details the median annual salary and projected job growth for several positions related to mobile app development.

Computer Programmers

These information technology professionals write code that runs computing systems. They test and rewrite codes to continually improve products. Computer programmers typically work in office settings, for computer systems design companies. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects negative job growth for computer programmers from 2018-28.

Median Annual Salary: $84,280

Job Growth (2016-2026): -7%

Software Developers

This profession emphasizes the creative side of software development. These developers should understand some basic programming languages, and they need skills in user experience and design. The BLS projects software developer positions to increase 24% from 2018-28, much faster than the national average for all occupations.

Median Annual Salary: $105,590

Job Growth (2016-2026): 24%

Web Developers

These developers design, create, test, and maintain websites. They need skills in web design, HTML, and user experience testing. Some web developers use search engine optimization to improve site performance. Approximately one in six web developers work for themselves as freelancers or business owners. Others work for organizations like marketing agencies and information technology businesses.

Median Annual Salary: $69,430

Job Growth (2016-2026): 15%

Computer Support Specialists

These developers design, create, test, and maintain websites. They need skills in web design, HTML, and user experience testing. Some web developers use search engine optimization to improve site performance. Approximately one in six web developers work for themselves as freelancers or business owners. Others work for organizations like marketing agencies and information technology businesses.

Median Annual Salary: $69,430

Job Growth (2016-2026): 15%

Computer and Information Systems Managers

After spending a few years in entry-level information technology roles, some professionals advance to management positions. Computer and information systems managers oversee teams of information technology professionals and may manage department projects. These managers may also make employment decisions and set team goals. These managers can work for technology companies and in information technology branches of other organizations.

Median Annual Salary: $142,530

Job Growth (2016-2026): 12%

While national median salaries provide information about each position's general pay range, many factors affect individual salaries. For example, professionals in states with high costs of living often earn higher salaries, and companies in areas with job growth in the field may attract talent by paying higher salaries. Each professional's experience, education, and industry also impact earning potential.

What Courses Can Be Taken for an Online Mobile App Development Degree?

Students earning a mobile app development bachelor's degree online typically complete general education courses, computer foundations classes, and courses in mobile app development. While curricula vary between online mobile app development schools, most programs include courses in computer fundamentals, user experience design, operating systems, and data structures. The following classes help learners develop basic skills they need to excel in the field.

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    Computer Fundamentals: This entry-level course provides foundational knowledge students need for complex computing classes. Learners explore the history of computing, programming fundamentals, and basic computing languages.
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    Mobile User Experience: Students in this class learn about user experience (UX) theories of design, how to design apps for ideal UX, and how to test applications with consideration to UX theories.
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    Hardware and Operating Systems: Students learn about the many operating systems that support mobile applications, including iOS and Android. Learners examine the differences between each system and learn how to design applications that function on all systems.
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    Data Structures and Algorithms: Many mobile applications rely on complex data structures and algorithms to provide the best experience. This course prepares learners to use these structures in their projects.
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    Capstone: During their last term, students take a capstone course that synthesizes skills gained during the program. Learners design a mobile app as a final project.

How to Choose the Best Online Mobile App Development Program

Before enrolling in an online mobile app development program, learners should thoroughly research their options. Each program offers unique advantages and drawbacks. Students should consider each school's accreditation, faculty experience, curriculum, online learning structure, and cost. In-state public schools typically offer the lowest tuition rates, but some institutions charge all online learners the same tuition rate, regardless of residency.

Q. What kinds of accreditation should I look for in a program?

A. Students pursuing a degree in mobile app development should only consider institutions with regional or national accreditation. Accreditation ensures the school provides high-quality programs that meet established standards. While both regional and national accreditation are acceptable, regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious. Information technology departments and programs may also hold specialized accreditation from organizations like ABET.

Q. How should I choose electives?

A. Students earning bachelor's degrees in mobile app development online can often choose electives. Learners should select elective courses based on their personal interests and career goals. Start by researching your ideal career and identifying applicable skills. Read course descriptions, and choose classes that help develop those skills. For example, students who plan to develop and market their own apps may consider courses in entrepreneurship.

Q. Will my previous credits transfer?

A. If you have previous college credits, you may be able to transfer them to your bachelor's in mobile app development. Contact your academic advisor to determine whether your credits will transfer. Most schools only accept transfer credits from accredited institutions, and often only from regionally accredited schools.

Q. Can I learn computing skills in addition to mobile app development?

A. To earn an online bachelor's degree in mobile app development, students often pursue an information technology degree with a mobile app development concentration. These programs typically require coursework in general computer information technology topics, such as cybersecurity and systems administration. These requirements help learners develop broad computer skills that are applicable to many positions in the field.

Q. Will I need to complete an in-person internship?

A. Most students earning mobile app development bachelor's degrees online do not complete an internship. However, many mobile app development schools offer optional experiential learning opportunities. Consider undertaking an internship, if it fits your scheduling requirements. The experience can result in professional connections and can improve your marketability after graduation.

Q. What kinds of professors should I choose?

A. Prospective students should research the faculty of each program. While some institutions hire faculty with primarily academic experience, others prefer instructors with practical industry experience. Both types of educators can help students prepare to excel in mobile app development. However, professors with industry experience may be able to support learners through professional networks.

Q. What kinds of coding languages will I learn?

A. Before enrolling in an online mobile app development program, review the curriculum. Because there are so many different coding languages, most programs do not cover them all. Decide which languages you want to learn, and ensure your prospective schools offer courses in those languages.

Scholarships and Financial Aid for Mobile App Development Programs

Beginning an online mobile app development program is an investment in your career, and researching financial aid opportunities can help you minimize student debt after graduation. Scholarships and grants are ideal sources of funding, since they do not need to be repaid. Many organizations offer scholarships based on financial need, academic merit, or both. Below are five scholarship opportunities for students pursuing a degree in mobile app development.

Hartford Technology Rental Scholarship

HTR awards two $1,000 scholarships per year to undergraduate students who demonstrate an interest in technology. Applicants must write an essay explaining how they use technology in everyday life and how they imagine themselves using technology in the future. The deadlines are May 15 and December 15 annually.

Apply for Scholarship

National Center for Women and Information Technology Collegiate Award

Each year, NCWIT awards one $10,000 scholarship and several $2,500 prizes to women pursuing degrees in computing fields, including mobile app development. Applicants must be a member of the NCWIT's Aspiration in Computing Community, enrolled in an NCWIT-affiliated college or university, and a permanent U.S. resident or citizen. During the initial round, candidates submit essays and answer questions from the board. Finalists propose projects and provide recommendations from academic supervisors.

Apply for Scholarship

Intertech Foundation STEM Scholarship

Intertech offers this $2,500 scholarship to qualified applicants pursuing computer science degrees. Applicants must have a minimum 3.3 GPA and be enrolled at an accredited higher learning institution. This award is not renewable. Applicants must submit official transcripts, a resume, and a one-page essay on their technology career goals.

Apply for Scholarship

Mobile App Development Scholarship Program

AIS Technolabs sponsors this $500 scholarship for mobile app developers. Students who create apps intended to solve societal issues can qualify for the award. The app must work on either Android or iOS platform. Applicants must attend an accredited four-year university in the U.S. or Canada full time. They must be pursuing a computer science or information technology degree. The deadline is December 15 each year.

Apply for Scholarship

Alliance Recruitment Agency Mobile Application Development Scholarship Program

Alliance Recruitment Agency awards $1,000 each year to budding mobile app developers. Candidates must have created an app for either the Android or iOS platform. Applicants must be a resident or citizen of the U.S., Canada, or Australia. Candidates must be enrolled full time at an accredited school in one of these countries. Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science or information technology.

Apply for Scholarship