Harvest’s Digital Capability project highlights the courses you need to take to guarantee employment as a web developer.

In 2019 I dug deep into the needs of those employers in digital specialties. This led to a funded project in 2021 to identify the digital challenges, the gaps in education and then we mapped the skills and competencies required. Further we looked at course offerings that can fast track individuals into web development careers and we found them! But let’s quickly cover what we’ve learned.

1. Web Developers aren’t bred from formal education

In our Think Tanks our Web Developers said the course offerings, be they Cert IV’s in IT from TAFE or Degrees in IT just don’t include the skills and competencies they require of web developers.

2. Lack of Skilled Web Developers

Because the education pathways are not obvious there is a lack of talent pipeline of web-developers. This means for employers they often “head-hunt” from competitors and, in a regional centre like ours in Geelong, Victoria this leads to cannibalism and no web development firm really grows. The good news if you are an individual who has web development skills, particularly in custom designed websites, you are a shoe-in for a job!

3. Individuals don’t necessarily know how huge the web-development industry is

Being a web developer is a guaranteed pathway to employment and a meaningful career – either for an employer or in the gig economy.

If you want to shore-up employment you cannot go wrong with web-development. Think, almost every business in Australia has a website. There are current over 2.4 million businesses with an ABN – that’s a lot of websites!!!

Where are the Courses now?

Don’t worry, Harvest’s Building Digital Capability project allowed us to source the most relevant and best practice courses on offer and endorsed by our Web Development firms who assessed a host of courses and narrowed it down to their Top 3.

As at August 2021 – these are the best courses in Australia to deliver a Web Developer:

1. General Assembly

General Assembly is one of the leading private training providers of digital skills. Their courses are run by qualified practitioners. That means you will get trained by a web developer who currently develops websites. These practitioners are up to date on web trends and the skills needed today.

The course:

 “Front-End Web Development”

This course enables students to:

  • Explore new concepts and tools through expert-led lectures, discussions, and code-alongs.
  • Complete coding exercises to reinforce newly learned skills.
  • Dive deeper into topics and techniques via programming labs.
  • Receive individualised feedback and support from your instructional team.
  • Apply what you’ve learned to create a portfolio project: a dynamic, responsive website.

The specific units include:

  • HTML / CSS Basics
  • Responsive Design
  • Adding Interactivity with JavaScript
  • Advanced Concepts

You can learn more here – General Assembly Front End Web Development

2. Academy Xi

Academy Xi is another quality private training provider.

Academy Xi offers a longer course – 16 weeks at 20 hours per week – “Front End Web Developer: Transform” which incorporates CLI, Git, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and React.

Key Features

  • Professional Developer Tools: Set up and learn to work within a local development environment, navigate the terminal via CLI, and manage version control with Git.
  • HTM: Master the foundations of web applications through HTML. Understand HTML tags, elements, forms, and input types to begin building accessible websites.
  • Web Hosting: Learn the basics of FTP and web hosting to deploy your first website.
  • JavaScript: Learn the fundamentals of programming to manipulate websites with JavaScript, work with various data types use AJAX, and handle user actions through JavaScript events.
  • CSS: Understand the relationship between HTML and CSS, adding styling to basic HTML pages. Learn to handle media queries, test multiple view types, and build responsive layouts using FlexBox and Grid systems.

The Course guide can be found here – Academy Xi Front End Web Developer: Transform

3. Knowledge Academy

The Knowledge Academy provides a course in PHP – a programming language identified as vital for Web Development and this course would complement the Front-End Web Development course/s offered above.

The primary course that teach this skill is “PHP Programming” offered via online instructor led or online self-paced. This course covers

  • History of PHP
  • PHP Language Basics
  • PHP Variables
  • Control Structure
  • Regular Expression
  • PHP Arrays
  • PHP Functions
  • PHP Object Orientated
  • PHP and Pear

On completion students are able to write or maintain scripts in PHP

Cost $1,595.

Link to course – Knowledge Academy PHP Programming

Accessing the Courses

There are two methods to access the courses:

1. Public registration

Simply you register on the website, receive the course handbook and sign-up for the course.

We have not listed course fees for General Assembly or Academy Xi as they do not list their prices publicly on their website.

Word of warning – they are not cheap. A course is upwards of $4,000. But they are the right courses to charter a career in Web Development.

2. The Digital Jobs Victoria Program

The Digital Jobs Victoria Program is a three year program, launched by the Victorian Government in July 2021 aimed at retraining mid-career individuals into digital careers.

Each program within the project runs in six month instalments combining a 12 week short course with a 12 week internship.

The intakes of students occur every quarter in August, November, February and May and courses commence in October, January, April and July. Individuals can register for the course throughout the year to be selected, however the intakes occur and courses commence in these months. Employers can register as a host employer to gain the interns that come from these short courses.

For Individuals

This is open for individuals at the mid-career level who may have been displaced by the pandemic, be unemployed or underemployed or at risk of losing their job.

If you are above 30 years’ old and fall into a category above you can register here.

For Employers

If you want to gain a web-developer trained in either the General Assembly or Academy Xi courses you can register as a host-employer.

After individuals have completed the 12 week short-course they are matched to a host-employer. The requirements of the program is that you offer the intern 12 weeks on the job experience. You must pay interns the minimum wage under the National Employment Standards and you will receive a $5,000 subsidy. You can register to be a host employer here.


The beauty of the Building Digital Capability project is it gave us the answer. With significant research and our web-development firms being highly engaged we identified, mapped and found the courses.

If you are an employer, this is the way to get better skills into your firm without having to train (so much) on the job.

If you have never known that web-development is a career, but are interested in this pathway, here is your gold ticket to employment.

Go for it!

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