Mobile App Development Programs

mobile app developer at work

Mobile app development is a rapidly-expanding subset of computer programming. Workers in this field are creative thinkers who dream up the phone applications we use daily.

They also create software used in wearable devices, tablets, and other interactive tools such as home assistants.

Education & Training

Mobile App Development Trade School Programs

View More Schools

Smartphone usage is through the roof, with over 2.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide. People are spending record amounts of time on their phones each day. Mobile apps have forever altered the way we communicate, shop, and read news. This provides developers and advertisers the perfect opportunity to reach consumers with their messages.

Are There Certain Requirements for Mobile App Development Jobs?

Need for Training

With the rise of smartphones and an increased demand for coders, there are now more mobile app development schools than ever. Formal training provides a strong foundation of knowledge that acts like a launching pad for career hopefuls.

A mobile app development degree gives students the math and programming skills needed to advance in the industry.

Required Coursework

Most employers prefer to interview prospects who have earned associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. Job seekers should consider taking computer science classes, as they often cover a broad range of app design and programming topics.

Courses in web development are useful, as are classes in software engineering, marketing, and management.

Trade School Programs

Those who cannot attend college can still acquire mobile app development tools and knowledge. Some trade schools and community colleges now offer courses in this subject.

In these classes, students learn concepts of mathematical logic and algebra. A mobile app development certificate is attainable both online and in the classroom.

Many advanced roles in the field require a master’s degree. However, some people learn a great deal about programming through online DIY instructional videos.

If they’re able to pass onboarding skills tests, driven individuals may not even need to attend college to find a job in the field.

What Path Is Right For You?

If you’re wondering how to become a mobile app developer, know that there are several paths to success in this industry. App functions are diverse, often reflecting the specialties and passions of their creators.

No one single degree or course will prepare prospects for every facet of the career. A startup might have a new take on a fitness app or a great original concept for a video game.


The median wage for these workers is around $50 an hour, adding up to over $100k per year. Over a million people in America are employed as software developers, and about half of them work on applications for mobile devices.

Career Overview

Job Description

Architecting the App

Those who provide mobile app development services design flow charts that help visualize code hierarchy. They keep thorough documentation of an application’s inner workings for future reference.

Workers must ensure that each component of their software works in unison with one another.

Quality Assurance

Associates are heavily involved with testing apps for functionality. The goal of the testing process is to find and fix bugs or other mistakes in the software design.

If an app has already been released, developers implement updates over the internet to improve functionality.

Knowledge of Programming Langauges

Workers utilize a wide range of mobile app development software to bring their ideas to life. Some of these are very user-friendly, requiring little coding knowledge.

More advanced programs that offer further control demand skills in the following types of programming languages:

  • Python
  • C, C++, and C#
  • Java and JavaScript
  • Ruby
  • Swift
  • Objective-C
  • HTML5 and CSS3

What Are Mobile App Development Job Duties?

Researching Target Audience

Associates perform market research to pinpoint the wants and needs of mobile users. They then develop apps based on those findings.


After designing their app, they collaborate with programmers to bring the idea to life. Sometimes they do all of their own programming.

If elements of the app are broken, developers go back to figure out why they don’t work.

App Design Considerations

During the design phase, laborers must consider app performance, such as the amount of resources it takes to run the program. They should also keep safety in mind.

Associates decide how and why applications gain access to phone features through permissions. Designers must be careful to disclose their data-gathering habits to avoid their products being labeled as spyware.

User Experience

These workers design user experiences and app interfaces. Depending on the nature of the software, they may choose to integrate elements of artificial intelligence into their designs.

Project Management

Managers keep track of an application’s development to ensure milestones are met. They oversee the creation process and must understand how all the parts of a project depend upon each other.

Those with mobile app developer jobs get to use apps before the public, giving them insight into the future of consumer technology.

Platform Agnostic

A well-rounded mobile app developer can create applications for Android, iOS, and lesser-known operating systems. Some code for home assistants and wearable devices.

Integrate User Feedback & Ratings

Not only do developers oversee an app’s development, but they also read and respond to user feedback. Prompt and thoughtful replies help disgruntled or curious users gain trust in a product or development company.

Developers strive for their apps to achieve the best user ratings. Well-liked apps receive more downloads which translates to increased revenue.

What Types of Skills Should Mobile App Developers Possess?

User Interface Design

Graphic design skills are a big plus when searching for mobile app development jobs. The creation of user interfaces or app logos requires a careful eye for color schemes and branding techniques.

For the best user experience, it’s important to design interfaces in an intuitive and simplistic manner.

Best Language for the Job

Job prospects are good for those fluent in more than one mobile app programming language.

Java is most popular for Android, while Objective-C and Swift are used in the development of iOS apps. Swift is known as one of the easiest programming languages to learn.


In the world of mobile app creation, knowledge of database management software is also very useful. These applications involve the use of programming languages such as SQL, PHP, and ASP.NET.

One great thing about getting into mobile app development is that the skills are very transferrable to other tech industries.

Industry Knowledge

Workers might need additional skills based on the types of software they develop. For example, fitness app designers should be experts in fitness, and cooking app creators should probably know a thing or two about cooking.

Funding or Monetization

In most cases, a mobile app developer salary is generated through user interaction with their software. Developers need to decide how they will make money with theirs apps.

Many programmers fund their efforts with banner or popup ads. Lots of designers implement microtransactions for higher sales. Some companies sell their user’s data to advertisers and research firms.

Passion for Technology

Mobile app developers spend a lot of time using smartphones, handheld devices, and tablets. While the actual software design typically takes place on a desktop or laptop, many hours of testing are carried out on mobile units.

Associates might examine software for several days in a row, swiping, tapping, and staring the entire time. Everyday duties like fixing bugs and creating crash reports are tedious tasks suitable for those with lots of patience.

Other Useful Skills

  • The ability to multitask while working on many aspects of an app at once
  • A knack for computer programming and problem-solving
  • Concentration while working at desks for long hours
  • Detail-oriented work habits to spot small inconsistencies in code
  • Leadership qualities to delegate tasks and provide guidance to coworkers
  • Creativity for coming up with new app ideas and coding solutions
  • Analytical skills to identify the needs of mobile users
  • A finger on the pulse of user trends, wants, and expectations

Work Environment

Work Space

Many mobile app development companies offer laid-back work environments, with lax dress codes and options for flex time. Some businesses even let employees bring their dogs into the office and host regular social activities outside of work hours.

The industry’s youthful vibe encourages free-thinking and intellectually-stimulating workspaces.


Most workers are employed full time. Overtime hours are often required during crunch periods.

Keeping Up with Technology

These professionals must stay up on new types of programming languages, techniques, and engines. They need to inform themselves about new app development tools and other industry trends.

The world of app development is constantly evolving and workers should be able to adapt quickly.

Where Can They Work?

Skilled individuals can work for almost any business and anywhere.

Nearly every company has some sort of app to help consumers better spend their money. For example, it’s not uncommon for places like theme parks or sports arenas to have their own dedicated applications.

All of this software requires development and monitoring from talented mobile app designers.

Popular employment options include jobs with the following entities:

  • Entertainment services
  • Security companies
  • Food delivery services
  • Rideshare companies
  • Software publishers
  • Game development companies
  • Finance and insurance firms

Can You Work Remotely?

Qualified workers with steady home Internet connections can find remote employment with relative ease. Home-based employees perform most, if not all, of the duties as an in-office app developer.

With the help of cloud-based collaboration platforms, they team up with colleagues to test and tweak complex computer code.

How Do Mobile App Developers Promote Their Work?

Many mobile app development training programs delve into topics such as the deployment and promotion of applications. Staff members should possess some level of marketing skill.

Social media is one of the most popular ways for developers to hype up their creations. Other ways to attract more eyes include app store optimization, ads in search engines, and celebrity endorsements.

Other Career Options for Mobile App Developers

Web Development

Mobile app designers work with code in a similar fashion to web developers. This is why some designers can comfortably enter the web development field when it’s time for a change of pace.

Front-end site development deals with what users see on the page, including content and layout designs. Back-end development entails monitoring a site’s capacity for traffic, speed, and performance.

Manage Projects

Skills acquired while building apps can prepare workers to play more prominent roles on development teams.

Project managers, also known as computer and information systems managers, supervise the software creation process. They coordinate efforts amongst departments, determining milestones and deadlines.

Other duties include the following:

  • Specifying budgets, timeframes, and needed materials
  • Allocating funds and staying within spending limits
  • Discussing business matters with vendors and investors
  • Researching and recommending computer upgrades
  • Reporting directly to executives and business owners
  • Attending industry conferences and seminars

Career Outlook

Demand for mobile app development is at an all-time high. Job growth is at an astonishing 31 percent, virtually guaranteeing that positions will be available well into the future. There are many more job openings than there are skilled mobile developers to fill them.