DEGREE FINDER is an advertising-supported site. Featured programs and school search results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other information published on this site.

It may come as a surprise to some that becoming an app developer is as easy as registering with a mobile platform, researching development and building a portfolio. In March of 2017, Android's Play Store had around 2.8 million apps and Apple's App Store had about 2.2 million. If you have a revolutionary idea for an application, then you can begin the process of developing the project easier than you think.

Register with a Mobile Platform

The first step to becoming a self-employed developer is registering with a mobile platform. There are three main platforms: Apple's App Store, the Android Play Store and BlackBerry World. Most of the platforms charge an initial registration fee or an annual fee. The App Store charges $99 annually to use their platform, while the Android Market only asks for an initial $25 fee. Some platforms will charge you an additional fee to sell your app, and most charge a percentage of your commission for utilizing their marketplace. Be sure to consider the various fees, rules and your target audience when deciding which platform to use. Major apps are commonly sold on multiple platforms, but you may want to initially try it on just one to verify that it is profitable.

Research Development

Degrees in computer science, software engineering or other technical fields are a strong foundation to build on your development knowledge. It's equally important to do additional research on technology trends, software updates, mobile device, mobile platforms, social trends and other relevant fields if you hope to build an application that makes an impact. Constant research is a per-requisite to app development because the technology, trends and devices are exponentially growing and rapidly changing. Most often, it's a game of catch-up for developers to code their programs to fit in with the latest mobile software updates. To add to this, developers are in constant competition to develop and publish new apps. If your idea gets published and popular before you get a chance to develop it, then it's going to be extremely hard to compete with a similar app that's already gaining a reputation. The most efficient way to learn how to develop an app is by building one yourself.

Build your Portfolio

A college degree isn't necessary for you to start developing applications. A self-motivated individual can find the required information online and can build up an app without a company's funding. Whether you are looking for a long-term developing career with a major company or you seek self-employment, building a portfolio by contributing to various projects or developing your own apps is critical. Major businesses, internships and fellow developers all consider experience just as valuable as education in this rapidly changing field. If you are interested in a job with a major company, then you'll need to build up a resume of projects that you have contributed to even if you already hold degrees.

Read: Top 8 Cheap Online Mobile Computing Degree Programs (Bachelor's)

Glassdoor's data analysis showed that in 2015 software engineers, which includes app developers, were among the highest paid and most in-demand professionals. With the massive rise of smart-devices, it's more than likely that apps will continue growing increasingly popular. Becoming a freelance mobile app developer is something that anyone can do, and it's as easy as registering on a mobile platform, researching development and building a portfolio.

Take the next step towards your future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.

Man working at desk