High School Preparation
High School is a great place to get started on learning a little about what you need to know before getting into your career. For example, I am signed up for Coding and Computer repair, which should be a great class to get me started on coding. Web Design is another class I plan on signing up for because it should be a great class as well to get me started on practicing the whole design process. So depending on what classes your school has, take the ones that are most relevant to programming. Clubs are also helpful for getting more practice. I am currently in Computer club and want to join app development club. Employers don't really look at grades and all that stuff. During your high school career you should get a side job that can improve your coding skills. It can be something like working with the school website, or since this job does require great customer service skills, I plan on getting a retail job that can help me improve that.
Most employers are going to want to get a hold of past employers you've had so that they can ask them more questions about you. That's the reference, somebody that can give a little more information about you are as a worker, or just your personality, etc. They are important because the person that is considering hiring you should know what type of person you are before hiring you. For me, I chose my councilor because she knows what I look for in classes at this point. I also would choose my access mentor because I have known him all year and he knows the personality side of me well enough, and the Computer club adviser because he would be able to tell what I know on the technology, when I join.
Post secondary Education
For a web development job, depending on if your really good or not, your least education can be a high school diploma and the most you would need is a 4 year degree in web development or something related to it such as Information Technology, web design, etc. Some college options are Depaul University, they have an information technology major, or Devry University, they have a web development program, Art Institute might not seem relevant but web developers need to have good skills in multimedia tools such as in PhotoShop, flash, etc. Depaul University has internship opportunities at Aon Corporation, Oribtz, etc.
Web Developer (Episode 88)
Web Development Information:http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/web-developers.htm
http://new.artinstitutes.edu/schaumburg (Art Institute)