Most of the web developers who studied in the past one decade usually have a degree in information technology or computer science. However, this is not the case anymore and you will find a new breed of web developers who do not have a professional degree now and still are doing great.
These days numerous free learning resources are available online and if you have the instinct to learn, you can easily learn HTML, PHP and CSS in a matter of few months. This trend seems to be have become popular and the current breed of web developers is mostly self learners.
Another positive aspect is that today most of the companies are looking for people who are rich in knowledge and even if you are not equipped with a professional degree but have adequate experience, the job could be yours.
In any professional institute, you will only be made to complete a standard course and will be assessed based on certain fixed parameters. This limits the learning but if you have taken the course of self learning, you would like to equip yourself will every possible skill, so that you do not fail in the market. This becomes the biggest advantage of self learners and companies also do not bother much on having resourceful people, even if they are not adequately qualified.
Technology is a field which gets updated on daily basis. This can be a great shortcoming in cases when you intend to complete a course from any university. In such a scenario, the updated information is not conveyed to the students and they do not become aware on the developments. This does not happen in case of self learners as they keep themselves updated on all the developments in technology. They score a point above degree bearers on this aspect and hence are able to secure good positions in technology companies.
Even if a person goes to any company with a web development degree, it does not entitle them to a better pay than someone who has learnt through experience. Companies now days only prefer those who are rich in knowledge and self learners often score a point here.
It has been often observed that if a person learns through self learning, they are more hard working since they have the fear of being overtaken by someone who has a better professional degree. This makes them work harder and learn faster in comparison to someone who has a better professional web designing degree.