Which Internet Career are you pursuing?
As the Internet evolved new jobs started appearing. While this comes as nothing new to anyone it does raise the question mark over your head about which career you want to follow in the vast Internet.
About.com has an article explaining each career and they put it down to seven of them:
- Webmaster – From Jennifer Kyrnin, About.com’s Web Design Guide: “A Webmaster is the person (or group) who maintains the Web server and keeps it running.”
- Graphic Designers – From Judy Litt, About.com’s Guide to Graphic Design: “In a nutshell, graphic design is creating a pleasing layout from text and graphics. That design might be a brochure, a logo, a Web page, or an advertisement.”
- Writers and Editors – Writers gather information through personal observation, library and Internet research, and interviews. They organize that information and use the written word to express ideas and convey information.
- Computer and Information System Managers – Computer and information systems managers plan, coordinate, and direct research and design the computer-related activities of firms.
- Advertising Sales Agents – Advertising sales agents sell advertising space on Web sites.
- Product Managers – From Laura Schneider, About.com’s Guide to Marketing: “Product managers plan, develop, and direct the marketing efforts for a particular brand or product.”
- Technical Support Specialists – Technical support professionals offer help to computer users, or in this case, Internet users or Web site visitors. These support professionals may offer assistance, inhouse, to employees.
But that’s the most interesting part of Internet careers, what is interesting is to read and find out in which one (or ones) you can most likely fit.
Is a term I rarely use (since I’m not one, nor do I know any).t has spawned about a dozen of others which mean exactly the same thing (Web Maestro) or are used improperly (Web Developer, Web Designer). For me a Web Master is a person who has physical machines in his workplace serving as actual servers. Some people just rather pay for a rented server, but some like to host the data themselves, like the Megatokyo webcomic for example.
What exactly do you need to know to become a webmaster? Well, basically everything. You need to know and understand each protocol’s methods, security (or lack of) and be constantly updated on the latest security measures. This is a job that will have you constantly studying and struggling to keep up, much more than Webdesign. And people that take this job usually end up with more white hairs than others.
Sometimes Web developers work in companies or have some sort of community behind the services their provide and it’s only a matter of time before you have people trying to tear your server apart. This means that you’ll have to buy the latest books, read the help forums, browse countless topics on google groups and have people shout at you for “incompetence”.
If you like working on Photoshop more than on command line prompts then this is the job for you. There are various different types of job that fit into this category, being Web Designers the most popular one, however, you can basically do anything that you would do and print out in real life. From brochures to graphics and clipart, building a Web Page or page layouts, animations. Basically, anything artistic that you could do in real life in paper or media you can bring to the web without much trouble.
The Web Designer job isn’t as simple as designing an interface, but then again, a few years ago there were no Web Designers at all, you needed to do the Design and Coding by yourself.
Perhaps in the future Design and Programming will be completely separated (which has sort of begun now with CSS), but for the time being, you most likely need to be able to handle both.
Technical Support Specialists
What do you need to know? The very most basic things about what you’re giving support about and Windows/Mac or whichever platform you’re giving support for. This is the most unappreciated, hard, stressful job of all on the Internet or in the whole technology industry and I do not recommend it for anyone unless you really have no other job.
This is the tech-industry equivalent to cleaning bathrooms with a toothbrush and yes, it really is that bad, and you only need a couple of days at it. It’s a good stepping stone for anyone wanting to start off in the industry but even if you manage to handle the stress of the job itself you have to handle your co-workers trying to take the best/easiest jobs for themselves or having to “clean-up” the mess they left at a customer that they went to before.
The rest of the careers (Advertising and Product Management)
While all of them have different functions and goals they are not positions you can simply slide into (unless of course the owner or someone above you places in a good word). What you need to know? Well, it’s important for you to have good public-relations skills, good spelling and grammar and of course a good presentation.
You also need to study the market and understand it’s tendencies. Basically they are real-life careers that have some (focus on some) relation with the Internet. If you’re advertising a product and want to reach a global scale than the Internet is the easiest and sometimes cheapest way to go depending on the sites or audience you’re targeting.
Tips and Advice for every career
Keep yourself updated on all areas. Even if your main job is web design or programming, it doesn’t hurt at all to know a bit of the other areas you work with. The more “know how” the more indispensable you become.
If in your job you do technical assistance or pay services to another company treat it as you’d treat your boss, because you never know if the person or company you’re serving might be your next boss or workplace. A close friend of mine works in the tech-support area and most of his jobs always came from invitations of places he gave assistance to.
Try not to make enemies. This advice is valid for any job. But in the tech industry it’s very easy to sabotage or difficult anyone’s progress therefore it’s in the best interest of yourself to try to be a friend to everyone but don’t let anyone step over you, try to balance the two things out.
Never stop studying and don’t accommodate yourself with only your obligatory tasks, always try to do/learn more.
I may be criticized for this but I don’t believe that any hard working person can’t find a worthy job, even if they have to start low. If you try to do and learn more in whichever area you’re working in you’re bound to progress and eventually reach a better or great position. I don’t know any good hard working person that doesn’t have a job.
Bad luck can happen to anyone but working badly fired and getting fired for it happens to everyone.