Wanted: The Next Generation of Webmasters

No, we’re not just your 1990’s common web guy that you usually turn to…in this new century of technology, the world is rapidly advancing and just having any web-skilled individual just doesn’t cut it. Just as going to get an advanced degree would have given you the edge in an interview or put you in line for a promotion and/or raise, simply having the ability to pop open Dreamweaver and/or Photoshop just isn’t going to cut it.

If you’ve looked on any job search board, such as Monster.com or Career Builder, you may have stumbled upon some interesting postings regarding a “Web Manager”, “Web Marketing Manager”, or perhaps the “Interactive Account Executive” positions. If you’ve read them in-depth or if you just skimmed over it, then you’ll notice that there’s so much more involved with this position. Sure there’s project management and working in teams, but companies these days will seek out individuals with more diverse skills and knowledge. What are these items that companies are looking for? Well here’s a non-inclusive list that I’ve run across:

  • Ability to execute and understand Search Engine Marketing programs (PPC, SEA, SEO, Banner placement, etc.).
  • Knowledge of viral marketing — podcasting, RSS feeds, blogging, and e-mail marketing.
  • Understanding of any ad-serving technology.
  • Capable of programming and designing, such as using Dreamweaver, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Photoshop, Fireworks, etc. and programming in PHP, ColdFusion, and/or .NET.
  • Experience in using content management systems – customized or off-the-shelf (Macromedia Contribute).

All of these things have become quite common these days. Companies want to be able to produce the best for their web marketing and simply having your “Mom’s neighbor’s friend’s kid who works out of their garage” isn’t going to cut it anymore. Ironically, what’s interesting is that colleges are not promoting the learning of web technology as prominently as they should. Sure, there’s a couple of classes scattered across academia teaching students how to build their “first webpage” using FrontPage or Microsoft Paint, but where are the hardcore classes that teach students how to use Flash, program in PHP, or lay out a structured site and incorporates proper information architecture?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."