Ladies and gentlemen, this week I'm going to write a bit about some sort of a guy. We know him as a "Webmaster", think he's a fat lifeless geek who does something with our website or websites we try (in vain) to work with. So I'm going to elaborate a bit about this newly created profession. I'm going to refer to a few questions:
1. What is actually a "Webmaster" and what's his daily routine?
2. What are the qualifications for being a webmaster.
3. What are the advantages of this job.
4. What are the disadvantages of this job?
5. Summary - who should consider this career path seriously?
What is actually a "Webmaster" and what's his daily routine?
A "Webmaster" in its basic meaning is a person managing a website.
As simple as that. But if we wish to elaborate a bit, we could say that the webmaster's job consists of:
1. Build websites, including picking up the technology for them and entering contents to them. Nowadays most of the websites are built on site "baking" platforms (such as: Joomla, Wordpress, Blogspot) and the webmaster should be familiar with working with them.
2. SEO - search engine optimization i.e. promoting the website to appear as high as possible on Google and other search results, as this is the main source of traffic for the website.
3. Serving customer support both to the owner of the website and its visitors, in order to improve its quality and answer questions regarding its use.
4. Security - forming a security policy for the website ensuring its survival and smooth running. Preventing hackers and viruses harm the website.
What are the qualifications for being a webmaster?
There are 2 main approaches for this question:
1. Study a BSc degree in Computer Science or in Information Systems for 3-4 years and then start working as a junior webmaster or a junior web developer. The advantage: improved learning capabilities and work discipline.
2. Study a short Webmaster course (3-4 month) and find an employer willing to hire you as an apprentice.
The advantage: a short training track. The disadvantage: limited learning capabilities and not mentally prepared for this kind of work.
"Learning capabilities" - in computing, a professional is demanded to keep learning new material almost on a daily basis, as the computing field is infinite in size and challenges always pop up. Thus improved learning capabilities are an asset for long time work in the field.
"Mentally prepared" - Computing work require sharp capabilities like: long time concentration, perseverance in solving problems, working in teams or well organized work abilities.
What are the advantages of this job?
1. Playing your computer and your Internet for 45 hours a week on duty - bookkeeping? sales job? teaching? Playing!
This is a job in which you live online: get new content every day, look at other sites in order to improve your sites, watch Youtube video for getting ideas for your sites.
2. Young atmosphere - in this job you always feels young, whether it's because the majority of people are young (till 30 years old) or whether it's because the creative nature of this position.
3. Combining technical and visual skills - in this position you are both a programmer (a technical occupation) and a designer (a visual occupation), which is a rare combination between 2 almost opposite field.
4. Money money money - this is definitely a rewarding job, as in most countries the wages are about 50% higher than the average, which is a tempting figure to people suitable for such career.
What are the disadvantages of this job?
1. Not everyone is a geek - you know, there are people in this world, unnecessarily stupid or lazy, who would climb the walls if needed to work 45 hours a week in front of a laptop. Computing work still isn't appealing to most of the population thus such a career wouldn't be as popular as a law or finance career.
2. Age bias - this filed is relatively a young one, as the internet began its evolution in the mid 90's, so the average employee age is about 33-35 which means that 40+ year old employees might be a little old right now for this field.
3. Always learning - keep learning new ideas and notions is absolutely fabulous but not for everyone. Most people would put up perfectly with a routine job with no novelty and no new ideas every now and then. Thus most people would find it hard to deal with the rapid evolution of the internet world.
Summary - who should consider this career path seriously?
As in every case - this career path would be great for people who are attracted to its advantages and not discouraged by its disadvantages. Anyway, I can recommend that you take a career counselling in order to check your tendencies and capabilities thoroughly and not choose a career based on the decisions of your peers.