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Job Demand for Web Developers

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The demand for Web developers of all skill levels is at an all time high and is increasing rapidly. As more companies move to the Internet for their main source of revenue, the need for skilled developers will increase exponentially.

A recent query of a popular IT job Web site for the United States turned up over 39,000 job openings when given the keywords "Web developer." Many of the listings required individuals with basic Web development skills (HTML, JavaScript, ASP) and 1-2 years of experience, and offered salaries that ranged from $25 - $110 per hour on a contract or permanent basis. It is truly an employee s market.

The demand for individuals with more specific areas of expertise is lower, however, the pay is significantly higher. As your skills increase and you gain more experience with Web development, opportunities for better jobs will find you.



As new technologies develop and evolve, they will assist the role of a Web developer by providing more and better tools. An example is the existence of a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL). Because of the low implementation costs and monthly fees for DSL service, many Internet users are switching to DSL to access the Internet. This means that in the near future, Web developers will be able to create larger Web pages with more graphics and interactivity without worrying about slow response times to the user.

Training Options and Resources

Unfortunately, there are not nearly as many certification programs available to a potential Web developer as there are for network administration. Individuals seeking to break into the Web development field will find a handful of nonvendor specific certifications available from CompTIA and Prosoft, which test for entry-level knowledge, but do not go into specific areas of development, such as ASP or Flash.

This is not to say that these certifications are not valuable, however. They will provide you with the ability to prove to a potential employer that you know the basic skills required of a Web developer. This will greatly aid you in getting your foot in the door and working in a development environment. It is then up to you to train yourself to specialize in a particular skill that interests you.

Courses and Certifications

More and more certifications for Web development are beginning to appear on a regular basis. The following list contains a handful of the more widely recognized and accepted certifications available today:
  • CompTIA i-Net+ Internet Technician Certification-This vendor neutral certification involves a single test on a broad range of Internet topics including HTML authoring, security, networking hardware, and databases. The exam is designed to test a candidate with 18-24 months of field experience. For more information, visit the official I-Net+Web site at http://comptia.org/ certification/inetplus/index.htm.

  • Prosoft Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) Foundations Certification-This test is nearly identical in scope to the i-Net+ test from CompTIA. It is so similar in fact, that Prosoft is currently offering to give the Foundations certification to any candidate that has passed the i-Net+ test. For more information, visit the official CIW Foundations site at www.ciwcertified.com/exams/ ld0410.asp.

  • Microsoft FrontPage 98 Certification-FrontPage 98 is Microsoft's premiere HTML authoring tool that comes bundled with its Office suite. Passing the certification test earns you status as a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). For more information on the FrontPage 98 exam, visit www.microsoft.com/ trainingandservices/exams/examasearch.asp?PageID=70-055.

  • Microsoft Visual InterDev Certification-Visual InterDev is a high-powered HTML and ASP authoring tool included in the Visual Studio suite from Microsoft. It is intended for use in a development environment where there are a number of individuals collaborating on a project. As with the FrontPage 98 certification, by passing this exam, you will become an MCP For more information on this exam, visit www.microsoft.com/trainingandservices/exams/ examasearch.asp?PageID=70-152.
Online Training

Many online training schools offer well-developed courses on Web development. Individuals who have difficulty making a time commitment because of other life obligations may find that the 24-hour availability of these online classes makes the accomplishment of training much more feasible.
  • SmartPlatiet (www.smartplanet.com)-Students need only Web access and a credit card to sign up, pay for, and complete courses on this site. Within the Internet topics, students can choose from several options within tracks entitled Databases, Web Design & Graphics, Programming, Webmaster, and Networks & Servers. Within the Web Design & Graphics track, classes are offered in Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Illustrator, CSS, and basic design techniques. Wanna-be programmers can take courses in Perl and CGI, all things Java, and Visual Basic. SmartPlanet is a good choice for developers who want to dive quickly into a new technology or become familiar with an authoring tool without going deeper than the fundamentals of usage.

  • Tecliies.com (http://www.techies.com/Develop.html)-Purchasing a $129.95 subscription toTechies.com gives you access to more than 200 online courses, which include instruction on Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Common Gateway Interface (CGI)/Perl, and Dynamic HTML (DHTML).The subscription is good for one year, and classes are entirely Web-based, meaning you can start a class at any time and complete it at your own pace. If you're a job seeker, one significant perk included with a Techies.com registration is the automatic inclusion of your vital stats and skill set in the nationwide job bank and resume pool. Job descriptions matching your abilities and interest are emailed to the address of your choice, and employers can scan your resume online.
Self-Study Options

A significant advantage to pursuing a career in Web development is the vast amount of online resources, both free and paid, that are available to you. Simply typing the words "HTML Tutorial" in your favorite search engine reveals hundreds of online tutorials on the topic. When used as a supplement to additional training and resources, these free online tutorials greatly benefit your learning of any related Web development topic.
  • C-Net Web Builder (http://home.cnet.com/webbuilding/0-3880.html?tag=st.cn.l.dir.3880)-This site is full of tutorials and techniques not only for HTML, but also for graphics, programming, and e-commerce. Many of the articles and tutorials have been submitted by some of the most respected Web developers in the industry and are completely free of charge.

  • Westminster College (www.shire.net/learnwebdesign/index.html)-This online tutorial on HTML authoring and Web design is completely free and can be used as a resource tool in concurrence with other training options.

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