Job Prospects: Good
Median annual compensation:
Bay Area $72,384
- Sacramento $66,280
- Central Valley $63,965
Job Market Update:
Opportunities are increasing as more and more companies expand their online presence. Even companies that have relied heavily on the Internet are exploring new ways to build business, creating job openings for project managers, content developers and page designers.
Web managers must have more than a rudimentary knowledge of HTML, the format of most Web presentations. They also need some expertise with Web-authoring software, like Macromedia’s Dreamweaver, Adobe’s GoLive or Microsoft’s Visual Studio. Fluency may be required in at least one programming language, such as Java Script, CSS, XMP, PHP or ASP. One nice thing about learning web development is that you can do it at home, often by utilizing free online tutorials. Over time, you can develop a portfolio of web pages that showcases your talent and helps you land that job.
Your primary mission is to make sure your company’s web pages are up and running every day. To do this, you will troubleshoot any technical problems, while being able to answer everyday questions from co-workers in a nontechnical manner. Since the web is an around-the-clock operation, you may at times be required to solve problems after hours, although this can usually be accomplished remotely. In addition, you will be expected to visualize new applications for your company website, providing a marketing perspective along with a projected budget. Your job probably will also call on your people skills, since you may be the lead person expected to develop relationships and establish links with other websites and organizations.
Being a web manager is demanding work. Since you will may be the person primarily responsible for a company’s entire Internet identity, some days will be pressure-packed as you struggle to meet your employer’s expectations while solving day-to-day problems. In addition, you will be expected to develop new features and applications while staying current with the constant technological advances on the Web.
It takes a special kind of temperament to be a successful web manager. Focus, organization and the ability to prioritize are the top attributes when dealing with a crisis or managing multiple projects at once. It’s also vital to have patience when working with the technically challenged. Not only do you have to be innovative online, you also have to be persuasive if you hope to have your ideas endorsed by management. "It’s so much more than being a propeller head," commented one web manager.
Where the Jobs Are:
Look at any growth industry. Some that are aggressively expanding their online applications include healthcare, government, financial services, media and real estate. Also consider purely Internet companies. One way to break into the field is to volunteer your services to a nonprofit that is trying to develop or enhance its online identity. That can give you the needed experience, credentials and visibility to further your web manager career.
The field lends itself to various specialties. A web editor, for example, is someone who only deals with content on a site, perhaps a blog. An online marketer brings direct marketing skills to the operation. A project manager is probably less technically proficient, but provides supervision. A web designer might focus on elements like banners and animations.