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Hot Jobs of the Future 23 September 2002 Edition
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Just two or three years ago one of the hottest jobs in the world was the role of "web designer."

It seemed that if you were young, bright, could spell "graphiks" and weren't totally colour-blind then the world could be your oyster if you sat down behind a keyboard, mouse and graphics tablet.

The job paid so well that it was not uncommon for young 20-year-old web-designers to be seen driving around town in flash cars and drinking Lattés like water.

My how things have changed.

These days "average" web designers are a dime a dozen and I suspect there are more than just a few who are currently flipping burgers for a living.

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Why are all but the most skilled web designers having trouble getting work?

Well there are quite a few reasons.

First-up, most companies that needed websites already have one now so the initial rush to the web has slowed to a crawl. This has meant that many web design shops that were once crying out for anyone who could hold a crayon have been forced to lay off staff and retrench significantly.

Secondly, customers have (hopefully) become a little more discerning in their choice of designer and the demands they place on their website.

Readers Say
(updated irregularly)
  • Hot Jobs... - meHM
  • IT Jobs... - Daniel
  • Hot Jobs... - Peter
  • Web Designers... - Samuel
  • Hot Jobs... - Mike
  • Anyone know of a Hot Job?... - Julian
  • Have Your Say

    A couple of simple pages whacked up in FrontPage with "mailto:" tags and badly executed graphics simply aren't going to cut it any more -- which leaves many of the lower-level designers and developers well out of their depth.

    Some of the smarter web development houses have shifted their emphasis from producing individual websites towards creating software or packages to sell to other designers and developers. Unfortunately, as a result of the general decline, the market for these products is hardly growing at a significant rate so it's not a silver-bullet.

    So what is the "hot job" for 2002-2003?

    Good network engineers are still quite sought-after but, at least on the local scene, the demand is finite.

    Maybe the growth in wireless connectivity will spark the growth of a new area of expertise and see advent of the wireless "consultant" (gee I hate that word).

    What about the "communications integration specialist"?

    Will the next most sought-after worker be the one who can tie this huge array of disparate technology together into a viable, economic solution?

    Or maybe, in the wake of Microsoft's increasingly draconian attitudes to licensing, digital rights management, etc -- we'll see a huge upsurge in demand for people well versed in Open Source systems such as Linux? Perhaps the hot job for next year will be ripping out Microsoft's OSes and applications then replacing them with the O.S. equivalents.

    I'd be interested to hear from Aardvark's readers on this subject.

    What are you doing now and what do *you* see as being the hot jobs in the next few years?

    Maybe we can get some feedback from people within the tertiary education sector. What jobs are people training for and what new courses are being prepared for the future?

    If you want to have your say on the contents of today's column then please do so. Only comments marked "For Publication" will (if I have time) be published in the reader's comments section.

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