Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Next 10 Years

Now is the time to map out the next 10 years of your career. According to a FORTUNE magazine report IT will be back in a big way. In fact, seven of the top 20 fastest-growing professional jobs require computer expertise. In addition if you have health care experience and/or financial management skills, then opportunities will be prevalent.

The following seven technology jobs will likely see 20% employment growth over the next decade:

  • network systems and datacom analysts
  • database administrators
  • biomedical engineers
  • compensation, benefits, and job analysts
  • network and systems administrators
  • computer specialists
According to FORTUNE, "the more sophisticated the skills, the greater the demand." So, map out a plan today to upgrade your technical skills to prepare for the high-paying jobs of tomorrow. The upcoming Boston Market analysis for April will point you in the direction of the top technical skills in demand today.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

ASP Retirement Date

Just as Dan Rather retired this week from network news broadcasting another veteran of the communications community will soon bid farewell -- ASP (Active Server Pages). More accurately, Microsoft announced this week that it will no longer provide standard support for its programming language Visual Basic 6.0 (VB6) beyond the end of this month. The planned phase out is designed to encourage programmers to utilize Microsoft's newer Visual Basic .Net platform. An InformationWeek article provides the details.

ASP is a Web-based technology that utilizes VBScript to interact with a Web server. VBScript is a "lite" version of the Visual Basic 6.0 programming language. The practical implication of Microsoft's announcement is that Web developers are being discouraged from creating ASP applications in favor of Microsoft's newer ASP.NET technology.

So what's a Web Developer to do? If you are familiar with creating ASP applications, then you should consider upgrading your skills to include ASP.NET training. If you are not yet familiar with server-side scripting using ASP you might consider learning an open-source alternative called PHP.

Beantown Web will begin monitoring job opportunities in the greater Boston area for ASP.NET and PHP, as well as, ASP in its "Boston Market" report at the beginning of each month.

Keep in mind that Dan Rather is not going away -- you can still see him on 60 Minutes (Wednesday). ASP, likewise will still be around for a while before slowly riding off into the sunset.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What is a Webmaster?

The median salary of a Webmaster in the greater Boston is $70,000 according to Add in bonus and benefits and compensation approaches six figures. provides the following Job Description:

Webmaster: Develops and maintains the company's portal. Performs backups and ensure user accessibility to the site. Monitors site traffic and helps scale site capacity to meet traffic demands performance. Improves the company's efficiency and designs the look and feel for the site. May require a bachelor's degree and 2-4 years of experience. Must have a working knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, and SQL. Relies on experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Performs a variety of tasks. Works under general supervision; typically reports to a manager. A certain degree of creativity and latitude is required.

So, what does it take to become a Webmaster?

  • Training: HTML, JavaScript, and SQL
  • Experience: 2-4 years
Future blogs will explore training and certification opportunities in preparation for obtaining a six figure Webmaster position.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Who's Hiring?

The computer systems and design sector employs approximately 42,700 workers in the greater Boston area. The bad news is that this employment level represents a 36% decrease from the 66,600 employed in February 2001. The good news is that technology companies that employ creative tech workers are hiring.

A majority (52 percent) of technology chief executives in Massachusetts say they plan to create jobs this year, according to a new survey conducted by the
Massachusetts High Technology Council. Only 6 percent said they plan to eliminate jobs. Increased sales is the primary reason for improved job prospects.

press release detailing the survey results is available at the Council's Website. Approximately 100 Massachusetts technology companies belong to the Council. A roster of member companies along with links to their Websites is also available.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Boston Market -- March

Core Web skills continue to be in demand in our monthly survey of technology expertise that employers in the greater Boston area desire in job candidates.

In the area of Web Design knowing how to manipulate HTML code is eight times more valuable than being familiar with how to use a program like Dreamweaver that will manipulate the code for you.

In the area of Web Development knowing how to access information from a database using SQL is two and a half times more valuable than being comfortable manipulating Web pages using HTML.

The following analysis illustrates the demand for Web Design and Web Programming candidates based on keyword searches in The Links in the right-hand column provide easy access to these job listings.

Web Design Skill (Number of Job Listings)

HTML (144)
JavaScript (50)
Photoshop (61)
Dreamweaver (18)

Web Programming Skill (Number of Job Listings)

SQL (362)
MS Access (178)
HTML (144)
ASP (106)
JavaScript (50)