Information Architecture, Web Developer/Webmaster

While there are a number of self-publishing tools that allow anyone with a computer and an internet connection to create a basic website, there is still a demand for expert web development and management. As long as companies want dynamic sites that stand out from the crowd, there will be no shortage of work for web developers. These information professionals need solid programming backgrounds, allowing them to build sites and site components to cater to each client’s unique situation and needs. Webmasters may be charged with maintaining a site over time, adding current content and features, and troubleshooting any problems that arise. They might also provide Search Engine Optimization (SEO) advice and be in charge of any advertisements that the site hosts to generate revenue. Overall, web professionals help ensure their clients’ sites are user-friendly, look nice, and do what they’re supposed to do.

Education: At a minimum an Associate Degree in Web Design or Computer Science, usually at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Information Science.

Skills: Extensive knowledge and experience with web languages, standards and programming frameworks.

Salary: The median annual wage for web developers was $62,500 in May 2012.

Outlook: Employment of web developers is projected to grow 20 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand will be driven by the growing popularity of mobile devices and ecommerce. Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Information Architect

Information architects work with traditional databases as well as Web 2.0 sites, responsible for design, testing and implementation of usable web sites and interfaces based on well-established standards and best practices. Typical IA tasks include creating site maps, developing taxonomies, and conducting user analysis evaluations to determine a project’s successes and/or failures.

Education: Usually at least a Bachelor’s degree, sometimes in Computer Science, Information Science or related field, sometimes in a design field such as graphic design, depending on the focus of a given position. Some positions will also accept a comparable combination of experience, education and skills.

Skills: Experience building site maps and taxonomies. Web programming languages and technologies expertise is foundational, along with design talent and knowledge of human-computer interaction standards. May require skills in graphic design software.

Interviews: Abby CovertPeter MorvilleJorge Arango