Based on job growth projections, earnings potential, and flexibility, the Internet specialist profession is one of the most promising career paths. Careers in information technology always have been able to command higher starting salaries and higher compensation than most other professions, which is a testament to the high demand that companies have for the specialized talents of an Internet specialist. In this article, we will examine the training required to enter this career path, the roles within most organizations that such professionals will fill, and what types of advanced certifications an Internet specialist can earn.
· Web site developer. There is enormous demand for experienced Web developers, and the demand increases each year.
· Research analyst. As we have learned, the Internet is the largest data repository in the world, and companies have a huge and constant need for this data.
· Marketing analyst. Entire media campaigns are launched on the Internet today, and today's marketplace creates many exciting opportunities for people with Internet marketing skills.
· Systems analyst. A systems analyst combines both computer programming and Internet skills and provides overall information technology support for companies. There is less emphasis on programming and more concentration on implementing new systems and technology for organizations.
· Computer programmers. An Internet specialist career could very easily lead to a concentration in computer programming. Much of today's programming is aimed towards Internet applications, so a combination of programming and Internet skills can open up many career options.
· Project manager. An Internet specialist also can manage projects that are related to implementing software installations and other information technology projects. Some certification often is required.
In addition to a college degree, some specialized training in various software packages is considered essential for a career in any IT specialization. A candidate should have experience with Internet browsers, spreadsheets, and word-processing applications, along with some basic knowledge of Web site design and a solid understanding of how to retrieve data from the Internet. Knowledge of social media is quickly becoming a necessary requirement for any Internet specialist career.
Knowledge of some HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is considered standard training for most Internet specialist careers. HTML is the language used to write and design most Web pages. Even if someone is not interested in a career in Web design, some knowledge of HTML is required because many companies have a need to maintain their sites after they have been professionally designed.
Employment Opportunities and Freelance Options
Many people in the IT industry choose to be employed by an organization, but freelance work is becoming more and more prevalent as the global economy demands more specialized services. Many Web designers, programmers, analysts, and Internet specialists have started their own independent companies that offer a variety of services to companies on an hourly-fee basis or for a project fee. Just as there are many job boards devoted to hiring full-time, permanent employees, there are now many sites that connect freelancers with companies that require their services. With a little preparation, it is not difficult to start a small company in the United States. In some instances, it requires little more than a few hours of paperwork, a business plan, a marketing plan, and a good Web site that advertises your services and expertise.
Technology Specialist and Virtual Assistant Career Path
A technology specialist is very similar to an Internet specialist in that he or she is employed by a company to perform a wide variety of tasks, many of them related to the Internet and some related to business functions. Training is important for a technology specialist and should include a mix of both Internet skills, including experience with browsers, HTML, and research, and business skills, such as work with spreadsheets and database management.
It would be a remarkable understatement to claim that people's ability to communicate has vastly improved because of the Internet. Today, people form friendships and lifelong relationships with others who live thousands of miles away by using a myriad communication tools on the Internet. In this article, we will discuss how people are communicating via telephone over the Internet, Webcam conferencing, text messaging via the Internet, and more. The technology of communication is changing rapidly, so we also will discuss some recent technological inventions that are expected to become the communication tools of the not-so-distant future.
Internet specialists are expected to be familiar with all the latest communication tools because companies always are trying to improve their communication, especially by making it more cost-effective.
Privacy always will be a concern, but it is generally accepted that most consumers have more protections today than any other generation in history. Companies are now required by law to protect the privacy of their customers, and consumers have become much more comfortable in the last decade, thanks to advancements in technology that make it more difficult to access private information.
It is the most widely used communication tool. So we do not need to elaborate on e-mail here, but we will discuss some advanced communication tools later in this article that make use of e-mail programs.
Receiving a fax over the Internet is just as simple. It is accomplished either with a fax modem or by using a Virtual Private Branch Exchange (PBX) System. That sounds like a complicated term, but it really is simple and we will discuss it in the next section. First, a company may use a fax modem, which works just like a regular computer modem. The modem is connected to a computer and also to a phone line. In this instance, the phone line might be a regular land line or the company may choose to receive their phone service over the Internet as well. In either case, the fax modem will detect when a fax is incoming and it will pick up the call and download the fax. The fax is stored as a file on the computer, giving the company the flexibility of printing it later or simply storing the file on its network.
Virtual PBX System
When a company uses a Virtual PBX System, their callers will be greeted by an automated message that instructs the caller to press a button on the phone that corresponds to their desired action. When the automated system receives the response, the call is automatically rerouted to the appropriate phone number that you have established for that option. All of the settings, administration, and control of a Virtual PBX System is done on a Web site.
When someone tries to fax a document to your company, the Virtual PBX system automatically recognizes that the incoming call is a fax. In these instances, the automated message that normally would be read for a human caller is shut off and the fax is automatically received. Once the fax is received, the fax is stored electronically on the company's computer network and, if you choose, it is also e-mailed to you at the address you specify.
Virtual PBX Systems are especially useful for very small companies. Let us assume a company just has two employees: a Web designer and a marketing specialist. The company cannot afford to hire a receptionist, so it signs up for a Virtual PBX System that handles all incoming calls and faxes, and all calls can be routed to the Web designer or marketing specialist, depending on the option the caller has chosen.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
The use of VOIP technology makes it possible to avoid using telephones entirely when placing calls. With the use of a Webcam, which is short for Web camera, a user can be sitting in front of a computer in view of the camera and speaking into a microphone connected to the computer. In such a scenario, the person receiving the call would be able to hear and see the caller by using his or her computer.