Web skills can come in a lot of forms, from design and development to content creation and marketing, but the common theme I’ve noticed lately is that there is still quite a bit of demand for this skill set despite a generally weak market for jobs. In fact, is there any other professional organization that publicly expects 14% growth in the next year? I get the feeling that most job markets would be happy to avoid another loss.
Since web work is generally classified in to business services or information processing, it is kind of hard to get some exact numbers on the employment situation. One thing is for sure though, the anecdotes and media attention suggests a rapid rise in search engine optimization and all the related aspects of marketing an online presence.
Not least among adding to the buzz was a recent NPR article that takes a glance at the often unknown world of search engine optimization. Suddenly, a bunch of people were asking me a hundred questions about my job, but it didn’t stop there.
After that, I got exactly three job offers in the span of two days. There is no way I actually have time to take on any extra work (nor do I plan on moving for the sake of a job), but apparently all you need to do is set up a Monster.com resume with your relevant website experience. Run a few sites from scratch, and apparently you’re the flavor of the week. Doesn’t have to be huge, doesn’t have to be legendary: even managing a small but successful website means you’ve got potential and income requirements closer to middle-class than super-star. Will this trend last? Well, there are still a lot of businesses who spend the bulk of their ad budget on old media, and all signs suggest that cash flow is heading to the web instead.
What does it mean for the small website owner? Well, if you’re having a tough time with the recession, now might be a good time to go job hunting with your SEO, content-writing, social media knowledge, and PR experience. If you’ve been doing well or just scraping by, it is probably time to double down again and take that next step to stay competitive: organized SEO operations are now starting to really ramp up at the corporate level. There might still be space to hide in the niches, but it is definitely time to start thinking big if you want to stay independent for the long term.
What do you think, are you excited about the growing job opportunities or are you worried about a new influx of corporate competition and consumer culture? Or if you think that was a loaded question: tell us why you think the SEO/SEM job market is doomed!