Careers next move: Should I retrain as a webmaster?

I have now decided to switch back to IT. I am doing a distance learning course to get internet webmaster certification. Am I on...

The question: Should I retrain as a webmaster?

I worked for 13 years in the software industry in India in the late 1980s and 1990s. I worked on Cobol, Unix/C and PC databases such as Foxpro and Clipper. After moving to the UK I have been in management and administration positions for five years.

I have now decided to switch back to IT. I am doing a distance learning course to get internet webmaster certification. Am I on the right track?

The solution: Always show off your wider skill set

When planning for the future, never underestimate the value of previous experience. There are still a large number of companies with systems using Cobol and many of the skills you have developed in India will apply to more modern languages as well as the internet.

Equally, your more recent experience in management and administration will be of value. E-Skills UK is constantly in contact with many employers who need technology staff who can understand the business, manage customer relationships and see things from a wider commercial perspective.

Within IT we have a tendency to talk about skills simply in terms of products, but when you are looking for a new job it is very important to consider your wider skill set and sell some of your business capabilities.

If it is the technology aspects and the work you really like, this sounds like a sensible move. Your choice to move to internet technologies is also a good one. The most recent e-skills bulletin ( www.e-skills.com/bulletin) shows a demand from employers for internet skills as part of a general increase in optimism and a more positive outlook.

Although I do not know the details of the webmaster course, I understand it to be very good and it is on the right track for you.

Solution by Terry Watts, chief operating officer, E-Skills UK

The panel: MSB International, Spring Group, E-Skills UK, British Computer Society, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology.

E-mail your career questions to computerweekly@rbi.co.uk

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