What Internet skills should I offer?

I am 50 years old and have run a successful support services company for 10 years. My basic skills are in electronics and...

I am 50 years old and have run a successful support services company for 10 years. My basic skills are in electronics and computer hardware. I want to start afresh as a contractor/ consultant and am willing to retrain. So what is the industry desperate for? I am not a programmer, so is the Internet an area to get involved in? Will I be more valuable as a Web designer or a site administrator?

Skills for site administration
Ageism is a real concern for IT professionals and it is not without foundation. Indeed, opportunities within e-commerce and the Internet are particularly notorious, with many Web designers being younger IT professionals, quite often from a marketing or creative background.

However, as the market for staff with Internet "programming" skills such as Java, HTML and C++ continues to increase, more organisations are realising that they must review and upgrade their online offering to retain competitive advantage. While there are many candidates, particularly graduates, who have the programming skills, there are few who have commercial experience of implementing a company's business strategies online.

With your extensive commercial acumen and aptitude for support skills this is definitely an area that you can be involved with. From the skills and experience you describe the most logical move would be into site administration.
Play on your experience of overcoming the kind of problems that will arise on any business project, IT or otherwise. Your aptitude for support skills is transferable across all technologies and your knowledge of infrastructure and business know-how would be of great advantage in an administration role - advantages your younger counterparts will be less likely to offer.

Solution by Steve Lorde, Elan Computing

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