The physical slog of nine years working as a plasterer was starting to take its toll on Aucklander Andrew Macaskill, so he decided to start looking at other lines of work.
“It was great when I was young and single as I was able to juggle work with my passion - playing and recording music with my band Voom,” he says. When he became a family man, he started thinking about working in the IT industry and what qualifications he would need. Macaskill already had most of a Bachelor of Arts majoring in economics but rather than completing it decided to look for a qualification focusing on what he calls “real world” job skills. Earlier this year his brother-in-law suggested he look at becoming a Microsoft certified systems engineer.
At a seminar by computer training company New Horizons, Macaskill heard about the new certified internet webmaster programme. With it he thought could get the best of both worlds: a useful qualification and a chance to design, something he had been interested in since high school.
He started with the basic course track, i-Net+, covering HTML, TCP/IP, internetworking and encryption. From there he went on to a website designer track, which took him through advanced HTML and site planning. “I found the third track, the e-commerce professional track, brought it all together." The course covered areas such as electronic data interchange, launching a virtual enterprise, security and the payment infrastructure.
While admitting that the programme wasn't easy, it took Macaskill less than four months to complete the courses, pass exams and become part of the e-commerce industry. He has since contracted to an advertising company and is designing and building a website for a new software company that uses Flash and dynamic HTML.
“My ambition was to be working in a forward thinking environment with forward thinking people. I have achieved that.”