Dear Career Adviser,
I am 27 and have a background in psychology. I am working as researcher within a university but am considering a change into IT. I am computer-literate and familiar with mainstream packages and thought web design might be a good option.
Can you advise me on the sort of training I would have to undertake to become a web designer, career prospects in this area and likely salaries I could expect.
Pinnacle Recruitment replies: To become an employable web designer requires extensive experience with a number of programming languages and tools (HTML, XML, Cold Fusion, Dreamweaver, Java, ASP, CGI to name a few) and then there are the graphic and multimedia tools which are required as well.
Web design is really the integration of programming, graphic design, multimedia, love of technology and information management. I would recommend a short course to see if you really want to go in this direction. There are a number of short courses available at Unitec, AUT or Massey University.
Then if you still feel you have the aptitude and interest, I would recommend finding out how much of your current qualifications you can cross-credit and complete either a BCS or BSc. For someone with a BCS or BSc and substantial design or technical skills, a career in web design can be quite lucrative.
A starting position for a junior web designer with some business experience would be around $32,000 to $35,000. A senior role as a web architect would pay around $100,000.
Readers with career questions can have them answered in this column by IT recruitment specialists. Send questions via Computerworld journalist, Darren Greenwood, with "Dear Adviser" in the subject line.