Intranet managing latest IS fad

Call yourself an intranet manager? You could be worth US$200,000 a year.

Computer science graduates last year could put webmaster on their resumes and snap up starting salaries of between US$50,000 and US$75,000. But today it is a little harder to break in to IS shops that are serious about the Web.

Now it is intranet managers who are in demand. More than simple webmasters, they are people with enterprise computing notches on their belts. They offer experience in database, networking and how IS infrastructures work along with an understanding of Web concepts, says Cheri Comstock, principal at The Focus Group, a recruiting firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

These intranet managers must go beyond being a "technocrat" and communicate ideas to businesspeople, Comstock says. "They're not teaching that in a lot of computer science programmes today."

Workers with those attributes are outstanding finds and making more than US$200,000 per year, she says.

But several IS managers says they wouldn't pay that much. "That's an insane amount of money," says Matt Blumberg, a product manager at MovieFone in New York. An IS manager at a Fortune 500 company advised user companies to hire one executive-level person who knows the Internet, then let him recruit Web staff. He says the top salary range at his company is from US$100,000 to US$110,000 per year, plus bonuses of between 30% and 50%.

So it isn't US$200,000, but it's a living.

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