Learn How to Be a Webmaster in 2018 (Part 2 of 2)
Note: In Part One of this series, we gave you a historical look at the origins of the webmaster discipline as it evolved from the earliest days of the internet, through to Web 2.0 and beyond. In this installment, we'll look at the training and certification programs that current and future IT professionals should consider when looking to become a modern webmaster.
The current job role of webmaster and its associated responsibilities vary significantly between employers. Generally speaking, webmasters in smaller business environments are called upon to handle the full range of duties, while webmasters in larger enterprise environments tend to be part of a team which is further compartmentalized into more specific working groups.
Working as a webmaster in a small business can involve everything under the sun, as is often the case for IT pros working in single building environments. Webmasters in these circumstances might be called on to do any (or all) of the following:
? Design, build, and deploy websites.
? Implement and monitor website security.
? Build and maintain the necessary backend databases.
? Perform analytics tracking to chart site performance.
? Manage marketing email campaigns.
? Post content to the company's social media accounts.
Welcome to the working world of the webmaster as Swiss Army knife!
Big corporations prefer to form a more granular structure to their web operations, assigning employees to teams which handle specific tasks. The flip side is that you will be expected to be more of an expert in a given webmaster discipline, rather than a talented generalist.
Both types of work environments offer pros and cons. Small business webmasters often have more control over the final online product than their big business counterparts, while corporate webmasters typically earn more and can put more focus on specific aspects of web technologies.
Webmaster Certification Programs
There is a wealth of training and certification options available for IT professionals who want to pursue a career as a webmaster. There are programs for establishing foundation-level knowledge of the webmaster job role, and advanced programs leading to more specialized areas of the position.
Let's take a look at some of the more popular and industry-recognized webmaster training and certification programs.
Certified Internet Web Professional (CIW)
Much like the internet itself, CIW has gone through a tumultuous time since its inception in the late 1990s. CIW's certification program was extremely popular during the dot-com boom, awarding credentials to thousands of candidates during that era.
Alas, CIW entered a moribund period in the mid 2000s when it was troubled by rumors of shaky ownership and fading relevance due to low participation numbers.
CIW has rebounded under new ownership and management, and currently offers a thorough and well-structured webmaster certification program consisting of credentials spread across the following domains:
? Web Foundations
? Web and Mobile Design
? Web Design
? Web Development
? Web Security
There are over a dozen distinct certifications achievable within the CIW program concentrations listed above. CIW takes a vendor-neutral approach to its training, providing students with a more homogenous web technology education experience.
W3Schools is an online web developer site that offers a series of modular training programs for the most popular webmaster technologies. W3Schools's program consists of the following courses:
There are tutorials for each course offered for free on the W3Schools site. Candidates can earn a course's related certificate by paying a fee and passing an online exam managed by W3Schools.
Ironically, the W3Schools website is not particularly eye-pleasing itself. However, it does offer a large amount of free training for people looking to break into the industry as a webmaster.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification
Amazon Web Services is a major player in the on-demand cloud computing services industry. Many businesses use the AWS cloud to power their online properties, so its not a surprise that Amazon took the opportunity to create a training and certification program around its AWS business.
Amazon offers over 150 free digital courses in AWS which are suitable for students looking for self-paced online training. There is also instructor-led classroom training in AWS available through Amazon's North American education partners Global Knowledge, ExitCertified, and ctc TrainCanada.
The AWS certification program will interest webmasters who want to go beyond basic site design and maintenance, and work on web services and applications to be deployed via Amazon's cloud platform.
The AWS certification program includes the following credentials:
AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner — A foundation-level certification that covers the functionality of the AWS cloud, a good starting point for webmasters-to-be.
AWS Certified Developer — An advanced certification offered at two proficiency levels (Associate and Professional) that focuses on how to develop, deploy, and debug cloud-based applications using AWS.
AWS Certified Solutions Architect — A high-level certification aimed at webmasters who are skilled at how to architect solutions to be developed and implemented through AWS-based systems.
AWS Certified SysOps Administrator — Also offered at Associate and Professional levels like the AWS Certified Developer track, this credential covers the deployment of servers (including web servers), applications, and other AWS-related systems.
One interesting tidbit about the AWS Certification program: the Certified Developer and Certified Solutions Architect credentials were both listed in Forbes Magazine's list of 15 top paying IT certifications for 2018.
University Webmaster Training Options
In recent years, a growing number of colleges and universities have developed certificate-level IT education programs covering the gamut of IT industry job roles, including webmasters. Best of all, many of these programs are offered 100 percent online, opening them up to candidates located anywhere in the world.
An example of such a program is offered by the University of Massachusetts Online. UMassOnline has more than 120 degree and certificate programs, including its Certificate in Website Design and Development. This program teaches students how to "design and implement effective, dynamic websites."
One perk associated with taking webmaster training from a college or university, is that the course credits can typically be applied towards a higher degree program if the student chooses to further pursue their IT education in the future.