Continuing Web Education: Watching Out for #1

The writers on this blog have recently put out some great content that indirectly was focused on individuals instead of tips to make your job easier.  The leading indicators are that we have weathered the worst of this recession and things are beginning to turn upward.  This doesn’t mean that people aren’t scared for their job though.  Unfortunately I’ve heard multiple stories about tough times at university web offices with locked budgets and staffs being cut.  Because of this, it’s extremely important to remember that you have to be watching out for your own neck.

Some of the great recent posts on this blog include:

What I want to share are some fundamental reminders of things that web professionals need to be doing for themselves.

Continuing Education Options and Staying Connected

Let’s think about this for a second.  If you work at a college or university you are in the perfect environment to be increasing your professional knowledge, which directly translates to a larger skill set and more leverage in your current job and future positions.  In the twenty-first century an average person changes companies (not just jobs) every five to seven years.  So if you haven’t put your finger on it, what are some of the resources available to you?

Take classes

I’ve never heard of a school that doesn’t let their employees take at least one class a semester for free.  Why not!?  If you are a web developer maybe a marketing class isn’t a bad idea, and if you are the marketer what harm could a programming class do you?

Read books

Yes,budgets might be frozen but you do have a library on campus, correct?  Maybe the library doesn’t have all the cutting edge tech books that you’re looking for, but most schools  now have a book exchange program where you can get access to material at other campuses.  How often do you even explore your institute’s library?  Chances are they also have a great DVD collection available that might rival your local Blockbuster!

Get certified

Before getting into web, I worked in Information Technology as a bench technician and supported all the computers on a college campus.  Did I need to get my A+, Network+ and MCP?  No. I already had the job, and although I don’t work in that industry anymore those certifications still look great on a resume.  In the web field I am an Ektron Certified Administrator and went through Google Analytics training.  Certainly there are some training programs for which you can buy a book and take a test. Or maybe you can even take a class in that topic to expand your knowledge.  If you aren’t doing this you are only hurting yourself.  If you want to get into management maybe going for a PMP makes sense.  Heck, if you are real ambitious go get a/another degree!

Conferences

.eduGuru bloggers love conferences and all the great people we meet at them!  Believe it or not there is some great material that you can learn at conferences and excellent network that you can do as well.  Who knows, maybe a conversation you start up with someone sitting next to you in a session could make you their  new coworker sooner than you think.

Read blogs

Shameless plug here, but you should be reading higher education marketing blogs like this one and the many others.  With budgets being cut maybe you can’t make it to conferences, but I’ve said it time and time again that if you read blogs around the web then you are going to already know most everything that you would learn at that conference.

Networking

Conferences are great for networking but aren’t required.  Networking is half the fun of social media!  I might not know every reader of this blog but I’ve certainly met hundreds of you, and I’m glad that I’ve made the effort to make those connections.  Besides, it’s not always about what you know but who you know.  If you are looking for a new job, having a network makes that so much easier.

Conclusion

So what are you doing to help you get that next job? How are you continuing to educate yourself and increase your area of expertise?  What tips can you think of that I’ve left out here?  I’m already getting ideas for a another post detailing ways that you can leverage the web to make yourself stand out among the competition.  There really are so many things you can do to learn.  It simply takes the willpower and motivation to tell yourself that you are capable of more and that you want more.

Photo Credit: Overlooking Dead Horse Point by mischiru


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Read Related Posts on .eduGuru:

  1. Becoming an Industry Expert: Watching Out for #1
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  3. Help Me Help You: Social Media Education

This post was written by:

Kyle James

Kyle James - who has written 227 posts on .eduGuru

Kyle is currently the Customer in Residence at HubSpot, a Co-Founder at nuCloud and  formerly the webmaster at Wofford College. Kyle is an active contributor in the social media spectrum. Although his background is technical, he claims to know a thing or two about marketing, but mostly that revolves around SEO, analytics, blogging, and social media. He has spoken at multiple national conferences and done countless webinars on topics ranging from e-mail marketing to social media and Web analytics. He's definitely a fairly nice guy.

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12 Responses to “Continuing Web Education: Watching Out for #1”

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    Angela O. Says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’m always using down time at my job to learn new skills. I’ve found that there are a lot of great free webinars out there, especially in web marketing, that have given me great ideas on how to drive traffic to our site.

    Reply

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    web design tampa Says:

    Thanks for this useful post! i was looking how to start learn web technology

    Reply

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    Kevins Promotional Products Says:

    I was amazed at how much info I can learn from people who blog in my industry. It is soooo easy to stay up to date on what the competition is doing and what customers / clients are or will be looking for. In this tough economy you need to do your research and do it well in order to stay afloat!

    Reply

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    Accredited Online college Says:

    Great Post! There is so much out there to learn! It’s great to see a industry specific blog with useful tips!

    Reply

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    Travis Brock Says:

    First - awesome blog. There are some amazing higher ed marketing blogs. From
    Andrew Careaga’s Higher Ed Marketing https://ow.ly/MEK8
    Paul Redfern’s Higher Ed Web Marketing - https://bit.ly/5p6Id0
    Davina Gould’s - Graduate/Professional School Marketing https://bit.ly/6k88m0
    Joe Hice’s - Hice School https://www.hiceschool.com/
    EMG’s Brand Manager’s Notebook (shameless plug) - https://bit.ly/38VnKn

    There are also numerous higher ed marketing conferences and online webinars to choose from and to network at.

    It is truly one of the few industries that has such a close knit community with outstanding professional development opportunities.

    Reply

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    Davina Y. Gould Says:

    These tips are right on the mark, especially on the social networking side. I haven’t been able to travel much the past few years as a new parent, but following blogs, Twitter and the like have definitely helped fill the void. And taking advantage of the resources near you (university classes, libraries, etc.) makes sense in any economy.

    I would add participating in local chapters of professional organizations and user groups…my local PR organization has had some fantastic lunch speakers as of late.

    Thanks for the shout-out, Travis!

    Reply

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    bobbMovie Says:

    The #1 read I read concerning this up to now If you ask me!

    Reply

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    Netchunks Says:

    Thank you for giving such great tips. I have recently finished my graduation and am searching for a job and these tips seems quite useful.

    Reply

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    mathewsteff Says:

    Hey Hi Kyle,

    Yes, i think that people who are not into web design should learn marketing where in they can know at least the ABC’s of marketing and vice versa too.. When i was a student i have been interacting with my professors and also the students from the other universities to know more about the subject and when i have joined an organization its only the company i think which people wont like now a days but will stick to the same job in other company.

    yes, if you have the will power with you then definitely you can master yourself in your field with the help of WEB.

    Reply

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    jeremy vest Says:

    Great article,

    I would also so to have a creative resume and a nice blog site.

    -Jeremy

    Reply

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    Michael Says:

    Great post, I think its really important for people involved with technology like web designers need to update and refresh their skills.

    Reply

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    Simon Says:

    Love your post but can I add one tip? Learn to make decent presentations!

    It’ll make your conferences and your networking go a lot more easily, it’ll make you look better at work and it’ll make it easier for you to get a new job if the worst comes to the worst! :)

    (Note - I’m biased because I train people in making presentations, so take my with a pinch of salt!)

    I’m particularly keen on this for web designers and other geeks (sorry!) because there seems to be something of a disconnect between being “good at using computers” and being “good at talking about computers to people” :)

    S

    Reply

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