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Becoming a (web) master

Depending on your prior experience, consider whether you need some basic computer classes before diving into Web programming.

Dear Molly: I’m a stay-at-home mom and I’m looking to start a career in computers. I have a little background working with PCs. I would like to investigate becoming a webmaster. I have found two schools in my area (southern Florida) that offer beginner courses for CIW certification. What is the best way to get my career started with little experience?

Molly says: You’re on the right track with the decision to get some training. You might want to consider whether you need to pick up some more background training first, however, before you take the Web programming courses. Before you sign up for them, see if you can sit in on a class or two. Make sure the material, including terminology, is not over your head. I say this only because if all of your experience is limited to computer applications, you may need a few intro PC classes to find out what’s going on under the hood, so to speak, before you dive into Web programming.

While you’re training to become a webmaster, start designing your own Web sites using Microsoft FrontPage. Look around for organizations in the area that need someone to help with their Web site and volunteer to help. If they already have a webmaster, great! See if you can help that person by doing some of the grunt work of Web site design. Who knows, they might even hire you later on.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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