University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I sent this out on the listserv, but didn't get any responses (maybe that should tell me something). But, I am looking for anyone that may have career paths established at your universities. We are trying to come up with one here to increase our ability to attract new talent and to keep the talent we have.

If anyone has any examples they could share that would be great.

An example that we have found lives with the Univ of Delaware just so you all can see a working example.

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We have "job families" similar to Univ of Deleware, but the challenge with the Web is that it doesn't fit into any clear family. Official titles for my staff include Instructional Support Technician and Lead Programmer/Analyst which are not even close to describing the actual work they perform.

I am also interested in this. I've been fortunate to attract good people, but the applicant pool over the past couple of years has been noticeably weaker.
I've seen this as well. We are trying to come up with a way to keep folks here by offering incentives. For example, go "get a cert and get a raise" type of thing. Since universities, can't keep up with the corp world, it seems to me that we have to do other things to keep the talented people for as long as we can. This is one way we hope to do that.
I went to an OmniUpdate conference recently where a group from Pepperdine University presented "Strategies for Success with Web CMS” They made a point that really stuck regarding Webmaster. Basically Webmasters are dead (RIP 1997-2007) The web has become to prolific for one person or team. If you think about it, it makes sense. We don't have Document Masters who build word documents for every department because that has turned into a skill that everyone should have, the same can now be said for the web. The duties of a Web professional nowadays are for management of web projects and policies, conducting training on web technologies and leading the college into the future with new web initatives. I know that doesn't explain a career path but I think it explains the future direction of a web professionals' job responsibilities.
There's no secret to recruiting employees and establishing loyalty: pay them well, offer professional development, provide a positive working environment. That's the easy answer, of course, as with younger employees its an unrealistic expectation to assume they will even want a career path with your university. In conversations I've had with people, the biggest reason they ultimately stay or leave a job comes down to working environment. Not to say that pay or professional development aren't important, but I think that anyone who takes a job in higher education understands that the $$$ just isn't there like it is with an evil corporation (though we do tend to have better benefits). It's the working environment that tends to trip a lot of people up though: higher ed is very hierarchical and with the ego-driven nature of a lot of it, it can be very hard for people who aren't use to the environment to adapt. A good manager can make all the difference in the world (and a bad manager can make you want to end every night with a bottle of wine!). In my department, one of the guiding values is actually that we want to create a fun working environment and there are people that have been here for years with no thought of leaving because they are so good to their people.

Ok, that didn't in any way, shape or form answer your question but I hope I threw out some food for thought. Good luck!
I do agree though. I am young, and have a long future ahead of me, but I love my job and am sold on the environment I get to do it in. And with these benefits, if I retire from here, I'll be set. That said, there's currently no career path here. There's me and one other guy, then the marketing director, then the VP, then the Pres. Not really anywhere to go.

They are making us change our titles though to reflect moving to Marketing. Currently, I am "Webmaster." I think mine is changing to Web Marketing Admin. Regardless, upward mobility is limited.
"Let There Be Web Divisions" says it all.
This goes back to the never ending debate on what department/division does your web staff work within.

It's hard to have a clear path for advancement when the people you work with are from two different worlds, with different supervisors, budgets, etc.

I'm a web developer in University Relations, but everyone else I work with on the technical side is under Information Services. Though content creation, maintenance and marketing/branding come from my office. I'm kind of the odd ball that has feet in both camps.

I've found that my best bet for advancement is to make a case for a non-existent job title and lobby for it's creation. It requires a good relationship with your VP, but if you play your cards right it can pay off.

It would be ideal to have a true web division, but the difficulties with creating that are far above my level of influence.
We are in the process on creating a web division (reporting structure will be under IT). But we want to be able to tell somebody that even if you are hired as "Web Person I" you can get to "Web Person III" by following these steps. That's all we are really trying to do. I think as several of these links off the links below show, the people that do the web are still trying to find their place in a business (campus).

Thanks for all the discussion.



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