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ACVE Publications


The Web: Creating and Changing Jobs

Trends and Issues Alert

by Bettina Lankard Brown


This project has been funded at least in part with Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education under Contract No. ED-99-CO-0013. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. ERIC/ACVE publications may be freely reproduced.


The influence of technology in society is no more apparent than on the Web. The Web has made available information on almost any topic and affords a connection to organizations and other groups that provide web-related services. It has opened a wider door to employment by providing online information about job openings, career opportunities, and strategies for conducting electronic job searches. A review of the literature, however, illustrates that the Web is not only changing how individuals locate jobs; it is also creating new jobs and changing the ways existing jobs are performed.

Changing Job Functions

The impact of the Web on all aspect of the workplace is expanding. Advanced communication skills and web searching, Internet, e-mail, and other technical expertise are increasingly desired by employers who are incorporating electronic communications in all areas of their organizations (Scheetz 1996). In preparation for employment and as a means of expanding their potential for job success, individuals seeking work will need to know how to use the Web as a tool for enhancing job performance.

Enhanced global communication, made possible through Internet technology, has influenced the marketing operations of many organizations. Sales on the Web are continuing to grow as the products and services of organizations are widely publicized on the Web (Steinberg 1997). As a result, direct marketers are establishing marketing plans that combine electronic commerce with traditional marketing initiatives (Rowsom 1998). Sales, marketing, and public relations jobs are changing accordingly.

Intraorganizational communication is also growing with the advent of internal networks called "intranets." "Intranets link members of an organization together to ease communication, information sharing, and project coordination. Intranets make information available to members of the organization but keep it away from outsiders" (Steinberg 1997, p. 4). They also offer a vehicle for the continuing education and training of staff. In-house trainers, training consultants, and university training providers are changing the way they deliver instruction to take advantage of the opportunities of this new medium.

Job Opportunities on the Web

Web job sites are helping job seekers conduct more efficient job searches. Individuals searching for jobs can find general information about job openings, sites related to specific occupations, resume information and postings, and the names of professional associations and news groups by connecting to the various job sites on the Web (Wagner 1996). Web-based recruitment is growing as fast as Web-based job searches. "Forrester Research estimates that $30 million will be spend this year for online recruiting; by the year 2000, they predict that figure will shoot up to $218 million" (Focus 1997, p. 82). Human resource professionals are learning new ways to recruit and hire personnel. To help them sift through the barrage of resumes, new types of software have been developed. For example, NetStart Inc. s Team Builder 2.0, allows the automatic routing of resumes to appropriate managers (Walsh 1997). The Resumix System 5.3 extracts key information from a resume to guide recruitment decisions (Mateyaschuk 1997).

Not only has the World Wide Web introduced new duties and responsibilities to existing jobs; it has also resulted in the creation of new jobs. Webmaster, website developer, network systems administrator, programmer, and customer service representative are among those identified in the Occupational Outlook Quarterly (Sternberg 1997). These high-demand jobs offer opportunities for continued growth and development and promise high salaries. A highly experienced webmaster at a very large, heavily used website who is responsible for design, development, operation, and maintenance can earn in excess of $100,000 per year. Entry-level webmasters start at $35,000 to $50,000 (ibid.). The following resources can be consulted for additional information about job opportunities on and through the Web.


Altman, D. Digital Frontier Job & Opportunity Finder. Tomorrow's Opportunities Today. Los Angeles, CA: Moon Lake Media, 1996.

Describes the newest jobs in the "digital frontier" and explains the role they will play in the workplace of the future. The chapters in section I describe job opportunities in industries on the digital frontier, e.g., opportunities in software and information services; hardware, online and communications services; creative services; advertising and marketing; and virtual reality. A Networking Resource Guide comprises section II, presenting contact information for associations, trade shows, conferences, publications, and training specific to an industry.

Croal, N. "FOCUS on Technology. Want a Job? Get Online." Newsweek 129, no. 3 (June 9, 1997): 81-82.

Describes ways in which college students are connecting to the Web to find their first jobs. Notes that those who have a specific career/job focus from which to direct their job searches on the Web realize greater success than those who do not. Points out the advantages companies realize through the cost-effective web-based recruitment strategy, especially for those recruiting individuals likely to be plugged into the high-tech network.

Fox, D. "How to Enliven Online Interaction." Training & Development 51, no. 12 (December 1997): 48-49.

Describes tools to enhance face to face meetings. Identifies Web-based presentation software and services that can be used to create online sessions and describes Internet broadcast services that enables conference producers to present general sessions and workshops over the Web. Names and Web site addresses of conference producers who are willing to share examples of their educational offerings are given.

Freeman, P. "Webmasters Begin to Define Their Roles on the WWW." Pacific Business News, July 29, 1996, p. 20.

Describes the creation of "never-before-dreamed-of" jobs created by Internet technology and the World Wide Web and the variations in the ways those jobs are described across organizations.

Goff, L. "The New Web Jobs." Computerworld 31, no. 49 (December 8, 1997): 73-74.

Presents the roles, required skills, and futures of Web professionals as seen through the eyes of four individuals currently working in that capacity.

King, J. "Web Service Speeds Resume Sifting." Computerworld 31, no. 33 (August 18, 1997): 20.

Describes the process by which Interactive Search Inc.'s Private Reserve service receives, scans, formats, and indexes resumes for employers.

Lundberg, D. J., and Thirsk, R. Cruising the Information Highway for Jobs: On-Line Career Development. ERIC Digest. Greensboro, NC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Student Services, 1995. (ED 405 534)

Describes the benefits students can realize by using the Internet to access information about job vacancies, e.g., obtaining knowledge of available career opportunities and the locales in which specific jobs are available.

Martin, J. "Changing Jobs? Try the Net." Fortune 137, no. 4 (March 2, 1998): 205-208.

Identifies job-search websites that are currently among the best and discusses strategies for finding jobs on the Web.

Mateyaschuk, J. "Resume Management Heads to the Web." Informationweek, no. 660 (December 8, 1997): 172.

Describes how the new web-based resume management services are cutting hiring costs and time for human resources professionals.

McWhorter, H. "Employment (On) Line." Village Voice 42, no. 32 (August 12, 1997): C13, C19.

Recommends employment sites that are considered to be effective because of the information they make available, such as current job listings, aptitude tests, and occupational evaluations.

Ouelette, T. "Internet Job Sites Get Lean to Win Back Recruiters." Computerworld 32, no. 5 (February 2, 1998): 6.

Describes the activities of several leading job sites on the Internet MonsterBoard from TMP Worldwide Inc. and Career Mosaic from Bernard Hodes Advertising Inc. which are now offering vertical-industry job listings in place of the previously offered general listings. Also discusses the potential for new linkages to facilitate recruitment on the Internet.

Rowsom, M. "Bridging the Gap from Traditional Marketing to Electronic Commerce." Direct Marketing 60, no. 9 (January 1998): 23-25.

Stresses how direct marketers must change the way they work, merging electronic commerce with their established marketing channels to create a multimedia message targeted to their unique customers.

Saftner, T. "Job Hunting on the Internet." Career World 26, no. 1 (September 1997): 16-17.

Promotes using the Internet for job searching in addition to traditional methods. Describes how to access websites to obtain career information and how to post a resume on the Web.

Scheetz, L. Recruiting Trends 1996-1997. A National Study of Job Market Trends for New College Graduates among 508 Businesses, Industries, and Governmental Agencies. 26th ed. East Lansing: Collegiate Employment Research Institute, Michigan State University, 1996. (ED 402 807)

Describes a study of the recruiting trends of business, industry, and government as related to new college graduates that highlights the fields for which graduates are being sought. Also notes the importance employers place on graduates ability to demonstrate electronic communication skills.

Steinberg, G. "Jobs Associated with the Internet." Occupational Outlook Quarterly 41, no. 1 (Summer 1997): 2-9.

Presents a primer on the Internet and its ability to connect people at different locations across the globe. Describes new occupations that have evolved with the growth of Internet and identifies new job titles, responsibilities, and potential salaries. Stresses the need for potential World Wide Web workers to master the hypertext of electronic communication required for careers in the Internet.

Wagner, J. O. Wired: The Electronic Job Search. ERIC Digest no. 172. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, 1996.

Offers guidance about how to search websites to locate information about job positions and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using electronic technology in conjunction with more traditional methods of job search. Provides a list of websites, listservs, and newsgroups that one can access to conduct a job search.

Young, M. "NetStart Streamlines the Hiring Process." Computer Reseller News, no. 731 (April 14, 1997): 193.

Describes NetStart Inc.'s two new Internet-based recruiting software: Teambuilder, a workflow recruiting software, which links users to job descriptions; and CareerBuilder, a website for job seekers that offers job opportunity information.


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