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Internet growth makes webmasters hot commodity

Web masters

February 16, 1996
Web posted at: 11 p.m. EST

From Correspondent Rhonda Schaffler

NEW YORK (CNN) - The explosive growth of the World Wide Web means people who have mastered the technical skills needed to maintain a Web site are in high demand. Known as webmasters, they are demanding top dollar in the job market and getting it.

Computer whiz kid Oz Lubling is now a hot commodity. As a webmaster at a New York digital media design firm, Lubling creates some of the pages that make up the Web. Although he enjoys the work, Lubling said the evolving nature of the job means it's often hard to stay on top of things. "There's a constant rush to keep up with all the latest technology."

computer programmer

Companies are having trouble finding enough people like Lubling which means they are willing to pay more to get them, said Adam Schoenfeld, vice president of Jupiter Communications. "The very select few make six figures. But I think the standard salary for a web master would be $40,000 to $60,000. And it's rising."

Besides designing web pages, the skills required of a webmaster include programming new features that allow visitors to access a wide variety of different information. Maury Hanigan, president of Hanigan Consulting Group, said companies seeking webmasters have become somewhat like sports teams going after star athletes.

computer operator

The shortage of webmasters comes at a time when demand is surging. Companies looking to get in on the Internet boom are rushing to set up home pages. In the past two years, an estimated 200,000 web sites have been created. And Jeffrey Dachis, president and CEO of Razorfish, said there's no sign the trend will subside anytime soon. "I anticipate hiring one person every two weeks for the next year."

Demand for Web-savvy employees is expected to be strong because as new technology emerges -- pages with 3-D images and moving objects, for example -- businesses with more basic Web pages will want to update. That means whiz kids like Lubling will remain masters of the silicon universe.

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