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Big increase in Web jobs: report

There was a huge rise in jobs for IT professionals skilled in web technologies in 2011, according to one Australian global outsourcing marketplace company, which predicts that this year will see the continued rise of a new generation of Web 2.0 entrepreneurs and further increases in Web job demands.

The chief executive of Australian-based Internet start-up, global outsourcing marketplace, Freelancer.com, Matt Barrie, said today the latest findings of the company's online Fast 50 survey of the jobs market, revealed that in there was a 'tremendous rise across the key web technology areas', with HTML up 193% - to a 'whopping 72,571 new jobs.'  Barrie says that HTML5 was up 118% (to 4,121 jobs), website design up 94% - to a 'massive' 83,931 new jobs - with shopping carts up 68% (to 8,437 jobs), and PHP- the lingua franca of websites- rose 69% (to 104,597 new jobs) in 2011.

"We are uniquely positioned to comment on jobs conducted online, with over 3.2 million users and 1.5 million online jobs posted on Freelancer.com to date," Barrie claimed.

Barrie says that the web has been the main battleground of technology entrepreneurs for many years, but 'with the emergence of an online workforce as a key resource, even the layperson can now launch a website or iPhone application.'  'From our data, it is clear that 2012 will see the emergence of a whole new generation of Web 2.0 entrepreneurs.'

According to Barrie, with the boundaries and capabilities of the web constantly being pushed by industry heavyweights such as Google and Facebook, there is a growing need by web developers to integrate more Web 2.0 elements to keep pace and stay relevant. He said the online survey had revealed that jobs for technologies such as Javascript increased by 66%, (to 22,835 jobs), jQuery grew 175% (to 5,493 jobs), AJAX rose 41% (to 15,168 jobs), and CSS was up 65% (to 15,199 jobs).

'With increased international competition putting pressure on SMEs to deliver higher quality goods and services at lower prices, online behemoths like Amazon are asphyxiating an ever widening range of industries,' Barrie asserts, while asking the question: 'Been to a bookstore recently?'

'Retailers have realised they must take their business online or face oblivion resulting in the strong 34% growth in eCommerce jobs (to 11,612); 67% increase in Shopping Carts jobs (to 8,437 jobs), and a 57% increase in Magento (to 5,789 jobs,' Barrie says, adding that he anticipates that these categories will accelerate in growth through 2012 as more SMEs and entrepreneurs join the tech boom 2.0.

Barrie takes a swipe at Google, who he claims has decimated poor quality content, and the copywriting industry.

According to Barrie, with the announcement of changes to its search algorithm at the start of 2011, 'deceptively nicknamed 'Panda',' Google declared war on content farms, and 'began an arms race that promises to continue into 2012.'  Barrie says that, while estimating that only one percent of all searches would change at each update, the pain caused was felt across the Internet from major sites through to the smallest niche blog.

Barrie says the company's online survey reveals that the impact on writing jobs was immediate, as the industry reeled in the fallout from the changes in Q1 2011, with copywriting down 19% (to 5,478 jobs), ghost-writing down 13% (to 2,940 jobs) and article submission  down 29% (to 884 jobs).

Still on the ramifications from Google's activities, Barrie says that despite the search giant continuing to roll out updates throughout 2011, it's clear that a 'solid SEO strategy has never been more important to online businesses looking to attract Internet consumers to their site,' and as a result 'the writing industry regathered and chalked up solid growth for the year' with SEO up 63% (to 36,174 jobs), copywriting up 7% (to 22,047 jobs), ghost-writing up 32% (to 12,585 jobs), and article submission up 61% (to 4,530 jobs).

'We anticipate that the market will remain buoyant as Google and the SEO / Content Writing industries continue to play cat and mouse through 2012, Barrie predicts.

The freelancer.com s survey found that mobile Phone jobs were the fastest growing online job category with a 216 percent increase (to 12,262 jobs) in 2011, with Android jobs ending 2011 by growing 163 percent (to 7,431 jobs), double the iPhone's 81 percent growth rate (to 12,527 jobs).


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).