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Research on the WordPress, Web Development, and Web Design Job Market

Pie Chart featuring WordPress compared to other CMS publishing platforms by Open Source CMS.In 2012 and 2013, I did extensive research for the grant program to develop and rewrite the Web Developer degree program at Clark College. This research included an analysis of current and future job opportunities for students graduating with that degree with a solid understanding of WordPress.

Now that the program has completed its first official year at Clark College, I can proudly share some of my research as it relates to the job market with an emphasis on WordPress expertise.

If you are considering a job or starting a business in web design, development, web writing, and WordPress, this research data may influence your decisions.

Web development is a growing industry. US News Money reported that the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 21.7% employment growth for web developers through 2020, resulting a placement in the 9th spot in their Best Jobs of 2013 Report. In 2011, the median salary of $77,990 was expected to increase as web development moves from do-it-yourself and self-taught to college educated and trained professionals.

A Workforce representative reported that multi-skilled web designers are in demand and high on recruiters’ jobs lists.

With the national unemployment rate for Web designers at just 3 percent, demand for their skills in animation, graphics, social media, apps design and video is at an all-time high, says one staffing firm executive.

The executive director of the national staffing company, Creative Group, stated:

The Bureau of Labor Statics states that people with skills in Web design, mobile and other technologies will find the most opportunity in today’s job market, with more companies regularly seeking new college graduates with the latest techniques in Web design.

WordPress is a strong force in web publishing, web design, web development, and web programming globally, representing 61% of the market share for content management systems and web publishing platforms. Estimates are 25% of all websites published in North America and 18.9% worldwide are on WordPress.

As a job resource, the demand for expertise and experienced WordPress developers represents $30-50M in projects for 2014, expected to double or triple in the next two to five years.

Research for the WordPress I course in 2012 found employment statistics for WordPress expertise in demand for more than 90,000 WordPress developer jobs. In 2013, oDesk reported an average of 9,167 WordPress projects completed quarterly.

Mobile usage of WordPress is on the rise, up by 7% from 2012 and expected to increase dramatically with the growing adoption of mobile devices. WordPress offers mobile access across six platforms, including OS, Windows, Android, and Blackberry. Many mobile developers are building their apps on WordPress, and WordPress developers are changing the underlying structure of the core programming to reflect the demand.

Google Trends graph showing 2004-2014 trends for WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla in comparison.

One of the debates we had during the program research and development is what to call someone who graduates from this program well-versed in code, content, and design to match possible job titles. The graduating student from the Web Development program is not someone who is just a web designer. That’s too limiting. A developer? Yes, but that often precludes the content skills, over and under estimates abilities. It’s too vague. We’re cultivating specialists, so what do you call someone with all three skills of code, content, and design?

Web practitioner kept cropping up in our discussions. You have nurse practitioners, an “advanced practice registered nurse who has completed advanced coursework and clinical education beyond that of the general registered nurse.” The students from our two year degree program are more than web designers and developers. They are practitioners.

We are still waffling between web developer and web practitioner. As you read through the following job descriptions, titles, and skills you will see that the lack of industry job titles and descriptions continues to frustrate employers, teachers, and students. Suggestions?

The demand is there. Now it’s time to break the skills and job descriptions down.

WordPress Stats infographic 2013 courtesy of WordPress Deutschland.

The WordPress Tripod: Code, Content, and Design

WordPress Statistics chart representing September 2014 WordPress Market Share by w3tech.WordPress is based upon a tripod of skills based solidly in code, content, and design. I’ve segregated the job skills and market into these three areas.

Code represents the technical, programming aspect of WordPress and web publishing, the work done under the hood.

Design represents the visual aspects of WordPress, the web design, interface (UI), user experience (UX), and graphic design elements. There are technical skills required to support this, but the focus is on the visual.

Content represents the writing. Content is fascinating because coders and designers cannot deny writing skills, though many try, even in my classes. Much of their job is based on writing for communication, customer service and support, documentation, inline documentation, technical writing, and more. Even web programming is learning a new language. However, the majority of the content skills and jobs associated with WordPress and web development and design deal with content development, strategies, social media, marketing, editing, and writing for the web in general.

In my research, I developed four tracks of skill requirements necessary for web development, each building on top of the previous:

  • Social Media and Marketing: Requires basic HTML and CSS, digital design and multimedia, and analytics, marketing, business, project and program management, web writing, and publishing skills.
  • Web Design: Add programming in PHP, JavaScript, Ruby, Mobile Technologies, databases, servers, basic security, frameworks, API, testing, ecommerce, and version control.
  • Programming: Add C#, Object-C/Swift, C++, Java, XML, data mining, authentication, advanced server, database, security, and automation.
  • Security: Add Cyber Law, advanced analytics and tracking, systems information audits, encryption technologies, privacy and security technologies including detection and removal, and extensive testing.

Some of these studies are beyond the 2-3 year degree programs at Clark College, but it gave us something to work toward. Some of these such as data mining, security, and automation are covered in university programs as well as certification programs.

In my academic survey of 105+ random job descriptions from among WordPress, Web Design, Web Development, and Web Content, I found that the following eight programming skills sets were essential across the majority of the job descriptions:

  • HTML – 86%
  • CSS – 81%
  • JavaScript – 80%
  • PHP – 71%
  • SQL – 60%
  • API – 50%
  • Server – 47%
  • UX – 42%

HTML5 and CSS3 were the most requested of the core web skills. In total, 71% of the jobs listed multimedia skills with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, video, and audio. The demand for multimedia support and programming languages, especially with the strong move into mobile, is high and growing, though the demand for Adobe Flash is falling, replaced by HTML5 multimedia.

Open source programs and platforms are in demand with WordPress representing 46%, Ruby and Ruby on Rails at 12%, and Drupal at 10%. An estimated 25% of all websites in the world are published using WordPress, with Drupal, Joomla, and SharePoint coming in far behind, and the job requests fairly represent those statistics. Proprietary programs such as ASP.NET and SharePoint have a lower demand but continue to be relevant, especially in the corporate job market.

It should be noted that a wide variety of other skills were requested in 20-40% of the job descriptions. These fall into the general categories of specific graphic and programming tools and programs, Content Strategies, SEO, Ecommerce, Mobile Technologies, Analytics, Java, and ASP.NET.

Adobe Creative Suite is a key software package necessary for web design, development, programming, and practitioner. Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, Audition, InDesign, and PDF (Acrobat) continue to be high in skill demand. In addition, fluency with Microsoft Office continues to be a requirement.

Note that for this research project, care was taken to not specifically research WordPress-related jobs, but broadening the range, focusing on web designer, developer, and programmer positions.

Job Skills for WordPress and Web Practitioner Jobs

The following table is the breakdown from my research into the job market for WordPress, web practitioner, web designer, and web developer based upon the four skill tracks of social and marketing (content), web design (design), web programming and security (code).

Content/WritingWriting for the Web, Blogging, Social Media, English Proficiency, Communication and Correspondence, Copywriting, Editing, Self-publishing, Web Accessibility, Research, Content GenerationWriting for the Web, Blogging, Social Media, English Proficiency, Communication and Correspondence, Copywriting, Editing, Self-publishing, Web Accessibility, Research, Content Strategies, Content Development, Content Management and Organization, Multiple Contributor Site Design and DevelopmentWriting for the Web, Blogging, Social Media, English Proficiency, Communication and Correspondence, Copywriting, Editing, Self-publishing, Web Accessibility, Research, Documentation, Technical Writing, Inline Documentation, Manual and Guide WritingWriting for the Web, Blogging, Social Media, English Proficiency, Communication and Correspondence, Copywriting, Editing, Self-publishing, Web Accessibility, Research, Documentation, Technical Writing, Inline Documentation, Manual and Guide Writing

Social Media and Marketing Web Design Programming Security
Business Basics and Practices Accessibility, Copyright, Ethics, Licensing, Microsoft Office, Planning, Project Management, Scheduling, Web Standards Accessibility, Copyright, Ethics, Licensing, Microsoft Office, Planning, Project Management, Scheduling, Web Standards, Ethics, Copyright, Licensing, Project Management, Scheduling, Planning, Budgets, Proposals Accessibility, Copyright, Ethics, Licensing, Microsoft Office, Planning, Project Management, Scheduling, Web Standards, Ethics, Copyright, Licensing, Project Management, Scheduling, Planning, Budgets, Proposals Accessibility, Copyright, Ethics, Licensing, Microsoft Office, Planning, Project Management, Scheduling, Web Standards, Ethics, Copyright, Licensing, Project Management, Scheduling, Planning, Security Guidelines, Security Policies, Cyber Law
General Studies Customer Service, Open Source, Web History Customer Service, Open Source, Web History Customer Service, Open Source, Web History Customer Service, Open Source, Web History
Digital Design Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, Virtual and Digital Designs and Effects Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, CSS3, Virtual and Digital Designs and Effects, WebKit, Typography, White Labeling Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, CSS3, Virtual and Digital Designs and Effects, WebKit, Typography, White Labeling Digital Design: Adobe Creative Suite,and Fundamentals
Social Media Writing for the Web, Social Media Networks and Channels, Social Media Tools Writing for the Web, Social Media Networks and Channels, Social Media Tools Social Media Tools Social Media Tools
Multimedia Production and Integration Production and Integration HTML5, Flash HTML5, Flash
Advertising and Marketing Branding, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Campaigns Branding, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Campaigns Campaign Management, Campaign Analysis, Social Media Social Media
Publishing Platforms WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, vBulletin, Typo3, phpBB, ExpressionEngine WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, vBulletin, Typo3, phpBB, ExpressionEngine WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, vBulletin, Typo3, phpBB, ExpressionEngine WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, vBulletin, Typo3, phpBB, ExpressionEngine
Ecommerce Payment Options, Ecommerce Platforms/Technologies Payment Options, Ecommerce Platforms/Technologies Pay Points, SSL, Payment Gateways Pay Points, SSL, Payment Gateways, Payment Verification
Web Programming HTML/CSS Data structures, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Ruby on Rails, Mobile Technologies, Apache, UNIX, Linux, Adaptive, Responsive Data structures, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Ruby on Rails, Mobile Technologies, Apache, UNIX, Linux, Adaptive, Responsive, C#, C++, Object-C, Swift, Java, SharePoint, SOAP, XML Encryption technologies, data structures, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, AJAX, Ruby on Rails, Mobile Technologies, Apache, UNIX, Linux, C#, C++, Object-C, Swift, Java, SharePoint, SOAP, XML
Frameworks HTML/CSS HTML, XHMTL, HTML5, CSS, CSS3, DOM HTML, XHMTL, HTML5, CSS, CSS3, DOM HTML, XHMTL, HTML5, CSS, CSS3, DOM
Integration Introduction to API, Social Graph, and web integration technologies API, Social Graph, Feeds, Syndication API, Social Graph, Feeds, Syndication, Disparate Systems Management and Integration, emails, email automation, email integration API, Social Graph, Feeds, Syndication, Disparate Systems Management and Integration, email automation, email integration
Analytics SEO, A-B Testing, Data Collection, Research, Comparative Analysis, Statistics, Geospatial tracking, customer personas, Customer Journey Analysis SEO, A-B Testing, Data Collection, Research, Comparative Analysis, Statistics, Geospatial tracking, customer personas, data mining, Customer Journey Analysis SEO, Search Engine Compliance, A-B Testing, Data Collection, Comparative Analysis, Statistics, Geospatial tracking, customer personas, data mining, Microformats, tracking, research Search Engine Compliance, Data Collection, Statistics, Data mining, Tracking, Research, Systems information auditing
Testing Testing: Validation, Accessibility, Web Standards, A-B Testing, Design Testing, Usability, User Experience Testing: Validation, Accessibility, Web Standards, A-B Testing, Code Testing, Design Testing, Usability, User Experience, Cross-browser Testing Testing: Validation, Accessibility, Web Standards, A-B Testing, Code Testing, Design Testing, Usability, User Experience, Cross-browser Testing, Performance, Cache Testing: Validation, Accessibility, Web Standards, A-B Testing, Code Testing, Design Testing, Usability, User Experience, Cross-browser Testing, Performance, Cache
Mobile Java, Android, iOS, Object-C, Swift, SMS Java, Android, iOS, Object-C, Swift, SMS Java, Android, iOS, Object-C, Swift, SMS
Version Control/Project Management Project Tracking, Basecamp, Back Office, Project Life Cycle Subversion, Version Control, and Tracking, Project Life Cycle Subversion, Version Control, and Tracking, Project Life Cycle Subversion, Version Control, Tracking, Project Life Cycle
Security Cookies, Security testing, User Roles, SSL, Policies Cookies, Security testing, User Roles, SSL, Authentication, OpenAuth, Role References, Registration, Logins, Policies Cookies, Security testing, User Roles, SSL, Firewalls, Site Certification, Authentication, OpenAuth, Role References, Registration, Logins Cookies, Security testing, User Roles, SSL, Firewalls, Site Certification, Authentication, OpenAuth, Role References, Registration, Logins, data projection, security reporting
Web Specialities Business Communications, Management, Administration, Sales, Writing, Journalism, Accounting Content Strategies, Web writing, editing, organization, structure, landing pages, communication, interaction, follow-through and confirmations Automation (Smart Automation, Automated Testing), Networks (Intranet/Internet), Localization and Internationalization Detection and Removal: Virus, Malware, Trojans, Security Vulnerabilities, Patches, Spam, Forensics

In a perfect world, this would be the outline for an amazing 3-4 year degree program, turning out experts ready for the ever-shifting sands of web design, development, and web programming. However, I’m limited to a 2-3 year college at this point. Much of the security section is beyond our program, requiring university studies, and there are few transfer programs for web development…so far.

Let’s break these down into job titles and specific skills associated with code, content, and design to get a better grip on what the job market has to offer for web development, design, and content specialists.

WordPress Code Jobs

The job titles for web programming and WordPress developer jobs are all over the map. Some of these titles represent specialization, some are attempts to define a position, while others are just titles tossed out by employers trying to attract a specific group of potential hires. Many of these position titles lacked the job descriptions to justify their titles, while others are just vague enough, like webmaster, to mean little to the potential employee.

In general, the code jobs are looking for someone with extensive academic or self-education and real world experience in web programming and site design and development. There were many requests for customized site designs with custom interactivity, front and back end development and design, ecommerce development and customization, and mobile programming and design. Yet, there are many jobs that just need a custom WordPress Plugin or web programming to add a little functionality. I also noticed a growing demand in security experience or specialization, dealing with prevention and response to security threats to websites, servers, and networks, though this is a specialty a bit beyond the scope of my research for this project.

Here is a sample of the most common job titles from the hundreds of jobs I researched:

  • Web Designer
  • Web Developer
  • Web Application Developer
  • PHP Developer
  • Interactive Designer
  • Web Programmer
  • Front End Designer
  • Back End Designer
  • Digital Designer
  • Digital Developer
  • Mobile Developer
  • Mobile Programmer
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Multimedia Developer
  • Webmaster
  • Information Technology Web and Multimedia Developer
  • Information Technology Web Lead
  • Web Software Engineer
  • Interactive and User Experience Designer
  • Site Development and Design
  • Web Designer I
  • Web Designer II
  • WordPress Theme Development
  • WordPress Plugin Development
  • Ecommerce
  • Site Maintenance Manager
  • Site Repair Engineer
  • Server/Web Host Technician

The skills associated with these jobs included the following:

  • WordPress I/II
  • HTML/CSS
  • PHP
  • MySQL/SQL
  • JavaScript
  • Java
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • API
  • C++/C#/Swift (Mobile)
  • Servers
  • Debugging
  • Validation and Testing
  • Kohana, Code Igniter, Yii, Zend Framework, Symphony, CakePHP, FuelPHP, Doctrine, Propel, Slim
  • Multimedia
  • Networks
  • Photoshop
  • Smarty, Twig, or other template abstraction
  • Subversion, Git, Mercurial, or bzr
  • Web Analytics
  • Web Services (REST, JSON, XML/SOAP)
  • Wireframes

Depending upon the job, the educational requirements for the jobs were:

  • 2-6 years higher education (college, university) in web programming, design and development, server technology, etc.
  • Certification in programming languages, servers, networks, etc.
  • 3-5 years minimum experience

The following is a sample job description.

Web Application Developer/PHP Developer
Seeking a Mid to Senior developer to work on our server infrastructure. We have designed & implemented numerous Mobile Experiences such as: The CW, NFL, Univision, Revolver TV, HomeAway Vacation Rentals, MythBusters HD, Petfinder, Numerous Discovery Networks Applications all on both Android and iOS platforms. None of this is possible without our PRAISE infrastructure which is why we are looking for the most enthusiastic and best in their fields.

Skills & Requirements

  • 3-5 years of experience with writing PHP from scratch w/ OOP & OOD principles
  • Familiarity and experience with at least one of the following: Kohana, Code Igniter, Yii, Zend Framework, Symphony, CakePHP, FuelPHP, Doctrine, Propel, Slim
  • Exposure to Smarty, Twig, or other template abstraction
  • Experience Using PDO & Prepared Statements
  • Exposure to Modern Markup W3C compliant
  • Experience with Javascript and commonly used Frameworks (jQuery, YUI, Dojo)
  • Ability to take a Photoshop mockup and translate it into semantic W3C compliant HTML/CSS
  • Working knowledge of modern debugging techniques for both PHP & Web
  • Experience setting up a full LAMP Stack on a UNIX/Linux Environment
  • Familiar with Web services (REST, JSON, xml/soap)
  • Use of Any Modern Database(SQL/noSQL)
  • Exposure to Subversion, Git, Mercurial, or bzr
  • Responsible, reliable and hard working with excellent communication & Interpersonal skills.
  • An unhealthy obsession with building efficient, clean, and modular code and data structures

WordPress Design Jobs

WordPress design jobs cross into code and content. Sometimes the job is designing a website or web page with HTML/CSS basics, while other jobs required extensive programming experience and familiarity with server technology. A few web design jobs are content-based, focusing on content design, development, and deployment including social media and SEO. Others were site design tweaking, customization, and programming modifications requiring more extensive programming skills.

The job titles examples for web design, including WordPress web design jobs, range freely:

  • Digital Illustrator
  • Front End Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Interactive and User Experience Designer
  • Interactive Designer
  • Jr. Web Designer
  • Multimedia Designer
  • Multimedia Developer
  • Site Migration Expert
  • Sr. Web Designer
  • Web Design Development Team Coordinator
  • Web Design Illustrator
  • Web Designer
  • Web Illustrator
  • Web/Graphic Designer
  • WordPress Migration Specialist
  • WordPress Theme Conversion Specialist
  • WordPress Theme Designer
  • WordPress Theme Developer
  • WordPress Theme Expert

The skills associated with these jobs, beyond the ones listed above, include:

  • WordPress I/II
  • HTML/CSS
  • PHP
  • JavaScript
  • Servers
  • Debugging
  • Multimedia
  • Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, etc.
  • Subversion or Git
  • Project Management: Basecamp, etc.
  • Web Analytics
  • Wireframes
  • A/B Testing
  • API
  • Content Management and Development
  • Content Strategies
  • Ecommerce
  • SEO
  • Site optimization
  • Site Testing and WAPT tools
  • Site validation
  • Social Media
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Website Security Prevention and Response
  • WordPress Interface Customization
  • Writing for the Web

Depending upon the job, in addition to the above skills and expertise, the educational requirements for the jobs were:

  • 2-6 years higher education (college, university) in graphic design and illustration, web design and development, advertising, marketing, business, communication, and some web programming
  • Certification in some technical and web programming certification programs
  • 3-5 years minimum experience

This is a sample WordPress web design/developer job description.

Design + Development: Web Designer
Are you a WordPress master? Once a job is complete do you continue to own the updates and necessary maintenance? We are seeking a Web Designer with WordPress mastery to help our client’s digital platform grow into one of the most significant social impact brands on the internet. This is a direct-hire position in San Francisco where you will own the production, design and continuous updates of two high profile websites as well as social media channels and communication vehicles related to the brand. Looking to collaborate with a high-performing digital team focused on changing the world? Check it out!

What You’ll Be Doing

  • Facilitating a marketplace of high leverage content, community, solutions and ideas
  • Creating a trusted, collaborative online hub for targeted, high value actors to connect and advance their work
  • Creating relevant, market-facing channels that allows our client to:
    • Extend their brand and ability to reach influencers globally
    • Showcase evidence of impact
    • Create value for the community at large
  • Partnering with the digital team to identify high impact opportunities designed to drive results against impact goals
  • Hands-on production of all WordPress site content including written, graphic, video and multimedia
  • Producing content for channel and syndication opportunities
  • Producing newsletters, briefs, surveys, and all HTML communication templates
  • Managing consistent brand identity across all digital assets
  • Managing AV requirements and vendors related to content development
  • Managing and maintaining tagging and digital archives including photos, content and video assets
  • Supporting with design and print related initiatives as required including PowerPoint, signage, and collateral

Skills You’ll Need

  • Proficient knowledge of WordPress theme building (from Photoshop) and adaptation into templates
  • Highly proficient knowledge of WordPress theme maintenance
  • Very strong abilities with manipulating WordPress to function as a complete CMS
  • Expert knowledge of HTML5, CSS, JavaScript with at least 2-3 years of working experience required. Proficient knowledge of jQuery, PHP a plus
  • Broad experience in managing social media such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube
  • Photoshop CS5+ expert
  • Experience in designing and updating printed marketing materials and publications
  • Experience in gathering, producing, proofing and publishing web content through CMS and a variety of marketing channels (emails, web) on a daily basis
  • High standards, flexible, positive attitude, and sense of humor
  • Graphic design, art degree preferred. Recent grads and strong self-taught designers also welcome
  • Design speaks louder than words! Stylish & creative producer with a strong design and typography ethos
  • Reel of previous work/portfolio along with a resume
  • Qualified candidates will be given a small design trial
  • Bonus Skills:
    • Mobile development experience
    • Typography knowledge a plus
    • Illustrator experience

WordPress Content Jobs

WordPress-centric content jobs are even more diverse than code and design jobs. They cover every aspect of web publishing and writing.

While basic traditional and technical writing expertise and skills are required, the ability to write for the web, a distinct form of writing and publishing, is essential. It isn’t good enough to know just how to write, you have to learn how to write with a personal, active voice in first person and present tense for most projects, and be equally proficient at writing in active, second person familiar.

Web content jobs, including WordPress-centric content jobs, include blogging and web publishing, journalism (as a citizen journalist or reporter), reviews, copywriting, advertising/marketing, technical tutorials, instructional guides and manuals, documentation, white papers, editing, ghosting, content development, policy writing, photography and graphic design, product descriptions, customer service and support, and social media publishing. The emphasis for blogging and social media is on the creation of viral and interactive content, community building, and brand development and awareness.

A growing job market is the virtual assistant specializing in web content and WordPress, part of the growing USD $5 billion global market for online workers. With the downsizing of many businesses, those with a web presence are eager to find online web administrators, managers, and contributors. Tasks are varied and may include management, editing, and publishing the site owner’s content, monitoring and managing comments and email, transcription of audio and video, editing and publishing audio, video, and podcast content, managing social media response and automation, and staffing the site in general. Some of the tasks are managed by multiple people, but according to Chris Ducker author of “Virtual Freedom” says that virtual managers are becoming more popular, hired by business people to manage projects and businesses by outsourcing the various tasks. The scope of the virtual assistant, manager, and administrator is beyond my research and this article, but many of the jobs found during my research represented the outsourcing of site and social media web writing.

The following is just a few of the many content-based jobs that require WordPress expertise.

  • Affiliate Marketing/Link Builder
  • Blogger
  • Citizen Journalist
  • Content Manager
  • Content Marketing
  • Content Strategies
  • Copywriter
  • Digital Content Developer
  • Digital Content Editor
  • Editors
  • Ghost Blogger
  • Internet Marketer
  • Reviewer
  • SEO Manager
  • SEO Writer
  • Social Media Content Strategist
  • Social Media Expert
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Tech/Business Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Web And Content Strategist
  • Web Magazine Contributing Writer
  • Web Magazine Editor
  • Web Magazine Managers
  • Web Multimedia Content
  • Web Multimedia Developer
  • Web Producer
  • Web Publisher
  • WordPress Content Manager
  • Writer
  • Viral Content Strategist
  • Web Writing Specialist: Fashion, Environment, Science, Real Estate, Travel, Shopping, Food, etc.

The skills associated with these jobs, beyond the ones listed above, include:

  • WordPress I/II
  • HTML/CSS
  • PHP
  • JavaScript
  • Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
  • English Proficiency (grammar, spelling, editing, editorial, creative writing, etc.)
  • Project Management: Basecamp, etc.
  • A/B Testing
  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Content Management, Organization, and Development
  • Content Strategies
  • SEO
  • Site Testing and WAPT tools
  • Social Media
  • User Experience (UX)
  • Web Analytics
  • Writing for the Web

Depending upon the job, in addition to the above skills and expertise, the educational requirements for the jobs were:

  • 2-6 years higher education (college, university) in English, Web Development, Business, Advertising, Communications, etc.
  • 3-5 years minimum experience

This is an example of a job description that requires WordPress proficiency and content creation and management.

Writer/Blogger
Are you an experienced blogger specializing in productivity topics for the working professional? Do you constantly seek better solutions to be more productive?

We’re looking for creative, passionate, and entertaining writers and content creators who want to make informative and entertaining things that people want to share. We need a qualified and experienced freelance writer producing tips, hacks, and other useful information for the productive and active worker.

The site is a top rated multiple contributor site averaging more than 10 million unique visitors a month.

Core Competencies:

  • Blogs and Websites: We only accept bloggers with their own established blogs and experience guest blogging at other blogs with a healthy number of genuine followers.
  • WordPress: Must be familiar with WordPress and have extensive experience self-publishing, customizing content and design elements, categories, tags, and content management and organization.
  • Writing Style: The style of writing must be formally informal, professional and friendly, written in present-tense and active voice with excellent attention to grammar, spelling, and thoughtful content. Must be able to craft attention-getting and creative headlines with strong SEO techniques. Must inspire and motivate readers to respond and take action. We need a blogger with the humor, wit, enthusiasm, and drive to stand out in the crowd. Excellent language and writing skills essential.
  • Social Media: Must be willing promote articles published on our site through your social media channels.
  • Research: Must conduct analytical and topical research on assigned or self-assigned topics with validated, quality sources. Plagiarism and copyright violations are not permitted.
  • SEO: Expertise in writing viral content for SEO and organic audiences generating conversations and building a community around the author and the site. Must appreciate web analytics, conversion optimization, landing pages, PPC, and keyword techniques.
  • Graphics/Photography: Blogger must supply their own graphics and photographic images, or be able to find royalty and copyright free high quality images representative of the subject matter.
  • Teamwork: The editorial and contributor team works closely together, meeting ever Sunday evening PST via Google+ Hangouts to coordinate the week’s editorial content as well as plan and review upcoming features, articles series, and topics. The ability to work as an active team member is essential.
  • Self-Motivated: It is critical that the blogger bring stories to the editor as well as accept assignments when available, keeping on task, responding and publishing quickly, with strong discipline and professionalism.
  • Deadlines: Ability to meet or beat deadlines and work within our timeframe. Must be flexible as the timeline may shift and change with current and topical events and trends.
  • Word Count: Must specialize in writing 1,500 to 2,500 word in-depth data driven and actionable blog posts 2x per week.

Requires 5+ years experience and minimum 2 year college degree, Masters preferred.

Compensation is from $30 – $400 per article depending upon length and inclusive assignments.

The Clark College Web Development Degree Program

After two years of intensive research and jumping through all of the hoops of academia for acceptance of the degree program at the college and state levels, our degree program is set and we’ve completed the first year.

The Web Development (CTEC) and Web Design (CGT) degrees are separate at Clark College at this time, sharing about one-third of the credits. WordPress is a fundamental required class in both degree programs and some certification programs, introducing the students to code, content, and design, and often redirecting their course along their educational journey.

The Web Development (AAT) degree at Clark College is as follows, with prerequisites in English Composition, Technical Writing, Introductory Programming, and Interpersonal and Small Group Communication (15 credits) with a total of 92 credits:

Web Foundations Credit Hours
CTEC 160 WORDPRESS I 5 cr.
ENGL 160 WRITING FOR THE WEB 3 cr.
CTEC 122 HTML FUNDAMENTALS 4 cr.
CGT 106 SOCIAL MEDIA EXPLORATION 3 cr.
Web Media
CGT 101 PHOTOSHOP RASTER GRAPHICS 4 cr.
CGT 104 WEB MULTIMEDIA CONTENT I 4 cr.
CGT 201 WEB VIDEO PRODUCTION 4 cr.
Web Design
CGT 105 USER EXPERIENCE DESIGN 4 cr.
CGT 205 WEB DESIGN I 4 cr.
CGT 206 WEB DESIGN II 4 cr.
CTEC 165 BUSINESS WEB PRACTICES 4 cr.
CGT 214 PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES 4 cr.
or CTEC 199 COOPERATIVE WORK EXPERIENCE (4 credits required) 1-5 cr.
or CGT 240 CAPSTONE PRACTICUM 4 cr.
Web Development
CTEC 260 WORDPRESS II 5 cr.
CTEC 126 JAVASCRIPT 5 cr.
CTEC 127 PHP WITH SQL I 5 cr.
CTEC 227 PHP WITH SQL II 5 cr.
CTEC 228 API AND ADVANCED INTEGRATION 5 cr.
CTEC 145 WEB SERVER TECHNOLOGY 5 cr.

The Web/Graphic Design (AAT) degree (95 credits) includes more web and graphic design, typography, Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign classes to replace the programming classes of PHP, JavaScript, Web Server, etc.

We are developing WordPress I for hybrid and online classes this year, with the hopes of presenting the first of these by Spring 2015, and I’ve developed and designed the WordPress II course that should be available as a hybrid by Spring as well.

The success of the college’s first Writing for the Web course this past Spring inspired the English department to expand it from 3 to 5 credit hours, and we just submitted the proposal today from our summer project development for the course, increasing the credit hours for both Web Development and Web Design by two hours.

The Computer Technology Department team is working on a way to share our curriculum and program information with other schools, so stay tuned for that.

In the interim, know that this program is such a success, we have students traveling here from around the Pacific Northwest and other states to take the classes (some commuting for hours or staying overnight, and some considering moving here to study).

I’ve been advised by Matt Mullenweg and Jen Mylo (WordPress Foundation) that while discussions and plans are underway to provide WordPress-centric training, no certification program is under consideration. This leaves private and public educational institutions and companies to provide academic WordPress training and educational programs.

I’m very proud to be a small part of the project and lend my 30 years of web publishing, design, and development experience to the future of web developers and designers, and especially WordPress experts.


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13 Comments

  1. ES
    Posted September 29, 2014 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    This is great, I am in the UK and would love to do a course like this, so you say that in Spring 2015 there will be an online version available?

    • Posted September 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Possibly. If it weren’t for bureaucracy, I’d have it online already.😀

  2. Posted September 29, 2014 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Bruce Elgort and commented:
    Are you seeing the same types of trends in your corner of the web? Please weigh in.

  3. Posted September 29, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Great work, very insightful research.

    Any idea what accounts for the big WP spike peaking in July on Google Trends and then falling of just as sharply?

    • Posted September 29, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I noticed that spike. It’s a new graph as the one used in the original material was a couple years old. I haven’t had a chance to research, but such spikes in the past do not come from advertising or marketing, which WordPress does not do, but from some web publishing platform or service closing or changing TOS or something. There was a huge spike years ago when Microsoft dropped their blogging service, and when Yahoo and others dropped theirs. It’s on my list to look into, but if you or someone else knows the answer sooner, I’d love to know.

  4. Posted September 29, 2014 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    This is a truly great analysis of modern development skills that can go into WordPress mastery.

    So much “How to do X in WordPress” material out there is scattered and spotty and decontextualized that one often comes to WordPress out of a need to publish and through endless Google searches over years of discovery a bright person can get a lot of this info, but at all times that knowledge base is full of holes and gaps and uncertainty.

    Small note: I noticed this:

    Kohona, Code Igniter, Yii, Zend Framework, Symphony, CakePHP, FuelPHP, Doctrine, Propel, Slim

    Two things:
    1. Kohona should be Kohana
    2. Laravel should absolutely be included in that list.

    • Posted September 29, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Ah, a slip of the hingers. Good catch. Thanks.

      The list of what should be on the list of the software packages they need to know is long. I have another 20 programs I could add to that list. This was focused on the job search, what employers are asking for, and that one didn’t come up enough to make it into the “top” of that.

      I would love to take this further and research a thousand or more jobs to really get a sense of what the true demands are, but even this was many, many hours of research and data collected by only a couple people. This is something that definitely needs more people and money behind it.

      And you are so right. While a bright person can get most of this from searches when the need or thought arises, the fundamentals that keep content lean, mean, and clean require solid training by experienced folks who’ve lived in the trenches for a good while. Thanks!

  5. izza
    Posted December 2, 2014 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    That’s a great, reliable and very informative research of yours! I am planning to extend my research on web development and design this year and I must say that your post has given me very satisfying information and ideas on the necessary thing that I need to learn for me to pursue my research. Thank you so much and keep it up!

  6. Unknown
    Posted January 2, 2015 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    This is a great article, and I must say it’s great news on this side. We’ve seen the most requested services for our virtual assistant team wordpress related. We have had to expand our team to plugin development, a lot of people want to stand out from the rest of the million plugins out there that everyone uses. Great write-up

  7. halit uzan
    Posted January 29, 2015 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Thank you. A good resource for developing WordPress-based site.

  8. Jahangir
    Posted April 23, 2015 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    I think WordPress jobs most available. Because nowadays a lot of websites are developed by wordpress. I work in odesk. It is seen many wordpress related jobs are avaiable in Odesk, elance and other online market sites.

  9. shefali
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Good information. A must read post to all developers, designers or whosoever owned any website to have a collective knowledge.. Thanks for posting.

  10. Aman Sharma
    Posted July 19, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    WordPress is the most demanding CMS for building the websites. Whether they are ecommerce websites or some fashion website, WordPress is in great demand. It is the easiest and most simplest CMS among all the other CMS’s.


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