November 14, 2011, 7:48 AM —
I’m currently unemployed and want to make a career change into IT. I’m also an amateur, but accomplished, painter, photographer, and enjoy making home movies of my family. I like using technology, but I am not well schooled on the topic. What would you suggest?
The combination of heavy artistic ability and light technical skill can be extremely profitable. To do so, however, you will need to expand your technology background based on which of the following jobs sounds most interesting to you. As you will see, these are all great potential jobs, but require different types of technical skills.
Web designers, as the title implies, design the look, feel, and flow of websites. For you to perform this job correctly, given your artistic background, the use of color and visual design would most likely be very natural to you. The key things you would need to learn would be:
- An understanding of website navigation best practices
- Ideally, a working knowledge of HTML. This would allow you to design web pages in their native format as well as gain an appreciation of what is easy and hard to technically create
- A strong working knowledge of Photoshop and/or other graphical-related software
- An appreciation for web development. I am by no means suggesting that you learn to do it, but having an understanding of the processes and challenges will allow you to better design websites that are both functional to use and cost effective to build.
Video designer and producer
Videos have become the gold standard in web-based marketing, eLearning, website enhancement, web-based advertising, and other similar online activities. That said, professional speakers, advertising agencies, training companies, web design firms, and other businesses are all using in-house and/or contracted videographers to produce web-based content. Given your interest, and presumed ability in making quality movies, the hurdle for you is to develop a working knowledge of industry standard video editing software for both Apple and PC type computers. Also, if you want to do freelance in this area, you will most likely need your own video camera and lighting equipment.
Flash automation designer
Flash is like a video, and in some cases, is simply converted video content. It may, however, also be created using a number of other tools, technologies, and processes. For example, my company’s IT management training company uses the advanced automation features in Microsoft PowerPoint to create our eLearning materials, and then use iSpring Presenter to convert it to flash. There are also a number of other great tools by Adobe and other software vendors that you can use in the Flash creation process.
Green screen production designer