Considering Web Development as a New or Upgraded Career?

 Because just about everyone needs a professional website, it seems like the possibilities are endless...right?  Or mid-to-large companies as well as government agencies either need new pages or their directory updated.  Just from these factors alone, it seems like the perfect work-at-home opportunity that pays the big bucks.  Well, everything here is true BUT there are some things to consider.

While it may be too early to tell if web development is the new registered nurse in terms of career demand and salary, DataUSA reported more than 1.25 million developers in the States alone with an estimated job growth of nearly 18% over the next decade.  Other impressive factors are salary (though there's the big gender gap, as usual), locations with the highest demand, and the fact that it may be ideal for career changers since the average age is 40.
However, this field is not for everyone.  If your're a writer like me who's managed to learn enough HTML5 and CSS3 to tweak your website or create content for a client who wanted strong headers for an online article, this is a way different ball game.  But if you're curious about whether to invest in a boot camp or other training that costs from hundred to the ten thousands of dollars, sites like Microsoft Virtual Academy can teach you a thing or two without obligation.

If you feel that your creativity and/or organizational skills will set you apart from the competition (and it just might), then it may help to hone your networking skills while doing the free thing.  Why?  Because fellow freelancers or experts in the field may know of opportunities that may allow you to get paid while training or land a full-time job immediately after.

This is how some people manage to enter the field without a bachelor's.  While there are some college continuing education courses that are the happy medium when it comes to investing money and time, this is one career that demands you prove yourself upon contact. Having several sites and custom style sheets ready to show off are the real calling cards here.  Although having a badge or two cannot hurt either.

For those web writers who want to become developers, there's one problem that still exists.  People in other countries who'll work for much less.  If you have a specialty, this would be the time to upsell your knowledge of food, sports, or whatever your writing niche is.

Finally, the above video pretty much explains what newbies can expect.  If you choose to volunteer or work for less to gain experience, just made sure you've set career milestones and you're not just gigging.  For those who don't know, the gig mentality can be dangerous because for a number of reasons.  Although a person may be earning money, it's usually a fraction of what they can make.  Without setting milestones with a client or to build professional clout, a person can find themselves living from paycheck to paycheck, at best.