Internet Transaction Specialists
Internet transaction specialists may work in-house, as salaried employees of companies such as those with an Internet presence or those that develop software and provide electronic funds transfer services, or financial institutions. Others may work for Web development firms or those that specialize in developing the transaction software and systems for companies without an in-house transaction staff. These companies hire the firms to build or improve their Internet sites.
Job opportunities are available worldwide; however, major cities with a high concentration of Internet, technology, and software companies may provide the best opportunities.
Many transaction specialists begin their careers working as junior programmers under the supervision of more experienced developers and architects. Only after they prove their skills and work ethic on the job are beginning programmers considered for positions with greater responsibility.
Apply for employment directly to consulting firms, Internet and software companies, as well as corporations, businesses, and financial institutions that have in-house computer divisions. Classified ads, employment agencies, and Internet job listings can also provide some possible job leads. Your college career services office should also be able to help you locate a position. Networking with others in the computer industry and the community is a good way to make the contacts that may lead to employment. To network, get in touch with previous business associates, computer user groups, and trade organizations. Create a LinkedIn account. In addition, your college internship or summer work with computers may provide you with contacts and job leads. A willingness to learn and to work hard is the key to a good start as well as advancement in the computer industry.
Specialists who have advanced through the ranks of junior programmers to senior architects can take their careers in any number of directions. Those with project management skills may move up to executive managerial or supervisory positions that require more planning than programming. Persons with excellent programming and development skills may become involved in more cutting-edge programming work, like developing standards for Internet transactions.
Continued learning, certifications, and degrees may provide the specialist with a competitive edge when it comes to advancing within the industry. Very large companies or consulting firms will have more opportunities in management.
Tips for Entry
Do as much volunteer work that involves computers and Web sites as possible while in high school and college. Even if it's unpaid work, directing a potential employer to a site you've had a hand in developing is impressive.
Take as many college courses as possible in e-commerce design. The more educated you are, the better chance you'll have in getting a job in this field.
Try to job shadow a person already in the field to make sure this occupation is really for you. Seeing the reality of a profession can help you make a more educated career decision.