survey sez….

Am working my way through the A List Apart survey from last spring. Don’t have detailed thoughts, but one definite quibble with a conclusion that was drawn:

Overall, these findings seem to imply that titles representing a more current (or emerging) understanding of the field are more prevalent at for-profits and start-ups than at non-profits, government agencies, and schools. Put simply, based on this data, for-profit and start-up companies appear to be ahead of the curve in their understanding of the field.

I don’t think so. Non-profits, government agencies, and schools can often only afford one web person, or maybe 2, or maybe 1/2 a person. So that person DOES a lot of those other titles, but can only print one on their business card.

Quite possibly more on this later.

Update: skimming again in the morning, I noticed that government, non-profits, and edu have the highest percentage of “Other”, and in fact, for non-profits and schools, Other is actually the largest category.  Based on my personal experience, I’m going to guess that a lot of those non-profit Others do web work as part of their job, and their job title is something in IT or Marketing; a lot of the school Others are quite likely titled “Web Manager,” which seems to be a fairly popular title in higher ed at least, but wasn’t in the survey.

2 Replies to “survey sez….”

  1. A pivot table in Excel later, and you end up with this result:

    Of university/college “Others” (n=871), to the question “How much of my work revolves around web design”:

    About half my work is web-design-related: 239 (27.4%)
    I’m a full-time web worker: 165 (18.9%)
    Most of my work is web-design-related: 150 (17.2%)
    Web design is a small part of what I do: 315 (36.1%)

    So, web work is 0-50% of their job: 63.6%; 50%+: 36.2%.

    By comparison, for-profit (n=1292): 56.8% 0-50%, 43% 50%+.

    So, while more web design people by percentage in colleges/unis are half-time or less, it’s only 7% higher than for-profits. I would expect it to be higher.

    But as I thought about it, I realized two things:
    1. Schools are really jumping on the idea that “the web needs a real communications team” — so the likelihood that the “new titles” are going to be used are higher.

    2. But since most schools are still working up the gumption and lining up the resources, “webmaster” remains popular.

    IOW, there’s a sea change happening at schools and unis, but it’s happening 4-5-6-7 years after other industries woke up to the reality. So, if they’re creating a job right now, they’re more likely to create an “information architect” position than a “webmaster” position. However, since the transition is relatively slow and job titles ossify, older people remain stuck with “webmaster.” Or “assistant to the dean.” Or “program coordinator.”

    (Oh, and non-profits? 68% half-time or less, 31% 50%+.)

  2. Wow. Pivot tables & everything! That all makes sense to me. And you know, small organizations aren’t going to need a usability expert and an interface designer, etc., etc. It would be interesting, too, to be able to break out higher ed from K-12 (and its non-US equivalents); is there a difference in staffing? While I was doing usability testing I met someone who is the webmaster for his school (K-12) on the side, while teaching a regular grade class!

    This does make it very cool that they gave away the data. People who know how to use pivot tables (ie, people other than me) can go back to the source and maybe make other conclusions.

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