|Are there any courses that employers look for etc? |
Based on my dabbling in this space for a few years, most are looking for college degrees first and foremost.
I think the same basic concepts will apply and it doesn't matter where you're located.
|What do the employers look for and what is the best route for me to go down. |
You could peruse the SEO job boards, they are growing in number and there are quite a few positions being posted. That should give you a good overview of what employers are looking for. Although I can tell you that a good portion of those employers have unrealistic requirements and expectations of the candidates. Not only that, but some of the salaries may make you wince. Heck, I know waste technicians that make more than what is being offered by some employers. At least here in California anyway. ;)
If I were an Employer?
I'd be surfing all the top Internet marketing communities like WebmasterWorld. I'm going to take a close look at the more prolific posters, read them, check their profiles, check their website and, just perform and overall Internet visibility test. Most of the quality names in this industry are going to have some level of online presence and as an employer, that is who I'm looking for.
I'm also not going to hold any educational challenges against you. Some of the employers want Masters Degrees for someone to manage an SEM Campaign. Give me a break. And then they offer a starting salary of $45k USD. Give me two Government mandated breaks! It really is disheartening to see that employers haven't fully grasped what a good SEO can do for them. ;)
If I were a Candidate?
First and foremost, I'd be getting all of my online stuff in order. Website, social media profiles, etc. Make sure that everything is up to date, well presented and ready for review by potential employers.
I'd make my online activities well know through the use of my website by linking to various discussions that I might be involved in or have started. I'd get my Twitter feed in place and anything else that shows you are passionate about your area of expertise and that you are "on it". Actions speak way louder than words in this instance. :)
|what is the best route for me to go down. |
Make your own sites and you may not need an employer.
+1 on Jane_Doe's idea. But there is something to be said about learning on someone else's dime for a while.
thanks for the feedback!
Indeed learning on some one elses money is a good idea.
Indeed I do have my own sites. I have always been working on something but only the last year have I found something that has kept my attention and now its making good money will continue to keep that attention.
from browsing the seo related jobs it does seem like alot of the employers do want alot for there money.
the funny thing is they dont them selves understand what is involved.
Heck, I know waste technicians that make more than what is being offered by some employers.- Ill agree with that, I saw a job posting last night that required a good degree from a good university in maths or scientific based subject.
Couldnt quite understand why.....
|from browsing the seo related jobs it does seem like alot of the employers do want alot for there money. |
I check out the jobs from time to time just for grins and what I find interesting is they often want people with skills like SEO, PPC along with HTML, Drupal and Photoshop. Kind of a one stop, jack of all trades you'll be our one person anything to do with the Internet guy.
|But there is something to be said about learning on someone else's dime for a while. |
That is similar to the advice in Mark Cuban's blog.
SEO, PPC along with HTML, Drupal and Photoshop - That appears to be quite a normal request, is that normal in teh business world or are tehse people just hoping ?
It varies greatly. Some people want you to have more technical knowledge, while others want marketing experience. A lot want both and then some. If you have some results to show, that always helps. You might need to get a junior role to begin with, though, unless you have a lot of work to show.
I'm looking to get a part-time SEO job (4 days). This will allow me to see "how it's done" with regard to customer relations, contract handling etc. In my free time I can then build up my own business :)
|And then they offer a starting salary of $45k USD. Give me two Government mandated breaks! It really is disheartening to see that employers haven't fully grasped what a good SEO can do for them |
And they are not going to get any good candidates for that money. In fact it might be fair to ask if someone is good at SEO why would they want to work for a company in the first place? Certainly a lot of the good SEOers would not fit into a regular company structure.
As someone who has just interviewed for a "Web Agency" looking to start an SEO wing I can tell you that the interviewer was looking for a proven track record, preferably with blue chip type clients (the job pays 130K USD but I have over 20 years experience in the Internet space - ie have spent 20+ years on Usenet, Gopher, WAIS, WWW, Digg, Twitter, YouTube as well as working on some stuff for ARPA in the dim and distant :-) ! ).
What the company was looking for is someone they can sell to clients as an "industry expert" in order to build their web marketing business. Persoanly, even at 130K USD the job isn't very attractive to me because:-
I will probably be reporting to two immediate managers
I can get my own clients
I have a website that pays the bills so don't need the money
Which comes back to why would someone who is good at SEO work for a company?