Just the Facts

Driving forces: The U.S. economy is transforming into an Internet economy, says Ben Sabrin, technical recruiter at Pencom Systems Inc. in Atlanta. Large brick-and-mortar companies are trying to become "click and mortars," and dot-com start-ups are proliferating wildly. All need Internet technology strategists to make them competitive in this new medium.

Job description: This person should keep abreast of the latest tools and technologies, while keeping in mind the company's unique set of business circumstances. The strategist will oversee integration of Web reporting, workflow, e-mail tracking, streaming media content, integration and security processes.

Specific skills:

Project management experiencen The ability to strategize in a nontechnical way with multiple business unitsn Strong analytical skillsn The ability to suggest changes for existing business processes or for building new onesn The ability to provide competitive analysisn Flexible to changing strategies midstream, if necessaryn Programming and development skillsCareer path: Systems architects make excellent candidates because they know how to evaluate competing technologies and deliver successful solutions, Sabrin says. Project managers can also migrate into strategist positions for the same reasons, adds Sprint Paranet's Patrick Wilson.

Career potential: After a proven track record of making companies successful in the electronic-business world, an Internet technology strategist is ripe for the position of a chief technology officer or CIO at a dot-com start-up, says Sabrin.

Salary range: $85,000 to $105,000, depending on the location and company. Large brick-and-mortar retailers often pay more, while dot-com start-ups pay less.

But remember: Start-ups mean initial public offerings - and the opportunity to build brand-new infrastructures from the ground up.

Source: Montgomery West, an executive search firm in San Jose

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