Information Technology Specialist

Philip Young, PhD

Philip Young, PhD

I worked for nearly 10 years (1998 to 2007) for the School of Government (SOG) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) as the Instructional Technology Facilitator for the faculty and the Webmaster for the School. In 2007 I retired to become a stay-at-home parent and in 2013 I started my new independent contracting business, Black Unykorn Enterprises, Inc. My relationship with information technology began early in my graduate school career at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) when I started learning how to code html and design web pages (1993). These were the days before Homesite and Dreamweaver, even PHP was in its infancy. I picked up the skill mainly because I enjoy trying new skills outside my normal range of expertise (I have my PhD in English). The web design work proved surprisingly enjoyable and I worked to develop the skill at a high level while simultaneously working on my doctorate.

After graduating from UNCG (1996), I found a full-time position at UNC’s Division of Continuing Education as a professional editor. My web design skills helped me land the job because the Division, which already had a paper distance program, was working to develop one of the first online programs. I helped design the web pages and think about how to deliver the distance program over the web, improving not only my technical design skills, but also learning the role of information technology in an organization. As a result I developed a unique blend of technical expertise and management know how. I could speak to academic leadership AND techies, helping each understand and communicate with the other. That unique combination helped me land my position with the SOG in 1998. While there I helped the organization add a shopping cart, brand their website, and implement an audience response system. I was tasked with searching out and finding new technologies that could be used to improve teaching and administration at the School. All the while I continued to do part-time teaching and freelance web work.

Now that I am working as an independent contractor I can offer a number of different services that pull from my multiple skill sets. Web design is the most obvious and the leader among my areas of information technology expertise. Last year I began working with WordPress, a free, open-source blogging and content management system (CMS) that is robust and user-friendly. It has become popular and powerful enough to be a one-click add-on at most hosting companies, giving individuals and businesses a powerful and easily affordable web option. As user-friendly as it is once set up, it still helps to have an expert help you get set up, which is where I come in. This site and the other sites listed on my design page are all under $500 solutions. In 2000, these would have been $50,000 to $100,000 solutions (no kidding)! Besides web design, I can offer professional editing of your current web site, resume design and development, cover letter writing and editing, and evaluation of technologies you would like to implement for your small business. See my services and fees page for a comprehensive list of services I offer.