Women in information technology
There has never been a better and more exciting time to consider a career in IT. So come on girls what are you waiting for?
The IT Industry
If you are still reading this you have probably just stifled a yawn and pictured a computer in your head. You think IT is boring and you don’t want to work with machines, you want to work with people. Think again. Most IT jobs are no more about computers than a journalist’s job is about pens. IT is about creating the products and services that we all need to help improve our lives. To do that you need to understand how people live and work and how they want to live and work in the future.
IT is dynamic and exciting and it changes just about everything we do. IT produces the magazines that we read so avidly, it is fundamental to the creation and distribution of music, it is in all the films being made by Hollywood and in the flight planning and security at airports. There are very few industries that don’t now rely on IT and they all want people with bright new ideas. Try telling the IT professionals who worked so hard to produce films such as the Matrix, that their job is not creative, or the web designer, or the artistic designer of Cosmopolitan.
The range of jobs in IT is vast and there is something to suit everyone. Some are very creative and some are highly technical. They can be broadly summarised as software developers, systems operators, sales professionals, training professionals, helpdesk support, technicians /engineers, web designers, technical authors and business analysts. But within those broad headings the actual job roles can be very different. For instance an engineer can work on retail computer systems in your local high street, or she or he can be working on weather watching systems in a plane many miles above the ground. So whatever your interests there’s bound to be something in IT for everyone.
The number of jobs is also vast. There are now twice as many people working in IT as there are teachers and this figure is set to double over the next 5 years. The growth in the IT is said to be no less than spectacular as we strive to solve new problems and create ever more exciting entertainment.
IT Girl Innovation
Any influential member of the IT industry as well as professional bodies through to Government will stress to you the importance of having more women within the IT industry to create a more balanced team.
A recent report on IT skills trends stated that many of the organisations that are most imaginative in their use of IT have a higher than average proportions of women in posts, suggesting that others are seriously losing out.
Innovation is of course crucial in IT. Take Google as an example of how innovation leads to success. Google is bursting with innovation thanks to its software engineers spending 20% of their working week being creative, working on their own projects.
An example of a successful innovation by a woman is Peridot, an invention that ensures web links always point to the intended content. The product was invented by Megan Beynon of IBM and it recently won her the Female Innovator of the Year award, as well as being added to IBM’s portfolio of products.
Good communication skills are also an important quality for IT professionals. Being in IT does not usually mean being isolated with your computer. Working closely with customers, clients, and other end-users of software is now regarded as one of the most important parts of the development process. And the IT professionals who enjoy the best rewards are those who successfully combine technical knowledge and these so-called ‘softer’ skills. This is where women can excel. Many studies have indicated that women generally exhibit good communication skills. Another well-known strength of many women is team-working, which is necessary as most IT jobs involves working in teams.
The British Computer Society which accredits many UK university programmes in IT has a specialist group, BCSWomen, which is an online news group that offers a CV clinic service, career development workshops, and networking meetings, both technical and social. BCSWomen also offers role models, women who are happy to talk about their experiences and chat over different career options with you.
Why Study Computer Science in the UK
International Employers recruit large numbers of UK-trained female graduates.
Courses are intellectually rigorous and you will develop skills including commercial awareness, project management and teamwork.
All courses are quality-controlled and many accredited by professional bodies such as the British Computer Society (BCS), the Institution of Analysts and Programmers and the Institution of Engineering Technology (The IET).
UK Qualifications are recognised all over the world. They can lead to a wide range of career options when you return home.
The opportunity to improve your fluency in English will improve your job prospects in English-speaking countries.
- There has never been a better time to study for a career in computer science