Back when I started my career in the Software Industry, my choices were slim. You could be technical or not. You could have experience or not. And for someone starting without a Computer Science degree, and without experience, I started out as a tester. Nowadays, it's called Quality Assurance Engineer, but back then I was a tester. Because that's what you did when your first degree was in Hotel Management, you did not grow up with computers in your home or classrooms, you saw your first computer at age 21 after immigrating to the United States, and you did not have the experience needed to become a Developer.
Over the years, I worked my way up and explored many roles. From tester to developer to manager to DevOps to data science to architect to developer advocate (Whew!). And for each role, I had to prove to some subset of people including myself that I was capable. However, it's a new day and a new landscape. In recent years, there has been a significant push to encourage more women to pursue careers in IT. As a result, there are now more opportunities than ever for women in the IT field. Not only can you experience different aspects of IT in school, but you can also participate in boot camps, online learning, and open-source projects. But which job is best for them? In this blog post, we will explore some of the top IT jobs for women and why they are a great fit.
1. Software Developer/Engineer:
Initially, for me, this was the holy grail of achievements. As a tester, I wanted to be a coder. However, I have realized since that this may not be the end all and be all of the choices.
Software development is one of the most sought-after careers in the IT field. It involves designing, coding, and testing software applications. This job requires strong problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and creativity.
Women in tech have been making significant contributions to the field of software development, and many companies are actively seeking to hire more female developers. As software developers, women can work on exciting projects, collaborate with diverse teams, and make a real impact on the world through technology.
One advantage of being a software developer is flexibility in work hours and potential remote work.
2. Data Scientist & AI:
Data science is another rapidly growing field in IT. AI is the buzzword of the day, and a lot of companies are hiring for it. Both involve analyzing and interpreting complex data and algorithms to extract valuable insights. Data scientists and AI engineers use statistical techniques, machine learning algorithms, and programming skills to solve business problems. This job requires a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and programming. Women in data science as well as AI have been instrumental in driving innovation and solving critical challenges across various industries. With the increasing demand for data scientists, women can find rewarding careers in this field.
My own journey into Data and AI was inevitable due to market forces. Plus a lot of innovation was happening in this field when I pivoted to this area. These also allow flexibility and remote work options, however, Data and AI tasks can be long-running and may require timely interactions due to the nature of the work.
3. Cybersecurity Analyst:
With the rise in cyber threats, the demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed. Cybersecurity analysts are responsible for protecting computer systems and networks from unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security threats. This job requires a deep understanding of computer networks, programming, and risk management. Women in cybersecurity have been at the forefront of defending against cyber attacks and ensuring the safety of digital assets. As more organizations prioritize cybersecurity, women can find fulfilling careers in this high-demand field.
The good news is, that there will always be a demand for Cybersecurity experts. The bad news might be the long hours when incidents happen.
4. UX/UI Designer:
User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design are crucial aspects of software development. UX/UI designers create intuitive and visually appealing interfaces that enhance user satisfaction. This job requires a blend of creativity, technical skills, and empathy for users. Women in UX/UI design have been instrumental in creating user-centric products and improving the overall user experience. With the increasing focus on user-centered design, women can excel in this field and shape the future of digital experiences.
5. IT Project Manager:
IT project managers play a vital role in overseeing and coordinating IT projects from start to finish. They are responsible for planning, organizing, and executing projects within budget and timeline constraints. This job requires strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. Women in IT project management have been successful in leading cross-functional teams and delivering complex projects. With the increasing complexity of IT projects, women can thrive in this role and drive successful project outcomes.
5. Developer Advocate:
Developer Advocates are also engineers. They have a strong technical background in their fields, they have built and shipped applications to prod. For extroverted women who love coding and helping the community, this could be a great opportunity.
In conclusion, there are several great IT jobs for women to consider. Whether it's software development, data science, cybersecurity, UX/UI design, or IT project management, each job offers unique opportunities for growth and impact. As the tech industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to encourage and support more women to pursue careers in IT.
As Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, said,
"We need to teach girls that coding is not just for boys. It is a skill that can open doors and create opportunities for them in any field they choose."
So, let's empower girls to explore the exciting world of IT and make their mark in the industry.