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What should you study if you're a girl and want to work in tech?

Is it harder for girls to work in technology than boys? #technology #tech #women-in-tech


Hi! I wouldn't say it's harder for one gender than the other. Whether you get the material or not depends on the individual. However if you want to get into tech then computer science, computer programming, information systems, and software development are some good areas to start with. Hope this helps! Christine B.

Tech is a field in high demand everywhere. In reality, your success in a job is determined only by your ability. Girls have been working in science and tech for almost as long as it was a thing, and people in the field know that. There will be many people who will tell you your sex or your skin color will hold you back, but those types of complaints are made by people who are looking for someone else to blame for their lack of achievement. If you become a boss at math or coding, you will have no problem finding a job. And with more and more work being done online and from home, women don't have to worry as much about when the time comes to take care of kids. Brian M.

You can take some majors such as Information Systems or Managerial Information Systems to give you some basic understanding about IT. I would not say girls are harder to become IT programmers than boys. It just seems to be a social norm that boys are likely to do IT than girls Jennifer H.

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Alicia’s Answer

Hi Caitlin,


I love your question! In my perspective (having worked at Dell for over 12 years) I think most of this gap is perception based and not really in reality. However there are a few things you should think about - I used to be in tech. support and then corporate sales which was mostly males, you need to understand how to communicate assertively and hone in on your command skills. If you can communicate your ideas clearly and back it up with great knowledge and performance, being a girl should be no issue at all. Good luck!


Hooray! Thank you so much, Ms. Alicia! Caitlin B.

i am in technical role for more than 15 years and based on my experience there is no such limitation that as a girl you can't do certain technical roles. As many answered, it is more perception than reality. As long as you are passionate and know what you like to do... you should do it. Good luck! Jalpa Patel

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Meg’s Answer

It depends on what you want to do. There are many different technical roles, some are more welcoming to females than others. However, never let that stop you if tech is your passion. Technology is an exciting place to work and it is always changing, there is always something new to learn. When you find a place that embraces that learning, that's a great place to be. I will tell you in addition to the technical courses and math, finding courses that can help you understand the human side of tech and to develop critical thinking skills can be an advantage as well.


Thank you so much, Meg! Caitlin B.

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Monika’s Answer

come on, now nobody cares about your gender, but qualification. Completely don't worry about it. My case is a pretty long story. During my childhood my conservative environment tried to persuade I can't study anything scientific because of my gender. In the very beginning I believed in it and gave up all my interests about high-tech (even though I spent most of my free time on sitting in front of PC or video games). After many years of higher education I found my dream studies (information management) and I understood it's better to find your path later than never. I got another close friend who experienced the same (from English literature studies to PhD in advanced materials). Today it's much easier to achieve whatever you want than 100years ago ;) Remember, never give up because of others' opinion. Do what you love and compare yourself in prism of your achievements.


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Penta’s Answer

Hi- It depends on what type of position you're most interested in! There are many different options...it doesn't all have to be technical-roles. From operations to marketing, sales to enablement, there are many important functions that make a tech company successful. Math, engineering, computer science are good options for more technical functions. I have a background in Business, which allows you to go for other roles that are equally important to many industries, especially tech!


Thank you so much, Penta! Caitlin B.

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Terri’s Answer

It has really changed over the years. When I started there were not a lot of Women in technical fields and even in programming. But I think even back in the 80's that this was more of a perception that women did not work in that field and thus there were not a lot. So it has been a gradual growth over the years. As far as suggestions and what you should study, It really depends on what area that you want to go into. So depending on your passion, Technology can cover vast areas. Telecommunications, Programming and new industry. I have been doing telecom since 1984 and I have constant learned something new. Be willing to accept change and to constantly think outside of the box or the bubble. Always strive to grow your skills and knowledge. Strong Math, project management and planning skills are a big PLUS.


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Giles’s Answer

It shouldn't be any harder to find a position. however, if you find resistance, I suggest focusing on:
Math classes. This is a key foundation for programming jobs.
Any experience you can get programming. It doesn't matter what it is. If, for example, you build a web page, show off your strengths in what you build.


Many firms are following the advice of of people who study successful companies, who say it is always better to have a diverse workforce. History has shown that these companies do better. So, in an odd way, if you are in a group under-represented in a company, you might have an advantage! At least for companies that are forward thinking.


It is a great career for everyone!


Thanks


Thank you, Giles! Caitlin B.

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Rebecca’s Answer

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Caitlin - I'm so glad you are interested in this!


I've worked in a variety of tech related jobs, from doing customer support for AOL dial up (yes, I'm a dinosaur) to working on mid-range computer programming (I was a business analyst, not a programmer), to working in process improvement (CMMI and Six Sigma) and database development, and now I've ended up way over here in Regulatory Compliance which has little to do with technology per se, but I am constantly doing IT development projects, as we use software all the time and need to improve it regularly.


I think, as women, we actually have an advantage in technology.My 'official' background is in technical theatre (I have a B.A. in theatre from a small women's college) and I have an MBA with a concentration in technology management. However, because I am flexible and able to make connections between things in ways that a lot of men are not, I've been promoted and given opportunities that others haven't for that reason.


You don't have to be a coder to work in tech - there are lots and lots of other positions where understanding the way the tech works and how it should be developed are critical and SDLC (software development life cycle) is a whole discipline in itself, and requires no coding, just an understanding of tech. Women are typically better at the human interaction side of software as well - and if you have an artistic or creative side, GUI design is critical to a decent software product.


Don't look at being the only girl in the room as an impediment. You are getting in on the the ground floor of a movement, and there is a lot of chance to learn new things and be the new expert. That's not a bad thing. Also, if you aren't afraid to speak up, it's been studied that women's voices (in terms of the tone of them) are actually more attention-getting in a noisy room. That's why women's voices are so often used for emergency announcements, etc. in public places. Don't be afraid to use your voice!


The other fun perks are being able to get in and out of the ladies room faster (men are often actually lined up to get in the mens room at tech conferences while women breeze in and out, believe it or not), getting preferential treatment when it comes to being stuck crawling under a desk to hook up a monitor, or carrying heavy stuff. I know darn well that I CAN do all those physical things, but it's nice to have an out - and it helps to keep your 'in charge' image intact, believe it or not. I wear skirts and dresses exclusively, am not afraid to use a pretty pen or have feminine accessories, but no one takes me any less seriously because of it. You can still be YOU and be in technology. Enjoy it!


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Anchia’s Answer

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Caitlin, this is a great question. I recently attended a summit in NYC addressing how we get more women in the technology field. I have been in the workforce for 10 years since college. My major was English and my minor was history. I also have a graduate degree in Creative Writing. However, my interest in technology began long before college. My parents used to keep me very up-to-date with technologies coming out because they never wanted me to be at a learning curve for anything. As a result, I was able to market and sell (with a creative background) and also train on technology products. Companies like Verizon and many others are looking for people just like you. If you have an interest, you should pursue it! It's true that the technology field is a predominantly male space, but we are seeing many more women step into positions that are more technical every day. As for things to study, that depends on what you would like to accomplish in the field. I began my interest with wanting to understand technologies and help others to incorporate those technologies into their lives and their businesses. That's why I went into sales. But you may have more of an interest into the interworkings of products and services and for that, you would want to have more of a technical study route. Engineering, Computer Science, Programing, and Information Security and Information Technology are all areas to take a look at. I hope this helps and best of luck!


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Dominga’s Answer

My step daughter is top of her class at Linfield College in Oregon. She is a double major - math and physics and yes there are very few females in her department. With more young women pursuing technical and science people will be more accustomed to seeing them in those roles. I started in IT when I was 37 - after years of being in the administrative field. I don't feel that my being female made it more difficult, but what I did do was prepare. I gained Microsoft and Cisco certifications since I did not have a heavy work background to fall back on. I started out on a technical helpdesk and shot up from there. Confidence in your abilities and projecting that goes a long way in any field.


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Laura’s Answer

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Hi, Caitlin!


I've worked in information technology for my entire career, so close to 20 years now. I started as a UNIX/Linux Systems Administrator and then moved into Network Planning and finally Cybersecurity. I didn't have a technical degree when I started (BA in Political Science), but I've since gone on to pick up an MS in Project Management, an MS in Information Systems Security, and I'm currently working on an MS in Information Security and Assurance (graduating June 2017). I also hold the CISSP and CISM certifications.


If you like hard sciences and math, then I definitely would suggest that you take programming classes in college. If you want more of a higher overview of technology, then going with information management or information security might be a good choice. Either way, remember that getting experience is key, so keep yourself open to opportunities to learn from people who know what they're doing. Enthusiasm for your topic is a definite bonus.


These are still very male-dominated fields. Currently I'm the only woman on a team of 6 men (including the manager). The most women I've ever worked with was 4, and that was for a team of about 15 people. I've encountered prejudice before, but as time has gone on things have gotten much better. It definitely gives you an opportunity for practicing your soft skills and keeping an even balance no matter what gets thrown at you!


Good luck!


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Brittanie’s Answer

Cailtin this is an awesome question. Ive been working in telecommunication for 15+ years. It was never an industry I was drawn to, just one I was good at. I loved math in high school. My recommendation is to study what you love and the rest will fall into place. The 'tech' world is wide open to your dreams and imaginations. Outside of school I would recommend participating in STEM groups and find local resources that you can partner with. My career has spanned many different opportunities but it was always doing something I loved. And lastly, take risks! Don't be afraid to try something new. Even if you fail, which I have done many times, it was always an opportunity to learn, grow and try again.


Good luck.


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Gina’s Answer

This is a great question and I'm going to give you the most honest answer - yes it can be. As a woman working on a male dominant field, we have to work harder to gain respect and fit into the "boys club." This is one of the reasons I like this field, because it's challenging. Woman have to show compassion but also need to work smarter. Once you have gained the respect of your colleagues and proven yourself, it becomes easier. I recommend that you focus on your area of expertise and learn it better than anyone. I also find that my experience in other fields help bridge the gap and make me valuable to my team. A huge challenge women face is the perception of power. It is ok for a man to be powerful and make decisions but when a woman challenges in the same way, they are thought of as difficult. Because of this, I have taken courses on critical thinking, leadership and psychology. Woman always feel they have something to prove, and we do, but approached the right way you can learn to become a valuable player on any team. I find many men think linear while women tend to think outside the box, this is a valuable skill. Good luck!


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Janet’s Answer

Great question - so glad you are considering a career in technology as it's a rewarding industry. First I would consider what areas of technology most interest you. You can do that by subscribing to some news sources like tech target. Then you can further think about what roles are available in that technology field. Remember not all roles require major math or science. Sales, marketing, human resources, and many other areas allow you to be in tech without being a scientist!


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Shagoon’s Answer

Hey Caitlin,

Whatever you want and whatever you find relevant. When you type in a code, the computer will not ask who you are, what matters is how well you have written the code.

So, find your interests and the skills you wish to have. Find a mentor and Develop a career plan and nobody can stop you.

It is said that women have a tough time getting in tech, but try visiting conferences and events like GHCI and you will know, there are al lot of awesome women out there and some amazing men who are going to help you in achieve you want to be.


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Atla Akshay’s Answer

Hello Caitlin,
looks like you got a good interest in technology, here's what I got to say: you are a boy or a girl it doesn't matter until when you got confidence in you to achieve things.


"Pamela Reed was the first woman to win the 135-mile Bad water Ultra marathon, coming in first in both 2002 and 2003. She was also the first person ever to run 300 miles without sleeping."


see anything is possible in today's world and for what to study is it not the same curriculum that boys have, right!


so based on the technology you need to pursue there are different courses.. first of all take some time have a look at what all technologies are present there, talk to your elder brother/sister they might have a good knowledge about what all are good now-a-days, then make your own Google searches on those things try to understand what those are and see what technology excites you the most, and that's how you should do it.


Once you get a understanding of what to do, finding the appropriate courses isn't that a difficult task.


All the best buddy.


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Jamie’s Answer

Engineering, math, statistics or some type of science will be a great start because it helps you innovate by solving problems. There are also a lot of companies that are looking for diversity in gender in their company so if you have a good background in science as a female you will have a good chance. But also make sure you keep you interests open to learning the creative side of the business to understand how technology works with creative, marketing, emotions and sales.


Engineering and science can sounds boring, but please check this video. it's inspiring and it speaks to different aspects of engineering that affects human lives in a real way. and it can be very powerful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpYRH-njaAI


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Judy’s Answer

Hi Caitlin! Great question. Don't let traditional gender job roles in tech sway your thinking. I work for a leading high-tech company of 80K employees that has a 100% commitment to inclusion and diversity in the workplace. I'm in the network security industry and we hire a lot of systems engineers many of whom are female. Systems engineering is a great field to set your sights on. And, throw in some communications courses, project management, and you'll create a strong skillset that is in high demand across many industries.

Judy recommends the following next steps:

Check this out: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/inclusion-diversity/us.html
And this: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/about/csr/stories/girls-power-tech.html

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Poornima’s Answer

Hi,


I don't think for Girls its difficult to work in the IT industries or any other industries if they could mange both personal and professional life, I have been working in Dell for 6 years and in that I had worked with tech support for 4 years and in the team most of then were males including mangers and I dint face any issues.


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Syed’s Answer

Hi,
there is nothing deferent you need to do just because you are a girl.
for Example, in computer we only have 0s and 1s, there is nothing deferent if you are a girl.
tech is a very genric word, if you could make it more narrow things will be easy to answer. i would suggest you to keep yourself updated with latest technology.


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Haider’s Answer

It's not about your gender, its about what you love to do. since you are starting your career 'assuming' it's always fun to try few things here and there from support, implementation, sales & marketing in the tech world then you can see where your heart goes too .. It essential that you love the career that you will pick by the end of the day because this will make you thrive, creative and shine ... Best of luck


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Megan’s Answer

Hi Caitlin,

The great thing about the tech industry, is that there are so many different avenues, organizations, and moving parts needed to make a company successful. For instance, I got my degree in Psychology, but have found a career path in Marketing and Communications in the tech industry. I am able to use what I learned in college to better understand human connection and motivation, and what is going to be the most effective marketing and communications needs and strategies to drive success. Never let the fact that you're a female detour you from starting a career, not just in tech, but for any industry you may find of interest. As far as what you should study, find what makes you tick, and what excites you to learn, and creates motivation and inspiration. There's always going to be job opportunities that will align with your passions!


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Cecilia’s Answer

Hi Caitlin,
I am excited that you are interested in tech! My advice would be to focus on higher-level math and coding. There are tons of free coding apps and websites available to get you started and keep you well versed in tech. Depending on which flavor of tech that you want to purse, there are a lot of free resources available for application development, tech security, network management and game development to name a few. At the end of the day, tech can use girls and boys to innovate and discover unlimited possibilities. Perhaps you are the next legendary tech leader. Find something in tech that you love, share your vision and be great at it!


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Himanshu’s Answer

Hello, working as a techie has nothing to do based on gender. I am working in IT industry since 6 years and I find many technical skilled ladies working along on latest and core technologies. So its passion of an individual as which technology one like and grow their career.


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John’s Answer

First, there are lots of opportunities for women in technology and I have never found it a hard industry for women to get in and grow. Computer Science, Informatics, Engineering, and Business are all degrees that can position you for a career in technology. Focus on a study that interests you and and seek out opportunities to gain understanding of what the industry has to offer, whether through associations, speakers that come to your school, internships, or research companies (Like Gartner and Forrester). Over my 23 years, the industry has offered lots of opportunity to grow and is ever changing. So go get it!

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Rana’s Answer

Hi Caitlin,

In concern to your question, there will be leaps and bounds for everyone, it is not binded to gender. The knowledge that you carry from your past experience, or what you studied in your college days will help you keep pace with the technology.

Also knowing in advance about what you will learn or need to work on, in the Tech firm ,will make you decide your next step. Hence, please do a background check about the company that you would be a part of, so that you can plan accordingly whether you would be comfortable working in there, if not, just have some basic insight about that technology and rest you will learn when you are part of that firm.

And there is no such difference that boys are superior than girls when it comes to Technology, everyone has the same brain, the more you make use of it, the better you get acquainted with new things.



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Padmapriya’s Answer

There is nothing to do with the gender. I see many aspiring women in technologies. I have 12 years of experience in Analytics - Healthcare domain.
Jobs in technology will be high in demand and there are many career paths in technology-based degree. These include subjects like Software Engineering, Information Technology , Web Development, Computer Science, etc.

Passion is very important in whatever job we do. We should have a goal in life and work towards it, definitely you can attain success.

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Anu M’s Answer

You can study anything you're good at, please don't limit yourself on the basis on your gender. Like mentioned in a lot of the answers, there are more and more women in tech than there used to be. If we believed that it's harder for women in tech than men, we'd never achieve anything. :) This notion is just noise, and you need to tune it out. Study hard, work hard and you'll be in a great position to pick where you want to work.

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Stephanie’s Answer

The possibilities are endless. Gender doesn't define what you should study if you want to work in tech. I have an International Marketing degree and I have had amazing opportunities within SaaS (Software as a Service), New Product Introduction, Software implementations and more. What interests you about tech? Is it just the industry itself? Which part of tech? What do you like to do? Do you like to help create things? solve problems? improve processes? There are so many career paths within tech... Human Resources, Communications, Engineering, Coding, Sales, Operations and more. Reach for the sky and do what you know you love to do. Best of luck!


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Uday Rao’s Answer

I dont believe in current world differentiating between boy and girl, every one are equal in tech and i think you're on right track.
As per your interest choose a filed in engineering set some goals and keep learning, follow the trend once you join tech.

All the best !!

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Chris’s Answer

There are lots of different majors if you want to work in technology. A degree in computer science, information technology, software engineering, engineering in general, etc. Of course, you can always study in other areas such as marketing, finance, etc. as technology companies need people in these areas too.


Being a girl doesn't make a difference... Schools and companies want diverse applicants, students and employees.


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Richard’s Answer

The sky is the limit here. Your gender does not limit your opportunities in this field. I work at Cisco and even though I am a male, have many female co-workers. Focus on your basic education with a college degree in engineering or computer sciences.


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Shadan’s Answer

Hi Caitlin,

I've worked in IT industry for almost 7 years and I found that it is not dependent to the gender. If you have passionate about technologies you will be successful in this field.

For being successful in this field you should also be passionate about being up to date and following cutting the edge technologies as we can see the trend of new technologies is very fast.

Good luck.


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Maritza’s Answer

Never feel limited or hold yourself back. Find a field of study you have passion for, you can translate it into most jobs. I'm a marketing major who had dreams of working in advertising. Life had other plans and I found an area I excel in, customer support in a telecommunication company. I don't have a technical background but I understand customer communication networks and infrastructure, I have knowledge of their equipment to be able to assist in troubleshooting. Careers in technology are not limited to Computer science. Products and service need to be marketed, product guides and processes built, implemented and life cycled supported. You have to find your passion and it will translate to any area.


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Ankit’s Answer

There is no difference between girl and boy these days. All are equal and even majority of the employers are giving preference to the girls. " Empowering Women". It all depends on you which stream you want to take, if you want to go to sales/business, preference will be studying on business side. If you want to work on technology, please go ahead with studies related to the technology.

Ankit recommends the following next steps:

Think about your goals
Draw a roadmap to achieve your goals

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Tosin’s Answer

"Is it harder for girls to work in technology than boys? "

This is nothing but a myth. Gender might have been an issue long time ago but those days are far behind us. I work in tech and have female colleagues who do are doing amazing things in the industry. I have had discussions with my lady colleagues about this issue and they have never felt disadvantaged as a result of their gender. I should add that the number of ladies working in tech is constantly increasing so you are not likely to be "the only girl in the room".

My advice to you is chase your dreams, find out what your passion is, choose a path and study what is relevant to your career goals. Your gender is not a barrier even in the slightest.

All the very best!

Tosin recommends the following next steps:

Find out what areas of tech interest you the most
Find out the basic requirements for getting into that field. Suggest you check job advertisements you might be interested in and check education requirements
Create short and long term goals and do your best to meet them

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Padmapriya’s Answer

There is nothing to do with the gender. I see many aspiring women in technologies. I have 12 years of experience in Analytics - Healthcare domain.
Jobs in technology will be high in demand and there are many career paths in technology-based degree. These include subjects like Software Engineering, Information Technology , Web Development, Computer Science, etc.

Passion is very important in whatever job we do. We should have a goal in life and work towards it, definitely you can attain success.

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Bobby’s Answer

Women in tech are getting stronger and stronger, breaking the false stereotypes of the past. I see young women joining technology teams here at AT&T and even my daughter will be a graduate and has landed a tech position. Companies welcome female technologists as they are equally capable as males and the team diversity is something we are all striving for as diversity improves results for the team. Good luck and welcome to tech!


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Gowthami’s Answer

there is nothing gender based job in technology as such. As long as you are passionate about what you are doing you should be good.


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Vijoy’s Answer

I do not think that women has to study some thing in specific to get into the tech filed that the regular courses, it only depends on the passion. There is nothing when men can do and women cannot, we are all the same.


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Prem Shankar’s Answer

Technology doesn’t differentiate among girls and boys. You can choose your carrier path based on your interest. There are many interesting things in technology, you just need to explore where you are interested.


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Robert’s Answer

First of all girls have the same opportunity for picking a school aimed at marketing or any field. There are no preferences. Example - The rate of pay (male/female) is more equal than other more traditional sectors such as banking/finance. There's also a lot more equal opportunity for female's in the Tech sector, and the skills can be used worldwide. Sum it all, IT is to our opinion a great place to be for a girl in nowadays world.


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Cynthia’s Answer

Perhaps it continues to be a little bit harder for women in the workplace. But, that said, women are succeeding and rising higher and higher in all careers, so pursue what you like and excel!! Be persistent, be resilient, be interested and creative, be engaged in the areas that you enjoy, and think out of the box. :-)


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Shannon’s Answer

The world is your oyster when it comes to the tech industry. Study what interests you, there are roles for someone with any background. I have friends in tech that studied with a wide variety of degrees: Business, Communication, Engineering, Finance, even Philosophy!


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Robert’s Answer

First since you'd like to pursue your future career & development in IT or tech we'd recommend to pick study field in IT technology such as e.g. programming, applied mathematics or online technology in general. You have number of options to sign up for online courses & trainings some of them are free while some of them are for monthly fee. This will get you started to continue later in any of the filed study / schools.


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Jimmi’s Answer

Hi! You can't go wrong with a coding class. There is a strong need for women in STEM as well as a lot of opportunities out there.

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Yolanda’s Answer

I would say any STEM type program: Math, Engineering, Science, etc.  My sister is an electrical engineer and worked in the field for about 5 years and now is a professor which she loves.


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Heena’s Answer

Technology is very vast, and is growing each day. its better to be aware and learn new technologies.



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Eugene’s Answer

My initial reaction is: "don't limit yourself". Find something that is really interesting to you and really pour yourself into!

Also, talk about options with your teachers...


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Arun’s Answer

Hi there, Caitlin !!

I would suggest that you follow your strongest interests in Tech Industry.

In my view & from my experience, the tech areas girls or women may want to avoid is any job description that may jeopardize their overall health & well-being (such as those involving extended over-night shifts , which some studies indicate are more detrimental to women's overall health and well-being, working in close proximity to nuclear plants etc.)

Tech industry is actually very vast. Like any other industry, accounting professionals, people managers, Project Managers are as much important & in demand in tech industry, just as coders & software architects are.

Then, there is hardware focused tech industry & the software and applications focused tech industry.

So, for example, if you have a passion for tinkering with electronic gadgets & fixing them, you could pursue courses in electronics engineering.

If you are good in math & programming, you could pursue courses in computer science.

If you are a creative artist , you could strengthen your artistic skills while pursuing a course in computer animation.


If you are passionate about people management or project management , you could pursue inter-disciplinary courses which offer a mix of tech courses & Management courses.

Wish you the best
A.C.



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khushboo’s Answer

It all depends on individual interest and not being a girl or boy as all are equal in this world.


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Kimberly’s Answer

I would say it is easier for girls than boys to work in technology (AKA STEM). Oddly, it has been a male dominated area but lots of focus on this over the last few years has really changed this for women. The reason I say this is because so many businesses now place high value on diversity in their workforce. This, coupled with the fact that it is harder to find qualified women for technology roles because not as many women prepare for a career in this area makes the pool of candidates much smaller especially as you move away from high tech corridors (cities) in the country. This is a big reason many companies are outsourcing talent overseas or even countries like Canada are offering quick citizenship for high tech people to move to their country. One of the largest growing areas where there is a solid future is in cyber security. Take enough classes in this area to get a major as that will play loudly on your resume. Also robotics if that is your thing. You will have significant job security and potential if you stack the cards in your deck here but really any of the STEM areas. Read up on cyber security and robotics and see how vast these areas are for opportunity and pick what compels you - the more you love what you do, the less it will seem like work. Good luck!

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Nicole’s Answer

Hello! I work as a Network Assurance Engineer (one element of tech world) and I love it! I think with so many options out there for tech studies its important to figure out what interests you most to determine what to study. For instance I work with network, but there is also cloud services, IT departments that are like troubleshooting help, several varying engineering studies and much much more.

I got this job with a little experience with port configuration and encryption loading. When I was accepted for this position I took it upon myself to take the CCNA certification to ensure I knew the most background I could in Network.

When I talk to my colleagues and my bosses, it seems to remain the same. Certifications have typically more weight then degrees sometimes because you are constantly having to renew them in most cases which keeps you more up to date with the latest in technology advancements. Like the CCNA is an every three year certification. And not to worry after you pass the first one and get a job where you start applying it every day it is much easier the second, third, fourth time around and so on.

The only thing I find challenging is keeping up. You must accept every day is a new learning experience and you may be asking your team for help for quite a few years or even throughout your career. And it is always ok to ask questions. They actually prefer if you don't know or are not entirely savvy that you do reach out, which was hard for me at first because I wanted to not come off as such a noob after a while but my boss thinks its great I ask!

In the world of IT boys and girls, with my employer at least, treats women and men very equally. I think the most challenging part is everyone wants to snag up all the work because we are all excited to be here and love our jobs. So when tasks come down the line (and you are new or feel you don't get as much work as others) ask the question if you can work with others on their projects so you can tag team. Gets your feet wet on new projects, gains foresight from your co workers that you are eager to do your share and eventually people start coming to you personally. There is more men then women in technology right now, and most women are real go getter, strong attitudes I have found but everyone is such a supportive team and eager to learn, work, help it's a fantastic career to get invested in.

Nicole recommends the following next steps:

Look into what specific technology field you would like to work in.
Once you found your specialty, look into certifications that can get you in job and any equipment or programs you should familiarize yourself with ahead of time.
If your tech field exists within your current employer (most companies have some sort of IT department) ask for a job shadow to see what a day in the shoes is like.
Take exams (certifications take 6 months to complete vs 4 years min for BA).
Apply for jobs!!!! :)

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Amy (Scheffer)’s Answer

Hey - My background is in accounting and I recently took a digital role at my current firm (PwC) as a Digital Accelerator. I did not have an education in technology but I absolutely love the new tech role! My advice would be to take coding classes in high school or college to develop basic tech skills that you can bring to any job you have in the future! Also, don't be intimidated by males in the tech field - women are just as smart and capable! Go for it! Amy


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Candace’s Answer

Tech is a very broad term.  Your first stop should be to drill down to what it is that you actually want to do.  Do you like to code?  Do you like to test code?  Do you like to design?  Are you a project manager?  I would suggest that you take some broad classes that interest you to help you figure out where you see yourself and where your passions lies.  As far as being a girl, don't think that way.  You are an equal that want to work in tech.  Just be the best you can be and push to be better than those around you.  When you achieve that, gender shouldn't matter.  If it does matter, then you are in the wrong place...look for a new one.  Good luck to you!


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Rachel’s Answer

Hey Caitlin!


You can always go the traditional route - study computer science and get an emphasis in anything you like - coding, machine learning, etc. I have been in tech for 6 years now and had a degree in Business Administration. That being said, I always had a knack/love for math and science, and I entered the tech world as a tech salesperson. From there, I worked my way up the ladder to be a pre-sales specialist in the Big Data and Hyperscale field, and now I am a Senior Technical Trainer for Dell EMC and help to run our onsite datacenter. So while I never went the IT admin route, I have had a lot of hands on experience in tech and I love my job. You have a lot of great tech companies located in Austin, I would advise you to set up as many tours and meet with as many people as you can.


As far as being a woman in tech, I've actually seen more advantages than disadvantages. We are few and far between (though that number is growing!) which means we can stand out in a pack a little bit more. And like Alicia says in her answer, as long as you are standing out as hard working, intelligent, and confident in yourself and your abilities, being a woman in tech is awesome and not a problem at all. I've had i think one customer in my 6 year career who has given me flack for my gender, and myself and the rest of my team was quick to set him straight. Best of luck!


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Carol’s Answer

It really depends on your interests and strong points. Do you like math, problem solving, logistics, statistics, designing solutions, computer programming? I would say to get a well rounded background in the STEM areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Businesses are seeking future employees that are well educated in the latest technology fields and processes. Females are needed and welcomed as they are still out-numbers by males in STEM fields. Businesses want diversity in thinking and approaches to problems, they need problem solvers of all types. They are after those that can think broadly and help to innovate new products, tools and processes to improve their business, save costs and grow revenues. Whatever you study, be sure to obtain all the knowledge you can thru your course selections and studies. Go after mentorships/apprenticeships/internships. Develop confidence in all forms of communication, that is your written word (in emails and reports), spoken word and how you deal with others, public speaking to large and small groups and learn how to deal with people in leadership positions and at all management levels


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Guru’s Answer

The question is very open. the word "Tech" looks at a very broad spectrum of things. I would say lets start by first figuring out your passion for a thing in tech. Say you love programming. A programmer can do a lot of things ranging from development, bug fixes, innovation, AI and more on. Again if you see, programmer, is another broad term. so lets drill down a bit more and see which one do you like among the available coding languages like JAVA, python, C ( yes C) etc. But its good to have Linux skills to back you up with in today's world!

P.S: it doesnt matter if you are a girl or a boy, it is the passion that matters the most!!!



Good luck


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Rachael’s Answer

Regardless of gender, I know as a female that went to a great undergraduate university that I benefitted greatly by studying Information Technology Project Management. I really enjoyed learning about different strategies for software development as well as outside the box thinking for typical issues we run into when trying to stick to a schedule (i.e. scope creep). Picking up coding languages by doing code academy or taking a course on Udemy are also simple yet effective to add, broadening your understanding of different languages can help you be prepared for anything thrown your way. Mastering at least one language and then having a basic understanding of others is great. I also continually learn by reading and reviewing business and information podcasts like the Morning Brew's most recent one. Feel free to reach out with any other questions as well.

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Tejaswini’s Answer

Hi,

Studying or working in tech in not as difficult for girls compared to boys as it was earlier. The government is providing enough and more opportunities to women in tech. To start with you should pick up a career choice that resonates your interest. In tech, there are many fields. 1st ask your self some basic questions.

  1. Do you want to work in software/hardware?
  2. Do you have any interest in programming/coding?
  3. Do you want to work in IT or networking industry?

Before you make any decision please be aware of all the opportunities available.

I would say that though there are few challenges being a girl, it won't limit you. All the very best for your future endeavour.


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Joel’s Answer

Hey Caitlin!


I think it's awesome that you want to pursue work in a technology role. You'll find that a lot of the IT world is male dominated but don't let that discourage you. You'll find that there are a ton of opportunities working in IT, these can range from trouble shooting, programming, web design, among many others. I would suggest that whatever you have a passion for, go after it. If that means you want to write code and develop software, then start programming in your free time and focus on math in school. If you find that you like to automate things, or try to come up with solutions to prevent problems before they occur you might want to start looking at ways you can get experience in a system administrator role.


Once you get immersed in the world of information technology, you'll see that there are always going to be opportunities for those who want to work hard and never stop learning. If you have any further questions, feel free to comment and I will do my best to help answer them. If I had to give you one piece of advice, it would be to never lose the desire to learn new things. Technology is constantly changing and the desire to learn new things will always give you a boost in whatever you do. I hope this helps!


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Adam’s Answer

Im an experienced male manager in tech and would suggest to you that it is a great time to be considering this industry as a woman. Many companies are looking to address previous imbalances in hiring where a more male-dominant default based on outdated "norms" tended to happen. In my opinion, if anything most employers are deliberately tending towards hiring women if skills and experience are equivalent..... if you are keen on tech - GO FOR IT !

Adam recommends the following next steps:

Work out what area/s of tech you think you are interested so you can focus your studies and mentoring activities
Consider what educational institutions universities, colleges or other are available to you as this will be a multi-year journey
See if there are any tech employers in your area and consider approaching their Human resources or IT groups to see if could discuss opportunities with their hiring people. They may be able to guide you on specific skills they will be looking for (which may later help you when studies are done or with first roles like internships or graduate roles)

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Tosin’s Answer

"Is it harder for girls to work in technology than boys? "

This is nothing but a myth. Gender might have been an issue long time ago but those days are far behind us. I work in tech and have female colleagues who do are doing amazing things in the industry. I have had discussions with my lady colleagues about this issue and they have never felt disadvantaged as a result of their gender. I should add that the number of ladies working in tech is constantly increasing so you are not likely to be "the only girl in the room".

My advise to you is chase your dreams, find out what your passion is, choose a path and study what is relevant to your career goals. Your gender is not a barrier even in the slightest.

All the very best!

Tosin recommends the following next steps:

Find out what areas of tech interest you the most.
Find out the basic requirements for getting into that field. Suggest you check job advertisements you might be interested in and check education requirements.
Create short and long term goals and do your best to meet them.

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Ananya’s Answer

Hi, as many people must have told you that being a girl or a guy should not be a factor in deciding a career path. Work in tech , if you really want to work in tech. Does it excite you? Are you willing to spend a significant amount of your life working on it? However to answer your question directly, computer engineering is traditionally preferred by women worldwide. By joining this field, you will have a strong network of women who have done major contributions in this field and hence find seniors with relevant experience. Hope this helps. Cheers!


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Priya’s Answer

What a great question! I would acquire the STEM degrees/internships and related skills as our male counterparts. Additionally it takes a lot of determination and passion to get into the industry and stay in the same. There are often times when girls feel intimidated to speak up especially that women are still considered minority. That is changing and we are seeing strong women presence in the industry as companies put in a lot of effort in diversity hiring. Follow your passion!


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Meenu’s Answer

Hi Caitlin,

Tech is a great career option for anyone who loves to think logically and analytically. Also in my experience as an IT professional for over 20 years, I find that girls bring their distinct perspectives and solutions to any task or problem being addressed. Just be yourself..... Be focused on what you want to achieve. Be clear about what interests you within the wide field of Technology. Would you like to work on the hardware side or software ?
Do you like developing algorithms and programs ? Those are some of the questions you can ask yourself. One thing I would like to highlight is that in the tech industry, as technology keeps changing and updating rapidly, you need to keep yourself up-to-date on the latest tech trends, learn new tech skills as and when technology changes. That will help you broaden your skill set and provide more job opportunities when you are looking for a job, or even if you plan to start your on business. All the best.

Meenu recommends the following next steps:

Consider 2-3 tech areas that you are interested in. (for example, networking, end user applications, mobile apps, A.I. machine learning, security etc)

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Parisa’s Answer

If you like to be a techie, you should study science or engineering as the first step (IMO). There are also people with non-tech background in the tech such as HR or sales but they don't do engineering work. I am a female engineer and have been always fascinated by figuring things out and design and build new gadgets, and so do tech work. I got a job in the tech world when I was about to graduate by attending job fairs in school. I don't think it was harder for me to get a job because of my gender. To be frank, I was never focused on my gender and never saw myself any different, rather focused on my learning and qualifications. I studied physics and mechanical engineering. I hope it helps.


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Tracy’s Answer

Hi Caitlin!

Tech companies are just like any other company so I'd say study the thing that you're interested in - most companies have engineering, sales, marketing, product management, accounting, finance, recruiting, human resources, and many others. I lead a global HR team - my team works with business leaders to help them reach their goals. We also work on programs to ensure employees at our company are happy.

Find a company that values all of it's employees and find a community of support. At my company (and many others) there are women's groups that you can be a part of. It's super helpful to have your smaller "crew" in what can be a very large company.

Don't let anything stand in your way. Working at a tech company is an amazing experience.


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Matt’s Answer

The best thing I can advise you to do is learn as much as you can about cybersecurity. Create value and a reason for people to want to hire you and everything else will fall into place. You have the opportunity to create your own path and there is no bias that can effect that.

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Aakshatha’s Answer

I love your question! In my perspective (having worked at Dell for over 12 years) I think most of this gap is perception based and not really in reality. However there are a few things you should think about - I used to be in tech. support and then corporate sales which was mostly males, you need to understand how to communicate assertively and hone in on your command skills. If you can communicate your ideas clearly and back it up with great knowledge and performance, being a girl should be no issue at all. Good luck!


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Rachael’s Answer

Regardless of gender, I know as a female that went to a great undergraduate university that I benefitted greatly by studying Information Technology Project Management. I really enjoyed learning about different strategies for software development as well as outside the box thinking for typical issues we run into when trying to stick to a schedule (i.e. scope creep). Picking up coding languages by doing code academy or taking a course on Udemy are also simple yet effective to add, broadening your understanding of different languages can help you be prepared for anything thrown your way. Mastering at least one language and then having a basic understanding of others is great. I also continually learn by reading and reviewing business and information podcasts like the Morning Brew's most recent one. Feel free to reach out with any other questions as well.

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