Technology is one of the fastest growing industries, desperate for bright and enthusiastic graduates. However, it’s not always the first choice career for female undergraduates. We’ve pulled together three top tips on breaking in to the sector and why it might just be the sector for you.
1. Get to know the sector
Technology is a broad sector with a plethora of different career paths. From coding and programming or technology advisory services through to systems infrastructure design - the career paths available to someone interested in technology are varied. It's worth researching what a career in technology will involve in order to understand the different options available to you.
As well as nailing down which particular aspect of Technology interests you (design, development, implementation, software) it is worth thinking through the culture and values you look for in an employer. In an industry dominated by men, where only a quarter of women fill computer science jobs, it can be particularly important to understand the opportunities for female development when researching a future employer. Have a look to see whether they cite female role models and spend some time looking online to find out about initiatives specifically for females.
2. Be passionate and have confidence
If you are thinking about following a career in Technology it is important to show you are passionate about the industry. This should come across in your communication (both written and verbal) at all times during an application process and particularly when going for an interview. Read up on recent industry trends and news stories and formulate a point of view on the implications and broader impact of the topics. If you're stuck for inspiration, ask yourself what risks and challenges exist within the industry. Be ready to talk confidently about what interests and excites you in the sector.
Remember, research indicates that females are typically less confident than males, in particular in relation to career choices. It is therefore particularly important to make sure you are assertive about your skills and ability to do well and succeed in the industry. The technology sector is crying out for dynamic females so if you are passionate about enabling change through technology, don't hang around!
3. Gain experience
Work experience is a great way to show a potential employer that you are motivated and interested in the industry. First-hand experience is also a great way to get a unique insight into the type of work and role that you enjoy. It can be useful to draw upon examples from your work experience during interviews, so don't shy away from relevant experience, even if it's not directly related to what you think you want to do.
As well as getting experience, building your network in the tech industry is a great way to get ahead. Identify individuals in your network who might be able to put you in touch with someone in the technology industry. Attending industry events is another great way to meet individuals who may have hints and tips for you. A number of firms offer exclusive events, designed to help females break in to Technology, so keep your ear to the ground and don't miss these superb opportunities. Finally, when undertaking work experience, talk to other women who have carved out a career in Technology. Don't be afraid to ask key questions and discuss concerns with them. Solicit their advice, because they were once in your shoes too.