Computer and Information Technology Occupations and why it should be higher on the career option totem pole for mothers
Information Technology is a growing field according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics it's not only the fastest growing job but it's the fastest paying one too. The average an IT with some experience is banking is about 80k a year in comparison to everyone else's 30k a year. How's that for a passive income right after college? As if the check isn't enough to draw you in this field also has flexible work hours and you don't need 100 years of schooling. Unlike other degrees (business, psychology, history, etc.... don't worry my degree didn't get me in this ball park either... health sciences... ***rolls eyes) a bachelor's degree in IT is enough to get you in the door and to that check. & do you know what this field is lacking? Women. & honey we are missing out! Don't believe me? Check out the interview below with Kiara, a senior IT analyst, fashionista, and self-proclaimed IT nerd.
- What inspired you to get into the tech field and what is it exactly that you do? Working in IT kind of just happened. I will say, I never knew what Computer Science was, maybe the name threw me off. However 4 years ago I worked as a consultant and fell into the lap of Kellogg’s and built a rapport with other experience colleagues who helped me modify my resume like an IT Business Analyst I was. At the time I did not know I was an IT Business Analyst, but working in big projects, dealing with different stakeholders, I was consistently complimented as a great BA. So I ran with it landed another life changing/eye opening opportunity at my current workplace.
- What advice would you give to mothers who are thinking of entering the field? I would suggest going to school for Computer Science, you need some knowledge base of IT. I will be finishing up my Master’s degree at DePaul CDM School (Computer Digital Media) and it has helped me put the pieces together so much. I would also advise any one interested in technology to take on the challenge. It will get easier, you just have to be consistent and networking is essential. Sign up for Tech events in your city, you’ll be surprised on how many great friends you meet within IT.
- What are some of the different career fields or opportunities available? There are plenty of opportunities within IT. Whether its Data Analytics or Project Management. Its time people start looking into the job description rather than the role, because a lot of companies have taken out Director roles> They are now replacing them with Team Lead, or an Analyst could be managing a project. So I would say for whatever IT opportunities out, don’t just look at the title and keep scrolling, read into the responsibilities.
- Is this a male dominated field? Why or why not? Does this impact your work life? IT has always been a male dominated field. To be honest it still is a white male dominated field. That is because they are aware of the field more, if I was aware that my mom was a Computer Science nerd, I would have started much earlier. Fortunately, my background has helped me become a knowledgeable resource to my colleagues and they come to me for help. I can’t tie a time where I had an issue within the IT field to where it impacts my work life. If anything I love a challenge and to prove my doubters wrong.
- Do you feel this is a field that has a good work life balance? I LOVE MY SCHEDULE. I come when I want, I leave when I want. As long as I deliver, I have a job. My benefits and salary, got me with no complaints. On top of that I was promoted mid year and got a huge bonus. I love my job, I do off the clock work, but it’s all worth it. My benefits are unreal.
- What are some quick tech tips that every women should know? Data is your friend! If you don’t know how to V-look up, you should start there, and google is the answer. If you don’t know, look it up, there are a lot of resources for women in IT, find one local to you.
- You recently received a promotion as a Sr. IT analyst, do you feel that the expectations are higher? The pressure is some what on. I feel the more responsibility the better my performance should be, and I like that feeling. I have always had an “I can do it” attitude which attributed to balancing a promotion while I finish up my Masters in Business Information Technology at the I am at the CDM school of DePaul. I feel confident where I am and can’t wait to see where my work gets me next.
- What advice would you give mothers who are trying to climb the corporate ladder? I would tell any young lady looking to push into the IT field to research into IT certification classes, or YouTube about IT and the different departments. IT is not just computers, its number crunching, creating power points/presenting, managing projects. You don’t have to be a wiz kid to be in IT, if you catch on quick and are driven, anyone can do it.
- Any resources available, online classes, etc. for women who want to become tech savvy or look into the field? I have heard of a lot of certifications, but most companies want at least a Bachelors. I would suggest if anyone is interested in IT, follow up with my friend who is a tech unicorn,Jamila Parham, she is my IT sister goal friend (CLICK HERE). She and many other women travel around the world to talk to girls interested in IT and advise them on the steps to take to get there.
- What are your goals and how does being a tech analyst attribute to that success? My major life goal is to make my grandma proud. I will never be able to pay her back, but I will make sure she leaves this earth knowing I will be great and I’m paving my way into greatness.Then comes my book, I have always had aspirations to be a reporter, life didn’t turn out that way but my book is in the making, and I can’t wait. As a Sr. IT Analyst I am able to work towards my goals because it provides me with a stable income, a flexible office life, and insurmountable opportunity to grow. I finally feel like I belong somewhere, and I look forward to what is next.