'Does anyone really feel that IT has a promising future as a career field? Be honest!'
I think you can have a promising career... but people will have to make their own opportunities. I know a lot of people that sit back and wait for good things to happen to them in their careers... and surprise, surprise they don't! Others that put themselves out there, take the risks, learn as much as they can, get involved with the community and make opportunities for themselves can develop very rewarding careersl... (be they male or female!)
My daughter, a chemist, is so good with the software she uses at work that I keep telling her she is going to get recruited by their IT dept. I hope that I would encourage my kids into any field that they were interested in. I have to confess that I discouraged my daughter from going into pharmacy, though. But, I really don't think she would have been happy in it. It's not a good career for creative people.
Nice job Lynda! I hope Steve can recruit you into writing some articles!
Absolutely not! I do not encourage any young person to seek a career in IT.
With nearly 2 decades of active business use of modern computing technology, do you realize how hard it still is to convince Chief Executives to see IT as profit centers?
If a young person wants to "start" their career with a brief stint in IT, that is perfectly alright. But to pursue IT as a career — that makes no sense when you take the events of the last 10 years and extrapolate the current trend into the future.
I would have to agree with Steve. I would encourage my daughter to pursue whatever career she wanted. My parents encouraged my sister and me to pursue careers in the sciences and we are both very successful.
I didn't pursue a career in IT. It sort of feel into my lap. Most of what I have learned has been on the job training. And each company wants something a little different. I have moved out of the production environment as well and into development. I think that outsourcing is a big part of why women are disappearing from IT. There are fewer jobs and still just as many qualified applicants. I often wonder what I would do if I weren't working in IT.
I always laugh at the faces people make when I tell them I work in IT. They still have the image of men from the sixties in white shirts and black ties with really big glasses. The perception is that I spend all day hiding in my cube. Far from the truth. But I have to say, with IM, I can go all day and not see someone sitting 2 cubes away. I think we have lost the face to face contact which I think helps spark new ideas.
I think a better question to ask would be what are we doing to encourage our daughters to pursue careers in science in general. What are we doing to expose them to the wonders of science and all of the careers that are involved. Computers have become such a part of our lives that I don't think it has quite the allure that it used to.
I'm a guy, my daughter is in college and yes, I've encouraged her to pursue a career in IT. That's entirely her decision, but I wouldn't think of discouraging her or any other woman from this field. I've been in IT for 34 years, always with big companies, and have found it rewarding & challenging. I've had women as co-workers, managers, CIOs, and supervised a few. I considered them all as individuals & never thought about stereotypes in my working relationships with them as opposed the the guys. Oh, except that I did marry one of them. At my current job, there are probably 15-20% women in the IT department.
One thing challenging about this business is that technology is frequently changing, but that also keeps it interesting. Count me as clueless why women would not want in...
Speaking of clueless, I don't get the dishwasher thingy.
Excellent article, Lynda.
In my career I have had some jobs that I loved, some that I absolutely despised, and some that were so-so. I find that whether or not it was a good job depends not so much on the nature of the work, but on the people that I work with, be they peers or superiors or customers.
So, to me, whether or not my daughter would be happy in IT is not a function of the work, but rather the people she would work with. And I would think this applies to any profession.
Lynda, Good Article.
Now, judging from my experience, I will advise ladies to work for IT. Similar to Kathi Kellenberger's dauther I was a chemist working with software (processing results, creating programs for thermodynamic calculations and participating in the creation of the first database of analysis techniques). Before I selected chemistry as my major, I wanted to be a geologist but my parents told me that if I ever plan to have children, I would rather prefer chemistry with less travel and if I want to work in geology they will gladly hire a chemist too. When I moved to America with 2 children and started looking for a job, I had a choice between chemistry and computers. When working in the lab as a scientist, it is difficult to work part time, close to home or to have your hours and I had to start with part time then. If you start the experiment, you have to finish it. So I opted for IT.
It is not the matter, ladies or genlemen, whoever needs more flexible time, the IT carier may fit into the schedule. I do hear the replies that we have to work overtime and odd hours, but at least you can find a job with flexible hours
I don't think IT would be happy with my daughters!
One just graduated from college in December and the other is about half way through. Neither took any computer classes but being able to use one is a must.
Neither have any desire to work in IT. Maybe because Dad does. One does show some aptitude towards it but IT does not recruit well, hence that may be part of the problem of why the imbalance, failure to recruit. Even my Son, who is a 4.0 plus senior in High School and has discovered that he has and enjoys his advanced math skills does not see IT as career for him.
It also hard for women to work in a job that requires odd hours and such when, just as their carriers are staring to stabilize and become fun, the baby/family needs start up. I consider that far more important (raising a family) than any career including IT. If you don't want a family, then it's not an issue. But if you do, then it becomes a big problem and both jobs suffer. This may be leading to drop out. I wonder if there is any data on the age groups of women in IT and if it shows the prime birth years as being the lowest amount employed.
I think that working from home becomes a great option for many women who must or wants to have a balanced family and career life.
Ask Mr. Mom Steve...
I'm not an expert in the area of psychology but I do like to read. Here's something I learned:
There was a study done using the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator. It revealed that 2/3 of women excelled in the sterotypical "feminine" qualities like listening, nurturing, compassion, and that 1/3 of men excelled in these same qualities. Similarly, 2/3 of men excelled in the sterotypical "male" qualities like strength, decisiveness, and being analytical, and 1/3 of women excelled in the same.
Nothing like overhearing a group of women (or men) in a bar having after drinks after work, saying "Men (or women) are like _____".
Therefore, what is it to be a man? To be a woman? We could write volumes on these questions!
Seems to me that the question of deciding to encourage one's daughter to work in IT depends on, what are her aptitudes?