Tech is a highly male dominated industry and because of this, women tend to feel like they can’t or shouldn’t get involved in this career path. This is of course not true. Who wrote the code that put a man on the moon? Computer scientist and systems engineer Margaret Hamilton. So if she was doing that in the 60’s why can’t the women of this generation be doing bigger and better things in 2017?
Let’s face it, tech needs a woman’s touch, and here’s how we are going to get in there.
There are many avenues when looking into a career in tech, however, before we get into specific technical skills, there are a few personal characteristics that will fare you well in this industry. The perfect tech employee is:
- highly analytical
- a keen problem solver
- able to identify issues and how to tackle them
- has great attention to detail
- solutions driven
Although not the “stereotypical” tech employee image, some additional traits that are highly important are, the ability to work well in a team and good communication skills, because regardless of which avenue you take, you will likely be a part of a team.
Let’s take a look at the different career options within tech. As a recruitment company specialising in this field, we have the inside scoop. There are four main routes you can take:
- IT support,
- Business analysis,
- Data analysis and
- Developer (Software/Web).
Each job requires slightly different skills.
IT support requires you to have knowledge of servers, experience in networking or server administration, understanding of DNS and telephony systems/VoIP.
Business Analysis – you need a degree in business systems or computer science or some combination of the two, business requirements analysis, process analysis, project management using Scrum/Agile methodologies. As a business analyst, you need to be able understand what the client wants and translate that into a language the developers understand. Communication skills are very important and often key to successful projects.
Data Analysis – strong mathematics and statistics and a relevant qualification, Python (beneficial), R, SQL, SAP, experience in web analytics such as google analytics or omniture, database administration. You need to be able to translate data into useful insights that will ultimately drive business efficiency.
Developer (Software/Web) – A computer science degree is not a requirement but it definitely comes in useful, having a strong mathematical ability is important. You would need to excel in advanced problem solving, have an analytical mindset and logical thinking.
So you might be asking yourself what are the highest in demand tech jobs in South Africa currently?
Developers skilled in one or more of: C#(.NET), PHP, Python and Ruby generally get paid the highest but that’s not to say you cant make money in the other tech related fields!
So now that you have decided which tech field to pursue, it is very important to keep in mind that your work needs to speak to you when you are not in the room. If you are a #JobSeeker then you’ve probably spent lots f hours googling ‘what should your CV look like?’
This is what the team from Recruit digital had to say:
- Set yourself apart from every other CV and add a personal touch.
- Write a short Bio to demonstrate a good attitude – that you are willing to learn, ask questions and grow as a developer.
- Breakdown your understanding of each language/ technology you have worked with and give examples (skills matrix).
- Add a link to your Github or Stackoverflow account and have links to websites you’ve built. This helps hiring managers evaluate your coding level.
- For more general, non-industry specific CV tips please look at our blog article here.
Now that you have a killer CV and have been contacted by the company, you probably asking yourself ‘What to expect in an interview?’
Expect to be questioned on your technical understanding, this can happen in many ways from a technical chat to logic assessments to white board tests – each company has their own process. A good way to practice for a technical interview is HackerRank.
A final piece of advice – Tech is not just for men, none of the skills mentioned above require for a specific gender. There is a huge demand and short supply of these skills in South Africa and limiting a pool of candidates to just males is not beneficial for anyone. Women can and should get involved in this industry and the first step in doing so is believing in yourself.
“Women through technology can revolutionise the world” – GirlCode