Is IT still the “it” career path?
By: TJ Butler
It’s only natural for people to pursue a career in the IT industry today. This is a plan I happen to share with millions of people and there’s a large chance you’re in the same position. Curious about what the future holds in regards to a competitive work force, I stumbled upon an article by Burcin Tamer. This article was more of a statistical breakdown than an afternoon read. It did, however, deliver a great amount of helpful information. It was a breakdown of who stayed in the IT field, who didn’t, and possibly why. The writer even broke it down between men and women. It even showed what degree paths people switched to. You can source this article here : http://cra.org/crn/2016/11/leaving-computing-new-majors-tend-differ-gender/.
The author makes it clear that men and women do go different paths after changing their fields of study. In fact, most women drifted to social sciences while the men mostly went to engineering. This left me worried and curious until I discovered only 4% changed their major. 4% isn’t very high but I still wondered if they were jumping ship for good reason. The study was conducted with 4,061 students, 96% of students in this study remained in the IT field. I believe that the 4% that chose to go a different path did so due to lack of interest, career shifts, and maybe even money. Of the 4% who changed their majors, Men favored engineering, math / statistics and business. Women tended to lean towards social sciences, math/statistics, humanities / arts, and physical sciences. Majors varied and were even more diverse when broken down by gender. This may have been due to the natural roles that men and women play in society. With traditional gender roles fading away, I’m curious as to how it will affect the workforce in the future.
To conclude, I still believe that the IT field is still the “it” to be involved in. With the constant growth of technology, you’re always going to need the men and women who fix it when it breaks. Even though people are leaving the IT field for various reasons, it doesn’t mean it’s dying. IT is like anything else; it might take you to get your feet wet before you realize you’re not interested. I’m happy to say I feel secure in my choice to pursue a career in the technology field, and I’m hoping for a heavier female presence as gender roles begin to fade away. Gender roles are effecting not just the IT field but all fields. The days of the cigar smoking, whiskey drinking male banker in a pinstripe suit are over. As women make their climb into these top positions once ruled by men, I strongly believe that we will see positive change. In the next few generations it might not be so strange to see a stay at home dad getting his computer serviced by a female tech savvy IT genius.