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September 30, 2016

Women Who Code: The Weather is Great, Come Join Us!

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What is this woman’s role?

Women in Tech

Did you say something other than a software developer?  Why? Does she look too young and happy?  Is the stereotypical techno-geek that we picture in our minds when we think “software developer” preventing you from choosing a career in technology?   If so, let’s talk about why you SHOULD consider tech and forget the stereotypes.

According to a recently published NCWIT study, women make up only 25% of computing occupations are held by women.  With software development specifically, only 21% of roles are held by women.  Is the stereotype to blame for the stagnant female enrollment in CS?  Or is it that we just haven’t communicated the benefits and opportunities a career in tech offers women?  Let’s see if we can help fix that.

Opportunities a Technical Career Offers

Caty Hill’s article “Half of the high-paying jobs in America now require this skill” confirms what we’ve known was coming for years — the need for technology skills is everywhere, in every industry and every job. Whether you are a full-time coder or not, the value of coding skills is well known to employers. Your ability to communicate with developers and the analytical skills that come with coding skills increases your value in any industry. My niece is rocking her CS studies at MTSU. We’ve had chats about how she’ll never been unemployed with a CS degree and her coding skills.

Hey, this is technology!  It can be done anywhere and anytime! Employers recognize the value of your time and want to help you maximize it – via flexible work schedules and locations.

One of the best paying jobs right out of college! Hey, that’ll help pay off those student loans! What’s more, whether you’re a coder or not, your technology skills and knowledge will help KEEP you employed.

What about doing something meaningful?
Millennials entering the workforce and up-and-coming generations in particular want to do something meaningful with their careers.  (To be fair, we all do). What you need to realize is you CAN do good and create meaningful impact in any occupation with your technical skills. You can work for an organization that suits your passion for making a difference – but with technology and analytical skills you’ll be able to make a difference and see something you built!  Examples?

Excella’s Extension Center Team Members (undergrads at Virginia Tech) recently started work on a new case management system for a Virgnia non-profit.  Now that’s impactful!

Nueducation serves higher education institutions, private corporations and government with management consulting and technical services including system architectures and deployments. We’re providing services to the first cloud deployment in a government agency! How many ways can you make a difference!

So, what do you do now?

Check out Computer Science or other tech fields!

Still in college? Try a Computer Science class – introductory level coding perhaps? Really! Just try it!

Getting ready to choose a major? Talk to your advisor about how coding and other technology skills can support your passions – no matter what type of industry or organization you want to work within.

Need less formal way to get an introduction to coding? Check out a previous blog post on Resources for Women in Tech.

Jump on the technology train and make an impact ladies!


Margaret Archer – Extension Center Director, Excella Consulting

Judy Ayala – CEO & Founder, Nueducation

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