It’s Not Too Late To Start A Tech Career and Make Bank
Here’s some good news for any liberal arts majors who have no idea what to do with their lives: a tech career is more within reach than you might think.
With a number of online resources for learning coding, it’s super easy to obtain the tech skills you’d need to be successful, even with a degree in something else. Meghan McClain, a contract writer for Microsoft, found that her philosophy degree made her uniquely qualified to work in tech.
“Philosophy is actually a really natural precursor to working in tech,” she told Galore. “At the end of the day, what you have is someone who can ‘speak tech’ but also make tech digestible to people without any tech savvy.”
Which is great news because we need more women in tech. Tech has some of the highest paying jobs and yet, women are consistently left out of it. Software architects and data scientists, for example, both make over $100,000. And while 37% of computer science graduates were women in 1984, that number has dropped to 18% since then. Internationally, 83% of Google’s tech employees are male.
The National Center for Women & Information technology did a review of studies in 2015 and found that tech teams with both male and female members were more creative and productive than teams with only men. Women make different assumptions within tech and carry different perspectives, so making the tech world more female-friendly is necessary.
“Women should be coding, writing, researching, marketing, designing, etc., but they should also be gaining visibility as investors and board members,” McClain said. “It’s good for tech to have a diversity of voices, experiences, and skill sets. That means you’ll end up with a better product.”
So why the lack of girl power? One issue is that unconscious gender biases from teachers contribute to what careers young women and girls are led to pursue. White teachers are also less likely to believe their Black students will ultimately obtain a degree, according to the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, meaning girls of color are underestimated even more. Girls Who Code found that even though 74% of girls express an interest in Computer Science in middle school, only 0.4% actually end up majoring in it.
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Tech culture, like literally every other culture, centers around men, so women who are qualified are leaving to escape sexism and misogyny.
“There are ways in which being a woman of color in tech is singularly challenging,” McClain told us, “You find yourself navigating a whole new host of assumptions, stereotypes, and social conventions… That’s the kind of thing that comes up for a person of color working in tech that doesn’t ever occur to the average white male tech worker. It can get a little exhausting, and it can feel a little lonely.”
On top of that, there are barely any women leading tech. Only 5% of women own tech startups and they are super absent from any leadership roles.
We need to push for more women in leadership positions because we need women to fight for a tech culture that is more welcoming to all genders. Women deserve to see themselves in high paying jobs. They deserve to lend their unique perspectives to the tech industry. I look forward to one day seeing women as equally represented in tech as men, but for now we have some work to do.