Women in Information Technology
Women in Tech With more of the world becoming accessible without needing to leave the house or office, Information and Communication Technology (ICT or just IT) is an industry set to grow ever larger over the next decade and beyond.
ICT is an essential part of the modern world, which means that women with ICT skills are essential too!
The term ICT covers a wide range of work - you may find yourself designing the latest mobile phone and apps to make everyday life easier, building a network to link up offices on opposite sides of the world or monitoring a nuclear power station.
Opportunities for women in IT
ICT offers fantastic opportunities, and those able to offer ICT skills could find themselves with a choice of well-paid jobs, as the industry offers salaries well above the UK average and also has skills shortages above average too. There are fantastic opportunities for women in particular, as at the moment women account for only 16% of those working in ICT in the UK, and within education, only 6% of Computing A Levels and 13% of Computer Science/IT Higher Education courses are taken by women.
How can you get into a career in IT?
Where should you start if you want to get into a career in Information Technology? Skills and qualifications in ICT are important, and there are different ways to get there.
ICT Apprenticeships are available to people aged 16 and above, and can lead to a large number of job roles including web designer, software developer and business analyst. Apprenticeships can be a good option if you have a definite career in mind, you like working with computers and you find you work better in a hands-on environment.
Employers use Apprenticeships to ensure that young people get the skills and knowledge that are right for the job, and many offer full-time positions to apprentices after they complete their training. The National Apprenticeship Service is an excellent starting point to get more information about ICT Apprenticeships and to find vacancies in your area.
Higher Apprenticeships in ICT are also available, leading to a qualification at Level 4 or above, and can provide apprentices with a high level of skill to enter job roles that were traditionally filled by graduates.
Full-time study is another way to start a career in this industry. Degrees in maths, sciences, engineering and ICT are all relevant qualifications for Information Technology careers, and Further Education courses such as BTECs in ICT or A Levels are a good starting point. You can search the options available using UCAS and UCAS Progress.
The National Careers Service offers impartial advice that is tailored to you, so if you’re considering a career in ICT but would like to talk through the various options, you can contact an adviser by phone or webchat. There’s never been a better time to get into a career in technology, so if you need some help with your next steps, you can visit www.nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk or call 0800 100 900 every day from 8am – 10pm.