For decades, the female presence within the Computing/ IT industry has been very limited. This has been changing in recent years, however, as the tech industry has expanded and more women are realizing that working in computer science and programming can be very interesting and rewarding. In fact, a vast majority of the women holding positions in the IT field have bachelor’s degrees in completely unrelated disciplines. Basic on-the-job training and an aptitude for the technology and customer service skills is all that is really needed to be successful.
Full-time IT or contractor?
Taking a full-time position with a company’s IT department is ideal for the individual who wants a regular work schedule. The addition of employment benefits, such as medical and dental insurance, paid sick and annual leave, and the opportunity to advance within a company are other great attractions.
For others, the independence of being an IT contractor is irresistible. Contracting work can be irregular; some contract jobs may be very short-term, leaving gaps in between when a new position will have to be found. In other cases, a contract job can last for weeks, even months. Contractors have to be capable of adapting quickly to new environments and people, and have the ability to quickly get up-to-speed on projects and evaluate the needs of the company. They also need some skill at handling their own business, especially if working completely independently.
While some contractors rely on themselves to secure jobs, many utilize the services of a placement or employment agency, allowing them to match them to positions that suit their skills and interests closely. Taking assignments from an agency or working under an umbrella company can help eliminate some of these personal business administration duties, providing contractor pay solutions as well as management of tax and regulatory issues.
Succeeding in the IT field
All of the varied roles within the IT field are open for contractor work, from the building and maintenance of core applications such as Cloud ERP and employee management, to document management, intranet portals and other business intelligence applications. IT contractors will also find jobs maintaining a company’s computer infrastructure, from the software and hardware used throughout the business to email programs and other desktop software and applications.
Business is not the only industry currently demanding more workers skilled in computing and IT. As more areas of the economy make use of advanced computer programs and systems, the need for specialized technicians to maintain and repair these programs and systems increases. The healthcare system, education system, construction industry and government entities on all levels are constantly in need of IT contractors with a wide-range of skills.
Succeeding as an IT contractor means having a set of skills that is up-to-date and thorough. Though many employers will require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, practical knowledge of computer operating systems, software configuration and management, as well as computer “languages” such as Java and C++ are also vital.
Today, more and more women are entering the IT field, especially as contractors, enjoying the freedom that being one’s own boss entails while pursuing a rewarding and increasingly secure career in a far-reaching industry.