Why should tech women care about upgrading their skills?
Motherhood is an exciting phase in every woman’s life. The news of a bundle of joy on the horizon can make everyone want to do a joyful happy dance, from your boss to your aunties. But most importantly, as a tech woman, motherhood presents you a rare opportunity to reboot your mindset, refocus and hone up your tech skills.
So, when you have 52 weeks or one year of maternity leave, this is enough time to rest from your busy schedule and while at it, upgrade your tech skills. But why should you care about improving your tech skills and getting certified?
A tech career is demanding and requires constant improvement on your part to help the organisation experience growth too. And now that you have added responsibilities, you may be looking for higher salary prospects through promotion or a new job. Use the time of break wisely to acquire online certification by taking online courses, researching and joining discussions and networking clubs in your line of work.
Learning new skills before resuming work helps to keep up with the ever-changing technology trends and best practices in your field. Earning a certification will get you up to speed and demonstrate to your employer that you’re proactive about staying updated with the industry changes.
Here are ways in which pursuing tech skills with certifications will help re-start your career:
1. Demand for ICT skills is at its peak
Well, there’s a growing demand for tech skills in the UK. According to George Brasher, the Managing Director of HP in the UK, despite the digitisation of the British economy, there’s a shortfall of 40,000 people with the necessary skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Besides, the gap between what the employers need and what graduates and school leavers possess has widened for the past ten years and counting. Consequently, employers report that it’s hard to find people to fill out 43 percent of vacancies that require STEM skills.
Thanks to the digital skills gap, the UK loses a whopping £63 billion per annum as the potential for extra GDP. This is a grand opportunity for women to acquire or upgrade their technology skills and grab most of the 43 percent of vacancies.
2. Major tech companies are ready to bring skilled women on board
The UK’s female representation in the ICT sector is currently at 17 percent. This development does not only signal a high demand for skilled tech women, but it also shows the readiness of most tech companies to absorb qualified women.
The business world is beginning to act on this fact. Some of the biggest companies in the technology space have pledged to improve the future of technology-oriented women. They include Google, Facebook, Apple, Intel, and HP. HP, for example, through its UK MD, pledged to hire 50 percent of female interns minimum per year.
3. IT is a continually changing industry
The information technology world keeps evolving every second. What worked last year may be outdated today. New technologies and software continue to be developed and updated, thus necessitating the need to upgrade your know-how in these areas as well. To remain competitive in such a sector, it’s crucial that you keep your training current so you can impress your employers.
4. Beneficial both to the country and individual tech women
The UK economy would attract £2.6 billion per year if more tech women filled out the existing IT skills shortage. Hiring more women in this sector is likely to benefit those women in various ways including boosted morale, improved communication skills, and acquisition of innovative ideas.
5. High salary prospects
According to a 2017 survey by Dice, an online career platform for the tech community, tech professionals in the UK continue to earn above-average salaries for the job they do. Dice surveyed 1,100 tech professionals as well as 170 tech companies. The report showed that 50 percent of tech professionals earn more than £40,000 a year, which is a 1 percent rise compared to 2015. It’s also a favourable comparison to the average salary in the UK of £28,200.
6. The closing gender pay gap
Since 1970, it’s been illegal to offer different pay to women and men doing the same work. However, some organisations still have a marked discrepancy in gender’s pay, majorly because women usually are in lower-paid positions.
In a bid to ensure the gender pay gap remains a thing of the past, the UK government requires all companies with over 250 workers to publish data that compares the average pay of women, and men across the company, including the average amount of bonuses that each received.
This move is making most companies to increase their pay for women, and this includes tech companies. Already, some tech companies have been reported to pay women workers more than men. These include PlusNet (median pay gap is 3.8 percent), BT (2.3 percent) and HP Inc UK (12.7 percent).
Since, as earlier mentioned, most tech companies have expressed willingness to employ women, getting certified in various IT skills will give you a leg up when applying for vacancies in a tech company of your choice. And as you can see, everyone, including the government, want to see you earning something close to what men earn, if you’re working in the same job position that is.
What are Some of the In-Demand Tech Skills in 2019?
Now that we know how certification is essential, what then are some of the skills that are on demand in the tech industry? Here you go:
- Machine learning
- Mobile development
- Data Visualisation
- Digital Marketing
- Data engineering
- Cloud computing
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Data science and analytics
- Extended reality (virtual reality and augmented reality)
- Quantum computing
- Web design
- UX design
- Game development
- IT sales
- Technical support
- Content management
The tech industry has a bright future for women. Established tech companies are looking forward to working with you and even investing in your personal development. So, if you’ve got a mindset of acquiring any of these skills, you’re already leaps and bounds ahead of many women who think technology is meant for men. So, take a step to train and get certified. Remember, the tech industry allows you to be self-employed or work for a reputed IT company. The choice is yours.