A few months back I did a career guidance session for a class of year 11 students at St. Margaret Mary's College. I am not sure if I convinced the students enough to choose a tech career but the questions that followed told me that I helped destigmatize some of the wrong notions associated with this industry. Considering the importance of this topic and how this industry has helped shape my life, I thought I will share the content of the session in this blog.
Career choices are often difficult and way too complicated to decide at such an early age of Year 11 and 12. I remember too well when I had a similar conversation with my parents in Year 10. I had to decide on my main career subjects. Maths means Engineering fields, Biology means Medical fields and now you are thinking I am going to write a full list. Nope, I only got 2 choices. It is one of those times from where I am from and I guess still in other places where a good career is either an Engineer or a Doctor. And, here I am thinking of becoming an Archeologist and raid for treasures like Laura Croft. It was a bit of a reality check for me.
I know my parents have their best interests for me and wanted me to think about science/ being a doctor. You can imagine the rebel me wanted to choose her own career so I went with the Maths subject. Fast forward 16 years, here I am with a Master's degree in Information Technology and a Technology Manager job in one of the Fortune Global 500 Companies, Accenture. Of course, Software Engineer is one of the hats I wear daily for the job 😉.
So, going through all that process and being in this industry for 10 years has taught me something. This is the best industry to be in for the right reasons. Here's why:
1. Financial Independence
One who holds the purse strings holds the power!
I recently read this quote in a book and can't agree more with the aptness of it. Mainly for those women readers who are checking this blog. Trust me, as a fellow woman, this applies to any career choice. Having financial independence and the ability to make your own spending choices makes all the difference. For me, I cleared off all my student debts within the first year of graduation and I can proudly say that I contribute equally to the family table along with my husband. Now, this is possible in my case only because I chose a career in technology.
Its well-known tech jobs are one of the highest-paying sectors out there. Although the infographic from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) suggests that I should have listened to my parent's advice 😂. Believe me, there are more benefits than just the salary. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
2. Benefits on top of the Salary
When you receive a job offer from a tech company, additional benefits are a common clause. This can include health packages, stock options, bonuses, fully paid maternity leave, and so on. On top of this, there are few more benefits like -
Working from home or any part of the world
I remember a time I stayed in India for 5 months but I was actually working for client projects running in the US, and Australia. Managing time zones is usually tricky but if you are efficient and professional in the way you deliver your work. There is no one stopping you from making those specific arrangements with your manager or HR lead to work from any part of the world. Currently, with the pandemic situation, companies are more supportive of this arrangement.
All courtesy of work, I got to visit some beautiful places around the world. You may think that I visited the place for work but then weekends are my own to explore... 🧗♀️
The best part is I experienced my first snow during a work trip and it's a snow blizzard!!
3. More Opportunities
Again from my personal experience. I was offered a job while I am still in my last trimester in Uni. I didn't have to apply or do an interview. This is a common story you will hear with many others in this field.
There are many opportunities within the technology space that you can even mix up your interests. In other words, not everyone who works in the technology space knows how to code. Sure they know how to operate a laptop but the same can be said about a lot of other careers out there. Yes, you read it right! A good number of tech jobs do not require you to write a single line of code.
Explore what you are passionate about and you can mix it up with a tech-related career. For example, you like writing, you can be a Digital Content Creator or a Tech Writer. Arts - Graphic Designer. Peoples person - go into leadership roles or you can also make into pre-sales consultant roles. If you like solving puzzles like a detective - you can be an analyst. There's plenty of options and opportunities to choose from. The world is your Oyster!!
4. Meaningful Impact
Technology touches almost every part of our life and so anything you work on improving the quality of life gives your work that meaningful impact. Imagine that feeling.
In my first job, I did the majority of the design work, wrote a few lines of code for Airbus A350 cabin pressure control systems. Now, every time I see an Airbus A350, it gives me that immense satisfaction that a wrote a piece that is helping the Airbus to maintain the pressure/oxygen levels when the plane is in flight mode 🚀.
The last project I completed a few months back helped a major technology giant to establish a secure post-pandemic environment for employees returning to their workspace.
Contributing to works like that is the best feeling!! You are making a huge impact on the community and at the same time getting paid for it. Not many careers offer you that satisfaction.
5. Education Expenses
Let's say you decided to choose technology as your choice of career but you are not sure about the expenses. There are many out there who received job offers without a formal college education. I am not recommending that is the path for you, I am sure they may have gone through their own struggles.
From experience, I can tell you my first job offer is 2.5 times more than the amount I spent on my master's degree. Something to note is that I excluded the money I made from my internship which I did from my second trimester. That seems like a reasonable investment to make on yourself if you chose to.
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