Where are the women in technology?
Technology continues to grow, continues to provide, and continues to innovate the world around in so many ways, you couldn't begin to list them all. Even now, kids are learning the beginning aspects of creating and even selling their product and software ideas and getting the jump on the rest of us adults still trying to wrap their heads around how a tablet works.
And leading the charge are...men. Mostly.
Why is that?
Is it because women don't like technology? The social media platforms would disagree, as large number of women use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and more on a daily basis. Is that we don't understand technology? That doesn't seem to be the case when speaking of Ada Lovelace, Jean Bartik, or - you know, three of the most pioneering women in technology. Not to mention Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Wikimedia Foundation executive director Sue Gardner, or Virginia Rometty, the president and CEO of IBM.
Tech is still a boy's club, but it's been increasing becoming an open field, especially for woman and with several men backing us up in the endeavor. So, if you're interested in learning about tech and getting a degree, where do you go?
Let's just talk to those potential college students, who might also be professional, working moms. So you want to learn about by getting an online IT degree; maybe you think you could organize your work environment's infrastructure or maybe you want to understand how one virus on one computer could morph onto the others. Maybe you're just curious about all this fuss over wires and wireless and mobile technologies; either way, you're opening a door to a grand history and a life changing course.
Going Back to School
Maybe you already have a degree in something else or perhaps you started college way, way, way back in the day and never finished for whatever reason. College isn't just for graduated high school students - more and more professional adults are , making the classroom more diverse with people of all ages. This is the same with online schooling as well, mixing ages, background, and countries to bring about more communication and understanding.
Online schooling offers a flexibility that brick and mortar schools don't - for one, there's no conflict when it comes to trying to attend class and work a full time job. Because you can take classes from anywhere, you can schedule class time when you feel like it - maybe your mornings are the perfect time to watch one or more video lectures; maybe after the kids heads to bed is the best time for you.
Maybe the weekend, when everyone is doing their own thing is the greatest; whenever and wherever, you have access to class, as long as you have an Internet connection.
Your Own Pace
Another great thing is the ability to set your own pace. Many online courses have video lectures, which can be watched over and over, making sure you understand the concepts of the module. Some classes can be skipped - maybe you already know how to set up a home network or how to connect wirelessly; skip that section and go on.
Will a Business Take an Online IT Degree?
This is probably the number one consideration on whether to get a degree online or go to the more traditional school. The funny thing is, while the rest of the world has combined the two, the business world is very much stuck in the 'you need to be surrounded with people in order to be social'.
Luckily, many universities and colleges see this and have opened their own online courses, which can either be taken independently or combined with classes on campus. Your degree will still come from a major institution and businesses won't know that you primarily were online.
One Big Leap for Women
Maybe you aren't considering an IT degree because you want to start your own tech company, but the fact that you're considering and will eventually have a shiny tech degree is nothing to laugh at. You'll be entering a field that's trying to grow, as well as opening the doors for others. One of the hardships with getting women in IT is that, there's very few of them to teach girls that being in IT doesn't mean you live in your mother's basement or you can spout PI to the nearest hundredth.
If your daughter or niece or their friends see you studying and understanding how the wires in the computer or laptop work, they'll be impressed. More impressive is when your daughter shows up her male classmates or teachers with her knowledge; that's a big confidence boost and may make her think maybe there's something to this technology thing after all.