Do technology companies mind if you’re not technical?

For this post, I am sharing my space with Courtney Carr, a member of our new graduate program in Perth, Australia. Working with Courtney this year has given us confidence and courage to trust wholeheartedly in our next generation at DXC Technology. 


This is part 1 of a 3-part series.

Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other. – Bill Gates

A question I have been asked multiple times since I first started applying for graduate positions last year is, “What made you apply for a role at a tech company if you didn’t study IT?” (With the follow up being, “And how did you get the job with only a business degree?”)

After those conversations, it occurred to me just how many people don’t realise how much technology actually influences and intertwines with all of the other industries out there.

As I explained in my last blog post, tech is a disruptive industry that continues to show more room for growth and expansion. Every day, we are collecting more and more data for our IoT devices to become more effective and widely adopted. All over the globe, people are starting to invest in smart cities to accommodate the growing support for autonomous vehicle adoption (some areas more quickly than others — for example, read more here about RAC in Perth, Australia).

Tech for toddlers

Schools and universities are quickly making IT a mandatory subject for younger and younger students while integrating devices to supplement the learning. A friend of mine works in a primary school that introduces the fundamentals of code to students as young as kindy age, with lessons in Scratch by year 3!

Being up to date with, and understanding, the latest technology is no longer seen as a niche skill but has become a necessity for all businesses to be successful. As DXC Technology’s CTO Dan Hushon writes in DXC’s new paper series, Transforming to a Digital Enterprise, change is everywhere! Digital leaders understand that to thrive on this change we must view “digital” as a shift that touches every aspect of the business. This is the nature of business today.

So, what about those of us entering the workforce now — who may have grown up in the internet age and instinctively feel like digital natives? Yet, our mandatory IT subjects in school, far from teaching coding, didn’t go much beyond basic Excel and PowerPoint skills.

As astronomer Carl Sagan said:

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.

If we are to survive in this new world of automation and IoT, with the next generation getting a much more advanced computer science education from much earlier on, we need to keep investing in our deeper IT knowledge and understanding and not become content with the basics.

The beauty — and imperative — of diverse perspectives

However, whether you come from a technical or a non-technical background shouldn’t matter. What’s more important is how you apply yourself, and your willingness to participate in this learning. No one person can have all of the technical and non-technical knowledge that exists, so to have true diversity of thought, we also need to be able to trust our teams. We need an organisational culture that promotes diverse teams with a range of skills, and fosters the mutual trust, respect and accountability within them — while also encouraging continuous learning and improvement.

So what’s on your learning plan for 2017/2018? Please leave a comment below and let me know what you are currently doing to keep up to date with the latest tech trends. How are you ensuring that you’re continuously learning? To learn more about what technology companies want, and how this fits in with non-technical people, please watch for my next post, part 2 in the series.


Courtney Carr is an associate consultant in the DXC Young Professionals program. She is Western Australia born and raised, with a passion for environmental conservation and social justice. She specialises in human resources, management, Japanese language and culture, strategic planning and innovation. She loves to travel and is driven by a love of learning and desire to understand the world around her. Courtney always welcomes a challenge, and IT is up next. She is involved in Authentic Leadership, Women in Leadership, Young Professionals and Corporate Responsibility resource groups in DXC.

RELATED LINKS

Why we all need to ask more questions

Fixing the underestimation factor

How millennial work habits fuel enterprise success (really!)

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  1. […] mentioned in my last blog, if we are to become digital leaders, and keep up with the next generation of digital natives, we […]

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  2. […] promised, this is the third part in my series, “Do technology companies mind if you’re not technical?” The other day I was asked by a colleague if my position in the graduate program was through an […]

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