Technology companies do want you!

This is part 2 in a 3-part series.

As mentioned in my last blog, if we are to become digital leaders, and keep up with the next generation of digital natives, we need to continue investing in our IT skills.

For me, that was one of the driving factors in applying for a graduate position at a technology company. After a very inspiring conversation with my best friend about the future of tech and how quickly things are moving, I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I wanted the opportunity to challenge myself, ask as many questions as possible, and keep up to date with the latest valuable skills.

Earlier this year, I got the chance to help exhibit at the DXC Technology stall at a few local university career fairs. One was a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fair; the other was for all disciplines. We spent the day handing out flyers about the company and answering students’ questions about the organisation and the graduate program.

Any roles for me?

One of the biggest differences between the two fairs was the type of questions the students asked. At the STEM careers fairs, the most common questions were around the structure of the program, and the different technologies and tasks you would be exposed to as a graduate. However, at the all disciplines fair, by far the most common question asked was from students who stated they weren’t studying IT or engineering. Their main enquiry was to ask (very doubtfully) if there were any roles they’d be suitable for as a non-technical person.

Most of that afternoon was spent convincing students that no, you don’t have to be an engineer or a computer science expert to have skills that are valuable to a technology company. Just like any other industry, tech organisations need to fill a variety of roles, with skills that come from multiple disciplines including marketing, sales, account management, business development, finance and HR.

I was then inspired to do more research around non-technical people and their work in the tech industry. Surely, it couldn’t be that surprising to people that you didn’t need to be able to code to add value to this industry, right? Or does everyone have the mentality that a tech professional is a Larry Page (Google), a Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), or an Elon Musk (Tesla)?

Non-techs leading the way

From that research, I came across many examples of amazing people achieving great success not only working for tech companies but starting their own. Take Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. Reid studied philosophy when he was at university under a Bachelor of Arts, and last year sold the self-made company to Microsoft for $26.2 billion!

Then there’s the sisters — Arum, Dawoon and Soo Kang, none of whom have technical backgrounds — who created Coffee Meets Bagel. Their dating app was offered $30 million on Shark Tank in 2015, which they turned down and have been going strong ever since.

Or more locally for those of us in Perth, WA, is Melanie Perkins from the University of Western Australia. She became frustrated with the lack of marketing materials while studying for her communications degree, so she created the multi-million dollar graphic design tech start-up Canva. For anyone who might be thinking of following the same path and starting their own tech company as a non-technical person, you can read a few tips here. (The start-up community is one to watch out for here in Perth).

I’d love to hear your views about being a non-tech in a tech company. In my next post, part 3, I’ll talk about a range of non-technical skills that tech companies need, and the importance of providing your unique perspective.


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

Career advice for soon-to-be graduates — and all of us, really

Fixing the underestimation factor

How millennial work habits fuel enterprise success (really!)

Comments

  1. Somrita Chatterjee says:

    Nice venture 🙂

    Like

Trackbacks

  1. […] companies want, and how this fits in with non-technical people, please watch for my next post, part 2 in the […]

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: