Coding and IT ‘Not Just For Boys’
The notion that a career in IT is only for men locked away in darkened rooms has been dismissed by a senior figure on the skills education sector.
Writing for FE Week, Sukvinder Kathuria, the head of faculty at the ADA National College for Digital Skills, said stereotypes need to be smashed to create a better gender balance in the digital careers sector.
She remarked: “You don’t need to sit in a dark room all night every night coding, be male, and wear glasses, a checked shirt and jeans in order to work in technology.”
However, Ms Kathuria added, it will take a concerted effort by the sector to become more diverse. “To increase the number of women entering the industry, we cannot wait for people to come to us. Community within the industry is vitally important,” she noted.
Although Ms Kathuria also noted that careers in IT are not just about coding, the message is clear: There is a wide range of opportunities for people with the required skills and ability, which includes demographic groups who are underrepresented.
Parents keen for their children to earn the IT skills that could stand them in good stead for their future careers may take note and ensure that it should not just be their sons that join the after school coding club, but their daughters as well.
The BBC highlighted the need to tackle a general shortage of coding and tech skills in the UK this week with an investigation into how challenging it is for children to learn to code.
Using robot kits from Lego, MakeBlock and the Micro:Bit, it concluded that beginner-level systems like Scratch are “quite easy” to use, but more advanced codes are tricky for children to learn at home alone because they are designed to be taught under instruction.
This finding indicates the value of enrolling children in classes where trained experts can help them develop the skills they need.