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Career Questions & Answers #5


Answer #5:

Talk to women who work in IT if you want to know what their careers are like. Think about the types of real-life problems that can be solved by using IT. Know that IT is much, much more than computers. IT is about enabling organizations to do what they do better.


- Karen Lopez, I.S.P.
CIPS Director and Spokesperson

If you are considering a career in IT, or even if you are not, make choices that will keep your options open. When making your educational choices, choose subjects that will allow you to choose an IT career, among others. Even if IT is not a deliberate career choice, understanding IT and attaining a degree of comfort with technology are wise objectives. Almost every career or job has an ever-increasing technical component to it. Another consideration is that going into IT exposes you to other fields. IT education and experience provide you with a good foundation from which to move into other fields.


- Pat Gaudet, I.S.P.
President, CIPS Toronto

As you might expect, you will need to ensure you take all your math and sciences in high-school. In addition, and perhaps equally important is that you develop your writing and interpersonal skills as well. These skills are essential as your career progresses. There are always nay-sayers out there. Don't let anyone change your decision or discourage you to follow your career choice. Information technology is now fundamental to the way all businesses work, and it's not going to go away. There is a perception that computer science is a difficult degree, but once you start your university or college program, you will realize that students work in teams and help each other out. The years in post-secondary education are a lot of fun and rewarding, and they go by really quickly. Before you know it you will be graduating. In the information technology field there are a variety of jobs, from those that are very technically focused to those that are business and management focused. There are a lot of opportunities for advancement in this field.


- Colette Wasson, I.S.P.
Principal Consultant, EDS Canada

Probably the same advice I would give any young women - keep your options open. In today's world, careers are not life time commitments and IT provides your the opportunity to begin in one area, build on the knowledge you acquire, move to another area, continue to build your knowledge and skill base and them move to yet another area. The field of I.T. continues to change, innovate and evolve as does the ability and capacity of business to take advantage of it therefore the choice of I.T. as a profession allows you to not only keep your options open but to exploit your knowledge, experience and skills throughout your career.


- Lori MacMullen
CIO, Government of New Brunswick

Don't doubt yourself and your strengths, women bring a unique perspective to bear. We can build better products when women are part of a design team. For example, if women had helped to develop the first generation air bags in cars there may not have been so many air bag caused deaths for small women or children. The first voice recognition software did not recognize a female voice, and the first artificial heart valves were created to fit a man's heart (larger valves than those required for a female). Since women make up more than half of the consumer population, it is important to consider their needs starting with the design phase of product development. You don't have to program all the time or all night to get through a University Computer Science program. In today's environment, you need to understand technology regardless of what career you choose to pursue, whether it is medical imaging, nursing, teaching, retail, banking, insurance, investing, accounting, architecture, manufacturing, services, librarian, hair dressing, to name just a few. All of these professions, and many more, have been enriched through advances in Information technology. I hope many of you go on to pursue the maths, engineering and sciences so that you can one day make a difference also.


- Joanne Moore
Technical Resources Program Manager,
IBM Toronto Software Laboratory

Explore it very carefully - ask questions of people you respect in the industry if you're not sure. If in doubt, give it a try - the money's great, the future's unlimited - it will be the growth and innovation industry of this century.


- Murna Dalton
Vice President of Consulting Services, CGI

CIPS Corporate Partners

The following organizations support CIPS' commitment to professionalism, ethics, and high standards for the I.T. professionCIPS thanks all its partners for their contribution. Become a CIPS Corporate Partner Today! - Send an email to

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