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General Chat Thread, Jobs for the Girls: Encouraging girls to consider qualifications and careers in IT in General; Perhaps the older mean age of edugeek members reflects the nature of women in educational IT, but I can't say ...
  1. #61

    AMLightfoot's Avatar
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    Perhaps the older mean age of edugeek members reflects the nature of women in educational IT, but I can't say that it reflects IT overall. I am 30 this year and whilst I might joke about being/feeling old the truth is that I am pre-family. I have worked throughout my IT career in the private sector in Managed services and Support roles and generally, the first line and 'lower technical level' roles tend to be occupied by younger people just out of college starting on their career path but as you get higher up the ladder mean ages start to rise - this is exactly what you would expect, except when you look at the public sector and school specifically, there aren't actually that many steps on the ladder for non-teaching staff - probably 4 at most - technician, snr tech, assistant NM and NM or some combination thereof. So people stay in the 'lower' roles for longer and since Edugeek is specifically aimed at the education sector, the demographic answering these questions is skewed.

    I do think that girls should be nurtured and encouraged to pursue technical roles but can any NM on here honestly say they'd employ a year 11 female leaver into a baseline role? Without experience? There will probably be 2 or 3 that have exceptionally bright pupils but the vast majority will want some experience so younger women in IT roles are probably in the private sector.

    Does that make sense?

  2. #62

    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    If I were going to be employing a Year 11 leaver, I wouldn't be bothered about their gender.

  3. #63

    AMLightfoot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    If I were going to be employing a Year 11 leaver, I wouldn't be bothered about their gender.
    No, and the question is valid for any gender of Y11 leaver, I just put 'female' because this thread is about encouraging girls into IT. It's more about whether you'd employ a Y11 leaver without experience (and bearing in mind the age situation in schools - it is dangerous to employ 16yos in a school environment when their friends and siblings may still be in lower year groups and 'relationships' are more likely between a your Y11 leaver and a pupil) or whether you would encourage that leaver to go find work in the private sector to get experience.

  4. #64

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    It depends on your situation. We employed our apprentice at 17 who's from the local area but a different school. He's now finishing his apprenticeship as well as a host of other training courses and was able to mind the fort for me when I was off ill for a month last year. Overall I'd say he's a success story and evidence that it can be done.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by AMLightfoot View Post
    It's more about whether you'd employ a Y11 leaver without experience (and bearing in mind the age situation in schools - it is dangerous to employ 16yos in a school environment when their friends and siblings may still be in lower year groups and 'relationships' are more likely between a your Y11 leaver and a pupil) or whether you would encourage that leaver to go find work in the private sector to get experience.
    Personally, I wouldn't care.

    I've known teachers to be close with pupils, though I doubt it's in the same league as 'relationships', I'm guessing you mean getting romantically involved. Yes, we've ALL heard stories of that happening, but for the most part there are rules about this sort of thing and as long as the Year 11 leaver knows them, and is warned of the consequences, I don't see an issue. Young != stupid.

    As for younger siblings, I see that the same as any other member of staff having children in the school. Again, there are rules [at least here] about that sort of thing. Mostly things like "make sure you follow proper procedures if something happens".

    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    Overall I'd say he's a success story and evidence that it can be done.
    I started here at 18. Not an apprentiship, a proper [low paid, few hours] job.

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    Count yourself lucky; an apprenticeship is low-paid with many hours. Ours only got paid more (in the end) and trained more than the basics because I fought for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ephelyon View Post
    Count yourself lucky; an apprenticeship is low-paid with many hours. Ours only got paid more (in the end) and trained more than the basics because I fought for it.
    Which is a shame because IMO vocational experience-based qualifications really are the way forward in practical fields - I've seen some terrible applicants coming from University claiming to have degrees in IT and they don't hold a candle to someone with a vocational background. University is good for theoretical disciplines and very highly specialised jobs (Doctors for example) but for practical jobs involving technical skill I really do feel that we should examine vocational pathways as we all know that the best way to learn in IT is to do.

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    I can see schools being cautious over the employment if very young staff regardless of gender. The reaction of a few if the edugeeks is such that they have not found it easy working in schools when they are the same age as the students. Gender doesn't come into it. It's getting the teachers to treat you as a colleague rather than a student.

    When I was at uni, I spent a summer working for PGL in France. My own school came out... I'd only been gone a year. It was very hard for the teachers to treat me as a canoe instructor and I found it very hard it not to defer to them!

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    How long have you been working in IT?
    4 Years, 2 of them in Education
    Is this your first, second, third, etc career?
    By no means my first job but the only one I would consider making into a career
    What other jobs / roles have you done previously?
    Au Pair, One.doc coordinator, Graphic and web designer, Graphic Illustrator, IT Technician (current)
    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT?
    My first Job in IT was as a One.doc Coordinator in a power station it was awful and almost put me off IT for life! only had one interview for that but I knew the guy interviewing me so I doubt that counts for much. For my first job as a Tech I had one interview and then was placed in a local school for 6 months and then the school decided if they would take me on permanently after that so I guess I just had a really long interview!
    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT?
    Both, I think being female, right or wrong actually helped me get the job during the interview I had for this role. They actually triple checked with me that I was applying for the correct role and then said it was very refreshing to see a women and that it helped make me more approachable to schools with a large percentage of female staff. A lot of the staff have commented the same. But then I have the same issues as a lot of people in this post where people never believe that I am the Technician but that could be to do with me being young as I am 23. During the first 6 months working here I had to go on a bundle of health and safety, child protection etc course that was specifically aimed at Technicians. They were running an admin one at the same time and I was told more than once I was in the wrong place and redirected to the admin course room -.-
    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive?
    None, I had a really good IT Teacher in school but the subjects just didn’t go into enough detail we only learnt the basics like word processing etc but nothing about hardware or any software development etc so I think even if I knew what I wanted to do back then it wouldn’t have been enough of the nitty gritty stuff.

  10. Thanks to nyiss from:

    GrumbleDook (28th February 2013)

  11. #70

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    An apprentice may be low-paid in money terms, but the other part of how they are paid is in training, access to expertise, mentoring and general help and support. Sometimes, that bit is hard to quantify and so much more important. That is why internships are sought after in some firm.

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    True; I don't think ours is ungrateful due to his awareness of that very fact.

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    How long have you been working in IT?
    25+ years
    What other jobs / roles have you done previously?
    I started out as a clerk, moved onto an accounting trainee scheme then moved into IT. I worked first for a large manufacturing company who used an IBM mainframe then moved onto PCs. I was contractor/consultant in the city for a while then had children. I took a few years out after my second child was born as the city is not child friendly. I then got this job in a school.
    How many interviews did it take to get your first job in IT?
    I have got every job I have applied for.
    Have you ever felt that being female is a help or a hindrance to gaining a job in IT?
    I never found it either.
    If you were considering IT (or other engineering / programming careers) whilst at school what support did you receive?
    When I was at school I wanted to be a long-distance lorry driver, my careers advisor suggested I be a secretary! It was not an enlightened school and those where not enlightened times.

    At this school there are two of us IT techies and we are both female. Neither of us is ‘girlie’ but we are still feminine. I have never really considered that my gender has anything to do with my ability to do a job. I happen to have the right mindset for IT, I like to think that I am ok at it despite not having had any formal training.

  14. 2 Thanks to ict_adeyfield:

    Bompalompalomp (21st June 2013), GrumbleDook (1st March 2013)

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