New opportunities are emerging for women who want to work in management information systems, a field that has recently become dominated by men. Sectors including data analytics, security, mobile, and telecommunications are increasingly looking for female graduates.
That was the message from four senior female IT executives as they shared experiences, challenges and advice at the ITWomen NextGen forum on November 7, 2014 at the Frost Museum Café. FIU’s ITWomen NextGen Chapter is dedicated to increasing the number of girls and women in the fields of technology and engineering.
Gladys Simpson, instructor in the Decision Sciences and Information Systems department and co-founder of ITWomen NextGen welcomed participants and attendees pointing out the importance of management information systems (MIS). Vanessa Guzman, president of ITWomen NextGen, and incoming president Jennifer Baker highlighted the programs offered by the organization, including scholarships and mentoring.
The panel was moderated by Kendall Brown, vice president of sales at RGP Healthcare, a consulting firm specializing in incident management software solutions.
“We’re generating data like crazy and the future jobs are going to focus on how we take this data and generate information from it,” said Monica Chiarini Tremblay, chair and associate professor at FIU’s Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems.
The executives provided tools and information about the latest trends in technology, engineering and entrepreneurship that FIU students can use to shape their careers. Today, hot jobs in management information systems include business analysis, data analytics, health information management, information security, and mobile computing.
Karlene Cousins, associate professor in the Decision Sciences and Information Systems Department and co-founder of ITWomen NextGen, said that a career in MIS is one of the most lucrative for women, with starting salaries of $51,000.
Participants agreed that work experience is a must-have because it provides “academia surrounded by business acumen.” In any job, they insisted, students have to learn as much as possible, and internships provide the means to do it.
Insights from the forum participants:
Margaret Brisbane, Assistant Director, Information Technology Department – Miami Dade County:
“Students working in the area of technology need three critical skills: ethical reasoning, good analytic skills and great communication skills.”
Emily Loos, Client Executive – Public Sector, IMB Corporation:
“The fact that companies like IBM and Bell Labs had the foresight to create a new industry called information technology was absolutely the best thing for all minorities because it wasn’t a male or female industry, it was a new industry always very open to women.”
Alejandra Lorenzo, IT Specialist, NOAA:
“Now it’s very difficult to find young women who are studying computer science or computer engineering that want to have internships with us. It’s important that women grow in this industry because it’s not a woman or male, it’s all of us.”
For more information on ITWomen NextGen visit itwomennextgen.weebly.com.