I don't have any background in technology.
Is technology a tough field for women to
Am I too old for a tech career?
How will I be able to find a job with all
these tech layoffs?
Information on education for a technical
Getting financial aid information for my
How much math do I really need?
How do I find out what tech courses I should
How long does completing a technology program
How will high school prepare me for a technology
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don't have any background in technology. Can I still
work in a tech career?
Even if you have never touched a computer or participated
in hands-on technical activities, you can be successful
in a technology career. You will need to undergo
some additional training and/or education, but lots
of women have successfully switched to a technical
career when they did not have a background in technology.
For some inspiring stories, click
here to view our role models. You may want to
consider some of the following options to get some
help or to get started:
- Look into obtaining an Associate's degree
at a community college. Returning to school
may seem intimidating, but lots of women have
followed this avenue successfully and are now
pursuing lucrative new careers in a technology
field. Community colleges offer a variety of
degrees, financial aid and flexible scheduling
for people with busy lives just like you. Associate's
degrees can usually be completed within two
years. If you consider the long-term benefits
of a higher wage and a more satisfying career,
a two-year investment is well worth it.
- Consider a Technical Certificate. You can
earn a Certificate in 6 to 12 months from either
a community college or vocational school, both
of which offer flexible scheduling and financial
assistance. A Certificate trains you to qualify
for a specific job, such as automotive technology
or computer networking, and is an excellent
way to start a new career and start earning
more money quickly.
- Begin networking with women in technology
fields to get more information and inspiration.
Connecting to women who may have once been in
your position may help you realize that pursuing
a technology career is a realistic goal and
that it can be done! You may even find a mentor
to give you some guidance on how to achieve
your goals. Join WomenTech Talk or visit our
Bulletin Board to begin networking, click
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is mostly male. Is it a tough field for a woman
to break into?
Lots of women have successfully entered technology
fields. Click here to see
our WomenTech role models for some inspiring examples.
It can be more difficult for a woman to prove herself,
but there are lots of places you can turn to for
support. Surf the web to find women's professional
associations specific to the industry you're
interested in. These are a great source of advocacy
and support and you may find that there are
more women working in technology than you first
thought. Our links will
bring you to many of them.
I too old for a tech career? I understand it's a
young field and if you're over 30 you can't get
of our WomenTech role models are over 30 and have
achieved highly successful careers in technology.
See our role model profiles for some inspiring stories.
You may have to work harder to prove yourself initially,
but it can be done! To view our role model bios,
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employers hire me? How will I be able to find a
job with all these tech layoffs?
the Dot-com era has slowed down, there is still
a need for qualified technicians in all levels of
- The Internet remains a fundamental component
of business and commerce and many established
companies are still in the process of developing
their Web sites for e-commerce. Other smaller
companies are following suit by developing e-commerce
portions of their business and will do so in
the future as the Internet continues to evolve
as an integral part of all business and commerce.
Furthermore, computer network specialists are
still in demand for already established and
expanding companies. This means there is still
a need for qualified computer technicians at
all levels. It may be more competitive now than
it was a few years ago, but technical jobs will
remain a crucial part of the economy and job
market and will continue to grow and develop
in the future.
- Technicians are still in short supply in industries
such as Automotive, Diesel Transportation, Heating,
Ventilation and Air Conditioning, Telecommunications
and Electronics. Furthermore, jobs in these
industries usually offer more stable work hours
and pay scales as well as great benefits and
retirement packages. Some education or certification
is usually required to enter these fields as
well, but that can usually be accomplished in
two years or less. Some certificates only take
six months to complete.
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do I get information on education for a technical
With today's internet-connected world, there are
many resources available for obtaining a technical
education. Start with some of the possibilities
- Community Colleges are an excellent and affordable
resource for receiving a technical education.
They offer both degree and certificate programs.
An Associates Degree can usually be obtained
in two years of full-time classes, while a certificate
can be earned in as little as 6-12 months of
full-time classes. Community Colleges also offer
day and evening classes, so scheduling around
a job or family is much easier. Financial aid,
scholarships and grants are available. Search
the net for a community college in your area
by going to community college finder at http://www.aacc.nche.edu
- Trade and Technical schools are another practical
and affordable option for those seeking education
for technical careers. Schedules are flexible
and most programs can be completed in under
a year. These schools offer targeted certificate
and degree programs that qualify you for a specific
career. Most trade and technical schools offer
job placement assistance as well as financial
aid. Look in your area for local trade and technical
schools or try searching this Internet site:
- Try connecting with other women in the industry
for valuable information on how they got there
and how you can achieve similar goals.
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I can't afford a technical education on my own.
How can I get information on financial aid?
There is a surprising amount of untapped resources
available for assistance with the cost of education.
Sometimes this may require a little extra effort
on your part, but resources are available. Try some
of the following suggestions to get started:
- If pursuing funding for an education, you
can always find personalized assistance in the
Financial Aid office of your local Community
College or Trade/Technical School. Look in your
area to see what educational institutions are
available to you at www.ed.gov/
- The Internet is an excellent resource for
finding grants and scholarships. Many scholarships
are available for specific careers, as well
as general study. As a woman considering a technical
field, you have a particular advantage as some
scholarships are targeted specifically for women.
Try the following links to get started, or perform
your own search on the Internet using the key
words, "scholarship database":
- Fastaid: http://www.fastaid.com
- Fastweb: http://web.studentservices.com/
- Absolutely Scholarships.com: http://www.absolutelyscholarships.com/
- Look into state and federally funded family
programs, especially if you are a single parent.
While funds may be sometimes limited, help is
available for financial assistance with childcare
and tuition costs. Speak to a counselor at your
local community college for guidance on resources.
much math do I really need? I was never good at
math and I'm worried I'll fail the prerequisite
Many students have a fear of math or math anxiety.
The amount of math needed depends on the technology
program. Some programs require pre-algebra, others
require none. The math required for the technology
programs is "hands-on" and is very different from
classroom algebra. Most students find math more
interesting when they actually use it in the classroom.
Visit the learning lab at the local community college
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not sure what courses I need to take for the tech
program I'm interested in. Where can I go for help?
have several options to get more information:
Make an appointment with a counselor at the school
you are considering or speak with an instructor.
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long will it take for me to complete a technology
program? I can't afford to do anything long term,
I need to earn money as quickly as possible.
programs can take anywhere from 6-12 months to complete,
depending on your attendance while an Associate
Degree usually takes up to two years of full-time
attendance. Here are some ways to make your community
college experience more efficient:
- Consider a certificate. Many of the
technology programs have certificates - if you
attend full-time you can often complete a certificate
in only six months. Many employers will hire
employees with a technology certificate and
then provide tuition reimbursement for courses
towards an Associate in Science degree in the
- Consider a student loan. Student loans
are easy to get and offer very reasonable interest
rates and manageable monthly payments after
graduation. Many financial aid packages offer
a combination of scholarships and grants along
with the student loan, reducing the overall
amount that needs to be paid back. Borrowing
money to attend school full-time will enable
you to earn your degree in significantly less
time than attending part-time. For more information
on what forms of financial aid are available,
go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/Students/student.html
a high school student, how can I gain knowledge
and skills that will prepare me for a technology
some cases, high school students may enroll in two-year
colleges as special part-time students with a recommendation
by their principal, parental consent and approval
by the District Dean of Admissions & Records. Units
earned may be used for either high school credit
or college credit. This is a great way to get a
head start if you already know what technology career
you are interested in.
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