Karen Jacks on Careers in IT.
On Thursday 20th September Karen Jacks, IT Director at law firm Bird and Bird, came to talk to members of Priory 6 and Upper V about the opportunity for careers in the field of IT. Part of the programme of careers talks organised by Careers Coordinator Mr Ferguson, Mrs Jacks spoke of her wide experience in this field and her interest in opening up opportunities for women in technology. She is IT Director at a city law firm which works on commercial, corporate and IT law.
As Mrs Jacks put it, she ‘fell into’ IT, worked hard and made the most of the opportunities given to her. She realises that a great many of those who work in IT are men and demonstrated the bias that women come up against from an early age, showing examples of the different books children see and are influenced by.
Mrs Jacks emphasised the importance of STEM subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – and said that a recent study showed that over 17,000 jobs in the UK relating to jobs in these fields remain unfilled.
Mrs Jacks then went through the roles available in IT and commented that even if you do not study IT at university, any degree, such as English or Geography, demonstrate the different skill sets that are essential if you wish to pursue a career in IT such as the ability to research and analyse. These skills would contribute greatly to a career such as Project Manager or Business Analyst. The field of cyber security is also gaining great importance and is a growing theme in technology.
Answering a question from the floor Mrs Jacks said that combining motherhood and a career is very possible. You have to work hard, but you can work it out.
Another questioner asked what sets a candidate apart. Mrs Jacks answered that enthusiasm, a well-written CV, a no nonsense approach, an interest in the business conducted in the firm you are applying to, an ability to speak of your strengths and not being afraid to show your personality all contribute to a great candidate.
This was an inspiring talk on careers, thank you to Mrs Jacks for demonstrating that IT is a career offering wide and fascinating options.
Mrs Jacks with Mr Dellow, Head of e-Learning and ICT and Mrs Ferguson, Careers Coordinator.
Categories: Priory Post Senior Sixth Form Whole School