#GWCTalks: What You Need to Know About The Tech Industry During a Crisis

Girls Who Code
May 15, 2020 · 3 min read

If you’re stressed about your career during this crisis, we don’t blame you. But we hope these highlights from our second #GWCTalks will have you breathing a sigh of relief!

At the top of this week’s Girls Who Code Talks session, we asked viewers a question: What portion of the college experience were you not initially excited about — that then ended up being a positive experience? Can you guess the answers? They were: application process, joining a campus club and — (drum roll) — being in a male dominated class! We feel you.

Well, before this Zoom session there were a lot of things we know you weren’t feeling particularly psyched about — like navigating a complicated job market. But now, we hope you’re actually pretty stoked because we learned *so much* from panelists Clare Duffy (Associate Writer, at CNN Business) and Courtney Connley (Careers Reporter at CNBC Make It). Here are our top four takeaways:

  1. For tech, the COVID recession is “a different ball game”

Like panelist Clare Duffy said, “this COVID recession is sort of a different ball game.” Yes, we’re seeing layoffs across industries. Yes, every company is struggling in some way. Tech included.

But tech companies have some real opportunities for growth and innovation ahead as we adjust to digital acceleration in every aspect of our lives: work, childcare, healthcare, and more. And opportunities for growth = opportunities for jobs.

2. Okay, so we’re seeing opportunities in tech — what are hiring managers looking for?

With companies going virtual, you’ll absolutely want to let potential employers know that you have strong verbal and written communication skills. And make sure you brush up on examples of your emotional intelligence, managing up, and reporting on your work. All of these qualities are hugely important in a virtual workplace.

And our favorite tip? Your remote location is actually an asset right now. Jobs that may have been out of reach because they weren’t in your area could be on the table. Use it as an opportunity for you to communicate how your expertise — on the ground, in your community — can actually benefit a company that’s creating technologies to serve people in your area.

3. What kinds of companies are growing and hiring right now?

The answer: Telehealth, telehealth, telehealth. Seriously, we think we heard the word telehealth at least a few dozen times on this call — and with good reason! Both Courtney and Clare agree that the field is ripe for growth, innovation, and hiring.

What other areas of tech are growing? Definitely AI, and certainly automation. And, Courtney said, this is a time for college students to open their eyes up to the other tech companies that are out there, to think not just about Google and Facebook but to consider really niche or local companies.

4. How do you get started? You don’t have to go far!

For one thing, the Girls Who Code network is strong. Use it. This is your sisterhood! You should also think about talking to your professors. They are a great resource, and have a good sense of exciting things on the horizon.

Many events like conferences, hiring fairs, and panels have now shifted online; our panelists suggested following leaders at companies you’re interested in on social media and attending online events to learn more about trends in the field.

Courtney also suggested — and we totally agree — relying on your career resource center (even if you’ve already graduated!). Find out where alumni of your schools are working, and get connected. Maybe you can’t go out for coffee, but you can certainly set up a short call to gather information. Other suggested resources mentioned on the call include Handshake, and Hiring 2020.

Huge thanks to Clare Duffy, Associate Writer, at CNN Business and Courtney Connley, Careers Reporter at CNBC Make It for their amazing insights. And of course, to GWC Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Singer for moderating! Watch the full session here.

To sign up for next #GWCTalks, “No Internships, Now What?!,” click here.

This is part of a free four-part virtual event series for our alumni and our community, to come together to address uncertainties around college, internships, and careers in tech during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Girls Who Code

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