Friday, October 31, 2014

STEM & Women

One of my favorite topics! I recently read this article: http://www.fastcompany.com/3037593/strong-female-lead/the-shortage-of-women-in-stem-explained

I agree with some of the things mentioned here. I biggest takeaway for me from this article was something I see with women in the classes I teach. Men tend to be more assertive and confident in the hands-on lab than women. Even if wrong, men in my classes will try it. Women tend to hold back a bit more until they make sure they have it right and then even sometimes are tentative. Is this because working hands-on and mechanical aspects are more familiar to men? I think so. Perhaps this also could be because of early childhood development and the toys that are presented. But I also think that personality plays a role.

The bottom line for me is that women can be successful in the networking field without knowing coding. I think the same goes for other areas of IT and I thought the article did a great job of addressing this point. The IT field has gotten so big, vast, powerful that STEM fields do not have to be explored as a whole. In the INT program here at UNK, we choose to take this approach. We look at routing, switching, wireless, cloud, data center, voice, and security purely from the networking area. Does networking have application in other IT areas? Absolutely, but we believe that this area, in itself, is so vast that it deserves study on its own merit.


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