Capgemini Cybersecurity Manager, Mollie Chard, explodes the myth that a background in IT is required in order to work in technology


Capgeminis Mollie Chard discusses breadth of tech sector

Capgemini's Mollie Chard discusses breadth of tech sector

 June 30, 2020

Capgemini Cybersecurity Manager, Mollie Chard, has shared an article offering insight into how she launched her career challenging myth that a background in IT is required in order to work in the technology sector.


Don't let myths hold you back in your career

"There are various myths and misconceptions surrounding the technology industry, particularly when it comes to working in it. I’m here, writing this blog, to bust one of the most prevalent myths – that you need an IT background to work in technology," Mollie shares.

"Whenever someone new asks me what I do for a job, and I tell them I work in cybersecurity, I am always met with the same general comments and queries."

Some of the typical comments and questions Capgemini's Mollie is met with include: “Oh that’s interesting, so you’re good with computers, and you can code?”, plus “How did you get into that? You must have a computer science degree?”

Whilst part of these statements may be true in some cases, Mollie is keen to clarify that they do not apply apply across the board: Yes, she is good with computers but, no, she cannot code. Mollie also doesn't hold a computer science degree - or even a degree related to technology.

"My background is far from usual. I didn’t study for a STEM degree. I studied an English undergraduate degree from home," says Mollie. "Later, I went on to do a master’s degree in Philosophy. My degrees clearly have nothing to do with the technology industry – I studied them purely for my own personal interest. I enjoy learning, and when I started my degrees, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do for a career."

Discovering a passion for technology

Aside from her studies, Mollie always had an interest in technology - she enjoyed fixing computers for friends and family, she also played video games and was interested problem-solving in general. It dawned on her after a few years of doing this that her passion lay in technology, and cybersecurity was a relatively new concept that interested her.

"When I began my cybersecurity career, I applied for an entry-level position with my very limited technical background, without a technical degree or certifications. I took the chance because I knew it was something I was passionate about, and something that I wanted to learn," Mollie reflects. "The employer at the time ended up choosing to employ me over someone who was fully qualified purely based on my passion, my enthusiasm for the subject, and my willingness to learn and adapt. Though I was lucky, this is not the case with every employer, but it does show that it IS possible to kickstart a technology career without a comprehensive technology background."

Mollie's journey, however, was not without its struggles. Throughout her career, as a young woman in a male-dominated field, there were times she did not feel listened to or heard. She believes she had to work harder to gain the respect of her peers, and she felt she had to “prove her worth”. 

Sharing advice for further professionals

Capgemini tech career

Now, Mollie has worked in the cybersecurity industry for a number of years, gaining experience across various roles. Within these roles she decided to pursue and obtain professional certifications to further evidence her knowledge and she is now a Cybersecurity Manager within Capgemini.

"But I began my career with humanities degrees and without a fully-fledged technical background. This busts one big myth proving that one does not always need to have a purely technical background to begin working in technology. It is important to remember that one can cross-skill at any time in their life. While, having a STEM education would help, it is your drive, the passion for the subject, and a willingness to learn and develop yourself – what takes you far in life," Mollie concludes. "So my advice would be: don’t let preconceptions such as this stand in your way."

Mollie has also realised that many people misunderstand the cybersecurity industry, and this can put people off applying for roles. "When people hear that I work in cybersecurity, they always assume I just do coding. But this is far from the truth. There are so many varied opportunities in cybersecurity, from very technical coding roles through to risk management, governance, training and awareness, threat intelligence, and solution development to name a few. It’s important to take the time to research an industry, learn about the myriad of opportunities available, and find out where your interests lie," she adds.

Read Mollie's full article.


Launch an exciting career at Capgemini 

Capgemini encourages people from a diverse range of backgrounds to apply for jobs at the company.

If you have a passion for innovation and technology search and apply for an open position at Capgemini.

 

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