The Covid-19 pandemic gave women a double hit in 2020, according to Pamela Silvers, an instructor in the Computer Technologies department at A-B Tech.
“There are all kind of studies showing what happened. Women are often still expected to be at work because so many of them work in the service industry and health care, and are considered essential workers,” Silvers said. “But then schools went to virtual learning. They had to pick up extra duties in school support at home. They were doing 62% of what needed to be done at home and adding to their stress.”
With a two-year degree in the information technology field, students can get jobs that are somewhat recession proof. “One of the advantages is the jobs often have the flexibility to work from home, though there are a few exceptions. IT jobs also often let you work around your own schedule,” Silvers said.
According to Silvers, if a job title has the word “technical” in it, the pay is an average of 28% higher. IT jobs provide a livable wage. After graduating with a two-year degree, most students start out making $38,000 to $40,000 a year. “The degree gives total flexibility and can be used anywhere and in any state,” she said. “Everyone is already using computers. No one is going to let you practice being a brain surgeon.”
Silvers often fields phone calls from local businesses and organizations looking for qualified IT employees. “We have graduates working in governments, banking, industry, restaurants and hotels. If there is a company that has more than 20-25 employees, they will need an IT person,” she said.
In addition to being able to learn a new career in two years, A-B Tech has several scholarships available to assist unemployed and under-employed students. The A-B Tech Works and the GEER scholarship were both born from the pandemic to meet community needs. There is also a Women in STEM scholarship that is accepting applications until April 2 for the fall semester.
“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that these jobs are going to be more in-demand than ever,” Silvers said.
Visit abtech.edu or call 828-398-7900 for more information.
About A-B Tech Community College
One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 60 curriculum programs through its six academic divisions: Allied Health, Academic Success and Public Service, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality, Emergency Services and Engineering and Applied Technology. The Division of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers opportunities for workforce partnerships, specific job training and retraining, as well as personal enrichment classes. A-B Tech enrolls more than 25,000 curriculum and continuing education students in programs at its Asheville, Enka, Madison, South, Woodfin and Goodwill locations.