NO TECH BACKGROUND? NO PROBLEM!
February 26, 2021
There are alternative paths to careers in technology.
By Jeff Lyons, CSC senior copywriter and PR manager
For some people, a career path in technology is a straight line. They decide on a vocation, learn their craft, and get a job in their chosen field. For others, like Maureen Padgett, the path is less linear.
Maureen studied culture and communications in college and started her career at a human services agency. The disarray in the office moved her to take action. “It was just so disorganized, I couldn’t think straight,” she says. “I asked if we could get a couple of computers so we could figure out how to organize ourselves.”
Maureen started buying equipment and hooking it up. “It was at a time when whoever was willing to do the job got the job,” she says. “And as I was setting things up, I realized it was more fun than what I was supposed to be doing.” She ended up going back to school and getting her master’s degree in information systems, and a doctoral degree in business. Today, Maureen is CSC’s Chief Technical Officer of Corporate and Legal Solutions (CLS). She’s been with CSC in the Wilmington office for four and a half years.
Chrissy Begatto and Natalie Smith also had less-thantraditional entries into the world of technology. Chrissy joined CSC as a business analyst. “I was more on the product side of things,” she says. “I have a project management background, looking at the requirements for software projects. My interest was in the business side.”
CSC was the first place where Chrissy worked with a development team. “I fell in love with it. I liked how the teams worked and how agile they were. As I grew in my business analyst position, I become more interested in the technical side of things and how things run from the management side.”
She had a conversation with her leader about becoming a Scrum Master and passed the four-day certification course. “I ended up leaving the product side and went to the tech side,” says Chrissy, now a senior technology manager with CLS. Since she doesn’t have a development background, she was concerned her path to becoming a technical manager might be blocked. “I don’t write code. But I was told it’s about managing and leading people and leading teams,” says Chrissy. “You have to understand the technology and the platforms they’re built on. I know how it all intertwines.”
Natalie graduated from college with a degree in exercise science, with plans to become an athletic trainer. “A year after college, I wasn’t really finding the job opportunities I wanted,” she says. “I decided to go back to school, and I thought about the classes that I enjoyed as an undergrad. Intro to computer science was one of them.”
Apprehensive about the career change, Natalie met with the dean of computer science, who asked about her interests and encouraged her to pursue computer science. She loved it, stuck with it, and, three years later, got her degree. She eventually moved to CSC, where she’s now a senior technology manager.
A technology career involves more than being a developer. “Whether you’re interested in management, coding, business analysis, or even building networks, there are endless opportunities for your career,” adds Chrissy. “Everything in our lives is connected to technology, and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Research shows that women feel they need to meet 100% of the criteria when applying for a job, while men usually apply after meeting about 60%. At CSC we encourage and support everyone who applies, and look at more than past job titles. Instead, we look at an applicant’s skills and experience and see where those could align with open positions.
CSC focuses on transferrable skills, or skills gained in one role but applied to others. Employees also have access to resources and support for those looking to transition to new areas—such as non-tech to tech roles.