To build the workforce they need to succeed today and for the future — and create a more diverse corporate culture — many leading employers are making a concerted effort to recruit more women for technology roles. Even so, the gender gap in the tech sector remains significant, as it has throughout history, and research indicates it has been increasing in recent years.

But women shouldn’t allow these trends and other dynamics, like recent layoffs by Big Tech companies, to dissuade them from launching careers in IT, seeking advancement in the tech field or exploring new avenues of employment in emerging areas of technology.

Susan Cheedle, a senior district president, technology staffing services, at Robert Half shared this perspective on the issue: “Women need to stay engaged in the tech workforce or the gender gap will persist. Women do often face obstacles in building the careers they want in tech — as is still the case in many professions, unfortunately. But on the positive side, the demand for tech talent remains strong, and the career opportunities for women to explore are almost limitless.”

Research from Robert Half, featured in our latest Demand for Skilled Talent report, underscores how tough hiring is for technology roles currently. In a survey of technology managers, 91% of respondents said they are facing challenges finding skilled talent — and 64% said they need to recruit tech talent for new roles.

Also, according to Robert Half’s Salary Guide, technology skills are in short supply across all industries, including finance, healthcare and professional services.

Women in tech: Create a road map to help guide your career

Megan Slabinski, a district president who oversees Robert Half’s practice groups for technology and marketing and creative, suggests that women who want to break into the technology field, or take their current IT career further or in a different direction, should clearly map out their goals and how to reach them. They should also think about who can help them to advance their journey.

“Set a three-year road map of where you want to go with your technology career and identify a female mentor who holds the role you aspire to,” Megan says. “Find out how they got to where they are today. Also, ask what professional networking opportunities, education or new technology tools you should add to your resume to stay competitive in an ever-changing landscape.”

Other ways women can help lay the groundwork for career success in technology include:

  • Joining a professional network or membership association that actively promotes the advancement of women in the tech profession. Women in Technology International (WITI) and are just two examples of options to consider.
  • Ask someone in your organization — a colleague already working in technology or a human resources manager, for example — to explain what types of skills (technical and soft skills) and certifications you would need to be considered for a technology role you aspire to, and how you can gain the training necessary to make the transition.

Consider setting your sights on future-forward, hard-to-staff roles

Another strategy for making your mark in tech is to target roles that many companies find challenging to staff because of the lack of available talent in the marketplace.

Keep in mind that you may need to expand or enhance your current abilities before applying, including earning IT certifications or even pursuing an academic degree. You may also be able to make inroads in these professions by working as a contract professional, which can help you gain valuable skills and experience and determine whether a particular path in tech is really right for you.

The return on your investment can be significant. Not only are many hard-to-staff roles in tech today vital to the future of work, but research for Robert Half’s latest Salary Guide also shows many employers are already paying premium salaries for many roles.

Here are a few examples of these hot jobs:

Big data engineer

Big data engineers design and implement solutions that allow organizations to analyze large and complex data sets and extract insights that they can use for decision-making, to improve operational performance and better serve customers. They communicate with business users and data scientists to understand business objectives and translate them into data-processing workflows.

Data scientist

Data science is a rapidly growing field that focuses on using data to drive insights and make informed business decisions. Data scientists develop innovative solutions to business challenges by applying their mathematical and analytical skills to detect patterns in very large data sets. They often work closely with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning engineers to develop and deploy AI models.

DevOps engineer

DevOps engineers serve as the bridge between coding and engineering, working across departments to develop and improve IT systems. They are responsible for building, expanding and enhancing IT infrastructure, including cloud infrastructure, to help drive business productivity. These tech pros often play a key role in project planning, sharing their knowledge and assessing the risks and benefits of developing or modifying software and systems.

Cloud architect

Cloud computing has become an essential part of many businesses’ IT infrastructure and is vital to supporting their everyday operations, including remote and hybrid team collaboration. Cloud architects are needed to develop an organization’s cloud strategy, design scalable and secure cloud infrastructure, and implement the necessary cloud-based solutions to support business requirements. (See this post to find out more about top cloud roles and skills.)

IT security architect

As cyber threats like ransomware continue to increase, many organizations are working to strengthen their IT security. They need security architects to help them design, build, test and implement security systems within their IT networks. These pros can also help to continually refine an organization’s IT security infrastructure and approach to protect against cyber threats — and help secure remote and hybrid workforces. (Learn about other IT roles that help solve cybersecurity challenges for business.)

You can find other technology positions in high demand for 2023 described in this post.

Ready to explore career opportunities in tech?

Robert Half can help you find a rewarding career in technology. As a starting point for your job search, view our current job listings for technology and IT. You’ll find listings for data security analyst, web developer and systems analyst roles — among many others.

If you find an opportunity that interests you, apply online or upload your resume to work with one of our specialized recruiters.

Your Ultimate Job Search App and More