Rebecca, mid 20s
"Even if you’re not a high school computer whiz, you probably know a lot more about ICT than you think you do. Young people today are very tech-savvy. I think that makes it easier for them to make a career out of ICT if they want to."
Where did your ICT career begin?
I studied a Commerce/Business Systems double degree at Monash University – a business degree with ‘a technology flavour’. During my third year I took part in Monash’s industry-based learning program, which gave me six months work experience with IBM. Following that, I worked part-time for IBM until I finished my degree. I started with Deloitte after I graduated, and I’m now in my third year here.
Rebecca, what do you do?
I’m a consultant with Deloitte Australia, within the Technical Advisory division. I do a wide range of consultancy work, from meeting clients and working out their ICT needs, to helping them develop high-level IT strategies, to building entirely new IT systems for them.
Each client is different. I can spend anywhere from eight days to eight months working on a single project. As with many jobs, ICT projects don’t always go as planned, so I’m not always 100 per cent sure how long I’ll find myself on a particular project!
What do you like most about your job?
As a consultant, I’m working on different projects all the time. I love this variety, and I love that I’m not doing the same thing every day. Deloitte is a multinational company, with a huge variety of clients and experiences to offer, so I’m continually building on a broad range of skills I can use in the future.
What are some of the more challenging parts of your job?
Switching over to new projects at short notice does present its challenges – you really need to hit the ground running whenever you start something new. If you’re the type of person who needs to know exactly what you’ll be doing in two months time, this may not be the job for you!
What skills are most important in your role?
Communication and interpersonal skills are easily the most important, especially when dealing with clients. You need to be able to bridge the gap between technical and non-technical language, and use plain English to explain how ICT can help their business.
On every project I also work closely with other members of my team. On smaller projects I may work with just one other person, while larger-scale projects might have me working with a dozen or more colleagues.
Did you always anticipate ICT would feature in your career?
Growing up I was always comfortable with computers (my dad was a bit of a computer buff), but I didn’t expect ICT would become my career (for a long time I had considered a career in law). And although I took IT subjects in high school, I don’t think I really got the full picture of the career opportunities available until I went to university. Even then, it was really my internship with IBM that opened my eyes to all that ICT has to offer.
What advice would you give to someone considering a future in ICT?
Don’t make assumptions about what it means to ‘work in ICT’ — this career can take you anywhere. ICT skills mean you aren’t restricting yourself to certain jobs or industries.
And even if you’re not a high school computer whiz, you probably know a lot more about ICT than you think you do. Technology is a big part of everyday life and young people today are very tech-savvy. I think that makes it easier for young people to make a career out of ICT if they want to.
Finally, where do you see ICT taking you into the future?
There are lots of opportunities to learn at Deloitte, and the skills I’m learning now are transferable – an IT system here is the same as one half-way around the world. In the longer-term, I’d love to use my skills and experience to work in London. My only concern is surviving the London winter!
Find out more about this career path at myfuture.edu.au (Note: free registration is required to access the myfuture site).