In B.C., the fastest growing sector today is technology – thousands of people work in the B.C. tech sector, more than the oil, gas, forestry and mining sectors combined. Opportunities for youth to pursue their education and work in tech-related jobs will only continue to increase in our province.

Why is a career in tech so rewarding?  Let’s find out from Janet Wood, Global HR Leader for the worldwide CEO of SAP.

There are so many reasons I love working in tech it’s hard to know where to start!

Most important to me has been the opportunity to continually learn, grow and make a difference. I’ve been in tech over 30 years and I’ve changed roles every 3-4 years, learning new skills every time I changed jobs. This is important for those just starting out as it’s estimated that if you’re in your 20s today you will live until you’re 120 (thanks to improved health care and nutrition) and can expect to work into your 80s.  I’m sure you’ll agree if you’re going to work for ~60 years you’ll want to have interesting, purposeful jobs!  A career in tech offers that in spades.

Another reason is the incredible variety of jobs available. Contrary to what you may believe, not everyone working in tech is super technical and that includes me. I graduated with a Business degree and started my career in sales.  Since then I’ve had roles working with partners, starting a new global team in our support organization and most recently joined human resources (HR).  The first 3 years in HR I was the global leader for areas including employee and leadership development, executive recruiting and compensation.  Now I’m the HR leader supporting our worldwide CEO. Even though he travels primarily between New York and Germany, I am able to do my job from Vancouver.

Although I choose to live in Vancouver, a job in tech quite literally can open up the world. I estimate I’ve travelled to over 30 countries during my career.  Thanks to my first tech job with IBM I was transferred from Edmonton to Vancouver and more recently I lived in Germany working in our HQ for 2 ½ years. If you’re wondering what it’s like to work with colleagues from all parts of the world, I can confirm it’s one of the things I’ve loved most in my career.

With the gap widening between available skilled employees and available jobs and the incredible innovation underway, there has never been a better time to work in the tech space whether with a tech company or in another industry.  The reality is that tech jobs are everywhere, in every organization and the opportunities are limitless.

So back to the original question, why do I love working in tech?  I have had a career I couldn’t have dreamed of when I graduated. It’s been exciting, rewarding, interesting and throughout it all I felt I was doing something important and making a difference.

What could be better?



About the Author:

Janet Wood is Global HR Leader, Office of the CEO, SAP, a member of the JABC Board of Directors, and a world traveller