What does the future of work look like for women in 2019?

November 7, 2018

When Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners launched a decade ago, many speakers were excited about building apps and companies.

By 2018, we have experienced a career-defining shift in focus to stay competitive and relevant in fast-moving industries and roles. Expertise has a short shelf life in tech — we were reminded of this as our redesigned website updated with diverse speaker bios of up-and-coming technical leaders, and new job trends emerged from the decade. Here are the 6 hot jobs blazing the future of work:

DATA SCIENCE: This department has in high-demand from employers and students — this fall, UC Berkeley taught the “intro to data science” course in a concert hall with a capacity of 2,689 seats! You can find the professional certificate program for data science offered by UC Berkeley online here.

Sasha Laundy works in data science at Warby Parker. Previously, she founded WomenWhoCode and Polynumeral. She says:

“Data science is so popular right now in part because it’s so useful. It can be applied to a staggering number of areas — like climate change, public health, journalism, politics, supply chain, understanding customers, product design, and the search for exoplanets, just to name a few. If you develop your statistics, software engineering, communication, and ethical skills, you can apply data science to pretty much any area that interests you.”

ENGINEERING: This well-paying profession is in huge demand, leading to a rise in coding bootcamps (note: many people who work in engineering didn’t major in computer science).

“Until recently, only graduates of a few elite PhD programs were able to effectively use deep learning. Artificial intelligence (AI) is facing a diversity crisis, and we need to get more people from all backgrounds involved! Free educational resources like our course on deep learning from fast.ai is available to anyone with a year of coding experience — no advanced math required.” — Rachel Thomas, PhD, co-founder of fast.ai

Silicon Valley employers need to expand from traditional university recruiting to include a balanced proportion of non-traditional pathways — which would simultaneously broaden and diversify the talent pool across vectors like age, gender, underrepresented groups. More on this topic later…

PRODUCT DESIGN: Facebook’s VP of Product Design Julie Zhuo blazed a path for product design with her blog and frequently speaks on the topic. The popular role emerged from an alphabet soup of job titles like UX designer, UI design, interaction design.

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT: Google’s prized Associate Product Manager program was created by former VP Marissa Mayer to scale product managers as the company grew rapidly. Aside from MBA candidates with a new dream job of becoming a product manager, professional pathways include product management bootcamps, online courses and communities like One Week PM.

MODERN-DAY SALES ENGINEERING: Less golf, more spreadsheets. FastCo published in August an article about how sales became a STEM job. Sales enablers who optimize the sales team and process, arming reps with real time insights and data, are valuable assets, and sales engineers like Kelly Kitagawa at Splunk are on the rise. In 2019, sales will continue be a lucrative career for women:

“You need to be someone who is curious, wants to genuinely help companies that are probably fits for what you sell, and can express why and how your products can do that. So people who like to research, people who are detail-oriented, outgoing, confident make great sales reps  —  people who like a challenge and who want to learn—will be great at sales,” says Ali Powell at HubSpot.

SECURITY & ETHICS: Misinformation and inequality is on the rise in the United States, most markedly seen with 2016 election hacking of democracy. Security and ethics are at new frontiers with vast opportunities for new leadership positions and voices.

“It’s so broad in scope,” Intel’s Chief Security Officer Window Snyder told Dark Reading about her new role. “But it’s still people at the end of the day.”

Stay tuned next week for industry trends—4 of them!— that are huge opportunities for women.

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