Jessica Ong works with the ACS Foundation BiG Day In Junior events, teaching kids all about code and what tech can do for the world. She’s got BiG aspirations, that include making education more accessible for everyone. She shares what she’s learnt about STEM careers over the years, and why there should be more women working in STEM.
My study pathway was pretty straightforward – after completing my HSC, I got offered a place in Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology double degree at the University of Technology, Sydney. I’m now a second year student at UTS, and I’m planning on majoring in Economics and Data Analytics!
I’m working on the ACS Foundation BiG Day In Junior events, where kids learn about coding, cyber security, energy poverty and creating solar lights. We’re aiming to educate and inspire kids with technology, showing them that tech isn’t all about coding (even though it’s awesome). They can get involved in tech in other ways, and do great things with tech in the future.
I’ve always loved design, so when I found out about the job of a User Experience or User Interface Designer, I was stoked – I didn’t think that I would ever be able to combine my passion for design with something technical.
After doing a few IT subjects at uni, the gender imbalance in STEM is apparent: in my very first IT subject, I was the only girl in a workshop of 30 students! That was definitely an eye-opening moment for me.
More and more women are joining the workforce and beginning to pursue STEM and IT-related jobs, which I think is a fantastic move in the right direction for the future that we’re trying to create. Women make up half of the population, so they should have a fair say and be able to work in industries that are an integral part of our world for many years to come.
If you’re considering studying STEM, just do it! Don’t listen to all the stereotypes and talk about how “you’ll just be in a dark room coding all the time” or that “there are only boys in engineering” – careers in STEM are so much broader and diversified than that, and you shouldn’t let the fear of being one of the only females in the room stop you. If it’s what you’re interested in or passionate about, seize every opportunity that’s presented to you!