In a recent Georgetown University report on employment, one of the key findings is that those who invent and create technology do far better unemployment-wise and salary-wise. This is something I’ve been touting for a long time and which organizations like CSTA and NCWIT try to emphasize. Sure, it’s good to know the ins and outs of a spreadsheet program or word processor, but if you want real employability and a better salary, create something that solves a problem, whether that be software or hardware, an app or an entirely new system for managing energy.
Someone posted this to Twitter as well, emphasizing that despite indications that certain degrees fare better, students shouldn’t pick just based on that. I agree, but I am also glad that I added technology to my own mix, making me much more employable than a standard English major. And I’m glad I was an English major, focused on writing and communication as it made me better at what I currently do. Most of the time, I translate technical issues for non-technical people and explain in technical terms what non-technical people want. I love that aspect of my work, which has been present as part of my work for 10-15 years.
So, sure, do what you love, but find a way to add experience to your portfolio that makes your love of poetry relevant. I added technology both through a CS class, and then as my work, building web sites and helping others use the technology at hand, which 20 years ago was a challenge. Not everyone could use a spreadsheet or word processor well. Now, that’s not enough to stand out.