IBM returnship helps restart IT careers

IBM’s Tech Re-Entry Program helps bridge the gap for adults who have taken time away from the tech industry and are interested in getting back into an IT career.

IBM returnship helps restart IT careers

Anju Nair had taken 15 years off from her career in tech as an IT consultant. After working in India, Europe, and the US for over seven years, she found it difficult to strike a healthy work-life balance. And after having trouble conceiving, she decided to step back from her career and take time to focus on her family and herself.

Once she had her daughter, Nair was “fortunate enough to have the choice of staying home” to spend time with her, she says. But as her daughter got entered grade school and gained more independence, Nair decided it was time to return to her career. As is the case for many women who take time off to care for their families, she knew the transition might not be seamless.

For women like Nair, it isn’t always easy to know where to start when returning to the workplace. Brushing up on the latest tech skills is important, so Nair spent a year training herself and building a foundation by researching job descriptions, reading tech blogs, and taking online courses to assess where she wanted to take her career. Ultimately, she landed on data scientist as her goal but knew, no matter how hard she worked building the right skillset, she would still need to find the right opportunity.

“I was confident in my skills, because I had the prior experience, I knew what I was working towards, and I knew I was open to learning; but to get that opportunity is the toughest part,” she says.

She had several friends in a similar position. One happened to mention a tech re-entry program at IBM, and Nair soon came across a posting for the IBM’s data scientist program. She applied and was accepted, and is now working toward becoming a full-fledged data scientist.

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