by Patrick Tarkowski
The IT world is still dominated by men in many cases. However, this is not due to a lack of interest or ability on the part of women, but to the way they are approached. There is a lack of role models and methods to get women interested in IT and programming. The so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) want to change this and have a prominent advocate in the form of the Minister of Education, Johanna Wanka. If more women choose an IT profession, this will have a significant impact on the economy and not least on e-commerce.
The problem – IT does not cater enough to women
IT jobs are cold, technical and analytical. Many still associate these ideas with computer science and programming. At the same time, the creation of websites and programs is a thoroughly creative affair. When women are active in the industry, they are especially enthusiastic about the design side of IT and bring their creativity to the development process. This facet of information technology gets far too little attention in training courses and in career information. Accordingly, only a few women feel attracted to IT and aspire to a career in this field. They don’t know enough about the many opportunities to translate their own creative ideas into a programming language and achieve an attractive result in the process. If you want to inspire women for the IT industry, you have to start here.
The solution – MOOCs specifically address women
The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) has announced an online course specifically for girls and young women at CeBIT, delivered via the institute’s interactive platform. This is organized and realized by HPI bachelor student Lisa Ihde (20). Education Minister Johanna Wanka issued a clear invitation to the course on site and hopes to inspire as many girls as possible to take up the offer. The MOOC from HPI uses practical examples to show participants how they can design their own website and use it for their personal interests. Travel fans have the opportunity to share their photos, stories and experiences on the website, fashion queens can present their latest bargains and favorite products, and friends of dancing offer others the opportunity to share in their hobby via a blog. In addition, the offer is aimed at schoolgirls who are planning their own website for their class or school. Here, in addition to information about school and classes, projects and class trips can be organized and planned with students in mind. Important topics like copyrights, choosing colors, and sourcing icons are addressed and explained in clear terms. The hands-on approach aims to meet girls and young women where they are and get them excited about the world of IT.
The impact – the face of e-commerce is changing
If in the future more women do indeed become enthusiastic about IT and programming, this would of course have an impact on e-commerce. More women would go on to open their own online stores and offer extra creative and edgy offerings. The shopping and surfing behavior of women would be taken up much more in the digital stores and their individual interests would be shown to greater advantage. The creative potential would lead to innovative and extraordinary offers. MOOCs thus have the potential to change the face of digital shopping and e-commerce, establishing a new approach and perspective on online store creation and maintenance.