</Q&A with Dr Bhagyashree Patil, Lecturer in Computer Science and #DigitalRoleModel>
Seeing yourself represented in an industry can be a great inspiration to start working in that sector. Our upcoming Digital Women event will introduce you to some of the women employed in the tech sector and show the career opportunities that can be found in digital. In this blog, one of our speakers at the event, Dr Bhagyashree Patil, tells us about her digital skills journey and what inspired her to pursue her career.
Name: Dr Bhagyashree Patil
Degree: PhD in Human-Computer Interaction
Current employer and position/job role: Lecturer, Computer Science Department, University of Bath
1. What motivated you to study your degree?
My motivation came from the ability to travel and good career opportunities. When I was young, my father started working in IT and got the opportunity to go to the United States to work. It sounded great to go to a foreign country and also earn more money than I would get in India. That’s the reason I decided to study computer science.
While pursuing my engineering degree, I realised that I enjoyed learning more about how people interacted with computers which involved studying the psychology of human beings. I therefore decided to study human-computer interaction which is an interdisciplinary topic involving engineering, psychology, social sciences, arts and many other areas. I then decided to pursue my PhD in it as well.
2. What is the most enjoyable part of working and teaching in the digital sector?
I enjoy my research area of human-computer interaction as it involves understanding how we live in this digital world, how computers affect us, how we interact with computerised technologies and with each other using these technologies. It’s a fascinating area of research that has revolutionised the way we live today.
I enjoy teaching the subjects that I love. Some of the concepts in computer science can be quite abstract. I enjoy teaching these concepts to students and seeing them improve their understanding. It is quite a satisfactory thing when your students say they enjoyed the learning process. I also love interacting with students and working with them as a part of my job.
3. Did you face any barriers when entering your field, either in higher education or when you graduated? If so, how did you overcome them?
Education is really respected in India. However, there can be barriers as a woman if you come from certain traditional families. I think I am fortunate that my parents encouraged education for everyone. I do not think I faced any barriers as such to get into higher education.
4. What guidance or advice would you give to young women who are considering an education and career in the digital sector?
I would say go for it! It’s one of the skills that will increasingly be needed by employers and will ensure that you have good career opportunities. An IT degree does not mean you have to be a programmer. You could work as a project manager or an IT consultant or as a researcher. The digital sector is quite interesting in a way that you can combine it with another sector of your liking. e.g. healthcare, telecommunication, retail. Digital skills are needed in all sectors so learning these skills opens up many career doors.
5. If you could learn any other digital skill, what would it be?
I am currently learning to improve my skills in the blockchain technology. In future, I would like to learn to develop augmented reality and virtual reality apps.
6. Please tell us a bit about your session/presentation at the Digital Women event.
The session will include my experience of the digital sector, and opportunities available for women in the IT sector followed by a session that introduces the basics of programming using Python. Attendees will have opportunities to write their own basic programs in python.
If you’d like to hear more about Bhagy’s journey and career, as well as find out about your opportunities in tech, join the Institute of Coding and many of our partners for the Digital Women event on 5th August.