Liz Bacon

Thumbnail_GiselleLiz Bacon is the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich where she is busy teaching and doing research. She is also the President of the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. So what does Liz think of her job? “I love the variety - no two days are the same! I travel the world for many reasons e.g. to talk about my research, support partner institutions who deliver University of Greenwich degrees all over the world, accredit universities to deliver a European quality label etc.”

“Teaching is a really rewarding experience, there is nothing better than graduation day when you see students who you know have worked so hard to succeed, finally graduate. Finally, working with companies to help them with innovation, deliver a new product, ensures real-world experience and case studies are fed back into the student experience”, adds Liz.

Encouraging more women to take up ICT studies and careers is a top priority for Liz: “However, just because girls understand the subject, it doesn’t mean they understand the range of careers available within the industry so I think a lot more needs to be done to educate teachers and careers advisors about the profession. There are so many different careers within ICT that there is almost something for everyone”, explains Liz.

Quote_Giselle_1So what’s her advice to young women that want to get a career in ICT? “They should find out about the range of careers on offer so that they can make informed decisions about the aspects they like best. They should also talk to those who are in the field, careers advisors, school teachers and if possible, get some work experience”.

This is exactly what Liz did herself when she was still a student trying to figure out which direction to take for her future: “I first became interested in computing during a careers evening at my school. After that I did a 6 week course in basic at a local college, and then decided this was the career for me so I needed to learn the discipline”.

Liz went on to study computing in higher education. “Higher education was the obvious next step and I had the most amazing experience! Whilst there are a huge variety of careers in computing, it was the logic of programming that got me hooked – loved it and still do! Never looked back!”, she explains.
"I spent my third year in industry working at CERN, the European organisation for Particle Physics where I worked with so many different people from all over the world. It was a fantastic experience I’ll never forget and I cannot recommend sandwich degrees highly enough!", adds Liz.

ArnQuote1With her degree in her pocket, Liz was keen to get a job in the industry and start earning a salary: “However several of my tutors tried to persuade me to do a PhD. I was very interested in artificial intelligence at the time but had only undertaken one final year module in the subject so, I decided to get more experience of this through a PhD and did my research with Guy’s Hospital in London which was fascinating and very rewarding”, says Liz.

Ultimately Liz decided to continue her career in academia: “It has been a very rewarding and diverse experience. I realise that I love learning and never want to stop, working with companies, developing software, undertaking leading edge research, teaching, working with a variety of national and international organisations, including being President of my professional body, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, travelling the world etc. has been an incredible experience”.

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