It's the year 2025, and it used to be that in the past people once worked as software developers to develop programmes and algos on binary computing systems, developed by silicon technology chips. However, the era that began with Bill Gates and Steve Wozniak ended as a new one would take its place, as biomolecular computing became widespread and DNA chips became available for public consumption.
It used to be that software engineers and developers were in the same high demand category as factory workers had been in the 1950s and the early part of the 20th century, but now much of their specialised knowledge was now obsolete, and there were no more need for programming languages, just as people of that era had stopped working in factories, as technology moved past the silicon chip era into the new era of biomolecular computing (DNA computing).
It might be hard for us to envision what will happen just ten years from now, but the technological changes in our society are already happening, and have been in development for the last decade. These developments have been largely ignored by popular media and instead, there has been a trend in the media to idolise software developers and computer science majors which, in turn, have pushed young minds to pursue a career in that field to such an effect that President Obama has even made public speeches hoping that America's young minds will become software engineers instead of studying the liberal arts to compete with China and India's indomintable workforce of software developers.
However, apart from the hype of software development, if we take a cursory look at the education of VCs, Global leaders and Founders, we can see a distinct trend:
Whereas, in the near future, software development will be replaced by AI, as many technical related sectors, such as medicine, engineering and law, we can see that in the hierarchy of education, global leaders and founders have primarily studied philosophy, economics and politics. The problem with computer science is that because technology moves at a rapid pace, and because its specialisation is narrow and technically driven, most comp sci majors have a short career life span, and many programmers must constantly update their skill set by learning additional programming languages, in addition to the ageist perspective of many tech companies and startups that only favour young programmers, 30 y.o. or under. The life of a software engineer can often be, brutish and short.
Whereas students who study philosophy, economics and politics may have many sectors in which they can apply their knowledge base, with a versatile skill set that can be translated to many different areas: eCommerce, politics, technology, venture capital, finance, management, etc, people with specialised skill sets are quickly becoming replaced by AI. Although we are living in an era of specialisation, having more of a generalised education ultimately produces a longer career life span than the narrow focus and short lifespan of computer science and computer engineering on binary systems.
Although the best education is self-directed, lead by following one's own curiosity, and certainly there is a bias towards software engineering degrees in Founders located in India and China, it certainly isn't the norm in the UK nor the US, although many CTO/Founders can be based in software development, the more general trend is towards Founders with a broad education.
We are not lacking in students and people or women who are interested in STEM education, rather the current educational system for STEM is outdated, which is why when women pursue STEM, they might choose to do so outside of institutionalised education and research their own projects or move into a field in which they are able to integrate new knowledge.
And no, it isn't because women do not study science and math which is the reason why they're not chosen as VC partners at Sequoia Capital. Rather, it's more likely because they're not male with government connections.
By Sierra Choi