Career Switch: Massage Therapist to IT Pro
In every generation of the Ramirez family, the women are getting closer to their career dreams. “My mother was an engineer. She ended up getting married and kind of putting that on hold,” said Toni Ramirez, who had her own kids in her 20s and put aside her plans to save the world.
Now as a mom of two, doing the job of both parents, she’s showing her son and daughter what it’s like when a mother gets to follow her dreams.
The career shift to IT has been a huge move for Ramirez, who worked in the medical and hospitality field for 20 years, but she’s determined to go after what she wants. “We’ve always had great women who have changed the course of history who had ideas and would not back down,” Ramirez said.
She plans to be one of them.
Making the Career Switch to Tech
After 15 years running a massage therapy business, Ramirez was burned out. Her body ached and she needed a new way to make money. Her cousin was working at Orbitz in user experience (UX) and got Ramirez interested in a tech career.
“She said, ‘You should do it because there are not enough female engineers. Every time we call somebody up, we’re surprised if we see one female engineer around,’” Ramirez said. “I said, ‘I'm up for that challenge.’”
She noticed the IT-Ready Technical Support program around the same time. The IT-Ready program was part of Creating IT Futures’ new pilot program in Chicago in 2019 and since has been incorporated into the CompTIA Tech Career Academy.
“I went into the application thinking, ‘I'm going to try it. Let's see what's gonna happen.’” After passing the initial screening and testing, she dove into some long classroom days and a new world of tech possibilities.
Now she’s normalizing women climbing ladders, changing cables, troubleshooting hardware issues, and actualizing on her dream to follow in her mom’s footsteps as an engineer, with a technology twist.