OMAHA, Neb. — The pandemic put a lot of businesses, jobs and career paths in question and for some professionals, it widened the gap in racial disparities.
Virtual reality takes you to another world where things can be fun, thrilling or even a little scary. The past year brought home a lot of realities for people when it comes to career choices and options.
"I was working in home behavioral therapy and Covid made me realize that was a vulnerable career choice. When I moved into tech, I now have so much autonomy, I get to work when I want, where I want, as long as I have my laptop, I am good. I want other people to feel like that," said Carlea Jean Magee, president of Blacks in Technology.
The group is in 47 states and seven different countries. They are working to bridge the job and income gap when it comes to minorities in technology.
Blacks in Technology Member Tiffany Gamble said she is excited about the potential use of virtual reality and technology. "They use it at the Global Davis Center to do surgeries, to provide education and training and the gaming industry is very lucrative. We need to look at VR not just in a gaming sense but as a part of a career pathway."
"The gaming industry is a 160 billion dollar industry and that was pre-covid and it has probably shot up since then, it is probably looking at 250 billion by 2025," added Magee.
Omaha has one of the largest tech hubs with a reported 700 jobs currently available.
"Facebook is here, Google is here, Yahoo, they are lacking those skilled workers so it is vital for Blacks in Technology and all these other emerging techs networking organizations to come together and push the needle," continued Gamble.
She added that minorities represent just 9% of the tech space and when it comes to minority women that number drops down to just one percent.
Magee added, "There are these parts of the industry that people don't even know exist and we want to get that information out there, it's very lucrative. You can make pretty good money in that industry doing something that you love."
Every day more and more jobs are being lost to automation. Currently, there are close to three million tech jobs that need to be filled.
Although the group's mission is to close the racial divide when it comes to minorities in the tech field, all are welcome. Memberships for Blacks in Technology are free.
The official launch party will be held on Sunday, August 22 at Omaha Virtual Reality in the Capitol District. Currently, they have a week-long "Virtual Game Jam" taking place and streaming live.
- July 10 - July 18, Virtual Game Jam
- Criss Library Creative Production Lab
- July 14 - BIT Global All-Members Meeting
- July 15 - BIT & Friends
- August 22 - Official Launch Party