Virve Linnanoja specializes in data and analytics but does not consider herself a technical person – even if she has an extensive career in tech.
Virve was lucky enough to have a high school diploma so good she could enroll directly at Helsinki University of Technology – known today as Aalto University.
“I did not really know which direction to take after high school, so I figured I could try construction engineering, which was familiar to me through my father. However, I realized quite soon that mathematics is not my strong suit. I was curious about geotechnics and geology, drawing, and building technology,” Virve says.
A career in tech since 1998
She had set her eyes on Nokia but always thought her studies were unsuitable for working in the global tech company. In 1998, after four years of studying at the university, Virve successfully applied for a job.
“I got sucked right in and ended up working at Nokia for 11 years, mostly on international projects as a service and project manager. I even spent 2.5 years working in Singapore as an expatriate, so language skills are useful. From Nokia, I landed a role at Wärtsilä and eventually started working as an enterprise architect. Before joining Tietoevry, I also had the pleasure of utilizing my previous studies while working with the construction company YIT,” Virve recalls.
As someone with such a long and diverse career in tech, Virve knows that different career paths and backgrounds are crucial. More than anything, technology is an enabler for other industries to prosper and develop. For example, healthcare and education cannot progress without technology.
Many of today’s skills are not education-specific
Virve’s background proves that you don’t need to be a techie to enter the industry, nor does the industry need certain types of people over anything else.
“The core skills needed in my role, for example, are the ability to grasp the big picture and the initiative to seek information and solve problems. Specializing in robotics or algorithms can be useful but not always necessary,” Virve explains.
Virve herself works as a consultant, meaning that she designs and draws the architecture of client companies and focuses on data and analytics especially. In her daily work, she interacts with multiple roles in each organization.
“I ensure all rules and regulations regarding data use are considered and that any selected solutions and software fit into the company’s existing system map. I work with analysts, who make calculations and work with algorithms,” she explains.