Myths About Working in the IT Industry
People have many misconceptions about working in the IT industry. There’s a stereotype that tech is run by lone, male, 21-year-old math geniuses spending every waking moment in front of a computer.
But the opposite is closer to the truth. The IT industry is really run by a wide variety of regular people from every age, gender, ethnicity, and background.
Let’s take a look at several myths about working in the IT industry.
#1: You need a super-advanced degree in computer science
A super advanced degree will make you an expert in one hyper-specific area. That means you can easily get a job in that area, but tech skills more generally don’t require such advanced qualifications.
Many tech jobs don’t require a formal degree at all - a six-week coding boot camp is enough to get your foot in the door. And some people are even self-taught.
About 70% of Computer and Information Systems Managers don’t have a Master's Degree, and 25% don’t even have a Bachelor’ Degree.
#2: You have to be really good at math or science
It would be a shame if you need strong math skills for tech because computers were literally invented to do the math for us. General programming skills don’t rely on math or science so much as general reasoning, organization, and verbal skills. Expertise in math or science is more useful for niche applications that require such skills.
#3: You’ll get stuck in one narrow career path
Tech connects to virtually every other industry on the planet, so it is easy to jump from tech into another career. Also, even within tech, there are many paths. Some people are programmers, and others become managers or do quality assurance. Many shifts into the business side as customer support agents, account managers, and sales managers.
#4: You end up working alone all the time
Tech is actually very social. It requires coordinating ideas and software between people, to make a bigger project work. Even solo developers have to rely on libraries and programming languages built by other people. Programmers also get together to share ideas and solve problems at gatherings like hackathons, conferences, and other fun events.
#5: There’s no social support for women in tech
Many tech companies and organizations provide plenty of social support for women. JetRockets, for example, is a woman-owned business that has about 40% of its female team members working as Developers, Project Managers, QAs, and Designers. We strive to avoid the “boys’ club” culture that permeates many companies.
#6: Work-life balance doesn’t exist
Tech is probably more conscious of work-life balance than most other fields, for many reasons. Tech needs creativity, and creativity needs rest. The better our employees’ work-life balance, the better they are able to perform creatively at work. And happier employees are more likely to stay loyal to the company- a valuable asset for an industry in which high-valued employees are frequently poached.
#7: You can’t use all the experience and skills you already have
Since tech is a multifaceted industry, skills from many different jobs will provide value. Social skills of all sorts will make coordinating projects easier. Industry-specific knowledge can help you design technology for that industry. And you never know when that little tidbit of information you learned 10 years ago will turn out to apply to your new project.
#8: Everyone in tech is 21
People working in tech come from all different ages and backgrounds. I joined the industry not long after my 30th birthday, after almost 10 years in hospitality.
Young people may bring lots of creativity and new ideas to the table, but older workers will bring more experience and technical know-how. While tech workers are on average about five years younger than non-tech workers, the average tech worker is 38 years old.
#9: You have to live in Silicon Valley
Every industry in the whole world needs technology, so there are technology companies pretty much everywhere. And there are plenty of major tech hubs beyond Silicon Valley. In the US, there is also New York, Austin, and Atlanta. And outside of the US, there are major tech hubs in Europe, India, and Southeast Asia.
#10: Programmers are all geniuses
Far from it. Programming doesn’t require any special skills and talents. Programmers are mostly just ordinary people making cool things happen. Besides, there are millions of people working in tech- not every one of them can be the next Einstein!
Let’s wrap it up
Working in tech can be an exciting experience, because it draws on all kinds of people to produce cool things. At JetRockets, we operate as a teal organisation: we encourage everyone to bring their own unique talents to the table, rather than force a one-size-fits-all standard.
This means that our employees come from different educational backgrounds, ages, genders, and previously acquired skills. We strive for a healthy work-life balance to maximize creativity, and encourage everyone to manage themselves and their teams on their own terms.