The tech industry is a dynamic field renowned for its constant innovation, lucrative salaries, and thrilling work prospects. However, like any industry, it has its fair share of misunderstandings and falsehoods.
These misconceptions can dissuade people from considering a career in tech or cause them to hold incorrect assumptions about the field.
This article aims to debunk common tech industry myths that may be misleading or inaccurate.
Debunking the Myths
Here are the 11 most talked-about tech industry myths you need to know before starting a tech career.
1. You need to have a degree in computer science to work in tech.
Many successful tech professionals do not have a computer science degree. Even Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, dropped out of college before starting his career in tech.
Today, many companies in the tech industry are shifting their focus away from requiring a computer science degree and instead placing more emphasis on skills and experience.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says the company hires candidates based on their skill set rather than their college degrees. For him, there is a discrepancy between the skills attained through college education and what a business needs.¹
Even Google and other industry giants no longer require applicants to have a college degree for many of their positions.
2. Tech jobs are all about coding.
Coding is essential to many IT jobs. However, it’s not the only needed skill. Without a coding skill, you can land a tech job as a:
- Project Manager
- User Experience Designer
- User Interface Designer
- Marketing Automation Manager
- SEO/SEM Specialist
- System Administrator
- Software Quality Tester
- Tech Support Specialist
- Product Manager
- Technical Writer
- Information Architect
- Web Analysis Specialist
- Data Analyst
3. Jobs in tech are only for young people.
Younger workers dominate many tech companies, but it’s also true that there is no age limit on working in tech.
Many tech companies are actively recruiting older workers who bring experience and perspective. IBM has a program called the IBM Retiree Corps, which is focused on getting back retired IBM employees to work on projects and mentor younger workers.
When asked in a Quora query, “Is software development a dead-end job after age 35-40?” Steven Ussery, a software engineer, answers this with confidence.
“I am a 65-year-old software engineer with an impressive work history that includes notable companies like Apple, Adobe, eBay, Microsoft, Cisco, and many others. Despite being laid off multiple times, I have consistently secured employment within 3 to 4 weeks, even amidst recessions. The Social Security report I receive reflects my lifetime earnings of $3,042,040, and I’m not done yet.”
4. Only men work in tech.
Although male-dominated, the tech industry is experiencing a growing movement to increase diversity and inclusion. Many tech companies are actively working to hire more women and underrepresented minorities in tech roles.
IDC reported that the proportion of women holding senior leadership roles increased from 21 to 24 percent between 2018 and 2019. This development is encouraging since the presence of women in such positions can benefit female employee engagement and retention.²
5. The best jobs in tech are all based in Silicon Valley.
Undoubtedly, the immense hype surrounding Silicon Valley can make aspiring tech professionals feel like they need to relocate to the Bay Area to achieve success. However, remote work is an increasingly viable option for those seeking a career in the tech industry.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become more accessible than ever. According to Gallup, the number of hybrid work positions will increase from 42 percent in early 2022 to 55 percent.³
6. You must work for a tech giant to have a successful tech career.
While working for a tech giant like Google or Amazon can undoubtedly be a great career move, it’s not the only successful career path in tech.
Many successful tech professionals have started their own companies or worked for smaller startups like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Slack, who all had tremendous success in the tech industry.
Dodge, Former Developer at Google, says that throughout his career, he’s worked for various companies, including five startups and three large corporations. However, startups are excellent options for those looking to gain diverse experience in all aspects of a business. If it becomes successful, you can also have stock options.
Peter Vukovic, CTO at FOUNDER.Org, even believes that large companies don’t offer much insight into starting a company, despite being great places to work. The extensive organizational structure and specialized focus of employees make it challenging to gain a comprehensive understanding.
Joining a startup is the best way to learn what it takes to get a business off the ground.
7. There are no opportunities to showcase creativity.
Tech is centered around problem-solving, which often demands the application of unique and creative solutions. Even within the act of coding, it is necessary to devise innovative techniques to achieve the desired effects.
The tech industry is full of opportunities for creativity and enjoyment, and those who embrace these aspects can achieve great success. For example, graphic designers, UX designers, and product managers all play a crucial role in shaping the user experience, and their positions require a great deal of creativity.
8. You need to be good at math.
A basic understanding of math at the high school level is typically adequate for the majority of tech industry roles.
Unless you’re engaged in specialized tasks like developing intricate scientific software or designing computer hardware, advanced mathematical skills are not essential.
9. Tech jobs are unstable.
Tech is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and will continue to grow in the coming years. Even if you lose your job due to company downsizing or closure, you can be confident that your in-demand skills will make it relatively easy to find new opportunities.
Compared to other industries, where layoffs often necessitate complete career transitions, tech has an unemployment rate between 2 and 3 percent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, tech is expected to experience significant job growth, with a 15 percent increase in employment from 2021 to 2031.
This growth rate is much higher than the average for all occupations and is projected to create approximately 682,800 fresh job opportunities during the decade.⁴
10. You can’t have a work-life balance working in tech.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught business owners that adopting flexible work models increases employee engagement and retention. Almost everyone had to adjust their daily office routines and create makeshift home offices. Some even conducted meetings with their managers while wearing comfortable clothing.
Working remotely provides flexibility, particularly in the tech industry, where plenty of jobs allow you to set your work hours around your other commitments.
Many tech companies strongly focus on work-life balance and encourage employees to take time off and recharge. Companies like Hubspot and Roku have unlimited vacation policies and encourage employees to take time off when needed.
11. All you need to do is take a few courses, and you’re good to go.
Merely completing courses may not be sufficient to secure a job in the tech industry. To increase your chances of landing a tech job, you must go beyond theoretical knowledge to learn how to apply them to real-life scenarios.
- Do you have the ability to build websites and products?
- Can you work independently?
- Do you have an eye for detail and are meticulous in accuracy?
- Are you proficient in the backend languages?
These are some practical skills employers look for in potential candidates. Starting as a freelancer before getting a full-time position is not a bad idea after all. If anything, it will help you build the skills and experience to make you attractive in the job market.
LET FOCUS PEOPLE HELP YOU IN LANDING YOUR DREAM JOB
Are you looking to break into the tech industry but feeling limited by your location? Don’t let these tech industry myths hold you back!
At Focus People, we work to connect candidates with remote tech job opportunities across the country. With our team of experts, you won’t be left in the dark at any stage of your job search process. We’ll provide valuable insights that help you have access to quality opportunities that suit your skills and preferences.
Don’t miss out on the exciting possibilities of remote work in the tech industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your career goals.
1. Eadicicco, Lisa.”Apple CEO Tim Cook explains why you don’t need a college degree to be successful.” Business Insider Africa, 7 Mar. 2019, https://africa.businessinsider.com/tech/apple-ceo-tim-cook-explains-why-you-dont-need-a-college-degree-to-be-successful-aapl/4zx74zl..
2. Bailey, Michelle. “Women in Technology: Understanding the Problem.” IDC Blogs, International Data Corporation, 3 May 2019, https://blogs.idc.com/2019/05/03/women-in-technology-understanding-the-problem/.
3. Agrawal, Sangeeta and Wigert, Ben. “Returning to the Office: Current Preferred Future State of Remote Work.” Gallup, 31 Aug. 2022, https://www.gallup.com/workplace/397751/returning-office-current-preferred-future-state-remote-work.aspx.
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Computer and Information Technology Occupations.” Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Department of Labor, 8 Sept. 2022, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/home.htm.