Sunday, April 14, 2024

The reasons why LA residents still do not have the courage to work in IT: The most common myths

There are many myths and legends surrounding the IT industry. Many Americans still have a stereotyped image of a recluse IT geek who avoids people. Others believe that even a novice can earn several thousand dollars a month and drive around in a brand-new Tesla. Some people are convinced that they got no chance in Los Angeles and the only way out is to move to Silicon Valley. So let’s find out what is the myth and where is the truth here. Read more at la-future.

Aren’t girls welcome in IT?

Although the majority of IT specialists are still men, many women are also interested in this profession. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), more women than ever tend to receive a STEM degree. Moreover, women are almost on the same level as men in obtaining bachelor’s degrees in science and engineering. Based on NSF research, the number of women working in the technology field will continue to increase until 2029.

Another aspect to consider is that women don’t enter the IT industry as quickly as men. It’s important to remember that the underrepresentation of women in this sphere can prevent them from succeeding in the industry. Nevertheless, according to Purdue University, compared to recent years, women hold 34% of tech jobs in such major companies as Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.

As BLS labor force statistics show, there were 27.8% of women engaged in computer systems design and related services in 2019. Pew Research Center reports, as of 2016, women accounted for 14%, 25%, and 29% of the workforce in engineering, computer science and physics, respectively. According to the College Board’s AP test data in 2019, 47% of math and 29% of computer science examinees were girls.

Wages are exceed American skyscrapers

The IT industry is certainly a well-paid job, and if one happens to be a good specialist, the salary grows even more. However, like every other career, it also demands hard work and learning. University graduates who make their first steps in the labor market earn the same as their peers in other fields.

It is true that in the IT industry, the programmer is valued more with each year of work, and his or her wage rises as well. In case of a lack of talented and experienced Java programmers, PHP specialists or software architects, employers persuade their employees to work for them with a higher salary.

Since IT professionals are not a homogeneous group, not all of them can expect to be paid above the national average. Such factors as experience, region, specialization type, knowledge of the technology, a form of cooperation and even whether we choose to work in a startup or a corporation are decisive in this matter. For example, starting earnings of a junior programmer (depending on the company) can amount to 3-4 thousand net.

IT worker = programmer

A person who is not involved in the IT industry may imagine its workers as people staring at the code for hours. Yet, not everyone in this sphere can be called a programmer. The IT field encompasses other professions that do not require coding skills.

You can become, for example, a project manager. This profession will require interpersonal communication and team management talents. If you previously had a similar experience in another sphere, nothing prevents you from trying it in IT as well.

Besides, IT includes professions related to sales and marketing. It has the same rules as alike specializations connected to other industries. The difference lies in knowing the specific products we want to deal with.

Digital marketing serves a job for online advertising specialists, content writers and managers or technical copywriters. People of all educational backgrounds, even humanitarian ones, may engage in all these types of activities. The only thing that matters is the willingness to acquire new knowledge and skills.

Many people still think that technical work is devoid of creativity, but this opinion is wrong for many reasons. IT occupations are dynamic and are about finding creative solutions to problems.

There are many ways to develop and implement your ideas, for example, creating websites, applications, and systems that improve the company’s workflow. In fact, some tech jobs are all about inventiveness, like graphic designers who experiment with logos, styles and visual representations.

A specialized diploma is required

Far from all programmers have a higher education, let alone the whole IT sphere. Undoubtedly, training prepares you well for a future job and equips you with the necessary knowledge, but by working a little, you can gain it yourself.

In reality, a programming specialist usually doesn’t have to perform complex mathematical tasks, but logical and analytical thinking will definitely come in handy.

Among the people engaged in the industry, there are graduates of most possible majors, including humanities such as philosophy or sociology. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, who left college for a career, are the most compelling examples proving that a degree is not crucial for work in the IT field. 

Obviously, formal education is a great advantage, and some hirers still require it for more senior positions. Due to modern access to information, the lack of paperwork is no longer an obstacle for a person who wants to work as an IT specialist. Practical skills, experience,  certifications and technologies, which the candidate is familiar with, are prioritized instead.

In addition, the IT industry and new technologies are changing at a quick pace, which makes programmers learn almost all their lives. After all, in what field are you not updating your knowledge? Nowadays, investing in yourself and advancing competency and skills are necessary to be a valuable worker, and IT specialists are no exception either. The rapid evolution of the IT industry demands the ability to adapt to changes quite often. Therefore, the more you know, the easier it is to do so.

Are all programmers introverts?

It is a lie that every programmer is a maverick, living in a world of codes and programs. Having an analytical mind is, of course, a perk of a good programmer, but repeating stereotypes about men in checkered shirts is not funny anymore. Actually, computer experts can be different as well as employees in all other industries.

As in any other work area, there are cheerful people, loud extroverts, and calm individuals who don’t like too much attention.

At the same time, the image of a raunchy programmer in a hoodie with a knee-length beard sitting in the basement is definitely a myth.

Work in the IT direction is full of stereotypes that have little to do with reality. This attitude stops a person from trying themselves in a field that offers unique opportunities. You can deal with interesting and prospective cases while enjoying your work and earning good money.

The key to success is a willingness to learn and develop new skills. We also need to free ourselves from the old patterns of thinking that prevent us from succeeding in this sphere. However, armed with determination and a little courage, there is a chance to begin a new, technological chapter in life.

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