It’s that time of the year when we celebrate National IT Professionals Day, which recognises the critical role they play in keeping the gears of our digital world turning. But many people still have misconceptions about what it means to be an IT Pro. We asked Geshan Naicker, IT Manager at Itec, to bust five of the most common myths about a career in IT.
MYTH 1 – You need a degree
While there is nothing wrong with getting a university degree in computer science or something similar, you don’t actually need one to get into IT. Fact is, employers are looking for people with skills, and there are numerous pathways into the world of IT – of which a degree is just one.
MYTH 2 – Tech is for men only
Yes, the IT industry in South Africa and the rest of the world is still battling a gender diversity challenge. But that’s not to say that it’s a career only men can do. Far from it. Governments around the world are making STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) training more accessible to all genders, and are encouraging schools to make girls aware of its potential.
We’re seeing more influential female IT leaders are coming to the fore, making girls and female students aware of new career paths they previously mightn’t have considered.
MYTH 3 – You need to be a maths genius to work in tech
Having a background in mathematics or science can be beneficial if you’re a developer. But that doesn’t mean you have to be a genius. In fact, if you’re good at languages like English and your mother tongue, then you’re already in with a shot of being good at development. After all, a programming language is just that – another language you need to learn.
What’s more important is to have a problem-solving mindset. Thinking outside the box will help you in every field of technology, not just development and programming.
MYTH 4 – Technology is a young person’s industry
Contrary to popular belief, the tech sector is not packed with teenagers and 20-somethings working out of a garage. Sure, the younger generation has been born into a world of technology – but that doesn’t mean the field is only open to younger generations. If anything, older people bring with them different insights and approaches. Think of tech as the perfect middle ground between old school and new funk.
MYTH 5 – A career in tech is boring
Okay, what rock have you been under? Tech can potentially be one of the most creative career paths out there. Think about it. Technology is constantly evolving. What was relevant two years ago might not even be used today. Continually upskilling and reskilling yourself is part of the fun.
There’s also the creative thinking required. From content generation to Web design work and coming up with new ideas and applications for technology makes the job something that will continually challenge you.
So, consider these myths busted and start thinking about pursuing a career in technology today.