Shows like Silicon Valley and movies like The Social Network have painted a certain picture about the tech industry. In reality, the tech industry looks a lot different from its pop culture depictions and from common real-life misconceptions.
Let’s break down what some of those misconceptions are and what the truth really is.
5 tech industry myths, debunked
The tech industry is not diverse.
The tech industry faces a fair amount of backlash for its lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but that’s not to say that efforts aren’t regularly happening.
Initially, the tech industry was male-dominated and largely of a certain range of races. Now that access to education has increased and more kinds of people are interested in the high-paying tech industry, it’s growing more and more diverse over the years. The DEI trajectory for tech is looking bright as companies and schools alike pledge to continue expanding access, providing scholarships and financial aid, and hiring a more diverse workforce.
You have to have a college degree.
For decades, a college degree has been the bare minimum requirement for roles in tech. But with moguls like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Jeff Bezos denouncing college degrees in replacement of learning actionable, applicable tech skills, more and more roles in tech will accept self-taught or bootcamp-led education with a portfolio to boot that shows examples of your work and acumen.
In fact, it’s one of the highest-paying jobs you can earn without a college degree.
Everyone lives in San Francisco or Silicon Valley.
Sure, tech reigns supreme in the northern California hub that is the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. But tech is one of the most remote-friendly industries of all.
Software engineering or other coding-based teams in particular do notoriously well remote and even asynchronous. While some companies adjust for cost of living depending on where you’re located, others pay the same rate no matter where you live, so you get more bang for your buck at the right organization.
Coding bootcamp grads aren’t qualified.
Ten years ago, coding bootcamps exploded onto the scene and were met with skepticism from those in tech. Now, over a decade later, we know the validity of coding bootcamp grads to be just as good as those coming from computer science degrees; arguably, sometimes their strengths in programming, coding, and working on a particular project, feature, or software are even better because of their immersive training.
The most important thing for budding coding professionals, especially those coming out of a coding bootcamp or a self-taught program is to have a portfolio or other log of your work with examples and an explanation of how you achieved it.
The tech industry is oversaturated.
This is one of the biggest myths in the tech industry: oversaturation. Folks think that the industry has too many applicants or current employees with no room to spare. Quite the opposite is true, however — in 2020 alone, there were nearly 2 million open software engineering, web development, and QA roles left open. As the world grows increasingly tech reliant, companies we’ll need more and more support from tech-minded employees.
There are a lot of people learning to code, but far, far less actually willing to do something with their learnings and change careers into the tech industry. But for those wanting to put in the work and see a big payout in a relatively short amount of time, oversaturation is no problem. In fact, the need is far greater than most even realize.
Forget the tech industry myths — there’s so much room to grow
If you’ve been considering entering the tech industry, we highly recommend learning how to code and figuring out what part of the industry you want to be in or what type of role you want.