If you’re unhappy with your current job, why not consider switching to tech careers like coding or web development? If you’re reading this, you probably already have thought about making the change, and that’s a smart move. The problem is, many people don’t get past that stage. After reading about long working hours, poor job security, and intimidating skills requirements, most people take the easy route and decide to stick with their current occupation. Don’t be like them. Whatever you’ve heard about the tech industry is probably wrong, and changing careers to coding is much easier than you think. Actually, it’s within almost anyone’s reach. Whether you’re a teacher, a retail worker, or a security guard, retraining won’t pose many problems.
To help you get over any reservations about a career change, we thought it would be a good idea to run through some of the biggest myths regarding careers in tech. Put these out of your mind, and plot a route to higher earnings and more enjoyable work.
Myth 1: You need a degree to get ahead in tech
The belief that developers need a degree in a relevant subject is one of the most persistent myths of all. But when you look at an office filled with coders and web developers, you’re not looking at hordes of Computer Science graduates. The chances are, most of the people in the office have actually majored in something completely different if they even went to college at all. In truth, employers are much less interested in the pieces of paper you’ve acquired from universities than in the desire you have to learn. When assessing applicants who are changing careers they are more impressed by attendance at intensive coding boot camps and actually putting those skills into practice. Simply building up credentials isn’t going to fast-track anyone into a development team.
Myth 2: Only science obsessives need apply
Web development and coding in general are still seen as geeky occupations that are almost totally staffed with science fair winners. And while there are plenty of science lovers in the profession, the reality is that many coders don’t start out with a passion for math or science. And there’s no special “coder’s brain” that unlocks the secrets of development. When changing careers to tech, all you need is a desire to create and an interest in data. Those are two things that most of us have, and you don’t need to have read Stephen Hawking or run data visualizations every night after work. Many development jobs lean towards the creative side anyway. Knowing how to design sites that work and look good is just as valuable as raw coding skills. With the right training, almost anyone can master those skills. They aren’t mystical secrets that only a few people can understand. If you are motivated and curious, you’ll get up to speed in no time.
Myth 3: Development is a male-dominated field
Here’s another major tech careers myth that needs busting straight away. We’re all familiar with the stereotype of the coder in their hoodie, focused on their projects and hardly communicating with the rest of the world. And these characters are almost always guys. However, that’s just a stereotype, and it bears hardly any resemblance to how real world web developers look and behave. The percentage of women in the coding workforce has been steadily rising to around 31% in 2021. And at some companies that rises to as much as 42%. Obviously, that’s not where we need to be, but it shows how tech is rapidly becoming a lucrative career path for women.
Myth 4: Tech is a really unstable career and job security is almost zero
This one is really damaging for tech companies seeking to recruit talent from other sectors. In the past, an image has arisen of tech companies exploiting coders and ditching them when projects are completed. And everyone seems to know someone who was brought in to develop for a startup which then bit the dust. Those images might have been true 20 years ago, but today’s tech careers are much more stable. If you’re brought into a larger company you can expect gold-plated benefits and salary progression. And even if you stick to startups, the labor market is so tight that finding alternative employment is rarely difficult. US tech companies continue to hire in record numbers, and that’s not likely to change quickly. With new innovations always on the horizon, the appetite for digital skills won’t evaporate, letting you switch jobs and find work if projects go sour.
Myth 5: Working hours in tech are insane
Another major factor holding back some from changing careers are myths about the working lives of tech professionals. Again, we’ve all heard stories about coders putting in 80 hour weeks and the negative consequences that can have for their health. But this is an outlier, and it’s becoming much less common. Tech companies are moving with the times and accommodating flexible work like never before. And tech workers have never really lived up to their image, either. In fact, one 2021 survey reports that 58% of tech workers work less than 6 hours per day. Flexible working is becoming mainstream, letting you work in the morning and hike or cycle in the afternoon, and making tech jobs much more convenient for parents. Don’t assume that you will be trapped in impossible working hours. Even if tech workers like to boast about their hours, they probably aren’t as work-obsessed as they claim.
Bust those myths and make the switch
At Ironhack, we want you to discover your inner developer. It doesn’t matter what you do right now or where you went to school. If you enroll in one of our intensive bootcamps in Web Development, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics or UX UI Design you’ll be able to build the skills and confidence needed to succeed anywhere in the tech world. Don’t let myths put you off, and don’t fear change. When you retrain with us, you’ll find that changing careers to become a coder or developer is far easier than you ever thought possible. So sign up today and turn your career around. Don’t settle for something you hate. Find a job you love instead.