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The tech industry is synonymous with many things. Cutting-edge hardware and software along with groundbreaking digital advancements have transformed the way every one of us lives, works, and communicates. But there’s something else that the tech industry is known for: its reputation for lack of diversity and inclusivity. Some of the rumors that swirl about what it’s like working in tech have been proven to be true. Yet, there are many more tech myths that are false and may be keeping capable talent from exploring the opportunities the industry has to offer.

1. You Must Have a Computer Science Degree

Let’s get one of the most common tech myths out of the way first. There is a stigma in the tech industry that you have to have a formal education in a tech-focused field like computer science even to have a shot at breaking into the industry. However, there are many different doorways that lead to tech or tech-adjacent jobs. A two-year or four-year degree in a tech-oriented program is just one of those.

Another possible route to a job in tech is simply to have just about any other kind of degree. From English and art to marketing and business, other degree programs prepare students and graduates with a wide range of skills that can prepare them for success in tech. Even those without a degree can advance their careers through tech bootcamps and training programs. These workshops and certificate programs prepare adult learners for various tech paths through hands-on, comprehensive courses. Many can often be found locally or online completely free of charge or for a low cost.

2. You Need to Know How to Code

A lot of people believe the notion that everyone in tech has to be a math or science prodigy with the ability to code. Not only that, but there’s also the belief that coding is all anyone in tech does at work. These misconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. In the actual tech landscape, there are indeed tech workers like web developers, computer programmers, and software engineers whose job requires them to be able to code. That being said, there are many non-coding technical jobs to consider. User interface and user experience specialists, systems administrators, and cybersecurity analysts don’t need coding skills. And that’s just to name a few.

3. Your Soft Skills Don’t Matter

This myth correlates with the last. Many believe that core technical skills and math or science competencies are all that matter when it comes to the tech industry. Just like other career paths, soft skills like verbal and written communication, teamwork, and adaptability are critical components that everyone working in tech should have. Some tech-adjacent jobs like business analysts and project managers require an excellent soft skill set. These capabilities are used almost daily in one way or another, whether it’s delivering a new idea to managers and stakeholders or being able to effectively collaborate with others to make progress on a project.

4. There’s No Room to Be Creative

This myth is related to the coding rumor we debunked. So much of the tech industry is portrayed in a very computational, algorithmic, and rigid light. Despite that perception, the truth is working in tech frequently demands creativity. Tech is all about finding solutions to problems. Results and products that arise from problem solving are only made possible through creativity and critical thinking.

5. You Have to Work in Silicon Valley

When the average person hears “tech industry,” it’s natural for them to think about Silicon Valley. After all, it is considered the home of Big Tech companies like Google and Meta, as well as the place where startups go to launch their operations, trying to become like the tech giants that rose before them. That leads to the assumption that to be in tech, you have to be in Silicon Valley. The truth of the matter is that tech jobs exist in abundance far beyond the confines of Silicon Valley. There are many tech-focused and tech-adjacent companies hiring all across the country all the time, including in Western New York.

6. The Job Market Is Consistently Unstable

There’s a perception that tech jobs are not very reliable. While there is some truth to this, it would be unfair to categorize the entire job market as unstable. Even in cases where layoffs occur, the majority of tech workers are unemployed for less than three months, and over half of them find new positions with even higher salaries than their last job. That’s because the job market is actually in need of tech talent. If you went to a job board right now and looked for tech opportunities, you’d find a slew of job openings, especially in tech-adjacent sectors like healthcare and finance. Aside from in-person tech positions, there are many remote or freelance opportunities available.

Don’t Let Misconceptions Hold You Back

If you have an interest in pursuing a career in tech, TechBuffalo is here to help you find your place. From bootcamps and job training to college programs and local employment, we leverage our connections to empower you on your journey into the tech industry. Get in touch with us today to learn more or subscribe to our newsletter for updates on all local tech happenings.

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