Monday, October 3, 2016

Women In IT: Why These 10 Myths Shouldn't Put You Off This Career Path

It's a well-known fact that Information Technology or IT is a growing industry. Thousands of people get employed in it, with much more by firms in non-tech industries. IT is without a doubt one of the best careers to have, even during times of economic uncertainty.

The only downside to IT, of course, is that the industry mostly comprises of men. According to an article by CNET last year, 30% of all tech workers are female. Yes, there's a clear gender bias towards men.

But, that is something we can change. In fact, many technology companies want there to be less of a gender divide. So, why are so few women working in IT?

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Well, it turns out that some ladies get put off starting IT careers because of industry myths. Here are ten of those myths, and why you should not let them stop you forging a career in IT:

Myth #1 - There aren't many jobs available in IT

It's probably one of the strangest reasons for not getting a job in the industry, right? When has there ever been a shortage of employment in IT?

To prove my point, go onto any "job board" website like monster.com and search for IT industry jobs. There are thousands of results just for jobs with "IT" in the title alone! Even if you happen to live in a remote part of the country, you can still find work in the industry.

Myth #2 - Women never make it to the top

While there are scores of IT roles, many people have a goal of working in a senior or management position. Some ladies get put off forging a career in IT because they feel they'll never make it to the top. But, that claim couldn't be any further from the truth.

Let me give you a few examples. There's Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo! And then there is Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. I could spend all day noting down more examples, but you get the idea: women DO make it to the top jobs in IT!

Myth #3 - Only college graduates can get jobs in IT

One of the biggest myths that stop women considering IT careers is the myth they need a degree. The thing about IT is that there are few disciplines where you can get one. The vast majority of qualifications come from industry-recognized bodies. In short, you get qualified through private companies, not universities.

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For instance, you could get CISSP certification from Simplilearn.com/it-security-management/cissp-certification-training. Or you may wish to become a CCNA and get qualified through an authorized Cisco training center.
Myth #4 - IT will always be a male-dominated industry

I won't lie to you: there is STILL a gender divide in the Information Technology industry. The good news is that won't always be the case. Many of Silicon Valley's top technology firms are encouraging more women to join them.

And with more females getting senior roles in IT (see myth #2), this will only encourage a higher uptake. Things ARE getting done to address the gender divide in the industry. But, it can only get better if both men AND women work together to fix the problem.

Myth #5 - Becoming an IT professional is expensive

As you may know, there are a plethora of disciplines within the IT industry. That means people must work towards industry certification for those particular niches. The thing is, some women get put off IT careers because of the training costs.

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Yes, if you self-fund your training and certification, it can put a big dent in your bank balance. However, many employers offer to train and certify their staff for free. Why? The answer is simple: they want to invest in their employees.
Myth #6 - The IT industry is full of nerds

Another reason ladies don't consider an IT career is because they think the industry is full of nerds! By definition, a "nerd" is someone with excellent technical skills but weak social ones. Here's the plot twist: most people in IT are social animals!

If you enjoy mingling with people, you won't be working in silence in a technology role. You'll have no trouble finding like-minded workmates to befriend in an IT job!

Myth #7 - The IT industry comprises of dull and repetitive work

There's an assumption by some people that IT is full of people that do tedious tasks all day long. By its very nature, IT is quite an exciting industry to start a career! As you can imagine, IT evolves at quite a rapid pace.

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With new developments and innovations each year, one's role in IT will evolve as well. Aside from that, employers know that repetitive work can become boring and not motivational. That's why most roles have an array of different tasks to complete each day. Monotony is something you will seldom experience in IT.
Myth #8 - Your job might get taken over by a computer

Believe it or not, some women think getting a job in IT somewhat ironic. They feel that there's a danger their jobs could get replaced by machines! Here's the thing: there will ALWAYS be a need for human workers in IT!

Computers can't design or develop themselves. Despite what you might think, artificial intelligence won't take over the world just yet!

Myth #9 - IT jobs are stressful ones

I would be lying if I said this was 100% myth. There is an element of truth in it, I'm afraid. But, I should put out there are NO jobs in the world where stress isn't prevalent. You might not believe it, but stress is a motivational factor!

Some roles in IT can be stressful at times. The thing is, you can easily keep stress levels to a minimum. All you have to do is work out the best ways to do so that suit your role.

Myth #10 - Sideways career progress in IT is impossible

Last, but not least, there's another assumption that sideways IT careers are impossible. Some folks feel that you can only stick to the same discipline. Again, nothing could be further from the truth!

Let's say that you are a developer, for example. Nothing is stopping you from working in network management. And vice-versa!
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