Everyone knows what a typical IT
person looks like. You can identify them by sight alone, almost. They’re a nerd, they’re a geek, they’re socially awkward, they know everything there is to know about tech. While there’s always a little truth to a stereotype, the fact is, there’s more to a person than the two-dimensional representation that society often gives. Information technology is a diverse field, full of a diverse variety of individuals. So if you’re not sure about a career in IT because you don’t fit the mold, allow us to help broaden your perspective. Here are four common stereotypes, and why you shouldn’t give them more weight than they deserve.
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Myth #1: The IT ``Guy``
One of the biggest, and unfortunate, myths is that an IT person has to be male and that women need not apply.
While it’s true that only 26 percent*
of professional computing occupations are held by women, there are women in the industry, and numbers are growing. What’s more, some of the biggest names in the tech industry are women:
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Myth #2: The Recluse
He’s awkward. He doesn’t talk much. He doesn’t have any friends. He can’t get a girlfriend. These negative attributes are often applied to individuals in tech-related professions, from system admin to software developer. They’re seen as hermits and shut-ins that never leave their homes or offices.
The truth is, just because you spend your time with computers doesn’t mean your people skills have been neglected. The tech industry is heavily populated these days with individuals who dance through social and business interactions as deftly as their fingers dance across their keyboard. While it may have been true for some in the past, times have definitely changed, and public image is catching up (albeit slowly).
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Myth #3: The Enthusiast
They come to work on Halloween dressed as Captain Kirk. They have a blue police call box on their desk. They talk about comic books and superhero movies frequently. These nerd and geek characteristics are all frequently attributed to IT professionals, assuming that “nerd” inherently means “techie,” and vice versa.
In reality, while many do indeed have strong passions related to geek culture, not every IT person is excited about the same things. While it’s true that some could probably tell you what Dungeons & Dragons is all about, not all of them play it. And in the end, how is coming to work wearing a Spider-Man shirt different from wearing a LeBron James jersey?
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Myth #4: The Know It All
They can fix your computer, your tablet, and your phone. They've never met a tech problem they couldn’t solve. They could probably hack the CIA, if they wanted to. They might even be a little snarky when you ask them to help with simple computer problems, just because “Everyone should know the ‘any key’ joke by now.”
Now that we've cleared that up...
Hopefully, this has dispelled some fears about who should work in IT. If it has, and you’re interested in joining the industry, there’s a lot of ways to get started, including pursuing an IT degree. Programs like Cybersecurity and Networking
are a great way to start your journey into a fast-growing and well-paying industry. Contact Independence University
today for more information. *https://www.ncwit.org/resources/numbers For graduation rates, the median debt of graduates and other data, see independence.edu/student-information.