There are many articles out there encouraging everyone to move into the tech world. For the last decade or so, as most industries have dried up, tech has been the hot item for any career adviser. Just google “should I work in tech” and watch dozens of articles pop up, all giving you the same pieces of advice.
What you won’t find, though, are many articles about why you shouldn’t go into tech. It may be true that the field is growing when others are shrinking, and that there is a decent wage to be earned in the field, but not everyone is suited for that career path, no matter how much business advice magazines try to sell you the opposite.
To try to counter this deluge of advice, I’ve assembled a list of 5 reasons NOT to go into tech.
- It’s not woman-friendly
Whether you believe all the stories of harassment and discrimination in the tech world, there is a clear pattern that something is wrong. Few women go for tech degrees and fewer still end up at tech firms. This imbalance may be social in part, but it is also at least partly about a lack of welcome being offered to women.
- Constant need to update knowledge
It’s great to keep up with the latest events and discoveries taking place in your profession…if that’s your passion. If you’ve gone into tech for the money and steady employment, it can be a real pain. Technology is constantly changing, and you can’t rely on what you know today to get you through the job tomorrow. That means constant studying, basically, until you retire.
- The hours
Don’t expect to work a 9-5 and be home on the weekend. In fact, don’t expect to get a good night’s sleep every night. If you work in tech, the problems can come at all hours. Hacking can take place from across the world (where it’s a more reasonable hour) and computers and servers can break at 1 p.m. or 1 a.m. At the same time, IT workers overtime is notoriously tricky, which means you may have to work a whole lot of hours (for a good wage) without any extra incentive to stay on until midnight.
- A lot of patience and people skills are required
The stereotype that techies are unsociable and can’t work with others is way out of date. If you’re in tech, you’re talking to people all of the time. You talk about their problems, concerns, lack of understanding, how to fix things, how to prepare things, etc. And a lot of these people are not tech savvy, so you will have to explain things multiple times. Also, if a computer breaks, expect to be blamed for it and not thanked.
- It requires a love of technology
All of the points above speak to a single fact: working in the technology field is great…if you love technology. If you actually do, then you can forget all the points above and move forward towards a great career. But if you don’t love it, please consider these points before you consign yourself to a career you don’t want.