It’s the middle of the day and the commercial has come on for the hundredth time.
Hey loser?! Do you want to gain the respect of your family and stop working at whatever soul sucking job you currently have? Are you a single mom and find yourself having to pay all of your own bills because your husband ran out on you and your children? Are you tired of delivering pizza and smoking pot all while living in your parent’s basement?
Well then we have just what you need! Our program slices, it dices, it repairs broken marriages and earns you the respect you deserve from all your friends and family members.
Call our number right now and we can tell you exactly how to stop being such a loser and get that job where you just sit on your ass all while raking in piles and piles of internet cash! There are BILLIONS of jobs out there and we swear on the life of our moms and children that we will have you up and working in any one of those jobs. You’ll be taking vacations and using buzz words like a champ!
What do yo have to lose? CALL NOW! Class size is limited.
So maybe that’s not exactly what those ads are saying but it’s pretty close.
Here you are though, you’ve bought into the pitch and you are about to pick up that phone and make a deal with the education tech devil. OK fine, they aren’t the devil but they do want to clear out your wallet. That is the purpose of for profit “colleges” after all.
You need to cool your jets because while I love tech, and a lot of the people I know love tech, that doesn’t mean a job in the industry is for everyone. I’m sure I can guess what you are thinking right now. “Shut up and tell me what I need to do to earn those fat fat tech checks.” It’s not what you need to do to get on the path. The question is, are you the right type of person for it.
The first thing that you’ll need is a passion for tech. I know that sounds simple, but it’s pretty important. It’s the difference between a person who loves their job and the person who is never happy. If you find yourself always complaining about the tech you use on a daily basis, working in tech is probably not for you. Now if you’re the type of person who is frustrated with it, yet seeks out to fix those things, tech might be for you. Just remember you can’t fix everything and you will be frustrated by this.
How do you know if you have a passion for tech? A passion for tech isn’t represented by always being the person who has the newest gadget. That just means you like new shiny things. If you like to take things apart, what makes things work, and then put them back together, you not only have a passion, but you have the second thing all tech people need to be really happy in their job. Curiosity.
You NEED to be curious, this is not one of those things you can just float by on. You need to be seeking out answers. You need to be trying and learning new things. It’s vital to your career and to the community of people who contribute and improve technology. If you aren’t curious and always learning new things while implementing the old you will very quickly become obsolete.
That leads me to the third thing. You have to be able to multitask, it is very rare that you will take the things they taught you in college and implement them exactly as you learned them. You will need to work on a project, research options, deal with problems to help other team members out. Not to mention a number of other day to day things like, meetings, bug fixes, and code reviews. You must be able to juggle learning, doing, and problem solving. If this sounds terrifying to you I’m going to go ahead and say tech probably isn’t for you.
The fourth thing is just as important as the first. Have a logical mind. Technology is all about solving problems, and to solve problems you need to have logic. If you get sick to your stomach thinking about word problems tech is probably not for you. This is an instance where you think back to grade school and someone says you’ll never need this in the real world. Yet here you are using math and word problems. What if you are unsure that you are logical thinking? Chances are you know, but if you need to be sure there are some fun online tests you can take just to see. I think it would be a better use of your time trying this stuff out before you invest a ton of time and money into a career that you are ill suited. I’ll post some links at the bottom of this page for different logic tests to take for fun.
The fifth element of figuring out if tech is the place for you is adaptability. There are going to be times when you have to adapt. Honestly you’re going to have to adapt a lot especially starting out. You may have been taught one way and your shiny new job wants things done another. That’s life in tech. For every problem there are many answers. Not all the answers are sane, but there are lots of answers.
The last thing that is vital for a person thinking about getting into tech is patience. There are many reasons for this, most of which you will learn upon starting your first real world job. This spans across the board. You need to know you will not learn all things this second, that tech is an ongoing, on-growing field. You will learn a lot but there will always be something new.
You will also need to be patient with people as tech attracts those who to be blunt and as nice as possible are very very frustrating. You are going to get annoyed, you are going to disagree with people. This is where being patient is paramount. At the end of the day you are all working for the greater good. You are all there because you love tech. You all want to make something awesome. That and you really want a paycheck, presumably one that exceeds what you have now.
If you made it to the end of this post but you don’t have all the qualities I’ve listed, it doesn’t mean you can’t work in tech. Heck, I’m impressed you stuck it out and read all of this. What it does mean is that working in tech is not going to resemble what they have portrayed in those TV ads. It’s not an easy job where you just cruise through each day surfing the web and buying stuff online. It’s tough, it’s long hours and it burns a lot of people out.
If you still find yourself seduced by those commercials promising you a whole new life at least explore other ways to learn what you need to get into a tech career. There are many options, including several ones that are free as long as you have a computer and internet access.
*As promised here are a few online logic tests to take for fun. You can find more on your own. These are simply examples, if you really want to know how logical thinking you are testing by a certified professional is required.