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Overcome your barriers to a successful tech career with woman on laptop

How to Overcome Barriers to a Tech Career

There is a growing tech skills gap in the world, especially in the UK and America. Techies are building the future. If the future is built by just one narrow group of people then it will not work for the world. There is a major push to get more diversity into tech teams. But we, as individuals, need to make the decision to choose a tech career, to be the architects of our future. 

Tech careers offer some of the most lucrative salaries available. Many are highly flexible, with forward thinking businesses that offer fully remote working and exciting career prospects. It is easier than ever to retrain and enter the world of tech. There are free coding courses accessible online, intensive coding schools, apprenticeships, masters and a whole host of professional qualifications. 

So why aren’t we all rushing into tech careers? 

We look at some of the common reasons why people resist making the change, and how you can overcome the barriers to a tech career:


Self perception and identity: ‘but I’m not a techie’

overcome barriers to tech career but I'm not a techie man scratching head


In films, the media and even the news, we are presented with a typical image of a ‘techie’: a white, geeky, young man who has spent his life chained to his computer in a dark bedroom and foregone the development of any personal skills whatsoever. Think about it - the IT guy from Jurassic Park...even Neo from the Matrix started life as a geeky, unsuccessful character. And they are all male, and white. 

Most of us don’t live like this. Most techies don’t live like this. But the image portrayed can make people discount the profession because they simply don’t identify with the image presented, and don’t want to be an antisocial geek! 

The result of this subconscious messaging is that women and other under-represented groups simply do not consider a career in tech because they don’t identify with it. It doesn’t enter their consciousness as a career choice. 

If this is you, then please, think again. You are not defined by your social conditioning. Don’t let it stop you pursuing a career with huge potential. We need you. 

It is true that tech is very male dominated, but that is changing. And the only way to continue that change is for women and underrepresented groups to choose a career in tech. 


Lack of confidence in ability: ‘It’s too complicated for me’

overcome barriers to tech career its too complicated text on chessboard

Tech is presented as something ‘geeky’ and highly complex. A notion has taken root that you need to be a child prodigy or world chess champion in order to be able to write code. 

This is simply not true. Tech can be challenging, but it is no more challenging than any other professional career. There are more than 100,000 words in the English language. If you are reading this, then you know you have already mastered that language. If you speak a second language, you have done it twice over. 

In the average programming language there are 50 words. Yes, that’s right - just 50 words. You can learn that in a week. So the next time you look at code, just remind yourself - there are only 50 words to learn before you understand it.

Of course tech can be challenging, but keep it in perspective. It is entirely within your ability to master it - you have already achieved far more difficult things just by being able to read, write and talk. 


I’m more language-orientated - I’m not mathematical 

Overcome barriers to tech career I'm not good at maths equations on glass board

Another myth is that you need to be a maths genius to be good at tech. Think again. There is some maths involved, but not much. Mostly you will be learning a small number of basic patterns used to make coding more effective. And once you’re familiar with them, you’ll know them like the back of your hand. Of course there are some areas of tech - like complex AI research - which can be very mathematical, but the average day of a software engineer, UX designer or software architect is not mathematical. 

Tech is actually far more about language and verbal communication that you would think. We need to understand the needs of our business and our customers before we can start building useful tech. That requires a linguistic brain - someone who can talk to people, ask the right questions, understand the answers and find a way of relaying that to tech team mates who may not be so good at communicating. 

We also need tech managers - and it is crucial that they are emotionally intelligent, good communicators and good with people. Tech needs Chief Digital Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officers. It needs eloquent tech ambassadors at Board tables advocating for their tech teams. Linguistic skills are highly valuable in a tech career, and something that will give you a real advantage. If you see yourself as a linguistic person rather than a mathematical one, reframe your perception: see your linguistic skills as the strength they are. 

Tech also needs artistic, creative minds to create UX design, UI design and great customer experience.

Like all other professions, tech needs a variety of people with different skill sets. If you hate maths, don’t worry - you can still have a highly successful career in tech. Your creative or linguistic skills can actually give you a competitive edge.


I don’t know anyone in tech

Not having a network already in the tech field definitely makes things more difficult. There is a reason children tend to follow in their parent’s footsteps - it's because it is far easier to enter a career that you already have a network in. But you can change that. There are so many online networks for people coming into tech. Instagram is full of posts with #girlswhocode and #womenintech or #techfounders. Whatever group you identify with, they will already be online learning to code together. Reach out and join them. 

You can also consider applying for our Volanto Launchpad scheme to help launch your tech career. 


I can’t afford to train for a tech career

Overcome barriers to tech career I can't afford it on bitcoin and money background

Degrees and masters are incredibly expensive, and often don’t deliver a return on investment. But there are other options. Try a degree apprenticeship. These allow you to work and earn as you study, and they pay for your tuition fees in full. You finish with a degree but also 3 years of hands-on work experience, making you ready to hit the ground running. 

There are also free courses in coding and all aspects of tech provided online. These include AI, data science, UX design, UI design, cyber security.

It's time to reconsider a career in tech

Reconsider your preconceived ideas. Re-examine your social conditioning. Challenge yourself. You can do it, and we need you to do it. 

Apply to Volanto LAUNCHPAD now

Volanto launchpad apply now to boost your tech career

If you want to get into a tech career but you don’t know where to start, contact us. Our CEO runs a mentorship programme to help people start tech careers - LAUNCHPAD. Find out more about LAUNCHPAD and apply now. 

You can also sign up to our newsletter. 

At Volanto we are strategic growth consultants, passionate about closing the skills gap to help people find meaningful careers whilst also strengthening the UK economy. Contact us now to find out how we can help your business leverage technology to achieve its potential.



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