By: Samuel Ogunleke (Contributor)
Tech is referred to as the “new oil” to mean that it’s the industry driving the economy and just like oil, it revolutionizes the economy and transforms societies. Oil has proven historically to be a catalyst for fuelling economic growth, and the analogy emphasizes the profound influence of technology in various aspects of our lives. However, many people misinterpret the metaphor and think it means tech is a way of just making money.
The Common Stereotype
Many people would like to get into the field of technology. People have many reasons and a prominent one is to make money. Who doesn’t love money? Tech looks so promising that most people believe it’s a good field to make money without having to cope with physical stress, especially if you’re learning how to code. You just have to sit down with your laptop and write code all day, and then your bank will keep sending you credit alerts.
However, that’s a huge stereotype that needs to be broken. It’s true that you can make money in tech, but everything takes time. Learning takes time, and earning takes time. You have to learn before you can earn, and a lot comes between them. We should all learn to have the right mindset about technology. It is the driving force behind today’s revolution, reshaping the way we live, work, and connect.
What Does Tech Really Involve?
Firstly, tech is not just about coding. Tech is the short form for “technology,” and it encompasses everything directly or indirectly in the field of technology. You might decide to write code, utilize no-code tools, design, manage projects, and do a lot more. However, starting off in technology is not an easy feat, not to mention continuing after getting started. If your main goal for getting into tech is to make money, you might be disappointed.
The tech industry is so saturated that there are thousands of jobs, but so many people are applying for these jobs. The companies want to hire people with a lot of experience, so if you’re just starting out and you think you can be making up to $100k a year, after 3 months, you might be deceiving yourself. You should understand that tech is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You need to learn and be excellent at whatever you’re doing.
For every skill, learning takes time. But if you want to cut off the time you need to learn well and gain experience, but rather earn, you’re going down the wrong path.
Recent Tech Lay-offs
In 2023, a massive lay-off of many skilled tech workers occurred and so many people lost their jobs in big companies like Google, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, etc. According to Tech Crunch, more than 240,000 jobs were lost in the tech industry. In January 2024 alone, there have been more lay-offs and many companies have also promised more. Now it makes sense how competitive the tech industry is. If people with 5 years of experience are getting laid off, do you think it makes sense to hire someone with 3 months of experience? My point is, don’t have the wrong motive for getting into tech. It’s always wrong if your primary driving force for getting into tech is to make money. Tech is much more than monetary gains.
Spark a Revolution
Tunde Onakoya, the founder of Chess-in-Slums Africa, has shared his stories of how he was able to do great things from a small place and also make thousands of people believe that. In case you don’t know him, he educates kids and youth by teaching them how to play chess. You and I know that chess is a mind game, and there are so many life lessons to learn from it. This man has trained people who have become great. He’s proof that you can cause a change with whatever knowledge you have if you have the right motive and passion for it.
Therefore, as a tech enthusiast, think about how you can cause a change in your local community with tech. Let that be your driving force, not the money. If what’s driving you is money, then you’re no different from every other person in the field. Stand out and cause a shift in your economy.
Technology has proven to be an industry that affects almost every sector of life. This means that you can make any sector better with technology. In the health sector, technology is used to understand the trends of diseases and how to develop the right drug for a particular disease. It’s also used to reduce errors so that medical diagnoses are as close to perfection as possible. Have you heard of the da Vinci Surgical System? It’s a robot that can help doctors perform surgical operations flawlessly. A funny demo showed how the robot was used to perfectly remove the peel from a grape. There are many other ground-breaking innovations in technology. Think of how you can be part of the great minds shaping the world with technology.
Elon Musk is another great example of someone sparking a revolution. According to Wikipedia, he is the wealthiest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $232 billion as of December 2023. Do you think he got to that level by learning tech for a few years and working for a company? Of course not! He is a problem solver, and everything he has now is the outcome of his passion to make the world a better place.
If your primary reason for getting into tech is to make money, change it. You can’t make a profit from oil if you don’t mine it, or if the oil isn’t useful anyway. Let your drive be to cause a change or to solve a problem. Here is a secret, most of the wealthiest men in the world are wealthy because they solved people’s problems.
Solve problems first, then everything else comes after, even money.