February 20, 2023
The Hidden Cost of Working in The Tech Industry That No One Talks About
The tech industry is often hailed as a beacon of innovation, good salary, lots of new posts, creativity, a non-traditional work environment, and an exciting career, which is why it attracts a lot of Millennials every year.
But beneath the glittery surface, there is a dark side to the tech industry that is largely ignored and needs to be brought forth and addressed.
It's Evolving Faster Than You Can Anticipate:
Technology is changing at an unpredictable rate, and to survive in the tech industry, you need to keep up with this pace. In the same way that outdated technology is routinely replaced by new ones, so too are employees who don't try to constantly learn, unlearn, and improve themselves. So, don't just pick up tech companies based solely on their attractive offers and marketing hype because these jobs can involve long hours, numerous meetings, and high-stress levels. This is also the reason why tech companies are constantly on the lookout for young, energetic individuals.
Ravi Parekh, Technical Director at an emerging US-based IoT company JollyHires says – “I’ve seen the ins and out of the IT industry in India as well as in US. One really has to be on their toes to be updated with the latest trend or skills, or else it is just a matter of time before one becomes obsolete in this industry.” It is sometimes claimed that employees are compelled to retire or leave the company after a certain age, making the tech sector unsuitable as a long-term career. Additionally, the recent wave of significant layoffs in the tech sector has caused severe anxiety and stress among employees and raised serious questions about job security in the industry.
Worker Exploitation and Outsourcing Issues:
Many companies in the tech industry outsource workers from developing countries to cut labour costs and save money. All the large deals, substantial packages, and lucrative offers that glamorize working for a tech business are only available to a small number of people, and they fail to portray the reality, which frequently involves underpaid and overworked staff. Even now, a tech company employee's starting compensation is relatively cheap, and their job obligations are countless. Tech companies also use contract workers, who are paid poorly and do not have the same benefits as full-time employees. The vast number of underqualified engineering college graduates who accept low-paying, tedious positions also contribute to the persistence of the work-pay gap in the tech sector.
Another major issue in the tech sector is overtime, which became apparent during the pandemic when workers complained about inconsistent work schedules, prolonged screen time, endless meetings, and the expectation to be available around the clock, significantly impacting their social lives and health.
Tech Job Requires a Lot More Than Technical Skills:
The tech workplace demands not just the technical knowledge of coding but also multi-dimensional skills like the ability to give presentations, communicate, lead, negotiate, and work in groups. The ability to code alone won't help you survive in today's tech industry. Additionally, current technology has made it simpler for consumers to access programming, enabling them to create their own apps and websites. Thus, programmers with only the fundamental skills are gradually becoming less valuable and won't last very long in the tech industry.
Also, many professions have been automated, which has had a negative effect on workers, especially those in lower-skilled positions who face the threat of being replaced by machines.
The Tech Industry Needs to be More Diverse and Inclusive:
The tech industry has been criticized for its lack of diversity and inclusion. Despite the industry's reputation as being progressive and innovative, it has been criticized for its lack of diversity and discrimination against marginalized groups, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. This lack of diversity significantly impacts the products and services that are created, as well as the workers who are excluded from the industry.
As a result, tech goods and services frequently do not reflect the needs and viewpoints of a varied spectrum of users.
Impact on User Privacy:
Tech corporations have come under fire for amassing an unprecedented amount of user personal information, which has led to worries about data breaches and privacy. Concerns about monitoring and the potential exploitation of user information have also arisen due to businesses' lack of transparency around how they retain and use personal information. It is challenging to regulate the tech sector since it is dominated by a few powerful monopolies that abuse their dominance and stifle innovation and competition.
In conclusion, the shady side of the tech sector is alarming, and these problems must be addressed openly. Tech firms must ensure that employees are treated decently and that their efforts are recognized and fairly compensated. For the developed services and products to be indicative of the requirements and viewpoints of a varied spectrum of users, there must be increased diversity and inclusion in the sector. They also need to safeguard computer users' privacy and ensure that businesses are ethical in how they gather and use personal information. To ensure that competition and innovation are not impeded, monopolistic behaviours in the tech sector must be regulated. By addressing these issues, we can ensure that the tech industry is genuinely innovative and creative and remains a positive force for good.
Sukriti Gupta is an Engineer by accident and a journalist-in-the-making by choice. She’s an ardent believer of the power of words, conversations, and poetry to change lives. She loves doing open mics and writing blogs with the hope that some day, some word written or spoken by her might find somebody at the right moment and change theirs. Coconut water and researching about the uncertainties, opportunities, and latest trends in the job market are her current obsession!