Breaking myths about Israeli IT employment
The sphere of Hi-Tech Israel, in particular IT companies, is one of the fastest-growing areas. Already now it employs about 10% of the population, but there is still a lack of programmers, testers and other specialists. Therefore, many are thinking about working in this promising field. However, some are stopped by the myths that exist around IT. Igor Korol, director of Tel-Ran EC, who has 21 years of experience in IT, is helping us to understand the real situation in the field of employment today.
Myth #1: After a certain age, you can't get into Hi-Tech and IT
Igor Korol: I have been employed in the IT sector for 6 years, and in the technology sector as a whole for over 20 years. During this time I have never met a really good specialist with experience who was over 40 years old and was not hired. It is in our sphere, in the high-tech sphere. Another question is that the specialist may not be relevant, because the field of high technology and programming is developing very rapidly. For example, an experienced IT specialist, who reached the level of manager, cannot hold this position for a long time, because young applicants for this vacancy come with other education, with more relevant knowledge at the moment. But he can always return to the ranks of programmers, simply not everyone wants to go back one step.
Or, let's say, a specialist was at his position in a company, where he had some tasks, but when he gets a job in another company, with a different set of tasks, he may find out that his knowledge is no longer relevant to that job. But in general, programmers are always valuable, and there is always a lack of them. That is, at a certain age a specialist will not be left without a job, he will just have to take another position or learn additional technology.
Myth #2: They don't hire anyone without experience
Igor Korol: This is also a myth, and it is easily explained. Part of the explanation follows from the previous point: a person with a current knowledge package, who has only recently finished training, is just as valuable as a specialist with experience. Everyone came into programming at some point without experience, but there are jobs for everyone. And then there's this myth that comes from job ads. They always say that you need a person with experience, and that stops a lot of people. But you have to understand, all these employment agencies - they are not competent in all spheres absolutely. They can't check and assess the skills of applicants, so it's easier for them to hear from a job seeker: "Work experience so-and-so and so-and-so in the position so-and-so". Then they can, in good conscience, accept this applicant for those employers who have posted the position. But at the interview at the company where a particular specialist is needed, very often the relevance of knowledge is more valuable than experience. In other words, a student today may know new technologies better than someone who studied the old programs 10 years ago.
In addition, Israeli start-ups are an area in which you can get the experience you need. There are about 5,000 of them in the country. They pay less than big companies, but the main thing is a good start in the profession. In particular, Tel-Ran has been helping young projects for about 3 years now, and we even launched a startup contest with a total prize fund of 30,000 shekels, which helps implement worthwhile ideas and our students get the experience they need.
Myth #3: Acquaintances are necessary and therefore it is difficult for new repatriates to get into IT
Igor Korol: No, in the IT-sphere protection is impossible for one simple reason: any company has to produce a product. It has to be a technological product, where the programmer's brain and qualifications are important, where a lot depends on the programmer's competence. The company owner who prefers to hire an acquaintance without the necessary qualifications is simply digging his own grave because a technological product must be developed very competently. So, professional employees are always in demand and they will be glad to be hired without any patronage or recommendations.
Myth #4: A programmer must know mathematics at a high level
Igor Korol: This is also a myth! There is no direct connection between programming and mathematics. Programmers are often confused with specialists who develop algorithms. Algorithmics is the area where you need higher mathematics. A good programmer must master logic. Yes, logic is of course also needed in mathematics, but the level of mathematics may be quite basic.
Myth #5: Girls are not recruited into programming
Igor Korol: It's all nonsense. I have been working very often with female programmers! And now even more so, this profession has become even more attractive and women have absolutely equal opportunities with male applicants. This myth was created because people in the post-Soviet countries think this way and bring these myths to us. There, unfortunately, programming is not considered a profession for women. But believe me, there are a lot of girls and women working in this field today because it is the competence factor that is decisive for the employer.
Don't trust the myths, no matter how often you hear them. If you are interested in IT, do not postpone your education in this field. You will understand from your own experience that a good, competent specialist is needed in any company. Read about our experience in employment and internships here!