How rare are autodidacts

Career & Salary

We all know the nerd as a cliché figure in American high school films: The boys are highly talented but unsporting guys who formed the counterpart to the "jocks", the athletic but blunted football players at the top of the school hierarchy. The nerd, on the other hand, is pretty much the lowest link in the social chain - a solitary mastermind who grinds his teeth and sometimes jealously sits in front of the computer and proves to be unsuitable for small talk on a daily basis. A little basement child, cold pizza, a high affinity for computer games and the nerd is ready as a stereotype of the 80s information society.

The image in society has changed with the increasing penetration of digital everyday worlds: Fortunately, IT people are no longer considered freaks in large parts of the population, but rather as technically savvy people who carry a lot of knowledge, advance technologies and thus also answer our questions Time to answer our society. Besides, they also earn quite well.

Next Generation Nerds (NGN) found

Employers do not find their best employees via job boards or at recruiting fairs. You will find suitable NGNs and choose their employers themselves. In this process, fair cooperation among the existing group of colleagues, flat hierarchies and management that maintains contact with the grassroots and the projects play the main roles.

The promotion of young talent such as the provision of internships with a real desire to integrate interns and students into the company are also part of the HR cocktail for me. This applies to all five types of IT, which I describe below and which, we are sure to agree, are rarely in front of us in their pure form.

The autodidact ...

... impresses with an extremely high level of comprehension. Often deployed at the interface between hardware and software projects, it recognizes connections and dependencies between different disciplines very quickly and analyzes them precisely. Autodidacts like to work on their own, often unobserved, and, previously ridiculed as Kellerkind developers, have now matured into sought-after experts for their companies.

Self-taught IT self-taught people are constantly developing themselves, are extremely creative and look for solutions instead of reasons why something doesn't work. They are also happy to show their skills as tinkerers, tinkering and soldering. They like a stable, professional environment in which they do not always have to prove their skills to new people and are allowed to use the freedom to experiment independently.

When the last screw is soldered and the last code nut cracked, he'll be happy to watch Dr. Who.

The digital semi-nomad ...

... likes to pitch his tent with a permanent employer in order to travel from project to project from there. He is flexible, mostly not tied to a family, and curious about other people, teams and companies. Accordingly, he is openly and enthusiastically involved in his external projects and quickly integrates himself into existing internal structures. A life as a freelancer is too stressful for him because it involves activities that take him away from his actual IT route: tax returns, health insurance expenses and this unspeakable necessity, which is called acquisition.

Semi-nomads feel a temporary thirst for freedom and often find the best of both worlds in IT consultancies that employ and send talented experts. As a positive effect, digital semi-nomads with their communicative nature often form the basis for long-term customer relationships.

In the evening, in a hotel room in a strange city, he has crime scene cleaner running.

The troubleshooter ...

... likes to see himself as a kind of IT superhero who saves IT projects in need. Or formulated as an interim manager who creates the turnaround for stagnant developments. Due to the talent mix required for this, consisting of empathy (not stepping on anyone involved in the project ...) and the ability to abstract, they are few and far between. The troubleshooter works calmly, goal-oriented, with an overview and with psychological sensitivity for team blocks. For consulting firms, which are often called in when others have already let the IT child fall into the well, it forms the heart of many a task force.

After a successful project rescue, he relaxes with Better call Saul.

The cyber criminal ...

... is a relatively young but rapidly growing offspring in the IT job universe. The specialized baby boy, so to speak, which, from my point of view, will have to find a place in every consulting company in the future. The cybercriminalist has a fine nose for weak points in IT structures, knows GDPR, IT-SiG and KRITIS inside out and has a passion for ethical hacking. The more extensive cyber attacks and data protection issues penetrate medium-sized businesses, the more mature this IT type becomes, and the more indispensable it becomes.

He quenched his cyber curiosity with Mr. Robot.

The jack of all trades ...

... is traditionally a career changer with years of professional experience. Today's professional and study fields, for example from the MINT areas, leave young IT professionals plenty of room for subsequent activities. This is how patchwork CVs are created, in which the business IT specialist may also work as a teacher after graduation, before his path leads him back into the IT world. Every occupied sideline of a jack of all trades holds important knowledge and experience ready, which later turns out to be valuable in the consulting and project environment.

This species has dealt with very different people in its professional life and knows that IT terms and their relationships are not self-explanatory. Ergo, he can explain complex issues in an understandable way and takes his time for it. Of all the NGNs mentioned, he is the furthest removed from the original nerd, mostly has family and hobbies that get by entirely without electricity!

Thematically broad, it shows an increased TV love for Big Bang theory.