Can only speak for myself - but I did biochem, then a masters in bioinformatics (mainly as my degree had taught me I didn't enjoy it, and seemed sensible to not throw away what I'd learnt and add some IT to it, which I'd always enjoyed).
I then got an entry level IT job on the basis of (I believe) 20 hours of formal java and maybe 10 of formal Oracle (plus maybe double that in labs) - and threw away all my biochemistry.
Company that employed me had just left their startup phase - but mainly seemed to employ anybody they liked and had an interesting chat with in the interview. I never quite worked out if this was deliberate, or just a consequence of HR being pretty non-existent
Initially I thought I'd "chanced it" - but then eventually the scales were lifted from my eyes as I found out what everybody else had done prior. Plenty of arts doctorates. Maybe it was a mass experiment, but I wasn't an exception.
Bit I look back fondly on was that we all mucked in and I learnt so much from those around me and the liberal pile of O'Reilly books scattered around. I thought I was catching up on my formal IT education - but again, looking back, I wasn't - was just a continuation of what I'd done before. Stumbling my way through with plenty of swearing, beer, with the odd moment of breakthrough and inspiration.
Without the rose-tinted glasses, there was an awful lot of knowing what I wanted to do, needed to do, and blindly running around screaming for help from my colleagues (which was given - and I loved giving to anybody who needed it in turn).
Then we got bought by big-scarey-international-market-behemoth, and I had a few years of misery. Again, looking back, I can see why I hated it. Everybody was told to sit in their little silo and stay there. I loathed that. But again, looking back, it's really really useful to learn what you hate.
I'm still with them, as I got dropped into a pilot project with a bunch of smart and lovely people (including the customer).
Notionally I'm a "solution architect" now - which I'd always used to think meant I should be leading from the front with my unequalled vision and expertise (maybe it does, and I'm just a shit SA). My view is that it's simply to sketch out what we collectively need to do, and let those with real ability drift in to have a go, whilst covering them from above. I'll probably look back in another few year though, and realize I'm massively deluded, again.
Back to the points of the story and what I've learnt in 15 years of chancing it in an environment I don't officially belong
1) You're not the best at anything. You might, if you're lucky, be the best at most of what you need to do - but mainly you're going to be relying on others. Both to do the work, and to learn from. Accept this, be open - *never* tell anybody their thought is unimportant. Worst you can do is teach why it won't work - Best is that you realize you're wrong and you get better.
2) Follow-on: Don't micro-manage. You don't like it happening to you, you don't do it to others. More importantly, people try different approaches - if they feel they're on the right path, they'll stick to it. But, if they decide they want to try another tack, for god's sake let them - rather than making them justify themselves (they've already have to convince themselves).
3) "Science" is a method. It gives you a great big pile of tools/understanding to build on - but no reason it can't be improved. No. That's not right. Everything you have is an improvement on what went before - and it's your job to improve it more. You're not going to win a Nobel, but you should make things better - and nothing, nothing feels better than solving a problem with that feeling of 'elegance'.
Actually, I'll finish on 'elegance' - I've been subjected to all manner of methodologies and management techniques - but 'elegance' is what makes me happy and usually gets completely ignored (with exception of bland terms like 're-use')
I'd always taken science to be true, over the arts. The answer lay with science, but now I've come to appreciate the aesthetic as well. Some solutions 'feel' better - and it's not just subjective - everybody feelings it irrespective of their background. If it feels good to you, and you share it with others and talk about it, people usually concur. Talk things through - blurt out your feelings that you can't quite quantify, and better things emerge.