Don’t drop out: Here’s the solution
Computer Science and Information Technology degrees have one of the highest dropout rates of all university subjects. Research shows that computer science has a 9.8% non-completion rate compared to medical sciences, with a dropout rate of approximately 1.5%. Why is that? There are a few reasons why students might drop out of computer science and information technology degrees. We at Cybernews Academy want to focus on the solutions for those considering dropping out of university. Remember, there is always a solution to every problem; the answer might be in this article.
Remember why you went to university in the first place? To meet new people, experience a new lifestyle, embrace a new culture, and obtain a wealth of knowledge. Education is a privilege that requires hard work, dedication, and a lot of motivation to complete. This can feel daunting and unachievable, but success is always possible. We have interviewed dozens of individuals regarding their continued and achieved success throughout their computer science and information technology degrees. These students are social proof that alongside the triumphs are challenges that need to be overcome. Some students have created successful businesses while at university, and others have completed their university education. The students we interviewed have gained incredible skills that were later applied to their businesses and careers.
Reasons to stay
There are a plethora of reasons why you should continue studying at university. You may not need to stay precisely on the path you intended to when you started, but you can re-route and tailor your university experience to fit your needs. Here are some reasons why you should stay in education.
- Gain transferable skills: University provides invaluable skills you can later transfer into your future career. Critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and communication are just some skills you can expect to obtain at university. These skills are essential in the computing and information technology sector.
- Build a robust intellectual foundation: No one said that mastering your craft would be easy, but it is rewarding. University allows you to build a solid academic and theoretical foundation for your chosen profession. This acts as a springboard into your future career success.
- Employability after university: Our previous article highlights that “approximately 64% of computer science graduates in the UK are employed 15 months after graduation.” The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics shows that “employment of computer and information research scientists is projected to grow 23 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Demonstrating the demand for highly qualified computer science and information technology professionals. A solid foundation before entering the workforce will set you up for success.
- Building an infallible network: Networking is one of the main perks of attending university. You are surrounded by hundreds of individuals with the potential for future success in the industry. You are also in the company of intellectuals, professors, and lecturers who have mastered their craft and may have strong connections to the industry.
If you are struggling with specific concerns surrounding your position at university, we at Cybernews Academy aim to provide sleek solutions to your most complex and challenging problems.
Financial troubles - financial aid and grants
It’s no secret that university is expensive. Depending on where you are studying, you may have received a student loan, or you might be working to pay your university fees outright. Money worries are daunting and can impact your daily life. However, it doesn’t have to. You can explore many different avenues for receiving financial aid at university. You can speak to student support or a student financial advisor about receiving financial assistance. While at university, you could apply for government-based financial aid that could help support you while you study. Companies like Google DeepMinds offer financial aid to graduate students specializing in AI and other STEM subjects. Explore all of your options. There may be charities with schemes you can participate in, which will help you take control of your finances. Charities or trusts provide grants if you are from a low-income household or have other personal circumstances. You could receive money for living expenses or specific purposes like studying abroad.
Not what you expected - consider changing your path
Many students who embark on computer science and information technology degrees consider dropping out due to their expectations surrounding their chosen course. The lack of appropriate skills could impact this, the harsh theoretical aspects of academia, or finding that your course doesn’t have practical elements. Re-routing can feel like a failure, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider changing your path and exploring different options that suit your learning style. In most universities, you can change your major or transfer your credits so you don’t waste any of your hard work.
Lacking confidence - take extra courses, consider tutoring, and ask for help
One of the most common reasons students drop out of computational university courses is a need for more skills to navigate the degree. Computer Science and Information Technology degrees demand a good understanding of mathematics and other technical skills. If you lack confidence in your skills, you can take online courses to help you build your foundational knowledge. If online classes aren’t for you, consider getting a tutor who could help you build these skills. Not your thing? Consider asking your lecturer, professor, or peers to help break down particular problems you are having. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your professors and lecturers have a wealth of knowledge you can use. Remember, self-study is your friend; it might take some extra work, but it will be worth it.
Mental health - wellbeing support
Moving away from home, finding your feet in a different country, and gaining independence can be challenging. Although university is a wondrous experience, at the beginning, it can feel isolating. You may feel overwhelmed and lost, trying to figure out what to do next. The Guardian states, "University students are more likely to experience depression and anxiety than their peers who go straight into work.” Studies show that 9 out of 10 students say academic challenges have affected their mental well-being. Furthermore, 28% of students reported feeling lonely or isolated while attending university. Remember, you are not alone in this. You can always ask others for help from well-being support service, campus counselor, or student services. No one should feel alone at university, and you aren’t. You are yet to find the people that make your university experience exceptional.
Can’t find your people - societies, clubs, and organizations
Perhaps you’re feeling isolated because you haven’t found your people. It’s a common occurrence that people feel lonely or lost during their first years of study. However, you can fast-track friendships by joining clubs, societies, or organizations you’re interested in. Finding people with common interests in computing may help you on various levels. You can network with other students and meet people with different academic abilities who could help you along the way. You could also spark a friendship with other computer science and information technology students and even start something special. We interviewed Jhillika Kumar of Mentra, who met the co-founder of Mentra while studying at the Georgia Institute of Technology. They have established a booming business that has gained notoriety and attracted investors like Sam Altman.
University is enshrouded in challenges and triumphs, victories and failures; it’s part of the process. If you’re struggling, isolated, or university work feels too challenging, it’s OK (I’ve been there, too.) Over time, it will improve if you ask for help and gain the support you need. Whether that’s from a financial advisor, student support network, societies, a professor, or your peers, someone is willing to help you make the most out of your academic journey. Contact your campus counselor or a medical professional if you are struggling with homesickness or poor mental health. There are innumerable reasons to stay in education. You will gain critical skills to enter the workforce, meet new people, and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Just hang in there.