last semester of college

College 3D

This is my last semester of college and so far, it doesn’t seem to be any more challenging than the rest so fingers crossed it stays that way. I need a 77% average this semester to get a 1:1 so as unlikely as that is, i’m in with a fighting chance if the subjects & material don’t get any more challenging or time consuming…

Looking back on my time in college, i’ve completed a hell of a lot of different modules and i’ve listed them all below. Honestly, there are some in there that i can’t even remember. If i’m looking at this list as an outsider, it looks impressive but allow me to tear the shiny wrappers off everything and explain in PLAIN ENGLISH what i can remember about all of these subjects (i’ve included my own description in brackets).

Year 1

  • Programming Principles (programming for dummies)
  • Interactive Multimedia (dreamweaver for dummies)
  • Maths for Computing 1 (binary code)
  • Computer Architecture (what’s inside a PC)
  • Computer Applications (Microsoft Office)
  • Study and Learning Skills (How to study for dummies)
  • Software Development Fundamentals (Software life cycle)
  • Web Client Technologies (html & css – note the lack of ‘x’ in front of html and 5 after it)
  • Maths for Computing 2 (algorithms)
  • Databases (Microsoft Access)
  • Computer Systems (groups of computers)
  • Personal Skills Development (Physchology)

Year 2

  • Requirements Modelling (flow charts)
  • Web Client Programming (vb programming language)
  • Computer Hardware (Processors & RAM)
  • Networking (Cisco router commands)
  • Data Analysis for Computing (Maths)
  • Interpersonal Communications (Physchology)
  • Software Product Support (can’t remember anything about it)
  • Object Based Development (asp.net)
  • Operating Systems (UNIX commands)
  • Database Programming (SQL in Oracle)
  • Internetworking (Cisco router commands)
  • Professional Issues in ICT (Morals & Ethics)

Year 3

  • Web Applications Development (asp.net)
  • Systems Administration 1 (Windows Server 2005)
  • Training & Support Services (How to set up a helpdesk using helpdesk software)
  • Database Management Systems (Oracle & SQL)
  • Broadband Technologies (Cisco router commands)
  • Project 1 (build a website using asp.net)
  • Computer Security (Encryption)
  • Systems Administration 2 (Windows Server 2005)
  • Computer Services Management (Microsoft Project, Gantt charts)
  • Database Administration (Oracle & SQL)
  • Professional Mentoring (Physchology)
  • Project 2 (Build a website using asp.net)

Year 4

  • Strategic Information Systems (Business)
  • Enterprise Architecture (Business)
  • Research Methods (Tabloids = bad, peer reviewed journals = good)
  • Enterprise Telephony (VOIP)
  • Business Organisations (Business)
  • Data Warehouse Design (How to store massive amounts of data)
  • IT Systems Management (Business)
  • Service Oriented Architectures (Twitter & Facebook API’s)
  • Dissertation (Research project)
  • Voice and Data Integration (VOIP)
  • Financial Management (How to look after money)
  • Entrepreneurship (How to make money)

As an outsider looking at those module titles, you’ll say to yourself ‘WTF’. Many students, particularly in IT, go in to courses not having a clue what they’re gonna be studying this year or next year or three years down the line. Out of the original 60+ people that started with me on day 1, there’s only 8 or 9 still going strong in 4th year, myself included.

Whilst i’ll go away in the summer with what i set out to get (a degree in IT Management), i’d still argue i’ve learned more about IT outside of college than inside and that’s not because college has inspired me or equipped me with the skills to learn for myself. A lot of the stuff i’m being taught simply doesn’t interest me.

No doubt some just weren’t cut out for it but i also think lack of information or biased information led them down the wrong path. We need a place where past students can share their feelings on courses & colleges with the next generation so that as a new student looking at my options, i can then bypass the sales pitches from colleges and get straight to the honest, independent information.

Just to end on a more positive note, here’s what i have learned & improved upon in college;

  • presentation skills
  • formal documentation skills
  • critical thinking (although i’m not sure it was meant to be used for the likes of this blog post!)
  • working in teams / groups
  • bit of physchology (which is a subject i’d have studied had i not loved IT so much).

Because i have to drive 70 miles in total every day to and from college it’s also made me a better driver or at least a more experienced driver. I’d only just passed my driving test 4 months before heading off to college so the stats said i was more likely to kill myself, injure myself or write off my car than any other driver. The stats also said i wouldn’t be around in 4th year of college. I guess i just got ‘lucky’.

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