I got my college results today and there were no surprises.. in fact i was just 0.2% off in my prediction (which i said would be an overall average of ‘about 64%‘). I got 63.8%. That’s even more impressive than my results because i made that prediction mid way through my exams with 2 still left to sit
Fun with predictions
I enjoy tempting fate with results and over the past few weeks i’ve had some fun with it. That image above was designed & published the day i finished up with my last exam… a ‘game over’ image confidently declaring a score of 2.1 which is exactly what i ended up getting. But that wasn’t enough for me so before designing that image i analysed each subject and gave myself a mark, giving myself an overall average for semester 2, averaging that with semester 1 and that’s how i came up with the more precise overall figure of 64% 🙂
I’ve done that from day one in college and got better at marking myself over the years. I felt it was important to monitor my own results because nobody else would 🙂 Knowing exactly what you have to do in exams to pass and get top marks sounds like a pretty obvious thing to know at 3rd level but believe me, there are plenty of people who can go in to exams not knowing what they need to pass and with a ‘lap of the gods’ kind of attitude. The college is partly to blame for that. Continuous assessment results are a mess and quite often we don’t know our own CA results before sitting exams. Something which goes against policy and which isn’t supposed to happen, but it does happen because things just aren’t organised enough. We don’t get a document detailing all our CA results, nor is that information online, so unless we compile it ourselves and do the math, you go in to exams ‘blind’ i.e. not knowing exactly what you need to do to pass or get a certain mark.
I probably took things too far, with charts like this and this;
But as you can see it all paid off because i’m now able to come out of exams not only knowing if i’ve passed or failed, but knowing exactly what mark i’ve gotten. That peace of mind is crucial in order to move from one subject to the next without worrying about what you need, whether you did enough to pass etc… exams are largely all mind games and mind games with yourself.
Not good enough for first class honours
If i was being critical of myself i could say i wasn’t good enough for a first class honours (above 70%). But at Christmas i explained that the difference between 60% and 70% can be huge. So huge it could involve a 30% increase in workrate which (a) you may not be capable of (b) you may not think is ‘worth’ it. I probably fall in to the (b) category. I was willing to quit blogging daily and willing to sacrifice a lot of time to focus on college work this year, but i wasn’t willing to invest so much time in to it that it was literally all i was focusing on and thinking about all day every day. That’s unhealthy. It would be different if it was business or something where there’s more at stake… i.e. your job and livelihood. That’s the kind of thing you want to go all out for, not college subjects which you don’t really like or can’t see yourself using in the future.
We were also told that last year, nobody got a 1.1 in our subject and i’m pretty sure nobody did this year either so i can take heart in the fact that on paper, i’m at least equal to the best IT Management students in DKIT over the past 2 years
But it’s good to be self critical. It balances the see-saw of over confidence and under confidence. It’s too easy to get drawn in to focusing on the positive and ignore the questions people will be asking in the back of their minds. This goes some way towards answering the question of “why didn’t i do better?”. The answer is it would have involved too much extra work, which i felt wasn’t worth the time.
What does a second class honours degree in IT Management get you?
The short answer is nothing. It’s a status symbol. Look at me, i can manage IT. That’s what it says. It’s the same with any degree. It’s confirmation from a reputable source of your abilities & skills in a given subject area, under certain conditions. The long answer is that stats show that as you go up the education ladder, earnings increase. Career prospects get better. On paper, you become more attractive, less of a risk and more employable.
Both answers are positive and like i’ve said before, no matter how much you hate college or think it’s a waste of time, you can’t possibly finish a degree and say it wasn’t worth it, because these days it’s just something you have to do if you’re coming out of the leaving cert, unless you run your own successful business or something or aren’t worried /thinking about your career.
For me, it’s a safety net. It’ll be the first thing that will go down on my CV and it’ll be something that adds cement to my IT skills and abilities. Now, i need experience. My ideal plan was to get involved in a start up business as i believe i suit that sink or swim environment, plus i’d learn more and learn faster than in a ‘normal’ environment. That may very well happen soon and there is more to that statement than i’m letting on but in the mean time i’ll be on the hunt for relevant jobs, keeping my options open for as long as possible and that hunt starts tomorrow at a careers fair in Dublin.