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A Friend's Brother Has Just Failed His Final Year At Uni.

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I was contacted today by one of my friends from university whose brother has just failed his final year. I believe in IT or Computing.

I said that he should leave university and seek his fortune, possibly getting additional qualifications in something like SAP, AutoCAD or studying for a CCNA, or trying something a bit leftfield like becoming a professional abseiler (apparently not as difficult as it sounds).

I said that there are thousands of unemployed graduates, so having a degree isn't much to write home about these days, even though it may be tempting to sit out the next year or so at university and emerge at a time when the jobs market might hopefully be a bit healthier.

What advice should I have given?

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I was contacted today by one of my friends from university whose brother has just failed his final year. I believe in IT or Computing.

I said that he should leave university and seek his fortune, possibly getting additional qualifications in something like SAP, AutoCAD or studying for a CCNA, or trying something a bit leftfield like becoming a professional abseiler (apparently not as difficult as it sounds).

I said that there are thousands of unemployed graduates, so having a degree isn't much to write home about these days, even though it may be tempting to sit out the next year or so at university and emerge at a time when the jobs market might hopefully be a bit healthier.

What advice should I have given?

I think the advice you should have given is that he has put 3 or 4 years into the course already and he should finish it off. Having a degree opens a lot of doors. He can do his CCNA during the term breaks to catch up.

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Stage one is to find out why he failed his final year.

There's no point him trying again if he is just lazy or disinterested. Waste of his money and his tutor's time.

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I think the advice you should have given is that he has put 3 or 4 years into the course already and he should finish it off. Having a degree opens a lot of doors. He can do his CCNA during the term breaks to catch up.

How badly did he fail? Is he at a old style uni or ex poly, either way I thought it was pretty difficult to fail overall. The majority of uni's use a combination of coursework and exams and can/do give an appropriate weighting to each to ensure most people pass, hence the number of 1st and 2:1's that we now see.

My advice depending on how badly he failed and chances of passing on his next attempt is to finish the course either full or part time, the additional cost of finishing will overall be lower than cost he has already sunk in his first attempt if he walks away now. He must of course learn the lessons and change his current lifestyle, working/revision habits or whatever else has caused him to fail.

If I was cynical regarding degree courses today as a measurement of work ethic and intelligence and most other things being equal, I would say 1) turn up to lectures 90% of the time and you will pass with a 2:2, do 1 and work hard get at 2:1 and do 1 with lots of hard work you should get a first.

Lots of open questions: why did he not realise he was going to fail before it happened, why did his tutor/friends not spot this, it really is difficult to fail during the final year, most people who fail would have done so by the end of the second year.

Good Luck to your friend's brother, I hope it works out for him in the end.

Edited by Lazybones

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This sounds like one or more of the following:

-Money problems (including self-created ones)

-Health problems (including self-created ones)

-Perfectionism ("I spent 3/4 years at University and all I got was this 3rd") - Maybe caused by parental pressure/ expectation.

-Lack of self esteem

-Procrastination

-Too much information

-Poor time management.

You need to research the above traits in wiki or somewhere. Get a grip of what you're doing wrong.

My advice is this: MANY PEOPLE WOULD KILL TO BE IN THIS POSITION.

1) Hang the expense and make sure the final year is finished. Read all summer, and make sure you don't have to work in a PT job after Christmas. Don't be tempted to work over Christmas. In fact, don't even have a Christmas. Make sure you apply to the Uni for free/ partial fees for a repeat year.

2) Get a computer job after you finish, any job even if it's PC World or the Comet computer sales department

3) ****** self esteem. Pride hurts/ stings etc, but you must build a life, even if it is gradually. Don't look around at all the 23y-olds thinking you should be them. You're not because you aren't. If you were that good then you would be there, but you're still working on it.

4) The name of the game is to fulfill your capabilities in the long term, and the best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up, NOW.

5) Once you have the degree, you then pick off some small specialised qualifications. e.g A+. Network+, or programming ones if you like that. Any fool can do these. Any fool with focus and £150. You now have a CV shaping up. Create a savings account for 'education'.

6) You'll get a lower-level I.T. job at some point, but keep studying. Go into databases, security, service-management, whatever. BCS.org can show you the way.

7) Once you have a decade under your belt, you can consider audit, your own business, management, projects etc.

8) Whatever you do, it's lifelong learning, for non-programming stuff anyway. (although coders still need to learn the latest stuff, it's all the same principles more or less)

9) Develop your soft skills if they are lacking. I.T. is as much about people as it is about computers.

10) Get off this and every other time-wasting site/ activity for the next 12-months.

Nothing will happen if you just spend the summer doing nothing. You could read all your books in the next 8 weeks, OR you could read, re-read and re-read again the subject you like but are crap at. You can get shit-hot at it if you REALLY want.

The next two years will change your life, or you can be miserable through 30, 40, 50 and be working in PC World at 70.

If all this seems too much for you, welcome to the real world.

Who dares wins.

Just my 2p...

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I was contacted today by one of my friends from university whose brother has just failed his final year. I believe in IT or Computing.

I said that he should leave university and seek his fortune, possibly getting additional qualifications in something like SAP, AutoCAD or studying for a CCNA, or trying something a bit leftfield like becoming a professional abseiler (apparently not as difficult as it sounds).

I said that there are thousands of unemployed graduates, so having a degree isn't much to write home about these days, even though it may be tempting to sit out the next year or so at university and emerge at a time when the jobs market might hopefully be a bit healthier.

What advice should I have given?

I would go along with the people that say finish the course off. However, if I had met the guy a few years ago I would give him this advice. F@ck uni-get a trade and you will be in work when most of the degree getters are still looking. Be a plumber, a spark or a chippy-besomething other than a piece of paper holder.

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if he failed in this subject, then even if he scrapes thru a pass on a 2nbd attempt, he may have found it so difficult because he might not like it

it would be daft to push him into an IT job in this circumstance, he'd be unhappy and rubbish

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What reason is important.

Anything medical and a doctor will write the dean a letter and he can have a pass.

Anything emotional and a counsellor will write the dean a letter and he can have a pass.

He could of course pretend he's passed. How many employers chase up degrees?

OK so he'll get the sack from anywhere important when they find out...

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What reason is important.

Anything medical and a doctor will write the dean a letter and he can have a pass.

Anything emotional and a counsellor will write the dean a letter and he can have a pass.

He could of course pretend he's passed. How many employers chase up degrees?

OK so he'll get the sack from anywhere important when they find out...

Isn't there a giant database now?

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if he failed in this subject, then even if he scrapes thru a pass on a 2nbd attempt, he may have found it so difficult because he might not like it

it would be daft to push him into an IT job in this circumstance, he'd be unhappy and rubbish

Apparently it was a Computer Science Degree from a university with a fairly good reputation but not in top 50 in the UK (80-90th place I believe). He failed very badly.

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Apparently it was a Computer Science Degree from a university with a fairly good reputation but not in top 50 in the UK (80-90th place I believe). He failed very badly.

I hope you meant "not in top 5, but in 8th or 9th place." If you actually meant 80th to 90th, then that would the institution very, very low down in the table.

Most of the employers I know would not touch someone from such an institution with a low grade.

In fact, one guy I know in the games industry told me that they don't even bother interviewing people with firsts from quite a number of institutions as they have had such negative experiences with the ones they trialled.

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By, "fairly good", I meant that it has a good reputation for certain subjects.

Having checked the Guardian league table, I see that it is between 60th and 70th place, (I'm trying not to give too much away).

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By, "fairly good", I meant that it has a good reputation for certain subjects.

Having checked the Guardian league table, I see that it is between 60th and 70th place, (I'm trying not to give too much away).

League Tables... Smeague Tables.

It's the person, not the CV.

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AFAIK most unis only award you a pass mark for a resit, so even if you got 100% in the exam they would count it as only gaining 40%

hence he is likely to leave with a 3rd or 2:2 at best if he does pass, is it worth it?

imo probably not, i would say start afresh on a 3 year UOL external degree and aim for a 1st or 2.1.

cost will be near £4k and can be done while working.

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I would go along with the people that say finish the course off. However, if I had met the guy a few years ago I would give him this advice. F@ck uni-get a trade and you will be in work when most of the degree getters are still looking. Be a plumber, a spark or a chippy-besomething other than a piece of paper holder.

+1

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Isn't there a giant database now?

Should be, but I don't think that there is

When I started a job in a University, the HR department made me bring in my degree certificate to prove that I had a degree, even though the degree was from the same University!

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Well he won't get a job, retake the final year and stay out of the job market for now. It's that or a wasted year of unemployment becoming demotivated.

Don't understand why you're asking to be honest, it's the only option available.

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I think the advice you should have given is that he has put 3 or 4 years into the course already and he should finish it off. Having a degree opens a lot of doors. He can do his CCNA during the term breaks to catch up.

Can he re-sit? Not usually an option for finals, I know.

If not, how about the OU?

If he's passed the first 2/3 years he'd get credit for that.

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Can he re-sit? Not usually an option for finals, I know.

If not, how about the OU?

If he's passed the first 2/3 years he'd get credit for that.

I think he should re-do the final year. What will have more of an impact on him is how his CV will look to potential employers if he gives up now: "I took a degree; I failed the final year: I gave up; now I'm looking for a job". Employers like to see that you have seen something through, shown perseverance. He won't be able to hide it - the potential employers will expect to see a paper trail showing what he has done with his life post school, and will query gaps in time.

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Something doesn't seem quite right to me.

How did he get to his final year and fail very badly ?

Don't most courses split up the work over 3 years, with something like a 60:40 split for final/year 2 ?

If he was that bad why wasn't he thrown off the course in year 1, or in year 2 ?

At my uni they monitored you on all three years. You got a kick up the ****, or shifted onto an ordinary degree if things were looking bad. The kick up the **** worked for me and I came out with a good degree.

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Something doesn't seem quite right to me.

How did he get to his final year and fail very badly ?

Don't most courses split up the work over 3 years, with something like a 60:40 split for final/year 2 ?

If he was that bad why wasn't he thrown off the course in year 1, or in year 2 ?

At my uni they monitored you on all three years. You got a kick up the ****, or shifted onto an ordinary degree if things were looking bad. The kick up the **** worked for me and I came out with a good degree.

I work in a uni and this does happen sometimes. Cells' advice about doing an external degree UoL is good.

If he failed badly, he'll probably fail again or just scrape through. Especially as it is the final year it is unlikely that even if he is conscientious that he'll be able to make up the work. A lot of my job is kicking failing students up the **** and even when you closely mentor them, they often are incapable of changing their attitude to work. I blame the spoon-feeding at school - bite-size assessment ,and endless A-level resits. Most unis won't let you resit finals or will cap at a bare pass - lots of students don't realise this until it is too late. Even a 2:2 (in the last 5-10 years and depending on subject) is an indicator of a very weak student - both in terms of work ethic and intellect, or a stubborn person who won't admit they chose the wrong degree for their temperament. I think most employers probably realise that.

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I work in a uni and this does happen sometimes. Cells' advice about doing an external degree UoL is good.

If he failed badly, he'll probably fail again or just scrape through. Especially as it is the final year it is unlikely that even if he is conscientious that he'll be able to make up the work. A lot of my job is kicking failing students up the **** and even when you closely mentor them, they often are incapable of changing their attitude to work. I blame the spoon-feeding at school - bite-size assessment ,and endless A-level resits. Most unis won't let you resit finals or will cap at a bare pass - lots of students don't realise this until it is too late. Even a 2:2 (in the last 5-10 years and depending on subject) is an indicator of a very weak student - both in terms of work ethic and intellect, or a stubborn person who won't admit they chose the wrong degree for their temperament. I think most employers probably realise that.

There's many different kinds of employers I think. The ones that are genuinely looking for the best people overall are never anyway going to be looking at someone who scraped a pass whether or not they retook stuff whereas the ones looking for cannon fodder for IT support roles probably don't care much either way, the degree is a simple filter to cut down the number of CVs they have to sort through. Having said that, it's interesting that the guy got as far as finals before being failed, back when I did my degree it was very rare for people to get that far - the only case I can remember in fact was someone that, literally, went insane during his last year and wrote song lyrics all over his answer papers instead of doing the questions.

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