Nobody said it was easy

When Andy graduated from high school, he was delighted to find that one of the UK’s top engineering Universities had offered him a four-year degree course. But things haven’t worked out so well.

Questions of scienceScience and progressDo not speak as loud as my heart – The Scientist (Coldplay)

When Andy graduated from high school, he was delighted to find that one of the UK’s top engineering Universities had offered him a four-year degree course in Engineering and Computer Science.

He’d always loved programming and was delighted by the curriculum of the course that was on offer. He even turned down offers at Oxford and Cambridge just to go there to study instead.

The first year went pretty well. And although it was harder than Andy had thought, he still managed to come out of it with A’s in most of the subjects. And Andy was looking forward to his second year, not to mention his gap year in industry applying his newly acquired programming skills.

But in the second year, things started to go downhill. Andy complained about some of his lecturers, saying that they were unhelpful, not answering questions or explaining theory in a comprehensive fashion. One of them had such poor English that poor Andy couldn’t even understand what he was saying!

And, to add insult to injury, the course material started to change too. It just didn’t follow the curriculum originally laid down by the college. Naturally, Andy was no longer the happy camper that he was when he originally took up the course.

Then, just when he thought that things couldn’t get much worse, they did. Just last month, in fact, the University announced that it is discontinuing the degree that Andy is on. And to add insult to injury, the coursework he has completed so far will not be worth a hill of beans.

If Andy now has to move to another University, he will have to repeat the whole of his second year of study. Not surprisingly, he’s not too enthusiastic about that. Worse, without the funds from his gap year job, he won’t be able to carry himself financially to the end of the course, because his student loan is so pitiful.

Now faced with diminishing teaching staff, a non-accredited course, and no classroom to go, Andy is beginning to feel that perhaps Engineering and Computer Science is not the degree that he should have taken in the first place.

Never mind, Andy. Why not look on the bright side? Why not become a plumber like that fella with a PhD in Molecular Biology from Birmingham University has recently done to supplement his salary. Even though it won’t get you a degree in the engineering, so what? Does it really matter? After all, you can still ride a round in a white Ford Transit van with the word ‘Engineer’ on the side of it. And that’s got to be worth something, hasn’t it?