Your studies won’t go as planned -And why that is OK”

My journey as an IT student in the university of Rwanda began in October 2017. After having studied Computer Science in high school, it was certain that Information Technology will be enlivened in this university. It was a new phase and the first weeks on campus certainly made me feel like so. The Nyaruguenge campus is indeed beautiful but its humongous nature couldn’t help but make me feel unseen. I was constantly feeling minuscule and inadequate with regards to my peers but, it was a lucid moment for me because I knew I could be better, I could do better.

Choosing an IT career for many, myself included, depended on the market demand and the multiplicity of vacant positions we could occupy at the end of our erudition. What an erroneous conception we had! This was seen from the first year as I had let myself believe that an ample amount of my time will be spent on a computer, accompanied by other practical lessons. What a shocker it was when I found myself taking courses like Mathematics, Physics and Drawing among many others that I believed to have left behind.

It was time to face the fact that I had signed up to an engineering program and not a vocational training center(VTC). At this point, it is safe to say one of the most important objectives of Information Technology is the solving of problems faced by humanity, which to a certain degree is the same goal in Mathematics. Every problem needs a solution, which we see as an Algorithm and they each have a course of action necessitating a tool. Mathematics therefore is how we create these algorithms and the programs are only told how to apply them to solve the underlying problems. Now that we have established how crucial Mathematics is in Information Technology, it was expected that I felt frustrated as I hadn’t studied Mathematics in high school. This was a real low for me because of the constant self-doubt and criticism I gave myself. I thought of quitting more times than I would like to admit but I decided to push myself and swim against the tide.

My second year was not all plain sailing but it was uncomplicated as I enjoyed most of the courses I took. These were the courses I hoped to have learned at the beginning of my journey here and the courses every IT student should be taking. They encompass project management, database, web development, digital electronics, information security, system analysis and much more.

Nevertheless, my third year is just as challenging as my first because it is at this stage that you have to find yourself and what you excel in. Trust me, it’s not as easy as I make it seem because we had to do a lot of programming which I assure you, is no child’s play. Needless to say, I had another revelation in these very trying times, causing me to realize that programming is only a small piece of Information Technology covered by a degree.
Information Technology is a vast field and anyone can find themselves something that resonates with what they want. For instance;
• If you are more of a quality oriented person, software testing may be the ideal career;
• If you’re creative and design oriented, you should go for web designing;
• If you’re curious and adventurous with a touch of technology, Information Technology administration would be perfect for you ;
• If you master socializing in a world of social media, trust me, you’ll be perfect at digital marketing.
•You could also become an instructor if you value passing on the knowledge you’ve been gifted with.
Again, this is a vast field, so do some research and find what works for you.

Pursuing my Information Technology degree these past three years at this university has taught me to welcome challenges and to curb them, because that’s the best way to learn and grow; it is the only way to be your best self. It may not be my place yet, but I’ll love to tell all newly graduated students to take it slow, be receptive to offers even if they aren’t from your top employers. This will help you hone your skills and gain some experience that will put you in high demand.

Good luck to us all!