For research reasons, in the last few days, I’ve been looking at several statistics on computer science programs in Portugal (but also in Europe and the US).
One of the most interesting findings is that approx. 20% of the students will drop the program at the end of the first year. But the most problematic finding is that after four years, only approx 22%-32% of the students were able to graduate in a 3-year program.
It is important to stress that in Portugal the admission to higher education is determined only by the grades that the students obtained in High School (50%) and the results of the exams in some particular subjects (Math and Physics) for CS programs, for instance (50%). In the end, only the n students with higher scores will be admitted.
Given the demand for IT personnel and the high unemployment rates of several other areas, several students will end up attempting CS.
I am aware, that some companies rely on the Berger Aptitude for Programming Test to select their candidates. From what I understood, this test is used mostly to evaluate the candidate’s ability to program and could not be used to select candidates for the CS programs.
Given this context, shouldn’t the students be performing some aptitude test before enrolling in these programs? Is anyone aware of the usage of such tests?
Obviously, I understand that one shouldn’t simply say to someone: “Hey choose something else!”. However, we are talking about several hundreds of students that are basically losing one or more years of their lives. Although this happens in Portugal, I guess the same thing occurs in other countries. Shouldn’t we be doing something about it?
I am aware of some other questions concerning programming aptitude. However, I think mine is different.