Lowest dropout rate…

by | Oct 28, 2018 | Featured, News, Uncategorized

By: George Hong

The Digital Media Information Technology (DMIT) program at NAIT has fewer dropouts than all other IT programs in North America.

The Program Chair, Steve Chattergoon explains that most IT programs have only three graduates for every 10 registered students. Comparatively, NAIT’s program has a 90-95 per cent completion rate. Chattargoon has taught at NAIT since 2001 and became the DMIT Program Chair in 2010.

The DMIT Program Chair Steve Chattergoon

“In my opinion, we have the best (IT) program in Canada,” said Chattargoon.

Students that enroll in DMIT choose their specialization, but can shift pathways depending on their skill set and passion. Chattargoon has seen other IT programs in Canada and the U.S. copy this model, which he says is a compliment to NAIT.

Normally DMIT only accepts 235 students per school year. However, an additional 140 students will be registered in January 2019. This is possible through a government initiative grant to diversify the economy and build up the Information Technology industry.

Currently the DMIT program offers a two-year diploma to the 1,200 students spread across nine different pathways: Computer Software Developer, Systems Administrator, Business Analyst, Web Developer, Visual Communications, Games Programming, Game Design, Animation, and Digital Cinema.

Students have the option of full-time or part-time studies and classes are offered during the day, evening, and in the summer term.

Chattargoon believes that Millennials are driving the future of technology and the IT industry is adapting to their needs and wants.

DMIT Student Ishmam Anwar 

NAIT Nugget: Why did you choose the DMIT program?
Anwar: “I’ve been coding since I was in sixth grade. I’m really passionate about coding. Right now everything is about software and technology, and it’s necessary for every industry. That’s why I thought this would be the best line of studies I could go into right now.”

NN: What is the class you enjoyed the most?
Anwar: “I am really enjoying Introduction to Application Development because it’s really practical. The first hour of class is the instructor showing us how to create an app, then the second hour we apply the knowledge and make an App.”

NN: What advice would you give a new student entering the DMIT Software Development Program?
Anwar: “You have to be really passionate about Software Development because there are times I have to code for 10 hours straight. I don’t think you can do that if you’re not passionate about it. But I would also say that it’s a great industry to work in regardless of if it’s your first career or you’re coming to it later in your life – IT is everywhere.”

NN: What extra costs are there besides your tuition and books?
Anwar: “In my program there aren’t any books so you can save some money there. Having a computer that can run the software you use for classes would be helpful but it’s not necessary. If you have your own computer most of the software you need is provided by NAIT free of charge. If you don’t have a computer, NAIT provides access to the Computer Commons and laboratories to work on your projects.”

NN: Why did you choose NAIT for this program?
Anwar: “I actually took a year of Computer Science at the University of Alberta, but I was actually unlearning things. There were so many electives that I was forgetting how to code because I wasn’t practising it.”

DMIT Student Francesca Macasinag

NAIT Nugget: Why did you choose this program?
Macasinag: “I chose DMIT because I wanted to be able to learn how to solve problems with technology and recommend solutions that give value to businesses and organizations. I am actually doing a combination of IT Business Analysis (BA) and Computer Software Development (CSD).”

NN: What is the class you enjoyed the most?
Macasinag: “I liked Database Fundamentals because it’s so much fun. I liked it so much that I became a Supplementary Learning Leader for a class this semester — feel free to visit my sessions.”

NN: What is the most challenging class you’ve taken so far and why?
Macasinag: “I’m taking both Intermediate Application Development and Intermediate Database right now and taking them in the same semester is very challenging. Both instructors are upfront about how you need to do extra work to do well in these classes.”

NN: What extra costs are there besides your tuition and books?
Macasinag: “The hidden cost here is the cost of food you’ll consume while at school, especially if you don’t bring food from home. I spent a lot of money last term at Bytes because I stayed late, but kept forgetting to bring dinner and snacks. You can choose to buy a computer so you can work from home but if you don’t then you’ll be spending lots of time in the Computer Commons.”

NN: What advice would you give a new student
entering DMIT?
Macasinag: “I’d say you have to put in your best
effort. If it’s too hard then you might be in the wrong
pathway. Also, the planning calendars on the Moodle
website are great. Students tend to ignore them,
but it’s extremely helpful to manage my time between
deadlines, study for exams, schedule my part-time
jobs, and find time for extracurricular activities.”

Featured Image Source: NAIT

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