This article is published in the August 2015 issue.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Graduate students contemplate leaving their program due to problems in the academic environment and economic stressors, but stay in their program thanks to support from family, friends, and advisors.

Graduate students contemplate leaving their program

Note: Survey data were collected from N = 403 students graduating with Terminal Master’s and Doctoral programs in computing fields during the Spring 2014 and Spring 2015 semesters. Students were asked whether they have seriously considered leaving their program during graduate school. Those who had considered leaving (41% of all respondents) explained what made them want to leave, and why they had decided to stay. The word clouds above illustrate prominent themes in students’ reasons for wanting to leave versus stay in their graduate program.

cerp_hzThis infographic is brought to you by the CRA’s Center for Evaluating the Research Pipeline (CERP). CERP provides social science research and comparative evaluation for the computing community. To learn more about CERP, visit our website at