How the knowledge from university meets the "real" live

Publikováno: 11. 12. 2017

Studies vs. Reality | Part 2
Living and working in Prague for about three months now, I’m dealing with the question if the university knowledge could meet the working reality. One night, my friends and I had a dinner where we started discussing about that topic. See what we’ve found out: 
Last time, I recounted my experiences in Germany – this time I’m retelling the story of a friend from Ecuador who’s currently studying in Prague and a friend who had studied in the USA. 
Czech Republic |
“The studies here in Prague are quite theoretical - at least concerning mechanical engineering”.
He visited a course named ‘Business Economics’ which deals content-related with writing and executing a business plan. He formed a group with a fellow student and started the project. The requirement was to follow the steps and rules from the required books strictly. When he and his colleague finished the project, they submitted it to the professor. The professor praised their work as they had followed all steps and rules from the books meticulous. Afterwards, they wanted to start the project construction from the written business plan. While searching for investors they recognized that none of their potential investors was interested. “The business plan is not suitable for any company”, they’ve had to hear. 
First lesson: Theoretical knowledge is important, but the reality is different. Strictly following rules from books isn’t the expectation of companies – creativity and reality suited business plans are required. 
United States of America |
“Universities deliver theoretical knowledge – knowledge you mostly don’t need in the real working life”. 
According to his telling, the basic studies for IT includes courses like business administration and marketing, which are necessary but also mostly memorized at the last moment and, afterwards forgotten. Certain buzzwords can be helpful, if they’re customized – but especially courses like marketing are unrealistic and way too theoretical constructed concerning real work life in the IT segment. Gladly, during the main studies, you acquire knowledge and competencies for abstract reasoning to recognize and solve problems. 
Additionally to his studies, he worked in a startup company, which developed a sound matching app (comparable to ‘Shazam’). He experienced that 95% of the tasks can be solved by “learning by doing” – only 5% of the daily tasks require specific knowledge to be solved. His CEO never studied IT or something similar, “but this fact didn’t restrain him from founding his own company”. – ‘Just do it’ is the mindset in the US.
Second lesson: Most of the professions don’t require studies – most of them are ‘learning by doing’. Most of the universities don’t prepare for the real working life – they just offer additional knowledge, which you unfortunately don’t need in the real working life. 
Conclusion: No matter if you are studying in Europe or somewhere else in the world, make sure that the knowledge you can get, is actually needed for your future career. Sometimes studies are excessively theoretical and/or you can learn better by ‘learning by doing’.