No doubt, before one can learn to run, one must learn to walk. No practice is possible without a theoretical basis. But at the same time, theoretical knowledge has no point without its application in practice. Fundamental knowledge and practical skills must be united, and exist in a constant, continuous connection. This is better for learning and comprehension. Even the most disciplined and responsible student may eventually forget some information because it has not been worked through, not applied directly. The employer in the future may decide that such a student did not learn anything and did not study properly at university when, in most cases, it is far from the truth. A student knows the theory but just does not know how to apply it, and how it can be displayed in the context. As a result, we see the following ridiculous requirements like “we need someone 22-26 years old with 5-10 years of experience.”
If you decide to apply your theoretical knowledge yourself by getting your first freelance or part-time job, then you would probably have to sacrifice your studying a bit. But do not get too worried about that. With some good writing services, you can always get your thesis paper or coursework assistance.
What they teach students
The main thing an educational institution teaches is where to find information. It is not necessary to know and remember everything, it is important to be able to navigate versatile sources to be able to find an answer to the question of interest at the right time. The university provides basic, general knowledge, and then life pushes you into the abyss of despair and confusion where you need to figure out how to implement what you learned.
At school they say that the necessary things will be taught at university, then they say that the necessary things will remain in memory, and the missing things will be taught at work. Consequently, all the time you are as if you are at some intermediate stage, always comforting yourself with the idea that everything is still ahead, “I’ll learn everything but later”.
Forms of integration and the complexity of its implementation
As we said before, knowledge needs to be expressed and applied directly. In order to integrate practical education, the following actions can be actively taken:
- include special courses, and workshops that aim to systematize knowledge and develop skills by practicing them in real-life situations;
- use past or current real-life cases for deeper learning;
- have fewer irrelevant mandatory courses that take too much time from really important courses;
- collaborate, create more internships, commercial experience with expert companies.
The difficulty, perhaps, lies in the general problem of the education system – it’s conservative and implements changes slowly. But it is important to try to make the first, or at least small steps now for the big leap in the future!
There are many questions and few answers. Nevertheless, some universities already have this kind of practice; it needs to be expanded, which first, however, requires awareness by the students and faculty themselves.
At present, there is a rapidly increasing trend towards the integration of science and education, the integration of the activities of a university, and the future employers of their graduates. The determining factor for such development is the growing need for highly qualified and enterprising workers, which is inherent in the knowledge-based society.
Integration of science and education makes it possible to train students based on real scientific research and the most modern experimental base. Interaction of universities with potential employers allows them to participate effectively in course shaping. They can build their technological “platforms” into the conditions of specialization and get actively acquainted with the future graduates, involving them in internships and participating in the projects on their subjects. At the same time, university students have the opportunity to get involved in the work of the leading teams and bring something to the table. Of course, the experience of such interactions between the university and employers has existed before, but it wasn’t ubiquitous. And now the goal is to increase this cooperation in various fields and domains.