View to an Engineering Education in Germany

View to an Engineering Education in Germany

January 3, 2020

People around the globe refer to Germany as the “Land of Ideas” and nobody has a second thought about it. There exists no room for doubt as this nation is ranked amongst the top countries in terms of education, innovation and economy.

Well, keeping the fact in mind that every other nation is filled with brilliant minds, one might wonder as how Germany performs so well in the aforementioned fields. Based on my experience of living and studying here for almost two years, I may have a clue about it. The answer is precision. Germans believe in precise ideas and applications. There are no sum-ups or in-betweens. Anything and everything that has been surpassed by a newer or optimized version becomes absolutely trivial and as a result, it is not followed or used anymore. This can be noticed in the field of both education and work.   

I come from a background of Computer Science and I study Masters in Digital Engineering in Germany. This course is based on Industry 4.0 which is a German initiative for the application of automation and data-exchange amongst various engineering fields to upgrade the construction / manufacturing technologies of the modern industries. For this reason, half of my courses fall under the field of Civil Engineering and half to Computer Technology. Based on this, I believe I can sum up the overall experience and insights about doing engineering in Germany. 

Precision can be noticed in the syllabus of engineering courses. Especially, the Nepalese like me may find the course shorter and complicated in the beginning. Because of our teaching style, we are normally taught every basic things which may not be needed in our career later. In contrast, in Germany I have noticed a special trend. They focus on specialised contents and teach only the parts which are applicable and are the demand of the market and may not discuss basic ideas. This certainly cuts off a large chunk of the course content, but this does not mean it declines the number of semester hours, actually the credit hours is double for the same two years master courses in comparison to Nepal. This actually is a big load for students willing to do small jobs during their study.

In Germany, each courses are discussed and taught in full depth and detail; theories are put into exercises and applications. Although this type of teaching system is sometimes viewed as “too-specific”, it produces students with precise knowledge and experience of what they are supposed to do at the job market in future. Moreover, I used to wonder how the education system remains so consistent in updating its syllabus as per the ever changing work environment. It turns out that the leading innovators of every field are the same people who teach in the universities. In contrast to our system, German professors use the phrase “We did” and show the examples of their state of the art. I am sure most of the professors in my country say “They did” and talk about someone else’s ideas and work. Well, they cannot be truly blamed, but it’s the reality and we can only be hopeful for the future.

To sum up, no matter what fields of engineering, Germany knows how to teach just the right amount of vital things in its entirety. No student ever gets an over-dose of undependable theories or lacks the essentials.