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IT in the Czech Republic: a review of the best departments

Viktoriia Soloveva

2 July 2023

#EDUCATION

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"Information Technology" is a specialization that guarantees that you are going to be in demand professionally even while still studying.

This article will give you detailed information on the top five most popular Czech departments in the field of IT. We are going to look into the main differences between those departments, programmes and specializations they offer, and of course how to get admitted there.

"It is important to note right away that being able to code at the stage of admission is not necessary. Admission is based on a math test that requires the level of knowledge of a school graduate.

Admissions statistics for IT is 80 %. In the Czech Republic a large number of students are being admitted for the technical specializations so there is no competition per se – everyone who has successfully passed the math test is admitted. Students agree that it doesn't take much to get admitted to the IT programme, but the education process itself is pretty challenging."

According to the world rankings, the Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) is considered to be the best technical university in the country. Education in the field of IT is provided primarily by the two CTU faculties – the Faculty of Electrical Engineering (Czech abbreviation – FEL) and the Faculty of Information Technology (FIT). FEL is a faculty with a solid history and reputation founded in 1950, whilst FIT is quite newly formed. Which of the two should the applicants choose: the reliable and trusted FEL or the up and coming FIT?

Option 1: FEL – the CTU Faculty of Electrical Engineering

According to the rating of the authoritative Czech edition of Hospodářské noviny, the CTU Faculty of Electrical Engineering is the best faculty in the Czech Republic in the field of IT.

"FEL is distinguished by the fact that there are only 7 students per professor here. The faculty offers its students an individual and partnership-based approach on the part of the professors rather than ''streaming'' education.

It is also important that FEL works closely with dozens of companies. Research laboratories funded by CRRC, Electrolux, Red Hat are operating right at the faculty. A lot of the students complete their theses in collaboration with the companies. Recently, the Artificial Intelligence Center research center was launched at the faculty."

on the salaries of the FEL graduates The average salary of the FEL graduates is 66,403 Czech korunas.

"If you made a decision to study IT at FEL, then the next step would be choosing a study programme. There is an Open Informatics programme as well as a Software Engineering and Technology programme, and each of them is further divided into specializations.

In the Czech Republic, education in the field of IT is set up according to the following principle – applicants are admitted to a broad study program, get acquainted with the basics of IT and only then, in the course of their learning process, choose a specialization (after the 1st year)."

Specializations offered by the Open Informatics programme at FEL

The Open Informatics programme adheres to the traditions of the faculty thus mathematics makes up a significant part of the compulsory subjects here. There is more mathematics in the study programme here than in a standard IT programme.

The programme offers 4 specializations. The competencies of a graduate of each of them are briefly described below.

  • Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science The graduate will be able to mathematically formulate information problems, design and implement algorithms to solve them – primarily in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The graduate will also be equipped with the knowledge of the architecture of information systems (computers, networks, databases).

  • Software The graduate will be able not only to design software systems, but also to work on their maintenance and application at enterprises. The graduate will also be equipped with knowledge in the field of software engineering, software modeling and design as well as advanced knowledge of programming languages and user interfaces.

  • Internet of Things The graduate will receive deeper knowledge in the field of electronics, microprocessor technology and computer networks. They will be able to design and implement a built-in devices, algorithms for real-time interaction with the environment and exchange data via communication networks.

  • Computer Games and Graphics The graduate will be able to develop computer games by themselves or as a part of a development team. They will be equipped with knowledge in the field of graphics programming, artificial intelligence, creating 2D and 3D graphic content and implementation of user interfaces."

"I chose FEL because this faculty offers an unusual and quite unique specialization – "Computer games and 3D graphics". The studying process is fun but way too challenging. Studying here implies that you are going to be sleep deprived throughout the whole semester, not just during the exam period. I do enjoy the results of my studies (not necessary the grades, but rather the stuff that I`ve actually learned). A lot of the subjects involve practicing something unusual and the homework assignments are interesting as well. They always make you think a lot and come up with something, and situations when you just have to repeat after the professor are extremely rare".

Alexander Temnyakov, GoStudy graduate and FEL student

Specializations offered by the Software Engineering and Technology programme at FEL

"Software Engineering and Technology programme provides education in the fields where FEL is achieving internationally recognized results: artificial intelligence, computer vision and graphics, HCI and mobile systems.

The programme also offers 4 specializations. Choosing specialization is optional for the students though, it`s more of an additional opportunity for them to get a supplement to the diploma of mastering a narrow specialization."

  • Multimedia Technology Within the framework of this specialization, technology meets creativity. Here students get acquainted with recording and processing of multimedia data in the form of sound, video and 3D graphics. In addition to video and image processing techniques, students explore the principles of acoustics, 3D modeling, animation and computer graphics.

  • Programmer/Web Applications Architect Students learn the principles of designing modern web applications, gain an understanding of related technologies and become acquainted with the process of their development and implementation.

  • Network Specialist Students master network management skills, practice distributed software systems development and programming of cloud applications. Students learn to program applications for operation in communication infrastructure of limited bandwidth and reliability. The subjects are taught by the experts of certified courses provided by Cisco, Juniper or Huawei.

  • Information Systems and Entrepreneurship Students navigate modern technologies, information systems, business processes and learn how to manage organizations and projects. Students also grasp the basics of analyzing and designing their own information systems and get acquainted with financial planning and management of IT product development."

"Most of all, I was attracted to the friendly and informal environment at FEL, which is possible due to the fact that the faculty admits only 100 students to the programme. I do appreciate the fact that most professors are practicing specialists. For example, a programming course is taught by a professor who has worked for IBM and Google for 20 years".

Jakub Begera, Software specialization student at FEL

How to get admitted to FEL The entrance exam is a math test. The test consists of 15 multiple choice tasks and you can get a maximum of 20 points for it. In order to get admitted, you need to score at least 14 points. Foreign applicants must also pass the Czech language exam at B2 level at the FEL Department of Languages. The faculty exempts its applicants from the written part of the examination if a certificate of the Czech language state examinations is provided, but the oral part of the examination can only be taken at the faculty.

Option 2: FIT - Faculty of Informatics of ChVUT

"The Faculty of Information Technology of the Czech Technical University in Prague does not have that a high of a rating yet because it is a new faculty that was established in 2009.

Bachelor's programme at the faculty provides a solid base in all areas of computer science. The faculty calls its curriculum ""pure computer science and nothing but computer science"" and promises to teach its students to code and think like hackers in the span of three years."

"I dont think there is a faculty as open to the various ideas of its students as FIT. I love that our faculty is so young in spirit. That s not a place where students just come to sit around for 6 hours a day.".

Tomasz Novacek, FIT graduate and student of the Doctoral Study Programme

Bachelor's programme at FIT is designed so that the students are able to get an idea of individual areas of IT and only then decide on which one of them they are going to specialize in. Students begin studying under the general Information Technology programme, get acquainted with the theoretical foundations and elementary principles of IT in the first year, and only then choose their specialization.

offers 8 specializations

  • Computer Security and Information technology Students learn to design information systems in such a way as to prevent possible hacker threats.

  • Information systems and Management Managers and programmers often speak different languages. Students of this specialization study both of those languages. Hence after graduation they become coordinators who understand the needs of both management and IT. Students learn how to manage projects and coordinate a team of programmers.

  • Computer Engineering This specialization includes programming everything that can be programmed – from computers, robots or airplanes to locking garages. Students learn to understand both software and hardware. First and foremost, students specialize in intelligent embedded systems.

  • Theoretical Computer Science The knowledge students receive within the framework of theoretical computer science will never become obsolete. They will be useful for extracting and processing large amounts of data or when trying to crack unsolved algorithmic problems.

  • Web and Software Engineering – Computer Graphics specialization Students learn how to create graphics for games and applications or video effects. Students learn 2D and 3D programming and get acquainted with graphics software. Students work in laboratories with high-quality multimedia equipment.

  • Web and Software Engineering – Software Engineering specialization Students explore programming languages and learn to design their own programs. Web and Software Engineering – Web Engineering specialization This specialization trains architects of the online world. Students learn to create web systems and applications that are on trend and make our lives easier.

  • Knowledge Engineering Students learn Data Mining methods – interpretation of knowledge necessary for decision-making in various spheres of human activity, and visualization of results."

"Despite all the difficulties, I am thrilled to be studying at CTU. I enjoy the manner of teaching, I love the subjects and the fact that people around me really want to study and didnt just enroll in university because its necessary to have at least some kind of higher education. The testing system is designed in such a way that not only you have no opportunity to cheat, you simply have no desire to do so, because the consequences are way too serious. All in all, I can say that my studies here are exciting and terrifying at the same time."

Diana Davletova, GoStudy graduate and FIT student

**How to get admitted to FIT** *Entrance exam is a math test. The test lasts for 90 minutes. You can get a maximum of 100 points. In order to get admitted, you need to score at least 70 points. During the exam, you are allowed to use calculator and mathematical tables.* The "Admission to СТU" program will prepare you for the admission.

Option 3: UEB Faculty of Informatics and Statistics

If you are interested in computer science applied at enterprises, then you should consider the "Applied Informatics" programme at the Faculty of Informatics and Statistics of the Prague University of Economics and Business.

"Here specialists capable of managing information systems in order to support business processes of various types of organizations - from small and medium-sized businesses to transnational corporations and public administration institutions are trained.

The graduates are globally-minded IT professionals whose skills and knowledge meet the needs of the information technology field as well as the needs of the management, economics and business field.

Students learn to design and implement information systems in organizations, analyze and design databases, develop software and process information to develop the business. To top it off, they gain economic knowledge and the ability to manage projects and teams. The graduates can become business process analysts, business analysts and project management experts."

Key areas of the UEB "Applied Informatics" programme:

  • "integration of information technologies and business processes

  • analysis of processes and information systems

  • project and team management

  • design, implementation and development of software systems and products

  • database management"

**How to get admitted to the computer science in UEB**

Entrance exams include a math test and an English test. You need to score at least 50 % points for each of them. Foreign applicants must pass the Czech language exam. UEB does not accept any certificates and always holds its own Czech language exam for foreign applicants. You need to score at least 60% on the Czech language test. The "Admission to UEB" program is a right fit for preparation for the admission.

Option 4: Physics and Mathematics at Charles University

If you are interested in theoretical computer science and research prospects, then you should consider classical universities – for example, the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University in Prague.

The goal of the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Computer Science – is to teach students both applied and theoretical computer science.

The programme offers 6 specializations. 4 of those specializations are practice-oriented:

  • ""Programming and Software Development""

  • ""System Programming""

  • ""Databases and Web""

  • ""Computer Graphics and Game Development""

2 of those specializations are theoretically-oriented:

  • ""General Computer Science""

  • ""Artificial Intelligence""

The first year of study under the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Computer Science is more general, students choose specializations only in their second year.

**Grants**

*"Students of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the Charles University, while still studying in their first year, can join the work under student faculty grants and receive an additional scholarship (12,000 korunas).

In the senior years of study, you can receive financing of up to 300,000 korunas from the Charles University Grant Agency to work on your project."*

"What I value the most about the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics is that we were required to understand technology and at the same time we were given high-quality basic knowledge. Through this, a physicomathematical programme graduate can quickly master any new technology or programming language, which today is very beneficial. I`m saying this based on my own experience: I ve changed my professional direction several times and never had any problems with mastering new technologies."

Jakub Brzechka, graduate of the physicomathematical programme of the Charles University in Prague and Apple software engineer

**How to get admitted to the Charles University physicomathematical programme**

The entrance exam consists of a test of 10 tasks. The test checks the abilities necessary for studying at the faculty – logical thinking and knowledge of mathematics at the secondary school level. You have 75 minutes to complete the test. You can get 10 points for each task. In order to get admitted, you need to score at least 40 points out of a possible 100. Foreign applicants must pass the Czech language exam at B2 level. The faculty accepts a certificate of the Czech language state examinations.

Option 5: Jaderka – CTU Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering

It is also possible to obtain qualifications in the field of IT at CTU Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering (Jaderka). Moreover, you can get admitted there without entrance exams.

The faculty offers 3 specializations in the field of IT.

  • Applied Informatics The education is provided by the Department of Mathematics of the faculty. Students get acquainted with the practical aspects of the application of modern computer technology. The curriculum includes the basics of mathematics and physics, an advanced English course and subjects in the field of programming. During the studying process, great emphasis is placed on the English language, after graduation, students are able to take the state examinations in English at C1 level. Students also write and defend their graduation theses in English.

  • Mathematical Informatics The purpose of education here goes beyond grasping specific technologies, the emphasis is placed on the development of students independent creative thinking, qualitative analysis of problems and ability to navigate modern IT trends. During their studies, students can work alongside the research teams of the Department of Mathematics. This is a unique programme – it trains first-class mathematicians who are well versed in modern information technologies, and first-class programmers who are proficient in mathematics.

  • Software Development Students gain comprehensive knowledge in advanced disciplines of computer science, modern mathematics and applied physics, and apply them in the field of mathematical informatics, for managing software projects, in scientific and technical calculations and in the field of computer science in economics. The graduate acquires knowledge in the field of economics, equal to those of the economic universities graduates, and, in addition, becomes well versed in the field of computer science as well as in certain issues of applied mathematics. When it comes to the labor market, such specialists are in much higher demand than ""just programmers"" or ""just economists""."

**How to get admitted to CTU Jaderku**

"Entrance exam is a math test. But if your grade point average over the last 4 years of study is 2.0 or higher, then you are exempt from the entrance exam. You can also be exempted from the entrance exam if your average grade over the last 4 years of study in at least one of the core subjects (mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science) is 2.0 or higher. The faculty accepts any certificate of the Czech language at B2 level.

The ""Admission to СТU"" program will prepare you for the admission."

Technical universities in other Czech cities

In addition to CTU, there are many other technical universities in the Czech Republic with solid computer science departments – in Brno, Ostrava, Pardubice, Liberec.

Admission conditions there are along similar lines. At some departments, math tests may be less challenging and a certificate of knowledge of the Czech language at B1 level may even be enough.

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