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University ranking and comments from employers

Maksim Khan

2 July 2023

#EDUCATION

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Hospodářské noviny, a respectable economic newspaper, compiles a ranking of Czech higher education institutions every year.

We'll explain which universities have the best programs in IT, economics and engineering and what kind of young specialists Microsoft, KPMG and PwC look for in the Chech Republic.

Is Prague worth it?

Interestingly, this year's ranking shows that universities in small Czech towns such as Plzeň, Liberec or Hradec Králové have drastically improved the quality of their education over the past few years. Experts say the difference between them and large universities in Prague and Brno is practically going away.

As such, the Faculty of Applied Informatics at the Tomas Bata University in Zlín has ranked higher than the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the Charles University in the latest ranking. Meanwhile, the Faculty of Economics at the University of Hradec Králové has outranked several faculties of the Prague University of Economics and Business.

Support from European funds also plays a role in the development of Czech regional universities. The European Union doesn't subsidize the capital as it's an area with strong economy. Regional universities, on the other hand, have significantly improved their infrastructure thanks to Brussels' subsidies.

For example, the Faculty of Applied Informatics at the Tomas Bata University in Zlín has built a research center and new specialized laboratories with support from European funds. Thanks to its modern infrastructure, the faculty is now able to implement joint projects together with large companies.

The faculty has carried out projects worth 12 million CZK in cooperation with private businesses for the past two years. The Faculty of Informatics in Zlín actually tops the ranking when it comes to business partnerships. It overall ranks second in the informatics faculties ranking.

3 best departments with the "Information technology" program

1. СТU Faculty of Electrical Engineering 2. Faculty of Applied Informatics at the Tomas Bata University in Zlín 3. BUT Faculty of Information Technology

The СТU Faculty of Electrical Engineering (FEL ČVUT) has been at the top of the "Informatics" program ranking for several years. This faculty shows the best scientific results in the information technology field and is notable for its strong post-doctoral programs.

Meanwhile, Czech IT companies say that a prestigious university diploma is a plus for a candidate, but it doesn't guarantee employment.

"Graduates of informatics departments in Prague and Liberec often send us their resumes. But we're interested in a candidate's professional competence above all, not the university they've graduated from. At the same time, we understand that a CTU diploma is a mark of high-quality education," Rober Kleiner, strategic development director at software development company TruconneXion, says.

The Czech branch of Microsoft told us the following: "We do not show a preference for graduates of a specific program or a specific department, we aim to assemble a team of specialists that got their education from various universities", Dagmar Ševčikova, staff director at Microsoft in the Czech Republic, says.

3 best faculties for getting a degree in economics

1. Faculty of Social Sciences at the Charles University 2. VŠE Faculty of Economics 3. Faculty of Informatics and Management at the University of Hradec Králové

According to the newspaper experts, the Charles University Institute of Economic Studies offers the best economic education in the Czech Republic. "The university's prestige is justified by the high level of research conducted by it. Master's and post-doctoral programs cannot separate education and research activities. The Institute of Economic Studies understands it well," Daniel Munich, education expert, academic economist and ex-member of the Czech government's National Economic Council, explains.

It's worth noting that employers rate the Institute's graduates very highly. "Our candidates must pass logic tests and an English proficiency test. Graduates of Charles University Institute of Economic Studies show above average results in both tests," KPMG consulting company personalist Marie Krživanková says.

Charles University Institute of Economic Studies is very small with only 700 students studying here.

The Institute graduates 90 undergraduates, 80 master's students and 5 Ph.D. candidates yearly.

One of the characteristics of studying here is that 70% of Bachelor's classes and 88% of Master's classes are held in English.

"Indeed, the Institute's graduates have higher mathematical and analytical skills than graduates from other universities", says Daniela Chapková, the HR department specialist at PwC consulting company, which is one of the "big four" Czech consulting companies that many students are very interested in as an employer. "We check professional expertise first and foremost when choosing the right candidate for a specific position. We don't show any preference for the graduates of the Charles University Institute of Economic Studies. Professional knowledge and the ability to perform specific work is very important to us," Chapková notes. "Every candidate to out positions go through the assessment center; in other words, they perform various tasks in the company's headquarters that are similar to those that may arise during work as part of a simulation of corporate situations. Such tests allow us to assess the actual qualities of potential employees and their psychological abilities, for example, teamwork skills. Once the assessment test is complete, candidates are interviewed and have to take tests in English and computational mathematics".

The Faculty of Economics at the Prague University of Economics and Business takes the second place in the ranking of economic programs. 2,500 people apply for the faculty's programs every year, and less than 800 are accepted.

Nowadays, employers expect much more from graduates of economic programs than, say, 10 years ago, for example, developed analytical skills, data processing skills, presentation skills and negotiation skills.

According to the "Ideal employer" ranking also compiled by Hospodářské noviny, the top three companies economics students in the Czech Republic want to work at are Google, Škoda Auto and the Czech National Bank respectively.

3 best departments for getting a degree in mechanical engineering

1. CTU Faculty of Mechanical Engineering 2. BUT Faculty of Mechanical Engineering 3. TUL Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Czech mechanical engineering departments don't gather data on employment of their graduates, because practically every graduate finds a job. There's still a shortage of technical specialists in the Czech Republic. As noted by Milan Valasek, the dean of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Czech Technical University in Prague, applicants get increasingly more interested in technical programs, but it still isn't enough.

Meanwhile, programs offered by mechanical engineering departments undergo a lot of changes. Big changes are expected to occur in the industrial field in the coming years due to mass automation, electronization and robot automation. Czech universities aim to cooperate with mechanical engineering companies and provide their students with education that will meet the latest trends.

Higher education in mechanical engineering guarantees employment. 60% of students find jobs while still studying, 30% - within three months after graduation.

The first wages graduates of the CТU Faculty of Mechanical Engineering earn equals 30 - 40 thousand CZK a month.

Getting accepted to mechanical engineering departments are generally not as difficult as to liberal arts programs. Applicants only need to pass a test in mathematics in order to be admitted to the CTU or the BUT. However, studying there is rather difficult. 30% of BUT students and two thirds of СТU students quit in the process. Therefore, we recommend technical program applicants take preparatory courses in Physics and Mathematics.

Source: Hospodářské noviny

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