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3 Major Problems Of Formal Education

3 Major Problems Of Formal Education

17 Jun 2019 Smart Ninja

Apple, Google and many other large companies no longer require employees to hold a university degree.

Both the quality and the importance of university education is becoming less important. According to CNBC, fewer and fewer companies are demanding a university degree, even if this was the norm before. Now everyone is following companies like Apple, Google and IBM.

Of course, this trend is not visible in all industries. No one wants to be operated on by a surgeon who has no university degree in medicine or is represented in court by someone without a legal degree.

However, there are many other professions where formal education is actually not important. What you actually can do counts and not what is written on paper. For many professions, it is more important to acquire informal knowledge. In many cases, this results in even better quality.


Because formal education has three big problems.

1. Obsolete teaching materials

We've probably all had one lesson in which the textbook was written before we were even born. In today's world, however, the changes are (almost) instantaneous. In particular, for technical subjects, such as Programming, the teaching materials should, therefore, be updated every year at a minimum.

Since the rigid school system could not possibly follow these rapid changes (and especially the associated costs), the learning materials in schools and universities become more and more obsolete.

2. Professors without contact with modern trends

In many schools and universities, there is the rule that once a person becomes a "regular" professor they can not be removed for poor teaching outcomes (at least in public schools). The teaching position is secure and thus the motivation to teach and the need to stay in touch with modern trends slowly decreases over time. Consequently, these professors pass outdated knowledge to the students. In certain subjects this may be absolutely justified, but not in many others.

3. Too much theory, too little practice

This is a very common problem of the formal education system. Of course, the theory is important, it forms the basis for practice. However, at many schools and universities, we have a different extreme - just theory and no practice.

Usually, the main reason is that teachers have little real work experience outside of university institutions and thus can not pass on practical experience to the students.

Employers want to see skills, not diplomas

SmartNinja is very focused on teaching modern technology and communicates practical, immediately applicable knowledge. Precisely for the reasons mentioned above, this is so important to us.

The theory is taught in addition to practical examples and our trainers are all professional programmers. Especially in this industry, the employer wants to know what you really can do and not which diploma you've earned.

Universities were a gathering place of knowledge many years ago

Only people at universities had access to concentrated knowledge. Today, there are YouTube tutorials, webinars, and e-books that can be used to take on a whole new kind of knowledge. Universities become obsolete as they are slow to recognise and implement this changing development.

Very often we are contacted by employers who ask us to recommend our best students. None of the employers ever asked us about the formal education of the SmartNinja students. As our slogan says: "Skills are important, not a diploma!"

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