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Italian engineer

  1. Apr 29, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone. Sometimes, by talking with friends, or by hearing news on television about the differences between Italian and foreign universities, I just wanted to ask, for my curiosity, what do you people from abroad ( US, for example), think about Italian engineers, and in particular, about our college background. You consider us as too theorical, with lack of practice, or it would be just a background similar to that of other countries?
    If you noticed, is there any substantial difference between people graduated with our old system (vecchio ordinamento), and people graduating with the actual system?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2015 #2
    The company that I used to work before (networking) had almost half Indians and half Italians. The Indians were mostly from IIT, Italians were from Politecnico di Torino. They all were extremely smart and friendly. As I know ,these universities are the top in Italy/India, so picture I have may be skewed to the positive side.

    For the public(US), Italian means Mafia, no one think of any Engineers :)
  4. Apr 29, 2015 #3
    Ahahah maybe yes, but I meant also being prepared...if we re considered prepared for work or just too theorical ;)
  5. Apr 30, 2015 #4


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    I think Italian means good food to most people, not Mafia!
  6. Apr 30, 2015 #5


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    I've not any Italian engineers, but I have met other Italian biologists. Last year I visit a collaborating lab in Italy and was surprised to learn that the students there, who were completing a course equivalent to a UK Masters Degree, had little to know practical experience. From conversations with them it seemed like few of them had actually been in a lab, instead their education had focused on theory and even on subjects not related to their degree.

    One of the students later came to our lab and was actually quite a good researcher, in spite of his lack of practical experience. It does seem like there is an odd focus on theory though. Not sure how much of a difference it makes given that I don't really know what Italian courses are like, but practical skills are very important.
  7. Apr 30, 2015 #6
    Yes, the thing here is pretty much like you have depicted with your post...In our universities, in general, you don't have to do so much practice; In engineering, just to say, you rarely have projects to do during your university time, and when you do, they're something, say, "simplified" (for example, when you do the written exam of digital electronics at uni, you have to do a project, obvsioully during the exam, of something simple, like a cronometer, or an alarm system, or a counter, everything designed with logic gates, and flip-flops). The only way you can see practice is during your bachelor's thesis, and your masters' degree thesis. The teachers here, instead, enfasize much more on theory ( I don't know if electronics engineers are seeing this thread, but one of the questions during my communication system exam was like : The fourier transform of this function [...] has Hermitian symmetry? Can we find an orthonormal basis for it?), because they have the idea that you don't have to know anything in particular, but if you do the theory, you're able to learn almost everything, and very quickly, in your work, you're ready to adapt to everything. Although I think in engineering you just need more a bit more practice, in order to understand what you're studying as well.
    The situation changes, for what I know, in the faculties of physics, medicine, or architecture, where you have hours dedicated to labs, working at hospital if you study medicine, and doing projects and drawing of houses, if you study architecture. But the overall system relies much, much more on theory :)
  8. Apr 30, 2015 #7
    It has both, unfortunately, although we don't belong all to mafia ..only a relatively small part of us..
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