Problem solving in programming! Why don’t graduate school professors teach it?

by Education

If you have been to graduate school, you might have witnessed a situation where your codes start breaking down, and you do not know how to fix it. It is not your fault; it is because the graduate schools do not teach problem solving. 

Yes! You read it right; they do not teach problem solving skills, not even in computer science. 

Most graduate schools and universities teach the theories behind algorithms, data structures, and sorting; however, they only give homework when it comes to problem solving & practical learning; this is the same reason why students feel miserable while learning programming. 

Unless you are a Stanford or MIT student, you will not get practical problem solving sessions in programming. The ignorance of graduate school professors towards problem solving is making Computer science degrees obsolete. 

So, why is it happening?

Why graduate schools don’t deliver practical problem solving sessions?

Most graduate schools and universities worldwide struggle to cope with changing technology and obsolete curriculum. The professor focuses more on theories than on applications. 

Another reason professors pay more attention to theoretical knowledge than practical stuff is the grading system; the final exam does not give much weightage to hands on experience against the theory. Therefore, problem solving is always neglected. 

Almost every university worldwide (unless it is one of the top Ivy League schools) does not teach how to apply programming knowledge. 

Joining the corporate world without coding skills is extremely difficult for anyone.

In this case, students’ best hack is learning programming on them without following a textbook written 30 years!

Why most graduate schools don’t have problem solving in their programming curriculum?

When you enroll in a university to graduate as a programming student, you will learn different algorithms, but practical classes will be none. Graduate schools obsess over things like iterations and operations while paying hardly any attention to practical problem solving skills. 

The objective of graduate school is to teach students the fundamental theories of computer science. They are well aware that if professor codes break down at some point, the whole class will be much longer than expected. Fixing a code via is not easy.

Trust us! We have tried. 

Why without learning problem solving graduate school education is worthless?

The weird learning approach to programming without coding does not prepare a human for the real world—practical experience in designing apps and websites is preferred by companies today and an essential requirement.

Learning cookie cutter algorithms that have no importance in modern programming.

Graduate school’s objective is to get you a degree, not a job.

The end goal of graduate schools is to add a degree to your resume, not a job. That is why they do not teach programming. For instance, the curriculum involving learning about six types of sorting algorithms will be a complete waste of your time. Because by the time you remember the first few, you will lose interest. 

The main aim of teaching you different types of sorting algorithms is to help you know the best one. But don’t you think learning directly about the working and functional algorithm will help you recall the algorithm in the long run? For instance, if professors taught you quicksort from the beginning, you could save time and focus on problem solving. However, they teach merge and heap sort first. 

Interesting Read: 21 Killers Sites for FREE Online Education in 2020

There’s little time left for practicing problem solving skills.

A graduate school student’s entire time goes into learning concepts and algorithms. By the time students understand the algorithm’s choices, a new semester starts. Therefore, they have no option but to throw problem solving out the window. 

How can one become good at problem solving?

To improve problem solving skills, one needs to focus on the algorithms that are efficient and conserve network access. Most graduate schools do not teach that skill. As a result, when it’s time to go out and practice your skills in the real world, students often struggle. By focusing on theories in place of applications, you get a haphazard idea about performance profiles. And real applications need much more than that. Real applications need learning how to fix your codes by using Quora, Stack Exchange, Coding forums, etc. 

Graduate school professors teach algorithms fit for machine architecture of the 1980s 

We cannot put the blame entirely on Graduate schools. In schools, professors follow the coursework and the curriculum, which are old and obsolete ideas that have no practical importance. It is easier to skip problem solving in such a scenario.

In graduate school, follow one sorting algorithm, then professors would get ample time to practice coding. But sadly, that does not happen. Only one algorithm is enough to practice modern programming languages. Everything else is a distraction.

Lastly, graduate schools need funds to run.

If problem solving skills are essential, why not graduate schools’ obsolete courses that do not teach programming?

Most graduate schools are expensive. 

A student pays thousands of USD for learning, and in most cases, it means that the money is not even worth the education. 

The average college tuition fee in the United States is a staggering $19,000 per year. That is a tremendous amount of money. No! graduate school wants to lose it. 

How can you train yourself in problem solving for the corporate world?

Students can enroll themselves in different online courses to learn about problem solving in programming. Most professional lessons nowadays teach live problem solving. 

Another way that might cost less but is more practical is to practice programming assignments at home. One can find these assignments on and hire an online tutor for the subject you wish to learn. 

Unless you are in an Ivy League college, you will not learn problem solving through your professors.

Do not compromise your talent over skills; learn with experts and ace in your zone. Swipe the opportunities into your favor!

Must Read: Programming Can Boost Your Grades! Get Coding Help in 32 Seconds!

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