4 Reasons Why You Should Care If Your Professor Is An Industry Professional | Top Universities

4 Reasons Why You Should Care If Your Professor Is An Industry Professional

By Stephanie L

Updated April 13, 2021 Updated April 13, 2021

Sponsored by Universidad Tecmilenio

It may not be something you’ve considered, or even realized – but many universities around the world are waking up to the benefits of having industry professionals involved in the world of academia and teaching students.

Bridging the gap between ‘traditional’ teaching methodologies and the application of industry knowledge in the classroom not only enhances the curriculum, but can help students understand the link between theory and practice, as well as better prepare them for the future.

We spoke to industry professionals Jorge Monsivais, Miguel Gomez Gonzalez, and José Sergio Ávila Flores – who all teach at the Universidad Tecmilenio in Mexico – to find out more about this.

They bring real-world experience into the classroom

Academic professors and industry professionals both have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the principles and theories within their field, but distinctive collaborations between industry and academia combine the best of both worlds and are highly appreciated by students.

Professor Miguel Gomez Gonzalez is a computer science engineer with 12 years IT industry experience, a degree from the University of Guadalajara, as well as a Master in Information Technology Administration from ITESM.

He started working at IBM in 2007 and worked in HPC, Cloud and Linux technologies before joining Universidad Tecmilenio this year as a professional and master's degree teacher in computing, networking, IT systems and security.

We asked him to tell us a bit about his experience working as an industry professional at the university.

“When standing up in front of young, eager students, it’s easy to see how interested they are in knowing how everything works in your company, and how you do this or that in order to solve a problem.”

Industry professionals bring a unique value to the classroom, as well as provide fresh insights – something which can otherwise be difficult to come across anywhere else.

“Beyond the subject that’s being taught, the experiences I’ve been through allow me to adapt the content of the course and give it a personal touch, aiming for a more “real-life” scenario,” explained Professor Gonzalez.

Professor Flores added: “It’s very good to have teachers who have active job experience as it can help students know what real life challenges they’ll face in their professional careers.”

After 20 years of working in manufacturing, Flores enjoys his role as a professor at Universidad Tecmilenio where he trains up future engineers.

You’ll get a genuine insight into the industry itself

Industry professionals tend to have more comprehensive knowledge of the inner workings of the professional world, including the markets, systems and processes. Having experienced and distinguished specialists teach in an academic setting can therefore transform students into capable and up-to-date graduates.

Professor Jorge Monsivais is a business and manufacturing teacher at Universidad Tecmilenio. He told us:  “It’s my pleasure to share my experience with my students as I’ve worked in different companies and different industries, from electronics, steel, automotive, aerospace among others.”

While Gonzalez sees the benefit for both himself and students. He said: “I started teaching with the belief that sharing my knowledge and experience was an important part of my professional development as well as an integral part in giving back to the community and the country.”

“Another significant moment is when we can take our students to visit the company itself,” he added. 

“To see what you have talked about in class – those moments mark the students’ lives as they become inspired in knowing that soon they’ll also be part of the development and implementation of the new technologies they’ve heard about, studied and used in the last four or five years.”

It’s all about networking

Your university professors and teachers are the people who tend to know you better than anyone else in an academic setting. They know your learning style and understand who you are as a student, and an individual.

They’re very likely to have a lot of contacts within the industry, and depending on your aspirations and future plans, they may even be able to put you in contact with the right people and be the golden ticket to helping you get a foot on the career ladder.

Which leads us nicely onto the next reason…

They can help boost your career prospects

To have a real understanding of the industry before graduating can be a real deal-breaker for some employers, as Professor Monsivais explained:

“To combine experience with theory, means the lectures and academic programs given to students are very useful and equip them with the skills and solid knowledge they need in order to continue to grow and become more attractive to companies.” 

This article was originally published in November 2019 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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