Business Informatics Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
The Business Informatics Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs have been producing successful specialists and managers for a wide range of industries for many years. Florian Eckkrammer, Deputy Program Director for the Bachelor’s program, and Christine Docsek, Administrative Assistant and Lecturer, talk about the particular features of this area at the crossing point between IT and management.
How do you explain the term ‘Business Informatics’ to prospective students?
Florian Eckkrammer: Business informatics is more than just informatics with business elements. It also includes topics that do neither come up in informatics nor in business degree programs; they are unique to business informatics. Such topics include process modelling, for instance. Here you analyze how people work in the organization and consider where improvements can be made. Only then is it possible that IT support is brought into the equation. What do processes look like? What must software be able to do to support them?
For whom is a degree in business informatics interesting?
Christine Docsek: Anyone who is technologically-minded but who is not just interested in technical topics but also in business and management. The advantage of our degree programs is that you can develop your interests during the course. Each and every person can specialize according to their own particular talents. Creativity is called for. A student of business informatics must be able to plan and implement this creativity.
What about career prospects?
Eckkrammer: Only a handful of graduates stay in software development alone. We believe that graduates in business informatics should progress beyond programming, such as into project management or as the leader of a team, that is into a role where they can draw on their technical expertise, yet shape things too. It is actually an interdisciplinary degree program. Every company of a certain size needs business informatics specialists, both internally and to provide support to customers.
So it is a degree program for careerists?
Docsek: Our graduates have excellent prospects on the job market; however, business informatics have a social task, too. The individual remains at the heart of processes, and social aspects must also be taken into consideration. This means that social competencies play an important role here at Technikum Wien, a fact which is conveyed through numerous courses. You also have to meet lots of people and need to communicate a lot – with both sides. A business informatics specialist understands both worlds, the world of IT and, at the same time, the other forces at work in a company.
Eckkrammer: After completing the Master’s degree program and acquiring appropriate work experience, graduates can work as department or division leaders in major companies, but also take up positions in start-up companies depending on the focus. In such cases, the emphasis will be more on the product, as processes in new companies are not yet fully defined. In general, however, graduates in business informatics can be found in companies of all sizes.
What is it that makes the business informatics program at Technikum Wien so special?
Eckkrammer: The Bachelor’s degree programs have a strong technical focus. We follow the philosophy to proceed from the tools, instruments and technologies to the solutions. People working in the technology field must understand how technology works. We track the entire life cycle of software development in the course of six semesters – from the requirements and design to implementation, roll-out, commissioning and deployment, it’s all included. And students gain an insight into the entire process.
What do Master’s degree programs focus on?
Eckkrammer: In the Master’s degree programs, the focus shifts away from the pure software part. Master’s students take a much more general and broader view of IT. What IT system does my company need? How do I plan its use? What are the risks I need to consider? The curriculum is less technical because a lot has already been presumed.
This means that you need prior technical knowledge to take a Master’s program?
Docsek: Basic technical knowledge is a precondition. Anyone having completed a purely business-oriented Bachelor’s degree program will not have the sufficient knowledge. The aim of the Master’s degree program is also to prepare its graduates for higher-level management. Many students are already working in junior management positions when they start the program.
When it comes to combining a course of studies with work, no other degree program at the UAS offers so much flexibility: full-time, extra-occupational, distance learning. What are the benefits?
Docsek: We are able to appeal to many different target groups thanks to this organizational diversity. Not only the very young, but also those who are already working in a job and want to develop further, as well as those who travel a lot and want to obtain a good qualification at the same time. We want to cover this entire range. This also creates diversity within the groups. And we need to make use of different teaching and learning methods to be able to meet the needs of the various target groups.
Small groups and intensive project work lead to a high level of cohesion.
Docsek: Lifelong friendships are formed and important contacts made, for the working world too. The very first business informatics graduates from Technikum Wien are still in contact with each other today. This is what sets this way of studying apart, that students do not simply work by themselves. A good team spirit is always created. You are not alone in this program – this is a key factor.