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Part-time computer science course for future IT managers in public administration

With the master’s degree program in Administrative Informatics, a course of study unique in Bavaria will start at Hof University of Applied Sciences in the summer semester of 2024. This is primarily aimed at graduates of the diploma program in administrative informatics and qualifies them for management and specialist positions in the field of public administration. In this way, Hof University of Applied Sciences is making its contribution to meeting the ever-increasing demand for IT executives in this field due to the wave of retirements in the public sector and digitization. At the same time, graduates with a degree in administrative informatics will be offered the unique opportunity to acquire skills that are perfectly tailored to their later work and at the same time lay the foundation for an important next career step.

Starting in the summer semester of 2024 at Hof University of Applied Sciences: the master’s degree program in administrative informatics; image: adobestock_128130222_300dpi.jpg;

Because of its uniqueness, the program also addresses prospective students from other states, including the federal government, and is also open to students from other computer science programs – such as business information systems (bachelor’s degree).

Starting point

For many years, Hof University of Applied Sciences has been offering the dual diploma course in Administrative Informatics, which is unique in Bavaria, together with the neighboring Bavarian University of Public Service (HföD).

The three-year course of study is thematically located at the intersection of applied computer science and administrative science and prepares its graduates for a wide range of activities in the field of public administration. Diplom administrative computer scientists can, for example, work in the areas of requirements analysis, software design, software architecture and testing. They are also increasingly employed in the areas of system administration and project management. In order to provide optimal preparation for the future field of work, the study program, which is supported by both universities, is flanked by intensive practical phases during the semester breaks in the students’ training and later employment authorities. The authorities that receive the graduates who enter directly into the 3rd qualification level of the technical administrative service are, in particular, development departments and computer centers of the Free State of Bavaria.

Increasing demand for managers

Notwithstanding the great success of the administrative informatics diploma program, there has been a lack of a postgraduate master’s program. This is problematic because the demand for executives in public administration is largely met by employees at the 4th qualification level, but the latter requires, among other things, a university degree or accredited master’s degree for direct entry. Classical career paths involving a transition from the 3rd to the 4th qualification level, on the other hand, can span several decades, depending on the situation in the public authority, which is not sufficient to compensate for an acute or imminent shortage of executives. Such a shortage, however, is proving to be increasingly critical, as the personnel requirement for administrative IT specialists in general is growing at an ever-increasing rate, due to the wave of retirements in the public sector that will manifest itself over the next 10 years and also the megatrend of digitization.

The master’s degree program offers administrative informatics graduates a unique opportunity to acquire skills perfectly tailored to their future jobs; image: adobestock_544056384_300dpi.jpg;

For this reason, public authorities are currently acquiring employees for 4th qualification level positions in the IT sector partly from the private sector by necessity. However, since these are not administrative IT master’s degree graduates, they also usually do not have any administrative science knowledge, which is why the respective authorities often have to offer an extensive catch-up program after hiring. Also, many graduates with a diploma in administrative informatics currently do a master’s degree in any computer science course of study by necessity in order to qualify for the 4th qualification level, which leads to a formal qualification but also lacks the content-related reference to administrative informatics.

Master’s degree in administrative informatics as a solution

The newly created 90 ECTS master’s degree in administrative informatics is a solution to these problems. It imparts a variety of qualifications in order to optimally prepare its graduates for entry into the 4th qualification level of the technical administrative service. Since management and coordination tasks are expected here on the one hand and technical specialist activities on the other, the study program comprises a potpourri of modules which, in addition to in-depth informatics content, teach social, societal and management and organizational skills.

Program director Prof. Dr. Walter Kern; picture: private;

Ideal time compatibility

Since graduates in administrative informatics are employed in training authorities immediately upon completion of their studies, the master’s degree in administrative informatics is offered on a part-time basis. The implementation of lectures on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings as well as modules that can be freely scheduled by the students results in an ideal compatibility with the work in the respective employment authority.

Due to the target group being distributed throughout Bavaria and beyond, the course is also implemented completely virtually. Proven solutions such as Zoom, Moodle and special cloud development environments established in the IT sector such as Stackblitz are used. The concepts taught are tested using key public administration technologies and applied directly in practice in modules such as the e-government practice project. Modules such as AI and Data Science in Public Administration, Mobile Computing, ERP Systems, and IT Strategy and Management in Public Administration cover a broad spectrum of informatics as well as administrative sciences. An elective area, which also includes VHB modules, also leaves broad scope to specialize in precisely the content that lies in one’s own focus of interest, competence or activity.

Registration from November 2023

The master’s program in Administrative Informatics will start in the summer semester of 2024. Applications for the new program will be accepted starting in November 2023.

Further information can be found here….

Prof. Dr. Walter Kern
Rainer Krauß

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