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Seeking a Bridge Between Two Worlds

New extra-occupational study programme “Information Systems Engineering and Management” to start in autumn, and half of the openings have already been filled.



Assembly robots and kitchen devices are interactive, sportswear thinks for itself, heating systems are serviced remotely, and electric scooters are customised on the Internet and ordered at the click of a mouse. Digitisation is permeating our everyday lives and our working world, continually bringing forth new business ideas. Experts who are familiar with both worlds, computer science and the economy, are rare and in high demand on the job market. That’s why, as of October, the HECTOR School - the Technology Business School of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) - will be offering the new extra-occupational, English-language master's programme “Information Systems Engineering and Management”. It covers all aspects of the digitisation of existing operational processes, the customer interface, and the creation of new digital business models.



“The study programme is aimed, on the one hand, towards employees who have a background in economics, for example, and who are increasingly faced with IT-related topics in their professional work,” says programme director Professor Dr. Alexander Mädche of the KIT. “Or, on the other hand, it aims at professionals with a more technical background, such as engineers, mechanical engineers, or computer scientists, who want to evolve in terms of digitising the economy,” he adds.


The programme lasts 15 months and culminates with a Master of Science. Ten modules, each lasting 14 days, give participants the opportunity to build new skills in all areas of digital transformation alongside their career in their company. The graduates will be intermediaries between the two worlds: They will understand both information technology and communication technology, as well as the business aspects. They will learn how to develop competitive and innovative digital products and services, and to optimise processes in their companies through the astute implementation of digital technologies. In Karlsruhe, they will also learn how effective managerial accounting and goal-oriented project management works or what the European data protection policy is all about. Other current IT topics, such as Big Data, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence, are also on the curriculum.


“The students at the HECTOR School benefit tremendously from the Karlsruhe location,” says Prof. Mädche, “because the KIT has large and very renowned faculties in the fields of computer science and economics”. An integral part of the study programme is also guest contributions made by managers from world-leading companies in their fields, such as Bosch, SAP, or IBM.


After acquiring the basic knowledge, the new study programme allows for specialisation in either “Digital Services” or “Autonomous Robotics”. In the “Digital Services” branch, students focus on the implementation of digital technologies in the context of services, for example to develop new business ideas. “Here, they apply their previously acquired knowledge and solve practical tasks in a team setting,” says Prof. Mädche. “Participants learn to think from the customer perspective and the user perspective by means of specific case studies from the fields of logistics, healthcare, as well as mobility and energy systems,” he underlines. Course content includes, for example, “Service Innovation, Service Design Thinking, Digital Service Business Models and Transformation” or “Artificial Intelligence in Service Systems”.


“The specialisation in “Autonomous Robotics” is about designing and realising autonomous robotic systems, such as those used in logistics and production, for example,” explains Prof. Mädche. “Here, the participants learn the digital automation of real robotic systems,” he continues. This also includes the application of Artificial Intelligence methods, such as the training of a neural network. The students work in the robotics lab in teams and interconnect the individual systems to create collaborating robots. “This is an amazing experience for the participants and strengthens their ability to achieve a satisfactory result in an interdisciplinary group,” says Mädche.


Students who want to attain their Master of Science must complete the study programme with a master’s thesis. “Ideally, the graduates select a real issue from operational practice, which can then be approached from a sound, scientific foundation,” says Prof. Mädche. “This is a classic win-win situation: The sending company gets a solution and the student gets an internationally recognised master's degree,” he adds.

Half of the openings for the programme, beginning in autumn 2019, have already been filled. Interested parties from Germany and abroad can apply until the beginning of September at the HECTOR School in Karlsruhe for the English-language master's programme “Information Systems Engineering and Management”. “We look forward to receiving applications from interested parties from a wide variety of companies and sectors,” says Prof. Mädche, “because the diversity of the group is part of the learning experience and supports cross-sectoral thinking”.



Further information on the study programme and applications can be found under: