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Studying Business Informatics in Germany

Business informatics engineers are designing the digitisation of the economy.
An article by Maria Retter

Studying Business Informatics in Germany
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Business Computing

That is what it’s about

Whether it's about intelligently increasing production, gaining knowledge from data sets or launching smart products on the market: Business informatics engineers ensure that information technology supports a company and develop digital business models for that purpose. In the future, it will be even more important to evaluate databases and build digital systems that can support people in their work. "Data is like crude oil - it is only through the processing process that it becomes valuable," says Jan Marco Leimeister, professor of Business Informatics at the Universities of Kassel and St. Gallen, and chairman of the Scientific Commission for Business Informatics in the Association of University Professors of Business Administration. More and more companies also have a "Chief Digital Officer (CDO)". In business informatics, the proportion of women is the lowest of all major economics: Only just under 21 percent are women.

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This is how the course runs

In the first few semesters, students will learn how to describe problems using models and how to solve problems using algorithms, as well as basics in business administration, economics, mathematics and statistics. They learn programming languages and how to use software, from planning to implementation in a company. Business informatics engineer courses may be located at the faculty of computer science or the faculty of business administration, which influences the culture of the program.

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Typical questions raised within the subject

  • How do you design good digital work within and for companies?
  • Which departments are involved in a new process?
  • How do employees accept IT solutions?
  • How do you develop an app and how do you successfully launch it on the market?
  • How is one successful in the market with digital business models?
  • What does the digital workplace of the future look like?
  • How can company processes be improved with IT?
  • How do you extract usable information from a large amount of data?
  • How to protect personal information?
  • Which software fits which type of company, and how do you best implant it?

The subject suits you,...

...if you "work proactively, apply IT and digital to the problems of tomorrow, and like to implement things yourself," says Leimeister. You should also have fun trying things out. Good mathematical understanding, organizational and communication skills are further good prerequisites. It would be a mistake to believe that a business informatics engineer only specializes in technical problems. Especially in the implementation of new systems and programs, business informatics engineers are required to familiarize the employees and to prepare them for the conversion of work processes. You do not have to be able to program at the beginning of your studies. The biggest hurdle in the first few semesters is that students, especially in the field of computer science, technology and mathematics, have a lot of new things to do, says Leimeister. He advises, “support services offered by universities, such as pre-courses, should certainly be used”. In addition, it makes sense to look at the curricula of the respective university in detail: The two branches of information science and business administration are sometimes weighted differently. Degree courses with a major in Business Administration are usually located at the faculty of economics.

Is there a numerus clausus?

Around 40 percent of degree programs have a numerus clausus. Often the NC is around the higher grades between 1.5 and 2.5.

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