Staying in the north and moving to the south to study at the same time? That’s possible when you grow up near to Kiel like Marten Borchers and then study in Bremen. The 26-year-old began his computer studies degree at the University of Bremen around six years ago. He is now studying as part of the Dual Master Program in Computer Science (DMI) and is profiting in many ways.
Borchers works for ifib consult GmbH, a daughter company of the Institute for Information Management Bremen GmbH (ifib), which is a state research institute. And he studies at the university. “The special thing about DMI is that there is an additional profile field with classes that are not part of our curriculum,” says Borchers. The classes have either a technical or an economical focus but also communicate soft skills, such as communication competence or project management. “The classes are offered by persons working in the field and who talk to us about their experiences. It is easy to get involved, gain new ideas, and then discuss them.” Students receive a certificate for participation.
It’s All in the Mixture
“We can take these classes as we wish and that’s ideal,” explains Borchers. The additional profile classes support him in implementing the tools he learnt at the uni in reality at ifib consult. One of the profile classes is even helping him with his master’s thesis: At the beginning of December, there was a beginner’s workshop on artificial intelligence. “I’ll write my master’s thesis on the topic of AI applications in public administration next year. I’ve already taken part in AI classes at the university but there were new aspects that came to light during the one-day workshop.” Borchers is planning to complete the DMI in summer 2021. He would like to stay in Bremen, continue to work for ifib consults, and can also imagine taking the academic route and doing a PhD.
Master’s Program to Tie People to Bremen
That are exactly the plans that Andreas Breiter hopes for. He is a professor of applied computer science at the University of Bremen as well as ifib’s scientific director – Borcher’s boss. Additionally, he was involved in initiating the Dual Degree Course in Computer Science (DSI) around 15 years ago and then several years later, the DMI. “Students showed us quite quickly that there needs to be continuation after the bachelor’s degree and it was clear to us that we need a further offer for them in order to keep them in Bremen,” says Breiter.
With the DMI, the aim was to create something valuable for the students and companies. “In the profile classes, they acquire competences that they neither learn explicitly at the university nor in companies. The students and the companies profit from this.” A further aspect of DMI is that students have the chance to go abroad for a semester. “The opportunity is integrated as a matter of course and various models are possible.”
“The students and the companies profit from the profile classes.”
Large Computer Science Network
Marten Borchers spent his semester in Estonia at the university in Tartu. “Estonia was ideal for me, as they’re pretty advanced there in terms of general digitalization and digitalization in administration. I was able to bring back many ideas and approaches.” He also expanded his network – one aspect of DMI that Anika Bracht also greatly appreciates. The 28-year-old completed the DMI in 2018. Today, she works as a product manager for CTS EVENTIM Solutions GmbH, who accompanied her throughout the DSI and DMI. “One very important aspect is the DMI network,” she explains. “At the university you usually get to know your own DMI year well, but the profile classes give you a chance to become familiar with other years. This creates a large network of people who work in different IT companies in Bremen.”
The connection to the company also plays a significant role for Anika Bracht. “It was always important to me that I be seen as a member of staff and not a student assistant. You are, after all, available to the company on a full-time basis during the lecture-free period. In turn, the companies provide great support if you’re a DMI student and you’re well prepared for working life.”
From Students for Students
Now the aim is to win over more students for DMI. That is why students from the Faculty of Business Studies & Economics are developing a marketing concept for DMI in the frame of future concept bremen. It is one of many innovation projects that the Chair in Small Business & Entrepreneuship (LEMEX) at the University of Bremen is carrying out and is being funded by the Senator for Economy, Labor, and Europe. “The students develop a marketing concept for DMI in 100 days,” states project leader Dr. Martin Holi. “It’s all about developing the brand and also targeted communication via various channels. The concept is to be implemented at the end.” And maybe it’ll then reach many other computer science students from the far north.
DSI and DMI
In 2005, the University of Bremen, Bremen University of Applied Sciences, and Bremen companies came together with the wish to gain more trained specialists and thus established the Dual Degree Course in Computer Science (DSI). Based on the success that was had, the Dual Master’s Degree in Computer Science (DMI) was founded and the first graduate successfully completed the degree in 2014. The sponsor of DSI and DMI is the funding society from the bremen digitalmedia IT association.
Further information (in German only) can be found at www.dualermasterinformatik.de