Informativni dan 2021 - Družboslovna informatika, 2. stopnja (FDV)
Hi! Welcome to Social Informatics. My name is Bojana Lobe and I am one of the lecturers teaching courses at the Social Informatics program as part of the Chair of Social Informatics and Methodology. Today, I will give you an introduction of the Master's program of Social Informatics. Let's get right to the presentation! Social Informatics is, as the name itself suggests, a multidisciplinary science connecting Informatics, Data Science and other Social Sciences. The term Social Informatics originates from Norway.
Rob Kling, a researcher from the University of Indiana, is widely considered as the founder and father of Social Informatics as a scientific field. Among pioneers of Social Informatics here in Slovenia, we have: Zdravko Mlinar, Slavko Splichal, Anuška Ferligoj and Cveto Trempuž. The field began to develop concurrently with the very program of Social Informatics you're attending the presentation for today: it was one of the first such programs in the world. The formation and importance of Social Informatics is closely connected with the use of various information-communication technologies for data collection and analysis in Social and other sciences, which was later joined by research into the effects of those information-communication technologies on social processes, the people's adoption of those technologies, how they incorporate them into their daily lives, and so on. Together with the development of Social Informatics and the use and research of ICTs, a demand for informational and computational competencies formed within Social Sciences. That holds true for the research and academic spheres, as well as other organizational and business environments.
In accordance with that new demand, new courses and study programs began to be developed to enable students to acquire the relevant skills and knowledge. The Social Informatics program is distinguished by its exceptionally broad scope of social, methodological, informational and statistical competencies, and of course also by its multidisciplinarity, which arises from all these fields and is enabled by the applicability of the acquired skills in other scientific fields as well. During the program, students of Social Informatics tackle three main areas. The first area is comprised of data analysis, methodology and statistics, which also includes the use of ICTs for data collection and analysis.
The second area are internet studies, focusing on researching the social processes of how people incorporate ICTs into their everyday life, as well as researching the new social information that's being formed online. The third area covers social computing and applied Social Informatics, focusing mostly on technical and organizational aspects of information system use. The basic profile of competencies is therefore a social scientist with a broad spectrum of social knowledge who is also capable of analyzing and interpreting data, planning and managing internet services and understanding the role of Informatics in project management. Just like the world of digital technologies is always changing, amending and updating, so do our study courses get continuously refreshed. That is why today, we are presenting you with a new Master's program of Social Informatics with two new modules, which will debut in the study year 2021/2022. The first module is Planning of digital services, and the second module is Data Analytics.
Enrolment is basically automatic: during the application process for the Master's program of Social Informatics, each candidate chooses one of these two modules. Now let's get a closer look at the Data Analytics module. In this module, students get acquainted with univariate, bivariate and multivariate methods of data analysis. That includes working with various data, as well as applying statistical programing and data mining skills within relevant contexts. You will learn how to analyze Big Data as well as big networks. You will be taught how to use advanced digital technologies and methods for automated collection and analysis of data, and you will acquire an understanding of the basics and applied uses of data visualizations and graphic representations of statistical analysis results.
As the name itself suggests, this is the module that will really teach you how to work with data. We know that within modern society, we are surrounded with vast amounts of data, and there is no company out there that doesn't need someone who knows how to properly manage that data. On the other hand, the Planning of digital services module is somewhat more geared towards acquiring the skills required for leading and coordinating the development of new digital services, content and products - either in the public or private sector. In this module, you will receive advanced knowledge of methods for analyzing user experience, as well as the use of various analytical approaches needed to support the establishment and marketing of digital content or services. You will also acquire a detailed understanding of the development and roles of online communities and social media in the current society, which is characteristically an internet society. You will also develop the ability to innovate in the fields of digital economy and entrepreneurship.
Both modules share a few common topics, such as: qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, basics of data analytics, including datamining and processing web data, basic and advanced social and informatics insights into the role of ICTs in society and the operation of web services, knowledge of project management, familiarity with modern trends on the market of ICT services from an end user's perspective, and of course, both modules also share 180 hours of practical work experience in companies and organizations where students are able to get a practical look into the use of skills acquired from the program. Now lets go over the contents of the syllabus. During the course of the program, you will take a total of 14 courses, which equals 120 ECTS. All the courses at the program are taught in English, and the syllabus is comprised of 6 required courses which are the same for both modules, 5 required courses from the field of Data analytics (if you choose the Data analytics module) of from the field of Planning of digital services (if you instead choose that module). Additionally, there are 2 elective courses from the field of Social informatics and 1 open elective course, which can be either from the field of Social Informatics, or from the list of other elective subjects offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences, or from any other faculty within the University of Ljubljana - essentially whatever you find interesting! Here is a breakdown of the planned syllabus for both years on both modules: that is Data analytics and Planning of digital services. I will not be going over the courses in detail, because that information is published and can be found on our website.
This is just to give you an impression of the structure of the syllabus. Now let me share more about the duties of students. An individual course can be worth either 3, 6 or 9 ECTS. Students in both modules acquire 60 ECTS per year, for a total of 120 ECTS after two years.
One ECTS is equivalent to approximately 30 hours of work for students. Planned hours per course, for example, are usually 30 hours of lectures for courses worth 3 ECTS, or if the course is worth 6 ECTS, that can mean 30 hours of lectures and 30 hours of other types of contact hours and individual work. For courses with 9 ECTS, you can expect a structure similar to the ones with 6 ECTS: 60 contact hours aka lectures, labs, seminars, etc.
with more additional individual and group work, than is planned for courses which are worth less ECTS. The program is finished by defending your Master's Thesis, which is worth 30 ECTS. Now let's go over the timeline and application deadlines. The Call for Enrolment is already published and available on the Unviversity of Ljubljana's website. The application process is conducted through the eVŠ portal online.
Make sure you closely follow the instructions for registration and filling out the application which will be published on the portal. The 1st application deadline is May 31st 2021, in which case you must conclude your undergraduate studies by July 9th 2021. That is relevant for those of you wishing to apply for the <i>1st</i> deadline. But you can also apply for the <i>2nd</i> deadline, which is from August 20th to September 10th 2021, but only for the programs with open positions still available after the 1st deadline.
That means that if our program already fills up in the 1st deadline, there will be no left over positions for the 2nd enrolment deadline. The deadline for meeting the enrolment criteria, that is finishing your undergraduate studies, is September 27th 2021 for the 2nd enrolment deadline. Now for the number of available positions and enrolment restrictions. In the 2021/22 study year, we have 50 open positions available for Slovenian citizens and EU residents, and 10 positions available for foreign students from outside the EU and Slovenians without Slovenian citizenship.
Additionally, 10 positions will be available for enrolment into the 2nd year in accordance with transitioning guidelines, and 2 positions will be available for parallel study. During the enrolment, students send in their application for the Master's program of Social Informatics, while the module is chosen later during the sign-ups for the 1st study year. Because this is a new program, we currently don't have any data about past restrictions to share with you. In case of enrolment restrictions, candidates will be chosen based on their average undergraduate grade (50%) and a grade acquired through an oral examination in a field relevant to the program (50%). This applies to both enrolment deadlines, if enrolment will be restricted due to too many applications. You are eligible to enroll into the Master's program of Social Informatics if you have completed at least an undergraduate program with which you have gathered a minimum of 180 ECTS.
Then there are 2 additional requirements, one being a relevant field of study, such as Social sciences, Journalism, Informatics, Business and Management sciences, Pedagogical sciences, Mathematics, Statistics, Computing, Humanities, Law, Technical Sciences, Production technology, Architecture, Construction, Healthcare, Social Work, Environmental sciences, or an equivalent study program, completed either in the Republic of Slovenia or abroad. Alternatively, you can enroll even if your undergraduate program was based in a different field, as long as you complete the study obligations which are vital for the continuation into the Master's program of Social Informatics. These obligations are set by the vice dean for the specific field of study, and they cover from 10 to a maximum of 60 ECTS. Let's also go over the enrolment requirements in the situation where former undergraduate and Master's programs are being phased out. I've mentioned earlier that we are constantly updating the programs,
and so we have recently changed the undergraduate program from a 4 year program worth 240 ECTS to a 3 year program worth 180 ECTS. Students of the former undergraduate programs who have gathered 240 ECTS can enroll into the new Master's program and have the overflowing 60 ECTS be accredited, therefore giving you less obligations on the Master's program. The accreditation of up to 60 ECTS is possible if the student from a former preceding undergraduate program enrolls into the follow-up Master's program.
For example, if you have studied Social informatics on the undergraduate 4 year level, then you are eligible for the accreditation of up to 60 ECTS in the Master's program of Social Informatics. If you are switching to a different Master's program, you still may be eligible for accreditation of up to 60 ECTS, depending on the courses you have completed during your undergraduate studies, the syllabus of your chosen Master's program, and the overlap between those two. The deadline for completing the former fully enrolled undergraduate courses is September 30th 2024. Past that date, the programs will be phased out and completion will no longer be possible.
You can read more about that in the Frequently Asked Questions at this address. For students coming to the Master's program from former 4 year undergraduate programs who have already gathered 240 ECTS, this is an example of the courses for which you can be accredited upon enrolment into the Master's program of Social informatics. In the Data analytics module, those courses include Social Science Research Methods, Intro to Data Analysis, open elective course, Practical Work Experience, two elective courses, Digital Technologies in Social Science Research, Analysis of Big Data, Visualization and Explorative Data Analysis. And in the Planning of digital services module, you can be accredited for the following courses: Social Science Research Methods, Intro to Data Analysis, open elective course, Practical Work Experience, two elective courses, Strategy of Digital Services Development, Online Communities and Planning of digital technologies.
I need to highlight once again how vital it is that these courses match up with what you took during your undergraduate studies. And which courses do you have to pass in order to finish the Master's Program of Social Informatics? For those of you coming in from the 4 year undergraduate program, I've just gone over the courses which can be acredited for the Master's Program. In addition to that, you then also have to complete Project Management in Information Society, Information and Communication Technology and Society, and defend your Master's thesis (on both modules). In the Data Analytics module, you also have to complete Statistical Programming and Analysis of Big Networks.
And in the Planning of digital services module, the remaining two courses are Research of User Experience and Digital Presence Practicum. So why study Social Informatics? Those of you who've studied Social Informatics during your undergraduate years will already be familiar with that, but for the others who are only now about to join the Social Informatics, allow me to share Some highlights of the Social Informatics program. We must of course start with the fact that this is a future-facing study program. Our society is becoming more and more high-tech and higly digitalized: there is almost no company or ogranization out there who isn't doing at least a tiny bit of their work with the help of digital technologies. In that aspect, you will be very sought-after in the job market.
Following that, you will also have excellent career opportunities. There is a lot of practical work. The two study modules are expected to cater to two different groups: to those of you who'd rather pursue analytics and those of you who'd prefer to focus on digital technologies in society. The program also brings you a broad scope of opportunities for further education or career, and it is taught by top class lecturers who are renown for their excellence in science.
All of us teaching the courses at Social Informatics are intensely involved in international projects, we publish articles in the most esteemed international scientific publications and attend many conferences so that we are always able to present you with only the most up-to-date findings from our fields. All that of course then leads to the students being very happy with the program. And since we're in touch with the latest from around the world, we also offer many opportunities for studying abroad. Every year, many of our students participate in a bilateral foreign student exchange, either to complete some of the study obligations or to write their final thesis abroad. But you also have the chance of acquiring a double Master's degree at the University of Salerno.
We have an agreement with them so that you are able to complete some of the obligations here, other obligations at their University, and you finish the program with a double Master's degree. By now, you're probably already asking yourself: "Is this the program for me?" I would say that the answer is "yes" if you see yourself in at least one of the following descriptions: You're interested in data science and digital technologies, but you also have a sociological imagination, meaning you're interested in the social processes happening in society, or you're enthusiastic about social sciences, yet at the same time, not apprehensive about Informatics and working with data, or you're very interested in digital technologies and working with data while being at least a little bit curious about Social Sciences. The program is based on continuous work and covers a wide spectrum of topics.
Now for employment and career. We can give ourselves a pat on the back, since most of our Master's students already find jobs while studying, especially given that we establish a close relationship between students and potential employers during Practical Work Experience. Our graduates are also highly empoloyable, and see low unemployment rates; both for undergraduates and Master's students. The most common job positions for a Master of Social Informatics would be leadership positions in companies, either as head of data analytics, a specified consultant, project manager, planner or manager of digital content and marketing campaigns. Or maybe a user experience expert? That too. As for the fields of work, There is almost no company which wouldn't need at least one of the aspects covered by Social Informatics: be it web analytics, omptimization and planning of digital services and content, telecommunications, statistics, methodology, data analytics, digital marketing, market research, marketing, advertising, research management, entrepreneurship, business consulting, analysis and optimization of the user experience, project management in the digital services field, either in the public or private sector, or even academic research.
You can find out more in the interviews with our graduates, which are published on the website of the Chair for Social Informatics and Methodology. They share a lot about why they chose this program, what they gained from it and where their career path took them afterwards. You're of course invited to read the interviews! We can see first hand what two of the many well known Social Informatics graduates have to say about the study program: Maša Crnokovič, head of analytics at Futura DDB, says: "I gained a lot of useful knowledge in the field of statistics, research and data analysis, which is lacking in the job market."
Miha Gornik, a data analyst at Petrol, similarly says: "The in-depth statistical knowledge and practical experience have proven invaluable when it comes to shaping my future career path. As for employers, they come from pretty much any line of work you can imagine: be it for-profit or non-profit organizations, some of the examples of which include: T2, GoOpti, The Peace Institute, Cankarjev dom, Vita, The Social Protection Institute, Signapps, GoClick, Hotel Slon, ... you can really see that these employers come from pretty much any employment sector in Slovenia. Once you successfully complete your Master's program, you are of course invited to continue your journey with Doctoral studies. Many graduates decide to go that way. For Masters of Social Informatics, there are
three available Doctoral programs. Those are Social informatics and Social Science Methodology, both at the University of Social Sciences, And Social Statistics, which is a module within the University's Doctoral program of Statistics. I've mentioned earlier that all lecturers teaching at the program of Social Informatics also participate in a lot of research. We are part of many national and international scientific research projects, where we collaborate with researchers from various program research groups at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Those include the Centre for Methodology and Informatics, the Centre for Social Informatics, the Public Opinion and Mass Communication Research Centre, and the Centre for Welfare Studies.
Which means that even during your studies, you have plenty of opportunities to join the research process. I suppose I can also showcase some of the research projects in which the lecturers are participating. We must of course start off with 1KA, a powerful web survey tool which many if not all of you are familiar with. Then there's also Pajek, another well known leading tool for analysis of big networks. We are also developing e-services of integrated social and health care in partnership with Telekom Slovenije.
Within EU KIDS ONLINE and similar studies, we are researching the use of digital technologies with kids and adolescents. Then there's the safe internet use initiative SAFE.SI and the SPLETNO OKO report center, projects for optimization of online health communities for cancet patients with MED.OVER.NET, and also many other project from the field of information society. We are part of many cooperation networks in Slovenian academia. Another notable set of projects would be the Creative path to knowledge, where an active and direct inclusion of students is not only encouraged but also a prerequeisite for the project.
To get even more information about the Social informatics program, I invite you to come visit us online on all our social networks. Thank you very much for joining us today! I hope you decide to study with us, and we'll see you in the lecture rooms!