Rhenish district IHK Mittlerer Niederrhein collaborates with the Rheinische Fachhochschule (RFH) Cologne on a part-time course “Digital Transformation Management”. However, the framework conditions for cooperation are changing.
It is also about the future. In October 2019, two collaborating partners: Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Mittlerer Niederrhein and the Rheinische Fachhochschule Köln (RFH) launched their first part-time master’s degree in Digital Transformation Management. Now, for the second time, the graduates have received both the IHK “Digital Transformation Manager” certificate and the certificate of the European Institute of Experience and Management (Metis), an institute of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Neuss. Both cooperation partners confirm the close, successful cooperation and the importance of the course for the labor market and IHK. However, the framework conditions for cooperation are changing.
Because RFH has announced that it will switch its part-time courses to hybrid models – making branch locations like those in Neuss redundant. In the long run, this means that the state-recognized university of applied sciences in private non-profit sponsorship is relinquishing its headquarters in Quirinus-Stadt. According to RFH, study programs that have started on site will be completed as planned. In this way, students are guaranteed further course of study and the ultimate goal.
RFH also justifies its strategic decision by the fact that the transition to a hybrid study model provides more flexibility for working people as there is no need for evening travel during the week. Professionals can take part in virtual face-to-face meetings from anywhere – even if they are traveling as part of a project – and meet on-site in Cologne on Saturdays, usually two Saturdays per month. This still allows for personal exchange.
IHK Mittlerer Niederrhein and RFH are currently discussing how their collaboration in the part-time Master’s program ‘Managing Digital Transformation’ should continue in the future. “Both partners aim to continue the offer in the future,” explains IHK spokesman Lutz Mäurer. Ultimately, the Chamber is convinced of the offer, as it is also based on the requirements of the labor market. “The course is about changing the new digital world of work and offers two certifications that draw on each other,” explains IHK training manager Egbert Schwarz.
There are no prerequisites for any level. A master’s degree that is new in its orientation combines technology, smart management strategies, philosophy, sociology, communication and psychology with practical application in a variety of professional fields. A bachelor’s degree is required to obtain a master’s degree.
Certification courses are suitable for professionals and students who wish to prepare optimally for the new digital world of work by obtaining an academic degree. “The form of the course is unique in Germany,” emphasizes the course director Werner Bruns from RFH. “In addition to scientific and practical knowledge, students are prepared to develop great social skills, make bold decisions, and be creative and solution-oriented as they must constantly negotiate and resolve conflicts in their company.” Competence – have a network and dialogue skills.
Werner Bruns was the co-founder of the course. Modules for this have been developed with experts from various specialist fields.