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Interview: Špela Perner

Špela Perner has a master's degree in Social Informatics and currently works for a company that designs and develops applications. She feels that her studies have provided her with indispensable skills for her daily work life. Analytical skills, the ability to organise and manage daily tasks in a project-oriented way and the ability to work in a constantly changing environment are the competences that make her job easier and less stressful. She highlights the importance of the breadth of skills acquired by master's students in Social Informatics. 

Why do you think it is useful to continue your studies on the Master’s in Social Informatics (SI)? (You can also think in a broader context about continuing your studies in general and link it to the Social Informatics  programme; What doors did your studies at level 2 open for you?)

In an era marked by digitalisation, it is almost impossible to imagine a world without the skills that studying SI equips you with. I would venture to say that whatever field one is interested in pursuing as a career, one can use the skills acquired during one's SI studies for a variety of useful purposes. In my case, studying SI has added a new dimension to my social science background in terms of understanding social phenomena and dynamics. In addition to the content I was already familiar with, such as the basics of how IT systems work, statistics and the like, it revealed new areas of inequality and the context of current trends that until recently were perceived in the traditional way, as societies that, although changing, are still primarily bound by geographical space, which is less and less the case.


What competences did you acquire during your studies in Social Informatics at level 2 (Master's degree)?

In general, the subjects covered very interesting areas. We were involved in learning about information societies in general, studying the issues that current trends towards digitalisation bring for certain social subgroups, and so on.

Studying SI at second level has enabled me to acquire competences in various fields, and it is this range of knowledge that is a great advantage for young people at the start of their career, but at some point it depends on the individual in which direction and which competences they want to develop further as a matter of priority. For me, in addition to my knowledge of information societies and systems, I have continued to develop my analytical and management skills, as they are useful for my work, as well as for my general understanding of the world and how I function in everyday life. We have learned how to conduct research using information and communication technologies, how to acquire, collect, analyse and interpret the data obtained, and how to understand it in the context of current social phenomena. A lot of attention was also paid to subjects related to project management, which, in addition to management competences, also strengthened our own resourcefulness.

What did you like most during your studies?

The professors encouraged debate and the demonstration of theories with real examples and were always open to consultation. The material was interesting and the assignments were set in a way that encouraged collaboration with classmates, there was a lot of group work and debate, so I have really fond memories of my studies. I see the great strength of this course as being, above all, the breadth of its scope.

How does the knowledge you have gained from your Social Informatics degree help you in your workplace?

I am currently working in a company that is involved in designing application development and any technical background in such cases makes it easier to start working independently. However, analytical skills, the ability to organise and manage day-to-day responsibilities in a project-oriented way, and the ability to work in a constantly changing environment are almost indispensable skills that make work easier and less stressful.

What role do you think Social Informatics will play in the digital society of the future?

The field of information technologies brings together professionals from very different fields; it is an intersection where those with both a social science and a natural science background are increasingly working together, and it is an advantage for graduates and postgraduates of a programme such as Social Informatics to understand these intersections and the importance of all those involved, while at the same time being able to spot the areas that need more attention in the course of technological development (the risks associated with the use of ICTs, the inequalities that arise as a result of development, and so on). For this reason in particular, I believe that the importance of a direction such as SI will be very great in the future.

If you were to decide again to enrol in a second cycle (Master's degree), would you choose to study DI again and why?

I would definitely repeat my decision, but I would very probably take more electives in DI at undergraduate level. 

More information about the master’s programme >>

Back to list of notificationsPublished: 27. April 2022 | Category: Notifications, Careers