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ITOK nyhetssak

Educating top students to bridge the gap between tech and business

This fall the brand new programme ITØK was launched by the University of Bergen (UiB). As the name suggests, the program combines IT and economics to prepare the students for a career in the intersection between tech and business.

Only 25 of more than 400 applicants were accepted into the programme which will teach students about artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data security, programming, fintech, business economics, social economics, and more.

- Our goal is to become the most sought-after programme in Norway, both in general and within the field of IT and economics, says Professor Hans K. Hvide, Head of the ITØK programme.

The requirements for admission this year were 54.5 for applicants with a primary diploma, and 58.7 with an ordinary diploma. Hvide expects the grade requirement for admission to increase in the coming years as the programme evolves and becomes even more attractive.

Highly demanded competence

We met with Amadeus and Tora, two students who have been enrolled in this ambitious new programme, to find out why this programme piqued their interest amongst other appealing options.

- I had initially set my eyes on another programme, but the combination of economics and technology that ITØK has to offer made me change my mind. I think students with this kind of competence will be in high demand after graduation, and the hands-on experience we will get by being close to industry partners is really valuable as well, says Amadeus.

A webinar hosted by UiB further sparked their interest.

- The programme seems purposefully designed and the fact that they’ve teamed up with industry partners like NCE Finance Innovation is a significant benefit to fresh students with a limited network. Being in touch with the cluster is a great way for us to be able to get in touch with relevant companies early on, learn about the industry, and secure internships in the future, says Tora.

Professor Hans K. Hvide states that the purpose of the programme is for students to learn core competencies in economics and information technology.

- The students will obtain a broad and substantial competence in both theory and practical application. With an emphasis on smaller classes and individual follow-up, we want to provide students with the training they need to accomplish their goals in this ambitious study program. From the first semester, the students will have courses in both programming and economic theory. Having courses from both IT and economics this early underlines the importance of the interaction between technology and economics we see in business today.

Collaboration between UiB and NCE Finance Innovation

Hvide has high hopes for the programme, and is pleased that it has attracted interest from numerous students across the country.

- We want ITØK to be a substantial contender to other prestigious programmes across the country. Being in contact with NCE Finance Innovation and the cluster network will be an asset for both the programme and students. We will be able to tap into the cluster ecosystem to stay in touch with the industry and examine real-life business cases from both incumbent companies and startups.

In October, the class will be visiting NCE Finance Innovation and meet various cluster companies such as DNB, Sparebanken Vest, Avo Consulting, and Quantfolio. They will present some real business cases from the industry to give the students an understanding of what awaits them when they graduate.

- So far, the member companies in NCE Finance Innovation have been incredibly helpful in sharing their competence with the students, and we hope to complete more such activities going forward, concludes Hvide.