Training as an IT specialist specializing in system integration

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What does an IT specialist specializing in system integration do at the University of Kassel?

Image: Sonja Rode

Analyze customer requirements

The university needs new hardware and software. For this, the needs and requirements must first be analyzed. Which server should be used? Which software and which hardware is suitable for the employee? Do the networks have to be expandable? IT specialists specializing in systems integration know the answer to such questions and draw up precise requirements plans.

Survey of the office space

A common provision for office premises specifies that cables must not run freely through the room. This is one of the reasons why IT specialists specializing in systems integration also look at the premises on site. How many PC workstations are distributed across the office space? Where can cables be laid and must wireless networks also be taken into account? Also important for offices or business premises is the question of the number of available sockets for the installation work.

Setting up the networks

The actual installation work includes setting up and installing hardware and software. Hardware includes computers, telephone systems and printers, which are set up and professionally wired by IT specialists specializing in systems integration. The software is then installed. Computers must be equipped with the necessary office and antivirus programs, for example, and must have access to the server - individual licenses that must be purchased are also crucial.

IT support and maintenance

The employee suddenly can't start the computer anymore or can't retrieve the mails - a classic case for the IT specialist specializing in system integration. The same applies to hardware and software maintenance - whether it's updating or checking performance.

When does training as an IT specialist specializing in systems integration begin at the University of Kassel and where does it take place?

Training as an IT specialist specializing in systems integration begins on August 15 of each year and takes place at the IT Service Center at Holländischer Platz, the Department of Electrical Engineering/Computer Science at the Wilhelmshöher Allee location, and the Department of Architecture, Urban and Landscape Planning at the Holländischer Platz location of the University of Kassel.
The theoretical training takes place at the Oskar-von-Miller-Schule in Kassel.

At the time you start training, you should have an intermediate school leaving certificate (Realschulabschluss). Your grades in mathematics and English should be at least "satisfactory" or better on your school-leaving certificate. An interest in data processing, especially network technology, is also an advantage. The ability to think logically and a sense of responsibility are desirable.

The working time is 40 hours per week. The employees of the IT service center and thus also the trainees of the IT service center participate in the flexible working time, i.e. you can determine the start and end of the daily individual working time yourself within the framework of the applicable pre- and post-flexitime and the applicable core working time. Please note, however, that it makes sense for you to be present when your instructor is also on site.

Training as an IT specialist specializing in systems integration is a classic dual training program and lasts a total of three years. While classes are held in the form of block instruction, the knowledge learned is put directly into practice at the University of Kassel. In the third year of training, the training is concluded with an examination.

You learn theoretical and practical basics that are the same in all IT specializations and which are later supplemented by special expertise and company project work.

There is a stretched final examination. Part one of the exam takes place after 1.5 years and is the same in all IT occupations. The second part of the examination consists of job-specific tasks and an in-company project work at the end of the training period.

In principle, both training occupations are focal points of the training program for IT specialists specializing in application development. Although trainees decide on one of the specializations at the beginning of their training, they have common basic subjects at vocational school during the first years of training.

While training as an IT specialist specializing in application development deals mainly with web development and the development of plugins and patches for Typo3, Moodle and Mahara, IT specialists specializing in systems integration set up networks, install systems and are the first point of contact for problems in the technical field.

General education subjects such as German, English and sports are almost always on the timetable. The core, however, is made up of the job-specific subjects in which future IT specialists specializing in systems integration deal with IT systems, programming, technical English, controlling and accounting, among other things.

Cross-disciplinary knowledge is also learned, for example in the areas of vocational training, labor law and collective bargaining law, the structure and organization of the training company, health and safety, environmental protection and networked collaboration using digital media.

A monthly training allowance is paid in accordance with Section 8 (1) of the Collective Agreement for Trainees of the State of Hesse (TVA-H BBiG). This currently amounts to

  • 1,126.85 EUR in the 1st year of training
  • 1,181.43 EUR in the 2nd year of training
  • 1,231.51 EUR in the 3rd year of training

Systematic/organized: Modern IT systems are not islands, but are connected to many other systems and not least to the and users. Due to the complexity, errors can only be found if you don't lose track of them.

Curious: IT is fast-moving. Trends come and go, some stay. Products are improved. So you have to be willing to constantly stay on the ball to know what's going on in the market right now.

Resourceful: The requirements for modern IT systems today are complex and diverse. Sophisticated and good solutions are not available off the shelf. It is therefore often necessary to develop your own solutions in order to optimally solve the task at hand.

Communicative: Computer scientists today are no longer nerds who just stare silently at the monitor and are shy of contact (well... some might be...). To develop good solutions, it is necessary to know and understand the requirements. This is only possible in dialog with the customers. And communication is also necessary to be able to communicate well among colleagues, to work together on solutions and to pass on one's knowledge.

Erik von Pein, IT specialist trainee at the University of Kassel in an interview

What do you deal with in your training?

In the training I am currently dealing with operating systems such as Raspian, CentOS, Ubuntu and Ubuntu Server. High Availablity of systems e.g. if one machine with web server fails, then a second machine with web server steps in. Network basics like IPv4 and IPv6, subnetting and VLAN. Also installation, modification and cabling of servers.

Portrait photo
Erik in conversation

Why did you decide on an apprenticeship and specifically on this one?

My first internship at the Median Center of the City of Kassel, which I completed in 8th grade, sparked my interest in the field of computer science. I did my internship for the 11th grade at the IT Service Center of the University of Kassel and then decided to apply for the apprenticeship as an IT specialist for system integration. I decided for this apprenticeship because I like to work with hardware and I also work with hardware in my private life, e.g. planning and assembling PCs. I haven't decided to go to university for the time being, because I'm not that interested in it at the moment and would rather gain professional experience.

What would you like to pass on to others?

Contrary to popular belief, in this profession you don't just work with machines (computers), but also with people in many activities, since many things can only be done as a team. In addition, this profession is not just something for men, because women are also very welcome and accepted. On the whole, I can say that the training profession as an IT specialist for system integration is very exciting and versatile.

Ask yourself beforehand if you ...

  • have an interest in computer systems.

  • are enthusiastic about numbers.

  • are technically gifted.

Or if you ...

  • despair with your computer every day.

  • ask others for help before you try to find a solution yourself.

  •  like to work outside in the fresh air.