We live in a time in which more and more automated systems are providing us with access to enormous quantities of information, through search engines, websites, digital helpdesks and speaking computers, for instance.
How is it possible to ensure that people can access exactly the information that they require? How can this be organized? What technology do we have at our disposal to achieve this? How can the demands and wishes of users be catered for best? How can all this be translated into smart information systems?
These questions are central to the one-year English-taught Master's specialization Human Aspects of Information Technology (HAIT), a heavily internationally oriented specialization within the Communication and Information Sciences Master's program
HAIT's basic point of departure is the way in which people communicate naturally.
How do people ask questions, and for what purpose?
What is the meaning of the words that are used and what kind of answers do people expect?
When does miscommunication occur, and how can it be resolved in a natural way?
With this focus on the human element, HAIT clearly distinguishes itself from comparable programs on offer elsewhere in the Netherlands and abroad.
In the HAIT Master's specialization, you will learn how to organize information systems in such a way that they can communicate with the user in a natural way. In the future, a search engine will need to 'understand' which results an inquirer is looking for, and an automatic telephone helpdesk will need to be able to converse with a caller through speech recognition and artificial speech. By making use of the unique combination of information and language technology, you are actively contributing to the accessibility and the categorization of information.
The program trains the students to be professionals with an excellent understanding and knowledge of the field. A well-balanced combination of theory and skills guarantees the optimal conditions for the acquisition of expertise in the many potential building blocks that advanced information systems are made up of.
We teach you to use these blocks like an architect, with the wishes of clients and/or users in mind. Each problem connected to a specific need for information requires its own approach. You know which specific building blocks need to be combined to arrive at the optimum solution. You know how to use them.
In each instance, a firm theoretical basis is the starting point for more in-depth practical applications. For instance, once you know how a search engine is constructed and how it works, you will start focusing on the question of what the system lacks in terms of human interaction. Sometimes the answer will be literally right in front of you. Testing dialogue systems (as in talking computers) is not done from behind a desk, but by using experiments that you could get anyone to take part in - fellow students, friends, but also 'members of the general public.
On graduating, you will have extensive knowledge of the most modern, state-of-the-art applications in the field of information and language technology. Developments in this discipline are unstoppable, creating a growing need for specialists. At the same time, the number of graduates with a unique HAIT training background is relatively small. As a consequence, it will be easy to find an interesting job, either in the Netherlands or abroad.
In companies and institutions, your position will often be that of team leader. You will be managing programmers, and talking to clients to get a clear view of their problems in making their information available. You will find people who can test a new system, and supervise the whole development process from beginning to end. In some organizations, your job will have some consultancy characteristics, while in others you will be more likely to be engaged in developing long-term solutions.
Besides the Master in Human Aspects of Information Technology, Tilburg University offers several other specializations within the framework of the Communication and Information Sciences program.
Specializations include: Business Communication and Digital Media, Communication Design, Data Journalism and Intercultural Communication.
See which other programs are related to the Master Human Aspects of Information Technology
Students who would like to register for the Master in Human Aspects of Information Technology will need to have sufficient funds for tuition and living expenses. Getting a scholarship could be the first step towards obtaining a top MA degree at Tilburg University.
See which scholarships you can apply for if you want to do the Human Aspects of Information Technology
At Tilburg University, our mission is to inspire students and faculty members to reach their full potential, and in doing so, reap a positive impact on the society around them. Our education and research is internationally inspired and is ground breaking. Tilburg is represented among the top institutes in the international university rankings.
Tilburg University educational programs instil a broad social awareness in our students along with critical personal and professional skills. Learning and development are offered at all career levels. Research endeavours aim to advance the frontiers of knowledge on issues and subjects of direct value to society – and are actively disseminated and applied within the community with this objective in mind. We play an active part in the local community and that of the region, the Netherlands and the entire world, maintaining close contact at all levels.
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