Dual Master’s Programme in Computer Science (DMI): Experience report by Jan Christoph Thölken

Jan Christoph Thölken completed his DMI in the project development department at encoway.

Why did I chose the Dual Master’s Programme (DMI)?

I got to know about this dual form of master’s degree after graduating from my bachelor’s course. I had always wanted to continue my studies in the form of a master’s course, and had hoped to do this on a programme with a similar structure to the dual Bachelor’s programme. After completing the DSI (Dual Study Programme in Computer Science) at encoway, I was therefore delighted to be offered a place on the new DMI course.

Jan Christoph Thölken is glad he chose the Dual Master’s Programm.

A typical week during my DMI course

I am often asked what a typical week on the DMI is like, and this is something that is easy to explain. The time working at encoway is limited to 20 hours per week, so study and work can be combined without any problem. Throughout the whole course, I am a fully signed-up employee, which is reflected in my responsibilities.

The period of study mainly consists of lectures and completing the assigned exercises. I am enrolled in the master’s programme and will graduate with the usual Master of Science in Computer Science. The structure of the days working for encoway is determined by the university. I work at encoway on the days when there are no lectures. Despite being able to choose my own favourite lectures, I have, up to now, had sufficient time for the work at encoway. This is still the case even now that I am preparing my master’s thesis. I simply divide my working hours between the thesis and work at the company.

In addition to this somewhat routine procedure, the DMI has a great deal of other special features. To complement the dual course in computer science and the practical work in the company, there is a special profile programme. This helps to convey knowledge that the student will not have access to in the other two parts of the programme. For example project management seminars, rhetoric and moderation training, and courses on intercultural competence. These are offered as an official part of the DMI, usually once per semester.

My work and responsibilites during the DMI

My area of work in software development at encoway, does not differ from that of the other software developers. I am involved in all stages of development, such as planning, development itself, and quality assurance. In addition, I have always been particularly interested in the field of software architectures, and I have been able to work on projects in this area during the DMI. The design of new components and features is now part of my area of responsibility.

My personal highlight of the DMI

During the DMI, I was given the opportunity to complete a three-month internship at one of the sites of encoway’s parent company, Lenze, in the United States. At first I was somewhat sceptical, but today I regard my experience during this time abroad as an exceptional part of my personal and professional development.

Outlook and conclustion

After the DMI, I would like to stay in software development at encoway and hope to further expand my responsibilities in the field of software architectures.

As I see it, the DMI is the perfect way to obtain an academic degree without losing touch with practical work. With its profile programme, it also provides other content that is not available on a traditional course. I can highly recommend the DMI, and would not hesitate to take the same decision again.

Biography: Jan Christoph Thölken was born in 1988 in Bremen, and completed his A-Levels in Bremen in 2007. He then joined encoway as part of the DSI and graduated in 2011. Jan Christoph then went on to gain a year of work experience as a software developer at encoway before enrolling on the DMI programme. As part of the DMI, Jan Christoph is studying at the University of Bremen and also works at encoway in product development. While writing this report in autumn 2015, he was also working on his master’s thesis.

Would you like to apply for a place on a dual master’s degree course in project development? Or read more experience reports from other departments? You can find out more here:

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