Frequently asked questions about Masters in Automotive Software Engineering

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In this blog post I am covering some basic questions am getting again and again from students who are applying for masters in ASE/ICS/Embedded System. This is part one of this blog post since I might do another cover up post if questions asked get a bit more interesting and cover more topics related to studying here.

1.How difficult is it to get internship as internship is included in ASE course?
Getting an internship is not difficult. In fact it’s much easier than getting a full time job. 

Most of the students who started with me or even a year after me have an internship now in reputed companies like Bosch, Daimler, Betrandt, Fraunhofer.  Not only ASE but students also from Embedded Systems and ICS (Information and Communication Systems) have got internship in companies. The most important thing is applying for different diverse companies and not just aiming for the top reputed ones. The thing to note here is that the salary difference is not much between a company like BMW and a start-up in Munich, Stuttgart or in Berlin. And these cities have the maximum number of start-ups and jobs. Also, Automotive Software Engineering is quite specialized and is only provided by TU Chemnitz and München (as of 2015) and thus is in quite a demand. I remember also few students who did not get internship in company and started their internship in the university (which is quite good as well and there are amazing topics) but after finishing their internship in the university they again did an internship outside in an external company.  So I would suggest that there is nothing much to worry about getting an internship/thesis. As for students from MNS I am not sure whether anyone got an internship or even planning to do one but I heard it’s not that difficult.

2.Does this internship require German language certificate? If so then which level of German language certificate is required?

Mostly I don’t know anyone who had to submit any language certificate or show his German professional skills (which if you possess makes getting an internship a walk in the park I think) to get an internship. In face most job posts are in German (around 95%)  but you can still apply in English and the recruitment agency might contact you back.
-Can we get internship in good companies?
I think I already covered it. But mostly there is no such thing as a good or bad company. It’s more about whether you do internship in a good domain with an interesting topic relevant to your field. So again don’t focus on company. In fact even if you work for BMW the chances of getting a full time job are slim unless you have good Germans Language skills and also technical skills. Getting a PhD though is similar to internship and it’s not that difficult. The salaries like I mentioned before doesn’t change much but there are few companies which sometimes pay you more than then other (Robert Bosch for example) and depends on what kind of internship you are doing (some research internships also has grants and they pay you more but this is an exceptional case and I only know one such person who was from Embedded and go this).

2.According to your experience how good is the job prospect for a bit average ASE graduate?

Not that difficult to get a job. But getting a job in top tier companies is not that easy especially without German language skills and with no prior work experience. But apart from that again the salary doesn’t vary much and it’s rather a good choice to work in a domain which you actually like instead of just running behind a company’s name and value. There are many companies which have amazing projects and not that famous (my favorite being EFS at Ingolstadt) but have great value because of their connection with top tier companies. So, aim for those. The salary at max varies between 4000-8000 (per year) between a top tier company and a start-up/small scale industry.

3.Can u tell me some good programming(any other skills) that are helpful for ASE which I can get prepared before joining ASE because I have got 2 months left before joining?

If you are good in C and C++ then I think you are good to start. Even if you are not good in C++ it doesn’t matter and even average C would suffice. I know students who are not that good in programming and learned many things during internship and thesis (I would include myself as well I guess). Better enjoy the time you have got since life here is quite different than what you might have lived back in your country (specially students from ASIA) and try to enjoy and have fun discovering new things, travelling , spending time with your family etc. But if you really have nothing to do then I would suggest to polish your German skills. My greatest regret so far has been to not learn a single German word before coming here.

4.What about the availability of part-time jobs for students in or near Chemintz? Some say that it is very very difficult to get it and we have to completely depend on parents for living in Chemintz?

Don’t depend on the fact that you might get a part time job. In fact the chances of getting a part time job in Chemnitz without German language skills are around 1.5223% (I just came up with that number right now so ignore it :))). What I am trying to say is “It’s very difficult unless you can speak Deutsch”. Getting a student assistant job in University is one option where you work part time for around 20 hours and you get paid for doing some research or work (like building a website etc). But usually won’t be easy to do it because of lecture timings, language courses etc. But depends on how well you manage your time. Also , there are jobs sometimes in restaurant where you just have to clean vessels or something (so you don’t have to show-off your poor German skills ) but still those jobs are quite pain in the butt and also not easy to get as well ( and underpaid sometimes).

5.Accommodation in Chemnitz. How difficult is it to get one?

I would rank Chemnitz as one of the easiest to find an accommodation. Since students are arriving in flocks, there are many companies which have started real estate business there. Compared to a city like Munich (Where finding an accommodation is difficult than finding a girlfriend and also hell expensive) Chemnitz is much on the easier side and also the cheapest. Try websites like wggesucht ( beware of scammers specially when they tell that they are out of the country and you must transfer some money), facebook pages of the university or “Indians in Munich group”,  GGG Wohnungen, immobilienscout24 , and of course Chemnitz student dorms( least recommended from my side unless if you get into V52 or V70).

6. What kind of health Insurance must I take?

I would definitely recommend TK (compared to DAK or AOK) since I have used it and it covers the most number of health related issues (including dental fillings). But if you are sure that you are healthy and will be then you can also go for Mawista. It's cheaper but only covers basic health issues and thus is not recommended by my side.



Part 2 will be posted with question and answers covering other aspects
Cheers

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