My professor (computer science) has a company that promotes an open-source software. Of course the software is free and open-source, but his company makes profit by support, training, etc. and they have a server-version of the software which is commercial and very expensive. The software is very modular, and the area of the software's specialty is growing quickly. So the company needs to implement a lot of modules for it. Each module is a separate algorithm. So what my professor is doing is basically the following:
Master students come to him asking for master thesis.
He assigns them to build algorithmic modules for the open-source software.
The student gets well trained in the software because of that.
The professor offers the student to work in his company (since he is now highly proficient in the software).
Of course the student gets a lot of knowledge, so there is no problem in that aspect. But my question is that: is it ethical that he is growing his business using his position?
p.s. It's in Germany.
Edit1: I just read a comment here by Nate. It really expressed my main ethical concern. My problem is that I believe he is assigning the thesis topics based on what his company needs, not based on what is good for research. I personally believe that professors are given those chairs to advance research. If they are concerned about money, then there is a place called "industry" to make money. I'm not saying that it's wrong to get money by working in academia, rather, what I'm saying that working in academia means doing everything for the sake of improving academia and research, not for other agendas.
Edit2: I will tell you my issue with some answers that had "he didn't force it, so just pick someone else". Well my problem is that he is the professor that does the research in the field that I like. Other professors all work on different fields. So I might be interested in working on state of the art research or so in his area, but rather he would offer me a topic suitable for his company, then he says I only have these thesis topics. If i didn't like them because I don't like the area of topics that his company needs, then I would be left without any interesting topics. That would be unfair to me, since all other professors work on different fields. So if his focus wasn't promoting the software of his company, then he might find better topics that promote research and science. This is one of my problems with him.