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In-Depth Jobs


volume - 40, 04-10 January 2020

Careers Galore in Information Technology

 

Vijay Prakash Srivastava

India has different identities. It is the second most populated country in the world. It is also a melting pot of culture and diversity. But in the contemporary business world its identity has emerged as an IT superpower. When the world started grappling with Y2K problem, IT engineers and companies from  India came forward to make significant contribution in finding solutions. It was a moment of reckoning, showcased the expertise of our IT people  and provided an opportunity to entrepreneurs in our country to venture into IT domain and prove their potential. Today, Indian IT companies have more than 1000 delivery centers all across the world in nearly 80 countries  with diversification in banking, financial and insurance services, telecommunication  and retail etc. IT and IT enabled services (ITeS ) in India has the advantage of having one fifth to one sixth cost when compared to developed countries like US, Australia etc. As per India Brand Equity Foundation website our country's IT and ITeS grew to  US$181 billion in 2018-19.Exports from the industry increased to US$137 billion in the financial year 2018-19 while domestic revenues climbed to US$37 billion. IT is powering Digital India.

According to a report released a few months ago IT and banking created maximum number of jobs in the country in the recent past. Campus placements by IT companies this year present an optimistic picture about career opportunities in the field.

Over the years information technology has evolved and expanded with few parallels.It has different departments or domains of which some are described as following.

Programming: Computer programmers have always been in demand and will remain so.They are engaged in writing,testing and maintaining the programmes or software.They also conceive, design and test logical structures for deploying computers in problem solving.

Application programmers write software to deal with  a specific job or function. They may also be required to work on existing software packages for  improving their usability and efficiency etc.

Systems programmers  work on operating systems and may be given the responsibility of their maintenance and control.

There are various programming languages to be learnt by programmers.

Web design: We are now used to surfing various internet sites for knowledge, information and entertainment. A lot of hard work  and creativity goes behind these websites. Web designers use their skills to integrate text, pictures and images to create an

interface which is attractive and user friendly. Websites have to be developed as per client's requirements and updated as the need be. Web designers may also have to provide on line support in respect of the accessibility, navigation and display with regard to the web pages.

Data base specialists: Computers work with data. Data base specialists design, install, update, modify and maintain computer databases.Their job may include providing professional support for existing databases, customising these as per specific needs, ensuring smooth installation of new databases, programming databases for  a variety of applications and providing training for use of databases.

Data base management/administration: Organizations using IT processes use/generate huge amount of data. This data has to be accurate and available as and when needed. Data base managers/administrators ensure this. This particular function requires  database planning, requirement gathering, conceptual, logical and transaction design, physical design and implementation. Conversion of database in a particular format or migrating it from one place to other may also be needed at times.

Information security: The field of information security is besieged with various risks which are growing day by day. Information security is meant to minimise these risks. Experts from this domain have to develop a secure IT structure which can't be breached by scrupulous persons. Information security deals with  creating firewalls ,  encryption, combating data breaches/instances of phishing/vishing etc.

Game  development: As the term suggests game developers design and produce virtual games that can be played on screen. These games are more popular amongst children and teenagers. There are games to be played off line and on line (connected to internet).Both programming and designing skills are required in game development. The job involves long ours of work and patience and gives you an opportunity to create something which is enjoyed by millions of people all over the world.

Systems Analyst: Systems Analysts are also referred as  systems developer and systems architect. Their job involves enabling computer technology to meet individual needs of an organization.They plan and develop new computer systems and devise ways to apply existing system's resources to new or additional operations. They also prepare work diagrams and structure charts for programmers to follow.

Software testing: Before a software is made open to use it has to be ensured that all the parameters are met and there is sustainability and smoothness in its functioning. For this a specialised discipline has been developed. Software testers make rigorous checking of the programmes and software developed and give critical inputs with regard to their functionality. These inputs have to be considered in all seriousness to ensure authenticity and credibility of the software as well as its developer.

Networking: Things like  anywhere banking and reservation in any train at any station have been possible because of an integrated system in which computers at different places are networked with each other. If computers in a particular  limited area (office/school etc.) are networked it's a local area network (LAN) and if it's beyond cities and countries it's wide area network (WAN). A network specialist attends to installation of required hardware and software that comprises the network, their accessibility to network server and troubleshooting.

IT is not limited to just above areas. There are a lot more. In many cases  IT people are equipped to work in more than one domain. IT may be considered as specialization but there are super and narrow specializations as well.

Emerging areas in IT: In addition to the above those who like to work in IT, have  opportunities to engage in emerging areas like Cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics, Blockchain Technology   etc.; some of which have been covered in Employment News before.

Who recruits IT professionals?

Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies, WIPRO, Capgemini, HCL,  Cognizant, Accenture, L&T Infotech, Tech Mahindra, Mphasis are amongst biggest IT companies in India and are also operating abroad. In many cases these companies go for campus selection for bulk of their manpower requirements. On their website many of  them have kept a window of career opportunities and applications can be submitted through this link. There are also medium and small size players in this segment who need people of different IT expertise .Big IT companies  also have an outsourcing model wherein they take the services of other companies. In such cases employment may be offered in third party roles.

Entry bars are considered to be higher for global companies such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.

E-commerce companies have expanded in the country like anything. Their entire system including ordering  , delivery management is ITenabled and thus they need  IT people in large numbers. Call centres also offer work opportunities.

Telecommunication comp-anies, computer hardware manufacturers, mobile handset manufacturers need IT people in different roles.

State and central (Including union territories) government departments have vacancies of IT people. Public sector oil, engineering and gas companies, private companies in these sectors and in consumer durables, universities, big  hotels/hospitals need IT professionals.

In public sector banks one may  join as specialist officer. Opportunities also exist  at stock exchanges and in  private banks, insurance companies, broking houses, non-banking financial companies etc.

Consultancy firms need experienced IT professionals from different domains to work for their clients on various projects  that may relate to networking of offices/branches, strengthening  cyber security or introducing HR information system etc.

If you're research oriented  along with IITs/IIITs and other  engineering institutes; organizations like Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT)  can be considered. IT giants like Microsoft, IBM also  provide research opportunities.

IT offers  all low, middle and high end  work opportunities. As IT has many streams, be clear about your choices. And finally you shouldn't  join IT bandwagon just for the opportunities it offers.Make sure that you've a matching aptitude for it.  

Entry routes: Both high end ground level work opportunities are available in various fields of information technology. Even with a diploma course, IT jobs can be found. Depending upon individual situation which may cover aptitude for a particular field, urgency of having a job, financial capacity, and people may decide their strategy. You'll find below various entry routes available for an IT career enthusiast.

If IT careers are being discussed, there has to be a mention of DOECC, established by Department of Information Technology, Government of India. DOECC grants accreditation to computer training institutes in non-formal sector, subject to their meeting defined norms and criteria to conduct specified level courses, ranging from 'O' level to 'C' level, as per description below:

'O' level-Equivalent to Foundation Level Course

'A' level- Equivalent to Advanced Diploma in Computer Applications

'B' level- Equivalent to MCA

'C' level- Equivalent to M.Tech.  in Computer Science

Eligibility criteria and career avenues for each of the above is given below:

LEVEL

ELIGIBILITY

CAREER AVENUES

'O' level

10+2 or ITI certificate followed by relevant experience in IT/2nd year of Polytechnic Engineering Diploma etc.

Assistant Programmer/EDP Assistant/Web Designer/

Faculty etc.

'A' level

Level 'O'/ Polytechnic Engineering Diploma/10+2  etc. with one year relevant experience

System Analyst/Database Administrator/Software Engineer/Network System Administrator/ Faculty etc.

'B' level

Level 'A'/Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Applications/Graduation etc. with three years relevant experience

Programmer/Web Administrator/Web Content Developer/ Trouble shooter/ Faculty etc.

'C' level

Level'B'/B.Tech/B.E/MCA/M.Sc. Computer Science/Masters degree in Mathematics or Statistics  or Operations Research/ MBA with Mathematics or Statistics at graduation level. One & a half years' relevant experience is mandatory for all

Project Manager/Consultant IT/ Research & Development Scientist/System Specialist/ Faculty etc.

More details can be had from DOECC website.

Diploma courses: Short and long term diploma courses from 3 months to a year , are available in  Networking, Programming in Web designing & development, Java programming, Computerised financial accounting, SQL & MySQL, Software testing  etc. available. All these course can be pursued after 10+2 and are conducted mostly by private institutions. For many other IT diploma courses admission is open to graduates and many universities/affiliated colleges etc. conduct such courses in addition to private bodies. If you're planning to study at a private institute, check its credentials, faculty quality ,fee structure , placement record/assistance etc. beforehand.

3 years Diploma Courses from Polytechnics in Computer Engineering / Information Technology-Entry requirement HSC/Matric. Graduate courses can be taken up after HSC (10+2).IT related graduate courses come in different shapes such as  Bachelor of Science in Information Technology- B.Sc. (IT) Bachelor of Computer Applications- BCA Bachelor of Engineering/Technology-B.E/ B.Tech. in specified branches like Electronics/ Electronics & Telecommunication/Computer Science/Software Engineering/Information Technology. Diploma and graduate engineers in mechanical engineering  may also be considered for certain IT jobs. Postgraduate Courses-MCA/M.Sc./M.Tech. in Information Technology disciplines can be also pursued after graduation. Duration is 2-3 years.

MBA  with specialization in Information Technology is also offered at certain institutes. Recently new courses like MBA in Data Science/ Data Analytics/ Business Analytics have also come up. 

Specific certifications are provided by certain businesses from that domain. Examples include  Cisco Certified Network Associate/Professional, IBM Security/ Cloud/Blockchain etc.

Where to study

To meet the demand for IT education both government and private sector have made valuable contribution. Depending on the course you want to take, you may seek admission at any of the following:

Government and private polytechnics for 3 year Diploma Courses

 Indian Institute of Technology(IITs)/Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs)/ National Institute of Technology(NITs)/Government and private Engineering colleges for undergraduate/postgraduate courses in engineering/BCA/MCA/M.Sc.(IT) and Diploma courses MBA (IT) and similar courses are offered at few management institutes and some IIITs.

If you want to work in government/public sector, make sure that the course you choose  is duly recognised by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), Department of Electronics (DOE) or UGC, as required.

DOECC accredited private institutes for courses in networking, animation etc. as described above, can also be taken.

(The author is a career counsellor based in Mumbai Email: v2j25@ yahoo.in)

Views expressed are personal.  Image Courtesy : Google