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education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:01 IST
Hindustan Times

The lowdown
Computer networking allows one computer to connect to other in a limited area or beyond, and exchange information. Network specialists design, implement and monitor computer networks. They can work in companies ranging from banks to media houses, and can even remotely monitors networks in another country for an MNC client

Clock Work
9am: Reach office. Check
e-mail for any updates from research collaborators across the world
10am: Discussions about research ideas
11.30am: Write research reports on current findings
12.30pm: Lunch
1.30pm: Read/ study published research papers
2.30pm: Attend a talk about any current technology
4pm: Write code for experiments that validate new ideas
5.30pm: Work ends
8.30pm-10 pm: Conference call with colleagues overseas

The payoff
A fresh IIT Delhi graduate would start with about Rs40,000 a month. A BCA/BSc with a year of network-oriented training from a low-rung college makes at least Rs7,500 a month. A student trained for a career programme right after Class 12 can start with around Rs12,000 a month. In MNCs, a network professional with 2 to 3 years’ experience can make Rs5-6 lakh a year

. Aptitude for science
. Open and analytical mind
. Problem-solving attitude
. Willingness to keep learning
. Diligence in ensuring snag-free networks

Getting There
It may be preferable to opt for science after Class 10, but this is not essential. Go for a BE/BTech degree in computer science, Bachelor’s in computer application or information technology. Some industrial or corporate training/certification comes handy. A BE/BTech degree is enough, though in some cases, an MTech or MCA degree may improve long-term prospects. One can also opt for a diploma in computer science. Deep CS knowledge is not always necessary

IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Madras, Roorkee)
. IT, Banaras Hindu University
. BITS Pilani
. IIIT, Allahabad
. BIT Mesra
. Delhi Technological University
. Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi

Many institutes conduct BCA and MCA programmes

Pros and cons
. You facilitate communication in the digital age
. Constant learning process
. May not have a 9-to-5 schedule, as work may be across time zones
. Any oversight can mar one’s reputation

Since there is a clear mismatch in the demand and supply of professionals, they have a very good chance of working in the IT industry, especially in emerging markets like India, China and South America Jan Valcke, president & COO, VASCO Data Security, Mumbai