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The 'IT' factor

education Updated: Apr 24, 2012 16:47 IST
Syed Amir Ali Hashmi
horizons

From curry and cows, India has developed into a nation of tech savvy, laptop-flaunting individuals. It would be not be wrong to say that IT-ITES sector in India is one of the economy builders, encompassing a gamut of companies including software development, consultancies, BPO, software management and online services. With multinationals like IBM, HP and Oracle pushing technology to larger parts of India, computers have increasingly become strategically important in the corporate world. IT contributes to a variety of fields from space exploration to food processing and banking to communications.

There are two fields in IT - hardware and software. Functional areas of hardware include manufacturing, maintenance, research and development and management. Software involves manufacture, software development, data entry, programmers/coders, application programmers and support services.

On the placement scenario in the IT sector, Manmohan Bhutani, VP- HR & Quality, Fiserv, India operations, says, "The world is reeling under the impact of recession and India has not remained safe either. The economic downturn has pressurised organisations to cut costs and in this effort, companies have had to revisit their hiring strategies. As a result of the slowdown, while some companies have brought hiring to a stop, many have resorted to selective hiring based on their business needs. By hiring for specific skillsets and domain knowledge, this 'Just-In-Time' approach reduces the bench cost. Then, there are companies that are emphasising on lateral hiring to rationalise their training costs. The economy now is on a revival track and the industry is already witnessing traction in recruitments. We foresee normalcy returning to the recruitments in the very near future."

The IT sector has become a key growth driver for the country. Many IT companies are coming up across the country and there is a great demand for skilled professionals. Though this demand is a plus, the current IT education does not make the aspirant 'industry-ready'. "IT is one of the most dynamic sectors where the technology changes are very frequent. To meet the ever-changing demands of the IT sector the aspirant should be able to 'unlearn the old' and 'learn the new'. Along with technical expertise, a person getting into the industry must also have behavioral competencies like adaptability, be a team player, have creative problem-solving skills, etc." says Bhutani. A vast field, IT offers a lot of specialisations - software engineering, web developers, system analysts, consultants, technical writers, E-commerce, knowledge engineers, webmasters, networking and computer education.

What is it about?
IT involves researching, developing, implementing, supporting and managing computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. Use of computers to store, protect, process, transmit, and retrieve information is also an IT function. Today IT relates to many aspects of computing and technology. IT professionals perform numerous duties such as installation of applications to designing complex computer networks and information databases. They are also responsible for data management, networking, engineering computer hardware, database and software design, as well as the management and administration of entire systems.
Every office now depends on information technology - the software, hardware, telephones, mobiles, computers, laptops, etc.

How do I get there?
There are many ways to enter the field and it depends on the course and the level of study:
For undergraduate level: Requirement is 10+2 in science
For a "B" level or graduate level DOE scheme, "A" level certificate of diploma in computers or an equivalent.
For post-graduate level: Graduation in computer science or any other degree related to science and mathematics

The payoff
Remuneration for an entry level depends on a lot of factors, namely,
- Category of engineering/management institutes (Tier 1, Tier 2 etc)
- Qualification (B.E / B.Tech./M.Tech / M.E./ BCA / MC and BBA / MBA etc)
- Category of hiring organisations (Indian companies, PSUs, MNCs, Private firms)
The average salary range depending on the above parameters can be in the range of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per annum for the entry level.

For the senior level, the salary would depend on the following factors:
- Behavioral competencies/ skills (attitude, leadership, communication skills, motivational factors, etc.)
- Domain/ functional expertise and industry knowledge
- Quality of experience
- Category of hiring organisations (Indian companies, PSUs, MNCs, private firms)
- Educational qualification
For middle management level the average salary range can be from Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh per annum. For the senior management level average starting salaries may vary from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh depending on the above parameters and can go beyond for deserving candidates.

Options
Various courses - diploma and degrees - are available in different institutions. Some of these are:
· Bachelors in Computer Applications (BCA)
· Bachelors in Science with Computers (B.Sc)
· Masters in Computer Applications (MCA)
· M.Sc in computers
· Masters in System Management
· B.Tech and B.E
· M.Tech
· Certification Courses
· Diploma in Computer Applications
· Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications
· DOEACC's O, A, B, C level courses

Skills
· Willingness to learn new technologies
· Logical thinking
· Ability to concentrate
· Creativity
· Accuracy
· Organisational and administrative abilities
· Ready to work for long hours and ability to work hard
· High intellectual capacity

Clock work
9 am: Reach office and start work on the projects at hand
12 noon: Review the work done and deliver the work with deadlines. Look for other projects.
1:30 pm: Lunch
4 pm: Report status of project to senior, and submit completed project
6:30 pm leave office

Institutes and URLs
There are numerous colleges and institutions imparting computer education in India.
Private sector:
Aptech
NIIT
Amity University

Public institutions:
National Institute of Technology, Surathkal, Kurukshetra, Raipur and Patna
BTech in IT
www.nitk.ac.in
www.nitkkr.ac.in
www.nitrr.ac.in
www.nitp.ac.in

IIIT, Allahabad
BTech in IT
www.iiita.ac.in

BIT Mesra
BE in IT
www.bitmesra.ac.in

Delhi College of Engineering
BE in IT
www.dce.edu

Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi
BE in IT
www.nsit.ac.in

Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad
BTech in IT
www.mnnit.ac.in

Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal
Bachelor's in IT
www.manit.ac.in

Institutes offering related (computer Science) programmes

IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Madras, Roorkee)
BTech computer science and engineering
www.jee.iitd.ac.in

IT, Banaras Hindu University
BTech computer science and engineering
www.itbhu.ac.in

Indian School of Mines University, Dhanbad
BTech computer science and engineering
www.ismdhanbad.ac.in

Indian Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad
BTech in computer science and engineering
Computer science dual degree (five years)
www.iiit.ac.in

BITS Pilani
BE (Hons) computer science
www.bits-pilani.ac.in

NITs, Warangal, Surathkal, Calicut and Tiruchirapalli
Computer science and engineering/computer engineering
www.nitw.ac.in
www.nitk.ac.in
www.nitc.ac.in
www.nitt.edu

Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Gandhinagar
BTech in ICT
www.daiict.ac.in

Pros and Cons
Handsome salaries
Numerous options abroad
Some companies do send their employees on foreign trips
Long working hours
Though the shifts are fixed but if a project is on a deadline you might end up working late.
You have to be constantly updated on the new technologies or else you will lag behind

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