While computers that process data and software that power them separately create hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide, the networking technologies that link the two together are often missed in the buzz.
The world’s leading networking equipment company, Cisco Systems, estimates that India is facing a shortage of 70,000 professionals in networking alone, as data centres mushroom and the Internet expands to help businesses and homes alike.
California-based Cisco, which started out with routers and expanded into a range of switches and end-user gear such as conferencing systems, says an increasing trend to outsource IT infrastructure management will only widen the shortfall in the months to come.
Quality networking professionals are a rare species at the global level too. Globally, the shortage is as high as one million.
Cisco officials see an opportunity for boosting jobs in the networking space, which could be seen as an orphan falling halfway between hardware and software but critical to linking various systems.
“It is high time India trains more number of networking professionals to reap benefits,” Milind Gurjar, director of global market development and training delivery at Cisco, told Hindustan Times. Gurjar said young networking professional aspirants should consider specialised courses after acquiring experience for a couple of years to tap the emerging opportunity.
Apart from maintaining switches and routers, networking experts also take care of security and risk management in data centres and employ “virtualisation” under which a job done by a machine can now be executed through software, enabling easier network management from remote locations.
Gurjar added that in a survey conducted on CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) certified individuals says that these areas will be in hot demand over the next five years.
Network architecture, network design, unified communications and cloud computing would also be the trends over the next five years.