FOR most youngsters, the road to success passes through a good college, but many are unable to pursue their higher education dream due to various reasons. However, the truth is that especially in the IT sector, good jobs are not inextricably linked to anyone’s college degree. Even if you are unable to get a degree, you can still have a fruitful career by going in for a diploma or IT certification.
The field of IT has become really broad based, IT jobs are no longer confined to software or hardware industry, there is demand for IT professionals in every sector of human activity – banking, agriculture, law & order, governance, travel, etc. In many cases it is possible for students to pursue some diploma courses and certifications, while they are still in their high school. Even young working professionals go in for all kinds of non-degree short-term courses that can improve their job prospects.
In case your educational options are limited, or if you simply want to upgrade your skills, here are some good diploma and IT certification options:
National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT)
NIELIT, which was earlier known as DOEACC, is an autonomous scientific society of Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DietY), Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Government of India. It offers a whole range of much sought after degree and diploma courses. One popular course offered by NIELIT is the ‘O’ level diploma at the entry level. This course seeks to build the student’s foundation in the field of computer applications. The best thing about the course is that it is recognised by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). Students who have passed 10+2 or have the ITI certificate after class 10 are eligible for doing this course.
A premier R&D organisation under the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT), C-DAC has been offering all kinds of educational and training programmes. One highly popular course for beginners is called the Programme for Advancing Computer Education (PACE). It seeks to impart basic computing skills in the regional languages of every State. Emphasis is placed on industry communication and project-based training. Diplomas are offered in various IT-related subjects like Java, E-Commerce, Computer Multilingual Programming, Computer Multilingual Applications, Graphics and Multilingual Desktop Publishing, and Multilingual Web Technologies.
Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA)
The MTA certification is designed especially for helping beginners become IT professionals and developers. This course is usually based on 80 per cent knowledge and 20 per cent skills. Every certification examination covers some of the core technology areas like server administration, security or network fundamentals. With this certification, it is even possible for you to find a job with major IT companies like HCL, TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Wipro. Large number of IT training institutes in the country are offering courses for MTA certification.
Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)
Many enterprises and government departments across the world are using Open Source Linux environments to manage their work. An RHCSA certification is earned when an IT professional demonstrates the core system administration skills required in Red Hat Enterprise Linux environments. For getting this certification you have to master the actual competencies in system administration, including installation and configuration of Linux system and attaching it to a live network. For this certification you have to study Red Hat System Administration I and II courses.
NIIT’s GNIIT Programme
If the success of an educational programme is to be measured only in terms of number of students placed, then the GNIIT programme from the ensemble of NIIT is hugely successful. Close to two lakh students have been placed since the GNIIT programme was started in 2005. The programme is a year long, and students enjoy features like 24×7 lab and e-library access, instant tech updates, interaction with faculty and peers and access to online video streams during the course.
Aptech’s ACCP Programme
Like GNIIT, the Aptech Certified Computer Professional (ACCP) programme is also 1-year career diploma. The unique thing about the ACCP is its Microsoft Official Curriculum. The thrust of the programme is on programming techniques and coding. Students are exposed to Mobile Application Development and Cloud Computing. The programme gives freedom to choose from six specialised tracks, and it leads to globally recognised certifications.
Sun Certified Java Programmer
Sun Microsystems, a subsidiary of Oracle Corporation, has developed the Sun Certified Professional (SCP), which is a professional certification programme meant to verify a particular skill set in Sun technologies, especially for developers for whom Java is a primary requirement. This is a highly coveted certification and many coaching institutes are providing training to help candidates clear the exam. Once you have cleared the certification, you can get Java programming jobs in major organisations.
Jetking Certified Hardware and Networking Professional (JCHNP)
The JCHNP programme is primarily targeted at young students who want to develop a career in the hardware sector. This is a 15-month course with five modules. Each of the five modules serves the purpose of a certificate in its own right. The five certificates are—Certificate in Basic Electronics, Computer Hardware & Office Tools, Certificate in Client Operating System Support & Networking Fundamentals, Certified Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and Network Administrator, Certified Desktop Linux Administrator and Certificate in Network Administration. Once you have passed 10+2, you become eligible for doing the JCHNP.