A REPORT from NASSCOM says, “The IMS industry currently accounts for $ 5,241 billion, nearly a quarter of the $2.3 trillion overall IT spend and is moving towards a remote delivery model where services are increasingly delivered by vendors from low-cost locations.” A substantial part of these revenues could come to India, because many large international corporations are now implementing RIM (Remote Infrastructure Management) for improving the efficiency of their operations.
The same NASSCOM report goes on to say that in India, the RIM industry is growing at over 50 per cent year-on-year basis, which is significantly higher than the overall industry average of approximately 32 per cent. This growth is also driven by the growth of India’s domestic industry. With such high growth, many new jobs will be created. In year 2013, the number of high-end jobs created could be more than 375,000. Indirect jobs will be three times this.
Many industry leaders believe that there already exists a serious shortage of qualified people to fill all the openings that exist in computer networking.
Need for networking
Computer networking professionals perform the important task of creating and maintaining the infrastructure that can serve as a medium for keeping the information seamlessly moving through computers and Internet. As access to latest information is of crucial importance, and the operations in major industries like banking, retail, manufacturing, biomedicine, defence, etc., is constantly changing and becoming more streamlined with the emergence of newer technologies for computer networking.
Networking has made it possible for businesses to implement enterprise management in a big way. Many top multinationals go in for Ethernet-enabled sensors and controllers that make it possible for the executive offices to be directly hooked to factory floors. Today major companies in India are prepared to pay top salaries to individuals who possess the right combination of education and experience in the field of Computer Networking.
As far as the basic job titles in the field of networking are concerned, these may vary from one corporation to another. But the most commonly used job titles include names such as, Network Administrator, Network (Systems) Engineer, Network (Service) Technician, Network Programmer/Analyst, Network Architect, and Network/Information Systems Manager. More than qualification, it is experience that matters. So once you have an experience of lets says two to five years, your prospects become much brighter and you can command a much better salary.
Are certifications necessary?
A degree or diploma in computer science, electronics, electrical and telecommunication is a must. But along with the normal education in computer sciences, students also need to embellish their resume with some networking-based certifications. Some companies prefer Microsoft MCSE certification, others like Cisco CCNA, Novel’s CNE or Sun Microsystems’ Sun Solaris Administrator. There are, in fact, hundreds of certifications that a networking professional can go in for.
To gain and keep a certification, a student must pass an examination; they have to pass a re-certification examination after every two or three years. You can prepare for the examination through self-study, but most students prefer to enrol in a certification course or programme being run by any training institute. Even if you opt for the self-study route, you will have to pay the sitting fee, which can range from rupees 5,000 to 15,000 per examination. In cases where the individual is already employed, the employer may reimburse the cost of the certification.
You have to begin by acquiring a basic qualification, which is a degree or diploma in Computer Science, Electronics or Telecommunications. People with non-engineering backgrounds can also enter the field, if they possess a good knowledge of computer fundamentals. Many corporates prefer to hire individuals who have done a four-year degree course, and also have the right kind of global certification. Lot of coaching institutes have come up in India to train students who wish to appear in examinations for popular certifications like Microsoft MCSE certification, Cisco CCNA and others. Before you go in for the certification, it is necessary to take cognisance of the needs of the company that you wish to join. You can do a research on the company to find out the technology that is being deemed important.
Institutes run by C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), India’s premier centre for research, development and training of computer hardware technologies, are a good option. Currently certain centres of C-DAC are offering a 22-week course called CNSS (Certificate course on Networking and System Security). The class timings in this case are designed in such a way that working individuals can also participate. In order to be eligible for the course, individuals must have an Engineering Degree in Electronics / Electrical / Communications / Instrumentation/ Computer Science / Information Technology. Those who have done M.Sc. Electronics / Computer Sciences or MCA or Diploma / B.Sc in Electronics / Computer Science with two years of experience in the relevant field are also eligible. Applicants have to take an entrance test before they can enrol into the CNSS course.
As far as certification from global vendors is concerned, popular coaching institutions like NIIT, Aptech and others provide a range of options. Aptech has come up with a programme going by the name of N-Power, which offers latest courses in Hardware and Networking. The curriculum is developed on basis of technological ideas from top global leaders like Microsoft, Cisco and Red Hat, and is designed to prepare a student for qualifying in the MCSE, MCSA, RHCE and RHCT certification exams. Once the two-year training period of N-Power is over, students can appear for these exams and receive international certifications.
NIIT is currently offering the Globalnet programme, which is quite popular with students looking forward to having a career in computer networking industry. At the end of the course, the students become qualified to appear in certification examinations conducted by internationally renowned vendors like Microsoft, Cisco, Sun Microsystems and others. The entire programme is divided into four semesters – in the first semester the most basic and introductory concepts of computers and networking are given. The three semesters that follow, dwell at teaching the more intricate aspects of computer networking. Once the training is over, NIIT helps its students get placed in different companies.
The field of computer networking is of such complexity and it involves such a wide range of technologies that there is enough scope for an ambitious new employee to go up the corporate hierarchy very fast. You might be able to achieve a fairly high post in less than five years, if you have a degree, an up to date certification, and the will to work hard. Many firms view the four-year degrees as a sign of an individual’s commitment to the field. As the technologies involved in computer networking are changing very fast, employers prefer individuals who not only have good current knowledge, but also possess the ability to learn and adapt for the future.