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Masters of Computer Application or MCA is a postgraduate program that allows you to specialise in a variety of computer science and technology-related streams. The duration of this program is typically two years, while it may go on for three years for people from non-technical graduation streams. If you are looking forward to building a prosperous career in Information Technology, then MCA is an obvious choice. The demand for MCA degree holders is at its peak with over 2 Lakh new job opportunities and a YoY growth rate reaching almost 8%. The salary range offered to MCA freshers has also taken a hike, ranging from Rs. 4 lakhs to Rs. 8 lakhs, depending on their competency and area of specialisation.
To join this illustrious job market, you should understand the MCA requirements, the MCA eligibility criteria, and the admission process. This article aims to answer such and many more questions that may be on your mind regarding this appealing course.
What is the qualification for an MCA?
MCA is a technical qualification. An MCA professional is expected to possess knowledge about various computing and technical aspects, including but not limited to hardware, software, and networking. Depending on your specialisation, the course gives you a mastery of algorithm-based programming, information security, data structure, analytics, statistics, and mathematics. An MCA qualification is a much sought after category in the employment market across several industries and sectors. MCA admission in top institutes is usually based on the scores secured in the relevant entrance examinations. This, along with the applicable MCA eligibility criteria for specific colleges, is your stepping stone towards a promising career in the specialisation of your choice. Typically, these specialisations are allowed to be chosen from the third semester onwards and pave the path for achieving domain expertise. Careful attention needs to be paid towards obtaining an MCA qualification in the field where you have a natural aptitude and ample opportunities for success.
Eligibility criteria for MCA
Before applying, you should know the eligibility criteria of the institute/college you are applying to. The details of the eligibility criteria are available on the university website. In addition, we have provided below the detailed MCA eligibility criteria for admission.
- You must have a bachelor's degree in Commerce, Science, Arts, or Engineering. A relevant degree from an approved institution can also be considered as a valid primary criterion.
- You must hold an undergraduate degree with an aggregate percentage of at least 50%.
- You must have mathematics as a compulsory subject in class 12th.
- Most of the universities and colleges have similar MCA eligibility criteria. However, some requirements or conditions may vary from college to college.
- You might have to take an entrance test to be eligible to apply to these universities. Many such universities do not accept college merit as an alternative to entrance tests.
- You need to score the minimum cut-off marks to stand a chance to get admission into that college.
- Group discussions and personal interview rounds usually follow after the entrance tests to evaluate the candidate further.
- After qualifying for all the MCA criteria, you will be offered a seat in the college to pursue the course.
- If at any time you are disqualified from the admission process, the application shall be cancelled.
Entrance Exams for MCA
In light of the recent lockdowns and social restrictions, most entrance exams are being conducted online. While most of them follow a similar procedure, a few might have slightly different processes. Here are some of the popular MCA entrance tests conducted in India.
- IPU CET
The IPU CET is an exam conducted specifically for Indraprastha University for admission to various undergraduate and postgraduate engineering, medical, and dental programs. The syllabus varies depending on the course type. Many private and government universities accept the IPU CET score. After the test, the officials will draft a list of shortlisted candidates and then consider the available seats.
The Uttar Pradesh Common Entrance Test, aka UPCET or UPSEE, is a state-level test conducted for admission to various undergraduate and postgraduate courses in multiple universities in Uttar Pradesh. Many private and government universities in the state accept the UPSEE score conducted by Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University (AKTU). Upon completion of the test, candidates are shortlisted, and the list is then forwarded to the officials for further screening.
- MAH MCA CET
If you seek MCA admission in Maharashtra, you will need to appear for the MAH MCA CET entrance test, conducted by the MCA State Common Entrance Test Cell. It consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and has a 90-minute duration. Various universities in the state accept the results of the test. After the test is taken, the officials will draft a list of shortlisted candidates and decide on the seat allotment.
- VIT MEE
VITMEE is a national level entrance exam for admission to various postgraduate courses conducted by the Vellore Institute of Technology. The test is done for the admission of candidates into VIT and also various universities that accept this score. Post the test, the institute will then draft a list of the shortlisted candidates, which is subjected to seat availability.
Anna University conducts the TANCET exam to provide admission to various programs such as MBA, MCA, ME, and M.Tech. To qualify for the test, candidates must meet the requirements set by the institution. Many private and government universities also accept TANCET scores. After the test, the officials draft a list of shortlisted candidates, which they will submit for counselling and seat allotment.
This is a national-level examination that's carried out by various National Institutes of Technology(NIT) for MCA admission. After applying, the candidates need to prepare according to the given syllabus. Various private and government universities also accept these scores. Once completed, the authorities will draft a merit list that will contain the names of candidates who have qualified. These individuals will then sit for three rounds of counselling.
Selection Criteria for MCA
An MCA qualification merits a lot of respect in the professional world. It is no wonder that thousands of candidates apply for a seat in this course each year. Many universities conduct national and state level entrance tests of prospective students. These exams serve as the first and foremost selection criteria based on your score and overall rank. However, due to the sheer volume of applicants, your score is not the only selection factor. After the entrance test result, authorities also organise group discussions and personal interviews to identify the top performers who get to select the learning institution of their choice upon fulfilling all other MCA criteria.
Some institutes offer MCA admission based on the merit of students who scored the highest marks in the qualifying exams. Management quota is a type of admission that provides a seat to a candidate based on their previous academic record. All colleges have a certain number of seats allocated for management quota. Some of the well-known private schools that offer direct admission are Lovely Professional University (LPU), Amity University, and Chandigarh University. Aside from an entrance test, these schools also conduct a knowledge test on the day of the interview.
An MCA degree can pave the way for a lucrative career ahead. Therefore, it is important to carefully explore the different institutes and colleges and understand their respective eligibility criteria before you apply.