Master of Computer Applications (MCA) is a professional postgraduate degree program that trains aspirants in the field of application and system software development, computer architecture, network computing, operating systems and much more. Over the course of 2 years (four semesters), candidates are given a robust combination of theoretical knowledge with useful, practical hands-on experience that will bode well in the real-life job market.
The IT industry accounts for most job opportunities for MCA degree holders. IT and ITeS accounted for almost 8% of India’s GDP in 2020, with its export revenue estimated at USD 150 billion. With such a large and ever-evolving industry, the scope for MCA students is vast and promising. And not just the IT industry, the scope of MCA also cuts across several other industries and sectors that rely on Information Technology to drive them forward. If you’re interested in pursuing an MCA degree and wondering about its prospects, this article is a must-read for you.
Scope of MCA Courses
It is widely estimated that the Indian IT industry currently employs around 45 Lakh people. This figure is bound to go up as the growth projections of this sector are consistently on the rise. Whether it is applications or services outsourcing, the scope of MCA in future remains rock solid. While there are the usual IT giants like Wipro, Infosys, TCS, Cognizant, Capgemini and many others that recruit thousands of MCA degree holders each year, there are other sectors like Telecom, Banking, Healthcare, Manufacturing etc., which are highly dependent on their technology divisions. MCA scope extends here to ensure the smooth functioning of the IT platform and infrastructure in these large and globally spread out areas. In fact, the need and dependency on IT-enabled communication software and remote working applications have grown exponentially in the Work and Learn From Home culture that the pandemic initially enforced but now is embraced by one and all.
MCA scope and course curriculum focuses on the various aspects involved in the software development lifecycle of these communication applications, including hardware technology and networking of computing machines involved in manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce platforms and development of mobile applications. It is easy to imagine the world of possibilities that are further enhanced by the rise of technology-powered startups, many of which have become unicorns (valuation of over US$ 1 Billion) in the last two years alone, with several of them having gone public.
If you intend to enhance your skills and knowledge after completing your MCA, you have plenty of options to achieve this. For example, many people opt for an MBA to complement their technical skills with a 1-2 year management degree and join the corporate world in managerial positions of high esteem with attractive salary packages. Many others choose to delve deeper into the technical field and get a PhD or a degree of Master in Computer Management (MCM) or Master's Degree in Information Management (MIM). These programs make you a Subject Matter Expert in your chosen field and allow you to have a career in R&D or academia. These courses can be pursued in India or abroad if you wish to get global exposure in learning and employment opportunities.
Career Prospects after MCA
The career prospects and scope for MCA students are wide and cut across a variety of sectors, but the common job profiles include
- App Developer: Designing, coding, building and updating mobile applications for the different operating systems such as Android, iOS, Windows, Tizen etc.
- UI/UX Developer: This job profile involves creating and maintaining different user interfaces for mobiles, tablets, and other smart devices.
- Web Developer: Website creation, including look, layout, navigation and other features, using a combination of different computer programming languages and graphics designing tools.
- System / Software Developer: Development of system software, including operating systems, which form the basic platform on which all other applications operate. The role requires advanced knowledge of programming languages and algorithms to get the job done.
- Database Administrator: Designing, building and maintaining complex databases for large corporations. DBAs ensure the timely availability and integrity of data for fast decision making. The role requires in-depth knowledge of DS systems such as MY SQL, Oracle RDBMS, Amazon, RDS, MS Access etc.
- System Analyst: System Analysts or Architects help build an optimum technical network for the functional and operational needs of the organisation within the stipulated budget. It includes understanding how different software, hardware, and other nodes will communicate with each other.
- Technical Writers: The above role is closely supported by Technical Writers who build the technical and training documentation like product description, design specifications, user manuals and guides etc.
- Information Security Analyst: Design and build the overall information security architecture, including checkpoints and gateways. Manage user access based on roles and permissions. Test and maintain the infosec infrastructure periodically.
- Tester: Involves testing, debugging and beta trials of software and hardware. Identify defects and loop this feedback to the infosec or network architecture teams. Testing is carried out in test-beds as well as production environments.
- Ethical Hacker: Computer networking and security feature experts who test the overall network and systems to identify threats and vulnerabilities that others can exploit with malicious intent, such as ransomware, spyware, virus etc.
- Support Engineer: This role involves providing end-user support, including troubleshooting on the different hardware, software and applications used by the employees of the organisation, whether internally or while working on customer projects.
Salary Expectations after MCA
It may be difficult to generalise the salaries received by those who have completed their MCA degree. The pay scale depends on a combination of your MCA specialisation, expertise in your chosen domain, job role and related remuneration slabs of your employer. Top Indian and international firms hire from the MCA talent pool regularly with starting salaries anywhere between the range of Rs. 4 Lakh to Rs. 6 Lakh for freshers and higher for people with specialised skills / or prior work experience.
The top recruiters include
- IT - Wipro, TCS, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, IBM, Capgemini, Cognizant, Sutherland, NTT Global etc.
- Telecom Equipment Vendors - Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei, ZTE, Samsung etc.
- Operators - Airtel, Vodafone Idea, Jio etc.
- BFSI - HDFC, ICICI, LIC, Kotak, Axis etc.
- Healthcare - Apollo, UHG, Fortis, Medanta, Max
- Technology - Dell, HP, Lenovo, Xiaomi, Motorola etc.
Benefits of Choosing MCA
While the IT industry is the dominant recruiter, the scope of MCA degree holders transcends across industries and sectors. Hardly any segment exists that is neither technology-driven nor strongly supported by a technical infrastructure. This prevalence of automation and computerisation is what makes MCA students consistently in demand, leading to a promising career in both India and abroad with attractive salary packages.
Apart from lucrative jobs in private multinational corporates and even government sectors, MCA provides exciting job roles which allow you to stay in touch with the latest technological advances being made globally. While being on the job, this learning on real-time projects can help you become an expert in your chosen technical sub-domain.