IT matters: A look at undergraduate courses that one can pursue

According to the NASSCOM Indian IT-BPM Industry Overview 2014, the information technology (IT) industry's contribution to the country's GDP is nearly 8% and is expected to rise in the future.

This makes IT a popular career choice for students. Further, the growth of specialized areas like big data, cloud computing and data analytics has spurred the demand for trained IT professionals.

Entry to this field requires a three-year B.Sc. or a four-year B.Tech. BE in IT. Both the courses train students in micro-processing, database management, operating systems, data structures, algorithms, coding and programming. "Since maths is the foundation of every engineering course, aspirants must be proficient in it and have an aptitude for logical reasoning because most computer-related subjects are purely logical," says Bheemarjuna Reddy Tamma, head, department of computer science and engineering, IIT, Hyderabad.

THE RIGHT CHOICE
Select institutions offer a B.Tech. in computer science, IT and software programming, informs Chetan Gulati, a third-year B.Tech. (IT) student, Delhi Technological University, "DTU offers all "DTU offers all three programmes. However, students from all three branches study almost the same papers second year onwards." While the curriculum is similar, there is a I minor difference in the final-year pr According to Tamma, despite the similarity in syllabus, the pedagogy can vary. "While B.Tech. (IT) students receive advanced training in technology-related tools like programming languages and databases, a B.Tech. in computer science focuses on the science behind computer organisation. Computer science students are introduced to technology tools but do not necessarily undergo advanced training and may want to take up an M.Tech. in the future. Having said that, a lot depends on the variation in pedagogies and curricula across institutes," explains Tamma.

However, this is not the case with B.Sc. degree. According to Munmun Bhattacharya, assistant professor, department of information technology, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, a B.Tech. degree is more holistic since it covers aspects related to both hardware and software."The other difference is that in a B.Tech. programme, a student will only study papers related to IT, whereas B.Sc. students will study core papers related to IT, focusing on software, along with subsidiary papers of an allied discipline like statistics, maths or any other science related discipline."

JOB-WISE
Graduates with a B.Tech. from reputable institutions are recruited by multinationals like IBM, HP and Microsoft, among others, for profiles related to coding and programming. "Popular profiles include database management, product development and testing, apart from the conventional coding profiles. They are even offered jobs by online retail firms," says Tamma. Adds Pervin Malhotra, career counselor, "Industry prefers graduates with a B.Tech. degree and while programming is a typical profile for such graduates, they are placed in technical support and hardware networking roles as well. Those with a B.Sc. might have to follow it up with either an M.Sc. (IT) or an MCA." The pay package and placement depend on the job profile, scale of the employer's operations and the institute one comes from.

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