In the past 15 years if one engineering stream has steadily gained prominence it is the stream of ‘Computer Science’. Fueled by the success stories of Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and other homegrown Indian IT companies; the period following the early nineties saw students joining Computer Science engineering en-masse. Then the dotcom bubble burst, the recession set in and the September 9/11 attacks happened. Overnight things changed – and as US economic policies tightened with a clamour for more jobs to be retained in the US – the number of visas granted for foreigners in skilled jobs decreased.
On a related tangent the IT-BPO sector took a harsh beating as well as many people lost their jobs. Still the sheen and value of a Computer Science engineering degree did not lose its charm as companies continued to hire engineering graduates and put them into intensive training programmes before they were integrated into relevant job-roles. To cut a long story short IT and Computer Science engineering courses continue to remain extremely popular among students aspiring to take up an engineering course after their high school education.
This article examines the various career options and average salaries on offer for students who have successfully passed their computer science engineering courses. Traditionally computer science engineering students can pick jobs in the software scheme of things that includes the whole gamut of roles from programming, testing, software development and analysis. The hardware and networking part lets students find jobs in aspects of product design and maintenance, database management, system-security and networking, server management etc. Read the "Definitive guide to studying Computer Science and IT" for more information on your study options and career opportunities that are available.
Application development - The development of the mobile phone and distinct operating systems has opened a whole new world of employment opportunities to not just engineers but anyone with a keen eye for design and detail. In the war of the operating systems we see applications, popularly known as ‘apps’ being designed. These apps cover topics from news and media, personal finance, weather and the biggest revenue-generator games. ‘Angry Games’ has been the most popular mobile game in the past few years and it single-handedly changed the fortunes of its company Rovio Inc.
Animation and graphic design are also allied job-roles that students with a keen interest for drawing and sketching and creative minds can apply. Note an engineering degree is not mandatory for these roles and students with a keen interest in animation-art and cartoons get drawn into these roles.
Software Testing has become practically a sub-domain of its own with more and more private institutions offering courses in software and product testing. A strong grasp of programming languages, user interface design and software architecture are requisite for students to seek a career in software testing.
Cyber-security – Technology has its negatives as well doesn’t it? With more and more transactions going online and the rise of online shopping portals and electronic money transfers; the risk of transaction passwords being stolen, secure databases being hacked and identity thefts are not just plots from movies but very scarily real and possible. Ethical hacking and cyber-security courses are highly popular and trained cyber-security experts with an engineering degree in computer science can command a good salary.
Product design – Ever wondered why Apple products are so insanely successful? They blend simplicity and ease of use with cutting-edge technology inside them. All major technology firms invest heavily in research and development and they are continuously innovating to make ‘the next big thing’. Computer science engineers with a specialization in hardware technology and design have a great career path ahead in IT Product Design.
Salaries vary based on the years of experience and specific domain expertise of the applicant. Students who pass out as fresh computer science engineering graduates and get hired as ‘Trainee Engineers’ get paid between Rs 2.25 and Rs 3 lakhs per annum as starting pay-packages. This value also varies from company to company and most companies hiring on campus include a ‘job clause’ that students should work for at least two years with the company.
Computer Science Engineering has become a safe bet for students; as on successful completion of their course they are not restricted to a specific field and can apply to a variety of ITES (IT enabled services companies). These companies offer a variety of services ranging from web-design and analytics to dedicated IT-support services and offer good salaries.
In today’s competitive world it is extremely important that students keep themselves updated of the changes taking place in the world of technology and have good communication skills. Students should exude confidence and learn to write and speak effectively in English. A clear communication style and relevant domain-specific knowledge help students find a good job in the IT-industry. Remember learn to keep your eyes and ears open and be polite with a willingness to learn. With major IT companies in India predicting more jobs across various domains in IT and ITES - the future does look bright!
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