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MCA Overview
With the fast growing demand for computer skills and applications, the popularity of computers in education has also increased rapidly over the past few years. Students are more attracted to take up computers as their specialized field of study or pursue their educational careers in Computer Applications. India has become a hub of “techies” and Indian computer professionals are proving their mettle in the present global market. To meet the demand of the entire socioeconomic spectrum, a number of colleges now offer MCA course all over India to train and educate fresh talent to become technologically sound and well equipped to face the challenges of today and the days to come.

A few years ago, an MCA was one of the most sought after degrees. With the fall of the IT industry and the recession, the demand for MCA as a profession lessened. But, look for this scenario to change soon. Our IT industry is getting a new lease of life. BPO Companies, that seem to be multiplying by the day, need professionals to understand and design systems and who better than an MCA for the job.

The course

Typically, the MCA is a 3-year full time degree course consisting of six semesters. It covers various aspects of computing, accounting, finance, programming, design and managing networks and databases.

How much does it cost?

MCA programs in colleges cost anywhere between Rs 15000 to Rs 1 lakh depending upon whether it is a government or private college.

Eligibility:

Most MCA institutes require certain educational backgrounds like say Mathematics as a subject in 11th and 12th and minimum of 50% in graduation. Admissions are given on the basis of a written entrance test carried out by each university. Since there is no centralized test, you have to keep a look out for the dates in leading newspapers or check the institute websites. Generally, the information appears between March and May. Those appearing for their final year graduation exams may also apply. Just in case you haven’t studied Mathematics in your 11th and 12th, you can still get admissions in some places like Delhi University provided you have scored above 55% in graduation.

Care:

If one has done graduation without mathematics, one should preferably prepare for some tough subjects like statistics, accounting, linear algebra, etc. which are taught in the first semester itself. The other subjects are Mathematical Foundations of Computer Science, Computer programming and problem solving, Computer organization and assembly language programming. In the subsequent semesters, the course goes on to include personnel management, database management systems, computer assisted management, and artificial intelligence, among others.

While an MCA degree opens doors for a good career, it may be necessary for those aspiring to move onto the fast track, to supplement their knowledge with the latest programming languages.  This can be done by taking up specialized part time courses in private computer institutes. One has to keep in mind the financial aspect, because most such courses are quite expensive, and a wrong choice could blow a hole in the pocket, and not increase one’s market value.

Before taking up such a course, it is better if a candidate focuses on which area of computer applications one wants to specialize in. The choice could be from engineering, accounts, materials management, graphics, multimedia, web page design, marketing, medical, or many others. While the choice is large, one’s background and basic education can play an important role in choosing.

For those taking up an MCA course, it is always preferable to set up a computer at home and supplement the learning process by oneself. Although this involves an additional investment of around 30 to 40 thousand rupees, the returns are worth it.

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