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MCA stands for Master in Computer Application. It is a two-year post-graduate program that combines the four important tenets of Computer Science, Algorithm and Permutation Based Mathematics, Software Development and Core Computer Networking, and other valuable non-computer courses. It is a highly pursued course, especially for those who have completed their BCA, Bachelor in Computer Application. However, it is open for all undergraduates who meet the minimum eligibility criteria of the mark and have a technical bent of mind with an aspiration to excel in computer science and technology.
The wide acceptance of this course stems from the several MCA specialisation subjects that you can choose from. This allows you to branch out across various domains and future-proof your career. Another important characteristic of this course is the hands-on practical knowledge that is imparted, which prepares you for the situations and challenges you are likely to encounter in the professional world.
What is an MCA Specialisation?
MCA is a program that is both popular and versatile. It allows you the opportunity to seek in-depth knowledge of the areas/domains of your choice. The course is made up of 4 semesters. Typically, the first two semesters contain common subjects which lay the foundation of a strong core of computer science, programming, networking and mathematical knowledge. However, from semester three onwards, you get the option to choose your MCA specialisation subjects. This is when you need to consider which stream you wish to branch out into carefully. The different specialisations cater to specific areas in the industries.
While some of them, like Networking and Hardware Engineering, have been in existence for a long while, the new and upcoming areas of Cloud Computing and Mobile App Development have been generating a lot of buzz in recent times. Careful thought needs to go in before you decide your area of specialisation. In the forthcoming sections, we will introduce you to the factors you should consider as well as the popular specialisations you can choose from.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an MCA Specialisation
Choosing the right MCA specialisation can be both tricky and confusing. This is mainly because of the wide variety of options available. One thing must be said that the scope of MCA in India is very bright for all its disciplines, but to truly excel in a field, you should opt for one where your natural instincts and assimilated knowledge can make the difference. Here are some factors that you would like to keep in mind while choosing your specialisation in MCA.
- Aptitude - The definition of aptitude is the ability to do something naturally or instinctively. MCA's vast options range from programming to computing to hardware and networking. It is recommended to choose your MCA specialisation based on your inherent abilities. If you have not yet been able to ascertain it, there are several free online aptitude tests, or you may even consult professional counsellors to determine the ideal option for you.
- Interest - Since you will be making a career and investing your time and effort in the degree program, it is advisable you choose the subjects that appeal to your interest as well. An MCA course comprises four semesters with a different set of subjects in each one of them. Although the foundation remains the same, you should check the curriculum of the different MCA specialisation subjects to get a sense of what appeals to you before committing to it.
- Professional Demand - Another important factor worth considering is the future scope for the field you intend to pursue. This is easily done by doing an online search on the popular job portals that can show you what kinds of job skills are the most in-demand and how they align with your aptitude and interest. You may also consult experienced IT professionals in your social circle to seek their advice regarding the popular roles and job descriptions in their respective organisations.
What Are The Different MCA Specialisations
Once you have considered the factors mentioned above, you should be ready to choose the ideal discipline to pursue further and make a successful career out of it. To help you in this process, here is an MCA specialisation list of the most popular and in-demand options for you to consider.
- Cloud Computing
Cloud technology has become omnipotent lately. From individual data on your mobile phone to information worth thousands of terabytes from large organisations, on-demand cloud storage and computing have become the preferred mode of data archival and storage; and will continue to be so in the future. With the tremendous growth witnessed in e-commerce businesses worldwide (that deals with huge quantities of customer data), this stream is definitely a way to stay relevant in the future workplace.
- Mobile Computing
Just like cloud computing, mobile computing too is gaining popularity by leaps and bounds. Here you can learn all about the latest trends and technologies involved in using mobile computing for businesses and end-users. This is a wildly trending course in the field of telecommunications, which in itself is a massive industry employing hundreds of thousands of people.
- Management Information Systems (MIS)
This is a field that is relevant across almost all industries. It is hard to imagine any company being able to operate without some form of automated MIS system in place. It helps organisations assimilate all the relevant information pertinent to their business that will help them convert it into useful information to make business-centric decisions. This is why MIS is considered a safe and popular MCA specialisation.
- Networking and Hardware Engineering
Another perennial favourite specialisation in MCA is in the stream of Networking and Hardware Engineering. This involves the creation of a network of systems that communicate with each other. The organisation’s current and future needs, budget, regulatory compliances and many such factors determine the ideal network and hardware to be used. Whether it is the IT industry or any other sector, this has become a staple requirement and shall continue to be so for a long time, making for a secure career.
- Software Development
Whether it is operating systems as the base platform or application software for the different users, software development has been a much sought after skill for a long time. It also contributes heavily to India’s annual IT exports. Each year a large number of people with an MCA in Software Development are added to the national workforce and employed across various industries.
Apart from the ones described above, you may also check out the following specialisations in MCA:
- Systems Management
- Systems Architecture
- Hardware Technology
- Application Software
- Internet Working
While there are a number of options available to specialise in, it is imperative that you do your research and choose the subjects and specialisation in MCA that interest you if you wish to succeed in future.