Master’s in Computer Application (MCA) is a lucrative, job-oriented field that usually attracts individuals with a logical bent of mind and a passion for numbers and computers alike. It also provides an entry point into the IT sector where you can pursue a rewarding career path.
You can opt for the 3-year advanced MCA course soon after completing your bachelor’s in computer applications. It will allow you to delve deeper into the field of computers and gain an insight into how hardware and software function.
You also learn in-depth about programming languages, wherein MCA doesn’t just enhance theoretical sense but also supplements your knowledge base with a practical understanding of system design and hardware. With an MCA, you can implement theoretical concepts into practical work, through projects, workshops and lab sessions, providing insight into real-world projects.
MCA opens doors to pursue job opportunities in a wide range of sectors that require computer applications and a skilled workforce to maintain them, from gaming, application development, hospitality, and finance to scientific research and development, consultancy and cybersecurity.
In almost every industry employing IT professionals, the scope of earning a six-figure salary after MCA has risen exponentially. Even though these vary widely depending upon the demand of the job title, current prospects, and roles and responsibilities of the position, MCA can help you land a competitive position in the IT sector.
In this article, we will discuss the most lucrative career opportunities you can attract with an MCA degree and explore the salaries of these positions.
MCA Career Path: Salary after MCA
1. Software Developer
Average Base Salary: ₹210k – 1.2 million /year
After completing an MCA Course, working as a Software Developer is one of the most coveted jobs. As a software developer, you can work at top-most companies such as Infosys, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Accenture, Capgemini, among others. As these organizations have a global presence, you have an opportunity to work across borders. The job requires you to conceive innovative ideas, design, and maintain software systems. Apart from this, prototyping and testing of software applications also come under this profile.
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It is one of the most competitive fields in India currently and requires you to have an understanding of computer networks as well. Based on your expertise and skill domain, you can pursue software development with proficiency in a variety of programming languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, Swift, C/C++, etc.
There are also abundant opportunities to grow professionally to land senior software development roles.
2. Hardware Engineer
Average Base Salary: ₹110k – 810k per year
It is a common notion that MCA opens avenues for only low-level software development roles, and related fields, however, it provides equal opportunities to hardware engineers too. From designing to installing physical components required in an electronic device, the role of a hardware engineer is indispensable.
These components include printers, wires, hard disks, keyboards, routers, and circuit boards. A hardware engineer tests these components and ensures the smooth functioning of the entire computer. Without proper installation of these, a computer system cannot function properly. Even computer repairs fall under this profile. The salary of a hardware engineer is nearly 33% more than the national average salary in India.
3. System Analyst
Average Base Salary: ₹835 k per year
Numerous businesses are dependent upon systems and IT professionals who possess analytical capacities, business skills and technological expertise. It is one of the more influential paths that MCA graduates can pursue. As a System Analyst, you are expected to improve the functioning of a business by implementing a fail-proof IT infrastructure which is critical in ensuring the growth of a business.
The technical design of an effective software system is the responsibility of a system analyst. They do not get involved in the groundwork but act as a network between a software developer and client. With the increasing scope of such businesses that rely on IT, system analyst is one of the most desired jobs.
4. Data Scientist
Average Base Salary: ₹340k – 1.9 million per year
Ever wondered how Google has an answer to every question you ask? It’s by using information retrieval models designed by data scientists. MCA Graduates who are passionate about research and analysis can pursue a career in data science.
Even though you can pursue data science with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and no coding experience, an MCA can help you gain a competitive edge. For instance, India’s 1st NASSCOM certified Executive PG Programme in Data Science from IIT-B on upGrad is designed for engineers, marketing & sales professionals, Fmfreshers, domain experts, and software & IT professionals.
As more and more companies are moving to cloud computing to store data, a Data Scientist’s requirement now is more eminent than ever. They are needed to manage, administer and transform real-time data into relevant statistics and insights that can be accessed by the end-user.
Having completed MCA and a course in data science, you will be equipped with the skills necessary to convert raw data into useful information, which can be easily interpreted by the users. It will allow you to accurately predict, read and decode data patterns to help companies drive user experience. You can work with renowned companies such as Google, Deloitte, PWC, providing them data solutions to enhance operational efficiency.
Average Base Salary: ₹362k /year
If your goal is to move ahead by maintaining a balance between hardware and software systems, then working as a troubleshooter may be the right choice for you. As a troubleshooter, you are essentially the backbone of a computer system application where you ensure its optimum functionality and efficiency.
Every company requires a troubleshooter to prevent potential system issues. For instance, if projects and deliverables are delayed due to inefficiency or software/hardware-related issues, a troubleshooter steps in to resolve errors and malfunctioning hardware or software systems.
6. Web Designer & Developer
Average Base Salary: ₹316 k /year
In today’s digital age, the popularity of a business is measured through its internet presence. This includes both service-based and commerce industries. If you own a restaurant, your website will provide a bird’s eye view to your customer and ensure increased business. Many small-scale businesses and large companies are investing in having a good website. This has led to an increase in the demand for web designers and developers.
A developer determines how a website functions and a designer works on the content and aesthetics of the website. This requires proficiency in both backend and front-end development. Programming languages such as Python, PHP, Java, CSS, HTML help in server-side and client-side scripting. If you are interested in learning more about web development, check out upGrad’s 13-month Executive PG Programme in Software Development – Specialisation in Full Stack Development course.
7. Software Consultant
Average Base Salary: ₹812 k /year
We often hear, ‘optimization of software’ at the workplace. This optimization is done to prevent any despoliation to the business and is undertaken by a software consultant. Effective software is intuitive, safe, secure and enhances operational efficiency. As a software consultant, you analyze a company’s software systems, their technical requirements and suggest solutions to enhance software functionality.
You would also need to provide troubleshooting services and technical support. Programming languages learned during MCA come in handy as you work in this position. The job offers you flexibility as you can opt to work project-wise, enabling you to work on more than one project at a time.
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8. IT Architect
Average Base Salary: ₹1931k /year
An IT Architect decides the IT structure of an organization. An optimal IT structure is a priority at every organization and thus, a company either outsources its IT department or employs an IT Architect. As domain experts, they are expected to have a strong business and IT background that allows them to determine the right components to architect software or hardware.
You can either work as a permanent employee or start your IT business and provide IT services to companies, individuals, banks, and government sectors. You can opt for a CCNA course to land a high-paying job. The pay scale for this position is exceptionally high especially since it’s an experience-based position allowing you to understand trade-offs between ease of implementation, performance, security and reliability.
9. Cloud Architect
Average Base Salary: ₹1,955 k /year
Data management, handling and administration are vested in the learned hands of a Cloud Architect. As it is stored on servers without a physical component being present, it needs to be maintained by a Cloud Architect. As companies are moving to cloud servers for the sake of cybersecurity, a Cloud Architect’s position has become indispensable. They are responsible for protecting data from being lost or undergoing a security risk.
If you have an MCA degree, you can take up a specialized course like Executive PG Programme in Software Development – Specialisation in Cloud Computing to gain cutting-edge knowledge of cloud technology. It can add to your pay scale and help attract job opportunities from the likes of Amazon, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Cognizant, among others.
10. Cyber Security
Average Base Salary: ₹1300k /year
As businesses are moving online and with them, sensitive information and business data, Cyber Security is one field that is in urgent need of skilled professionals. A large company with numerous cloud servers is at continuous security risk from hackers and malicious attacks. As preventive and precautionary measures, companies employ dexterous ethical hackers, cryptographers and network security engineers who help keep their information secure and encrypted.
You could take up an an Executive PG Programme in Machine Learning and AI, and you can have one of the highest-paid jobs in tech. You can either work with an organization as a permanent employee or pursue self-employment to handle cybersecurity for more than one client.
MCA is a professional post-graduate degree which in recent years has gained widespread prominence at integrated Information Science & Technology institutes. Job opportunities after completing MCA are immense. As a three-year degree, it can provide you entry points into a diverse range of domains in the IT sector. It doesn’t just impart knowledge of computer applications but also provides exhaustive practical experience.
With an MCA, you are eligible to pursue higher studies to upskill yourself and land lucrative job roles in data science, cybersecurity, consultancy and software development. Certification courses from reputed universities can provide you with a competitive advantage. These include CCNA, Cloud Computing and DevOps courses, among others.
If you are interested to become a software engineer, check out M.Sc. in Computer Science by upGrad, IIIT Bangalore, and Liverpool John Moores University which is designed for working professionals and provide 30+ projects & assignments, IIIT-B & LJMU Alumni status, 6 unique specializations, more than 500 hours of rigorous training & job placement assistance with top firms.
Q1. Is MCA equivalent to B.E/B.Tech?
B.E/B.Tech is an undergraduate engineering academic course with a duration of 4 years, whereas MCA or Master of Computer Application is a post-graduate educational program. MCA focuses on computer programming and applied computer principles – it mainly revolves around computer applications. But B.E/B.Tech applies to a wide range of courses from automobile engineering, electronics engineering and civil engineering to computer science engineering, electrical engineering, aeronautical engineering and more. A B.E/B.Tech degree is more versatile and is suitable for aspirants who wish to study any engineering; the degree conferred depends on the individual universities or colleges. So, MCA can only be considered an equivalent to B.E/B.Tech in Computer Science or Information Technology.
Q2. Can you become a data scientist after studying MCA?
Yes, you can become a data scientist after studying MCA. In fact, data science is among the most popular courses that students opt for after completing MCA. Data science is one of the latest and hottest career options in today's times and comes with a great deal of learning and earning opportunities. Data scientists have to analyze and extract meaningful insights from massive volumes of datasets, which can be related to diverse aspects from weather and climate to consumer behavior and market dynamics. They need to be experts in sophisticated computer applications and ideally possess a mathematics educational background.
Q3. Can I go for higher studies after completing my MCA?
MCA or Master of Computer Application is a post-graduate degree, which can also be considered a specialization to a graduate degree. Since MCA is generally considered to be equivalent to an engineering degree in computer science, the job opportunities are pretty similar for both profiles. However, if you wish to pursue higher studies after MCA, there are plenty of options. You might consider going for an M.E or Master in Engineering in computer science or choose to go for your PhD, but for this, you will have to score well in GATE, i.e. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering.