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IT's dead? No, IT'll live long!

``Don't panic, go for IT. You'll get the glory back!'' proclaim unanimously the heads of IT training institutes, giving an overview of the current scenario and reassuring students that the IT job potential is still the highest.


During the lull on the information technology front, many of the IT training institutes in the metro went non-functional. With

the student mindset shifting from `high hope' to `no scope', they were shying away from computer courses, notwithstanding the fact that there was still a need for IT professionals for maintenance tasks. Nearly one million jobs went abegging in India itself. But the new learner was not amused, and the institutes had a tough time motivating them.

The three major IT training institutes in Vizag - APTECH, NIIT-Vizag Center and NIIT-Akkayapalem - were the surviving players, after many small institutes downed their shutters, not having the strength to continue.

``Don't panic, go for IT. You'll get the glory back!'' proclaim unanimously the heads of these three institutes, giving an overview of the current scenario and reassuring students that the IT job potential is still the highest.

``The golden years - 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 - created an impression in many that software development was the only area to pursue and the choice of courses was also made accordingly. With that boom over, they feel that there are no jobs. Jobs are there, if you look in the right direction. Why does every computer aspirant look for only programming or software development? Other IT-enabled services (ITES) are there like bio-information and financial services. The student can always apply the skills learnt to make a living,'' says the APTECH managing director, M.V. Reddy.

``APTECH sees that students learn properly from the qualified faculty. We take care of the student-transfer details. The students are aware that computer education is important, but being vulnerable, their decisions sway. We counsel and channel their energies correctly. The head-hunters are once again flocking institutes for qualified IT professionals, because the Indian giants are employing extensively once again. IT is a strong base for any activity.''

If the question, 'How far in life do you think an NIIT computer course would take one', is put to the CEO of NIIT-Akkayapalem, Prabhakar, his answer would be: ''To one's chosen career field.''

He believes that there is so much growth in the IT field, specially in India. "After all, we gave the zero concept to the West. We also gave so many IT professionals during the Y2K boom. Why should there be any apprehension''

What are NIIT's strong points?

``Our strong points are constantly bringing new courses to cover more population and different sectors into computer education. We have computer literacy programs, Smart talk English language program for non-convent-school products, along with the regular English proficiency program devised by NIIT to suit the demand of the ITES job market, which is having the highest growth rate at present.

``Once the student completes our DNIIT program, he is never afraid of using computers and software in his education or profession. His overall planning ability, analytical skills and logical thinking improve. Other than these, quality management, priority and planning, time management, problem solving methodologies, customer focus, etc., are also imparted.

``We are trying to bridge the gap between academic and professional courses by changing the methodology of counselling.

Insisting on the presence of parents during counselling sessions and constantly improving the quality of training of the faculty and other staff result in good word-of-mouth publicity and add to our strengths. What more can you ask? IT is here to stay, and so am I!'' quips Mr. Prabhakar

N.P. Kishore is a long-standing player in the NIIT field - 16 years to be precise. What are his kudos and woes?

``All major software companies are on a hiring spree once again. NIIT is relying on its core strengths to boost brand image. Strengths are seen vertically, like in banking, financial services, manufacturing and retail.

``Another interesting aspect of the current hiring scenario is that many companies are going in for 'contract hires'. Walk into any large company, especially multinational ones, you can see many people working with temporary badges. The `campus recruit' scene is fading. Job market requires highly skilled and experienced people and NIIT is providing them,'' he avers.

Mr. Kishore rates FUTURZ as NIIT's best course that lasts three years. ''During the third year students are given the opportunity to work in companies. This facility is almost equal to an employee getting a stipend. It is a good arrangement and the feedback is unique. Other courses could not succeed as this one has done. May be the job lure has made all the difference.''

NIIT has also international tie-ups whereby students can write examinations for Microsoft, IBM, etc.

(To be concluded)

SUGUNA

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