Students are often faced with the dilemma of what career options to choose after BCA – Bachelor of Computer Applications. The three-year BCA degree provides students with the opportunity to enter the world of IT (Information Technology), Computers, and its applications. The course is at par with a B.E or a B.Tech in IT and Computer Science and helps students build a sound knowledge base for advanced career options in Computer Applications. It is also one of the most popular programs for students in the current world of digitization, computers, and technology.
What career options to choose after BCA?
However, it isn’t enough for students to build a successful career within this field without further qualifications. But students lack clarity on which courses to choose or what programs to pick in order to move forward and students are often left asking themselves – “What next?” “What to do after BCA? or “What is the best course after BCA?”
A postgraduate qualification or a professional certificate is usually a must for students to establish themselves in a suitable career after they complete the BCA.
Let’s explore some of the career options after BCA in this article that are available to students to pursue after completion of the BCA course.
Top Career Options and Higher education courses after BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications)
1. Master in Computer Application (MCA)
MCA is the most obvious and best course after BCA for students who want to further their skills in this field. The course builds on the knowledge of BCA and teaches students to plan, design, and build commercial computer systems and software applications. It is a 2-year program focusing on the latest developments in programming languages and tools to build complex computer applications. Students can also opt to specialize in the course depending on their choice of interest. Additional skills like UI, UX, OX (Android, Linux, iOS) may be required if students want to go into App development after their completion of MCA.
On completion of MCA, graduates can apply for several roles in software development in companies and organizations. Some of the job opportunities include:
Salary Range in India:
The average salary for MCA graduates in India is: Rs. 7,37,066 per annum.
- Software Developers: Rs. 3,86,000
- Software Engineers: Rs. 4,82,000
5 Universities in India to study MCA:
- National Institute of Technology (NIT), Rourkela
- National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirappalli
- National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal
- JawaharLal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi
- Chandigarh University, Chandigarh
2. Master in Computer Management (MCM):
MCM is another preferred choice for most BCA graduates and one of the career options after BCA. It provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of the diverse aspects of commercial software development such as programming, database management, software testing, fundamentals of networking, and fundamentals of e-commerce, business applications and overall software development projects.
On completion of MCM, graduates can apply for several positions in various employment sectors including Banking, Computer Manufacturers, Database Management, Desktop Publishing, Design Support, Data Communications, E-Commerce, Networking, Simulation, Software Development, Security and Surveillance, System Maintenance, Technical Support, etc.
Some of the common roles within these sectors include Computer Systems Analysts, Chief Information Officer, Computer Scientists, Computer Presentation Specialists, Information Security Analysts, Programmers, Database Administrators, Systems Administrators, Software Developers, Software Engineers, Software Publishers, etc.
Some of the other roles available are Security Architect, Information Security Analyst, Network Security Engineer, Information Security Officer, Information Security Manager, Cryptographer, Crypto analyst, Security Consultant, Security Administrator, Security Software Developer, etc.
Salary Range in India:
The average salary for MCM graduates in India is: Rs 3,80,000 per annum.
5 Universities in India to study MCM:
- Asian Institute of Management Studies, Pune
- Institute of Business Management and Research
- University of Pune
- Central India Instt of Management Studies (CIIMS), Jabalpur
- Hislop College, Nagpur
3. Master in Information Management:
The MIM interdisciplinary degree is a relatively new program that has emerged to meet the needs of the IT industry and its professionals to understand the intersection and concourse of the several organizational issues across multiple disciplines. The course provides students with knowledge in information management, knowledge management, information systems, business administration, information architecture and design, computer sciences, project management, etc.
Students can specialize in several areas including Data Science, User Experience, Business Intelligence, Information Architecture, Product Management and Consulting, Information and Cyber Security to take up management roles in the IT sector.
Upon completion of the MIM course, graduates will be able to apply strategic IT functionalities to improve operational performance, align business and information strategy and enable organizations to achieve their business, strategic and tactical goals. This course is considered as a degree of the 21st century with graduates finding a variety of exciting roles in several industry sectors especially Consulting (37%) and Finance (24%), High Technology, Consumer Goods, Food, Utilities, Media, Tourism, Leisure, etc.
Graduates can find their niche as a Data Scientist, Knowledge Manager, User Experience Manager, Product Manager, Cyber Security Analysts, Digital Content Manager, Digital Product Manager, System Analyst, Mobile Application Developer, Management Consultant, Computer Network Architects, etc.
Salary Range in India:
The average salary for a MIM graduate in India is Rs. 9,00,000 per annum.
- System Analyst: Rs. 6,59,486
- Cyber Security Analyst: Rs. 5,32,097
5 Universities in India to study MiM:
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore
- Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Indore
- Thakur Institute of Management Studies & Research
4. Master in Information Security Management
The course in Master’s in Information Security Management is primarily an Information Systems Security program that is based on the needs of the businesses, organizations, governments requiring information systems security professionals to prevent, minimize, and protect the loss of enterprise information or data.
The program focuses on students’ learning about information assurance, data protection, and protection from unwanted threats, security breaches, cybercrimes, information governance, incident management, development of organizational information security strategy, risk and crisis management strategy, and contemporary information security management.
On completion of this course, graduates have the foundation in areas across information security including data or information assurance, information governance, incident management to support senior managers and contribute to organisational strategies including contingency planning.
Graduates work in server installation, testing, penetration testing of servers, networks, network design, and network security administration. They can work in information and security policies, privacy policies, and risk assessments.
At a management level, graduates can work on implementation of practices, policies, and information security strategies. The Defence services are a primary employer because the need for confidentiality and security check is extremely high compared to the other sectors.
Salary Range in India
The average salary for an Information Security Manager in India is: Rs. 15, 60,692 per annum.
- Security Architect: Rs. 2,170,853
- Security Analyst: Rs. 4,90,155
5 Universities in India to study MISM:
- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay
- Amity International Business School
- Indian School of Business
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore
5. Master in Data Science
A Master’s degree in Data Science is a relatively new degree encompassing the core areas of study – mathematics, statistics, computer science, and information science that teaches students to extract relevant insights from big data. Students become experts in statistical modelling, data visualization, programming, machine learning, predictive analysis, NLP (Natural Language Processing), software engineering, research design, data ethics, data management, and user experience to service several sectors including industry, government agencies, not-for-profits, and other organizations. In this course, students also learn software tools and languages such as MS Excel, Tableau, Keras, and others.
Upon completion of the Master’s degree in Data Science, graduates can find exciting roles in several sectors which are driven by big data such as marketing, technology, FMCG, among many others. The demand for Data Scientists is increasing by the day with a 40% increase in the last two years.
According to LinkedIn, Data Science is one of the most emerging and fastest growing occupations in the current job market. Any industry that relies on data driven technology requires data professionals in several roles such as Research Analyst, Computer Scientist, Data Engineer, Data Administrator, Data Architect, Data Scientist, Data Engineer, etc.
Salary Range in India:
The average salary for a Master’s in Data Science graduate in India is Rs.4,00,000 – Rs. 8,00,000 per annum.
- Data Scientist: Rs. 8,24,191
- Data Engineer: Rs. 8,39,625
5 Universities in India to study Master’s in Data Science
- Manipal University
- Annamalai University, Chidambaram
- Christ University, Bangalore
- Fergusson College, Pune
- Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Vellore
6. Master in Business Administration (MBA)
Some consider MBA to be the best course after BCA for students who want to develop their managerial skills. An MBA (Master of Business Administration) will groom you for managerial roles by developing your leadership and management skills. It is an ideal progression to your career, stepping into management-level positions and adding strategic business skills to your toolkit.
MBA from a reputed business can open many doors for aspiring managers including increasing the earning potential of the graduates. Some of the core topics covered in MBA programs include the following:
- Improvement of leadership and people management skills
- Networking to create partnerships and connections
- Organizational financial management
- Managing difficult situations (financial crisis) and making tough calls
- Report writing including gathering, analysing industry and organizational data
Depending on a student’s interests, there are several MBA specializations available, including General Management, Strategic Management, Financial Management, Operational Management, Human Resources, IT Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Consulting, and International Business.
On completion of an MBA program, graduates can find job opportunities in the following sectors: Banking and Finance, Investment Banking, Management Consulting, Data Analytics, Private Equity, and Entrepreneurship. However, graduates can expect business planning, client relations, consulting, and system or resource analysis to be part of most MBA job profiles.
The top ten roles after an MBA qualification are: Marketing Manager, HR Manager, Sales Manager, HR Manager, Business Analyst, Investment Banker, Project Manager, Business Development Manager, Chief Technology Officer, Business Consultant, Finance Adviser, etc.
Salary Range in India
The average salary for an MBA graduate in India is Rs.2,90,000 per annum. Early career MBA graduates can earn Rs.3,90,000 or more. The salary of MBA graduates increases exponentially with increased experience.
- Marketing Manager: Rs. 8,40,000
- Senior Business Analyst: Rs. 9,60,000
- Operations Manager: Rs.7,60,000
- HR Manager: Rs. 7,20,000
- Financial Analyst: Rs. 4,60,000
5 Universities in India to study Master in Business Administration
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), (all locations)
- SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai
- XLRI Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur
- Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
- NMIMS School of Business Management, Mumbai
Short term Courses after BCA
There is a whole range of short term courses after BCA in various fields and expertise of computers that offer huge potential for both growth and employment. Here is a list:
BCA graduates can also opt to do short term courses after BCA. The following are some of the popular courses.
1. Course in Digital Marketing
Digital platforms are the new market places where brands and service providers showcase and sell their products. A course in Digital Marketing teaches students about Content Creation, Boosting SEO, Web Development, Automated Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Blogging on multiple digital platforms like social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn), Service-oriented platforms (Uber, Airbnb), knowledge platforms (Quora, Yahoo! Answers) and media sharing platforms (YouTube, Spotify).
The digital advertising industry is expected to grow to Rs 539 bn in 2024 from Rs 199 bn in 2020. This indicates an increased demand for skilled professionals in the sector with a promising future for graduates. Some of the top roles in Digital Marketing are Digital Marketing Manager, Social Media Marketer, Search Engine Optimizer, Content Marketer, Email Marketer, Search Engine Marketing Specialists, Content Creator (Augmented & Virtual Reality), SEO Specialists, Automation Expert, Data Analyst, Paid Media Specialists, Web Developer, etc.
Salary Range in India:
The average salary for a Digital Marketing Manager in India is Rs.5,48,258
- Search Engine Optimization Specialist: Rs. 2,48,433
- Search Engine Marketing: Rs. 3,98,943
5 Universities in India to study Diploma in Digital Marketing
- Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kolkata (Executive Program)
- Pearl Academy, Delhi
- Indian School of Business (ISM), Hyderabad
- YMCA, New Delhi
- Karmick Institute, Kolkata
2. Courses in Network Security
These courses allow students to be part of an organizations’ first line of defence against cyber threats and cybercrimes. Some of the popular and in-demand certifications include the following
- Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH)
- Certified information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
- Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
- COBIT 5 Certification Training
There are an increasing number of job opportunities for Network Security professionals with generous compensation. Network Security career paths include in the broad areas of Digital Forensics (forensic science, criminal justice, IT), Software Development, or Data Analytics as Security Architect, Security Manager, Security Consultant, or Security Engineer.
Salary Range in India:
The average salary for a Network Security Manager in India is Rs.8,18,544
- Security Engineer: Rs. 6,06,524
- Search Manager: Rs. 8,18,544
5 Universities in India to study Network Security in India
- Amity University, Jaipur
- Praxis Business School, Kolkata
- Reva University, Bangalore
- Amity Online
- Edureka (Online)
3. Courses in Cyber Security
In the digital age, cyber terrorists and hackers target organizations, government agencies, and individuals to access valuable data and information causing irreparable damage and extensive losses to them. Courses in cyber security teaches students to protect computer OS (operating systems), networks, and data from cyber criminals. Cyber Security Specialists monitor and mitigate risks and threats as and when they appear.
IT Security is a new field and Cyber Security a new discipline so different educational institutions offer curricula that focus on various aspects of the field. The focus areas are as follows – Data Analysis, Scripting and Programming, Security Design, Network Concepts, Policy, Legal, Ethics & Compliance, System Administration, Cyber Threats, Cyber Defence, Cryptography, Information Assurance, and IT System Components.
Tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and other companies regularly offer “bug bounties” to people who can hack into their systems and software. This allows them to identify and fix any existing security flaws. The successful hackers are also encouraged to apply as Cyber Security Analysts and Specialists in these organizations to protect their systems and products. Cybersecurity jobs are not 9-5 jobs but require to be always on-call. The number of jobs in this field are on the rise with an expected increase of 28% by 2026.
The professionals are required in companies across all fields including healthcare, finance, educational institutions, government agencies especially defence. Some of the roles available include Information Security Officer, Security Auditor, Vulnerability Assessor, Security Code Editor, Security Architect, Security Software Developer, Incident Responder, Security Administrator, and others.
Salary Range in India:
The average salary for a Cyber Security Analyst in India is Rs. 5,32,097 per annum.
- Security Architect: Rs. 21,70,853
- Information Security Analyst: Rs. 5,58,569
5 Universities in India to study Cyber Security
- Calicut University
- NIELIT, Delhi
- Amity University, Jaipur
- Hyderabad Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
- Sharda University, Greater Noida
Other Short-Term Courses After BCA
1. Coding Certifications
The online Coding short term courses offer quicker, shorter, and cheaper programming training programs that are in much demand by the employers. These courses focus on the core aspects of programming and help enhance logical and real-life problem skills in computer programming.
Check out the list below of some of the in-demand Coding short term courses after BCA that you can do:
- IBM Data Science: IBM’s series of nine courses teaches to analyse and visualize data to build models (machine learning) using Python. This course can be learned at your own pace with flexible deadlines and requires no previous experience.
- Python (for Everybody): This course is offered by Coursera and teaches the core concepts of programming such as functions and loops. It also teaches the fundamental concepts of data structure, databases, and network application interfaces by using Python algorithms. On completion, the students can build applications for data retrieval and visualization including data processing. The course requires no prior experience and has the option of self-paced learning for busy students. It also offers shareable certificates.
- Deep Learning: Deep Learning courses are offered by Udacity and Coursera. It teaches students to become experts in neural networks or computer software that mimics the neural networks in the human brain. Building convolutional networks, image recognition, learning the fundamentals of the generative adversarial network, RNN, LSTM is part of the program. Students receive personalized and unlimited feedback, technical support, and access to additional resources. On completion, the students can work in the dynamic field of AI – Artificial Intelligence.
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect: This Associate Certificate course is offered by Udemy and helps students validate their knowledge of building and deploying applications using AWS. Students can learn about Lambda, Cognito, DynamoDB, and API Gateway. Students also learn about AWS Cloud using SSM, KSM, and IAM Policies. This course requires students to have prior knowledge.
- Full Stack Web Developer: This course by Udacity teaches students to develop web applications including design their databases, and create, deploy web APIs. Students also learn to deploy web applications (flask based) in cloud computing – Docker and Kubernetes. The course requires students to have basic knowledge of programming languages like Python. The flexible program also teaches data modelling, API development, identity access management, documentation, etc.
- Java Programming Master Class: this online coding course is offered by Udemy and teaches students valuable Java skills in Java programming. Students can learn to do Android development and Spring Framework in this course. The study topics include Java class, polymorphism, inheritance, keywords, operators, and expressions.
- The Web Developer Boot Camp: This course by Udemy teaches students HTML, JS, CSS, and Node to create web applications. It doesn’t require students to have any previous coding experience and teaches topics such as variables, arrays, loops, objects, and functions. It teaches complex HTML forms using jQuery.
- Ethical Hacking: The Learn Ethical Hacking from scratch course by Udemy teaches students to identify weaknesses in computer networks and computer systems and develop counter-measures to protect the identified weaknesses. Students do not require any prior knowledge to become ethical hackers and gain knowledge of Metasploit, SQL map, Aircrack-ng in this course. They are also taught to install Kali Linux and learn penetration testing and know about network clients, operating systems, and ports.
2. IT Certifications:
Accredited IT certifications are short term courses after BCA that are extremely useful for both career progression or career transition. Some of the highest paying IT Certifications are:
- Business Intelligence (BI): BI Certifications such as Microsoft BI, IBM BI, SAS Certification, Informatica ETL Certification, Tableau Training and Certification allows IT professionals to learn about data planning, programming, ERP, metadata systems development, systems analysis, and technology management. Students are taught Predictive Modelling, Statistics and Optimisation, case studies, and projects to learn real-world skills. On completion, students can become Business Analysts, Data Analysts and senior managers.
- Full Stack Java Developer
- Automation Testing
- Full Stack Web Developer
- SQL Training
- .NET Programming
- Introduction to IoT
- Java Training
- Angular Training
- Python Training
- Selenium 3.0 Training
- Node.js Training
- Salesforce Platform App Builder
- Salesforce Administrator
- DevOps: DevOps Certification allows students to deliver applications and services in response to the fast-paced environment of technology. The certification includes knowledge of Agile Methodology, SDLC Processes, and CI/CD Pipeline and tools like Jenkins, Docker, Puppet, Chef, and Kubernetes.
- Cloud Computing: Certifications in Cloud computing teaches students to become experts in AWS-Amazon Web Services, Google’s Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, etc. and focuses on Cloud Infrastructure Services, Virtual Machines, Microservices, Cloud Native Applications, and Business Virtualization. On completion of this certification, students can work as Cloud Engineer, Cloud Software Developer, Cloud Administrator, and Cloud Architect.
- Risk and Information Systems Control: A Certified Risk and Information System (CRISC) professional is an expert in the areas of: Assessment, Identification, Mitigation, and Response, Control Monitoring, and Reporting of risk in organizations. CRISC Certification allows professionals to plan and implement adequate measures and frameworks to mitigate risk in organizations without stunting innovative growth. Recertification requires professionals to attain 20 CPE hours (Continuing Professional Education) every year and 120 CPE hours every three years.
3. CISCO Certifications:
CISCO Certifications are short term courses after BCA for those who want to become Networking professionals. CISCO offers five levels of certification starting from Entry Certifications, Associate Certifications, Professional Certifications, Expert Certifications, and Architect Certifications.
CCNET and CCT are for networking professional beginners. Associate Certifications include CCDA, CCNA Collaboration, CCNA Cloud, CCNA Data Centre, CCNA-Security, CCNA Industrial, etc, which provide foundation knowledge in network certification. The advanced Professional Certifications include CCDP, CCNP Collaboration, CCNP Cloud, etc. The Expert Certification is extremely prestigious and includes CCDE, CCIE Data Centre, CCIE Collaboration, CCIE Routing and Switching, CCIE Service Provider, CCIE Wireless. CCIE Security, CISCO Certified Architects (CCAr) is the highest accreditation achievable for network designers.
4. Machine Learning Courses:
The Machine learning course by Coursera provides fundamental knowledge and insights into machine learning, data mining, and recognition of statistical patterns. It is considered one of the best Coding programs because it teaches students to build robots, mine valuable data, and use medical informatics. The course can be learned at the student’s own pace with flexible deadlines. On completion, students can also receive a shareable certificate.
5. Post Graduate Diploma in Graphic Design & Animation:
Courses in Graphic Design and Animation teach creativity and practical skills in Animation, Multimedia, and Gaming through topics that include Photography, Fine Art, 3D Design, Video, Print Media, amongst many others. Depending on their interest, students can focus in multiple areas of Graphic Design & Animation – design, illustration, cinematography, image manipulation, photography, cartoons, video editing, visual effects, 2D and 3D animation, and game design. Job opportunities include Character Animator, Graphic Designer, Content Developer, Modeller, Technical Artist, Storyboard Artist, Animation Supervisor, and Freelancer.
Job Opportunities after BCA
The Bachelor of Computer Applications is a integral IT qualification that teaches core concepts of Computer Fundamentals, programming languages like C++, Java, Networking, Multimedia Systems, Web App Development, Web Designing, Software Engineering, Operating Systems, Data Structure, Database Management System, and several others.
The program also offers specializations such as Gaming and Animation, Internet Technologies, Cyber Law, Programming Languages, Computer Graphics, Music & Video Processing, Systems Analysis, Personal Information Management, Accounting Applications, and Organisational Behaviour. Other Electives in a BCA program could include Agile Frameworks, MATLAB, Data Mining, Cloud Computing, and Digital Marketing.
On completion, BCA graduates get jobs in several industries including Banks, Financial Institutions, Government Agencies, Consultancies, Computer Manufacturers, Electronic Equipment Manufacturers, Educational Institutions, BPO, Multimedia Agencies, Mainframe, System Maintenance, Software Development, Security & Surveillance, Technical Support, Traffic Light Management, Actuaries, Website Design, Game Design, Development, and Testing
The average salary of a BCA graduate in India is Rs. 2,50,000 – Rs. 4,50,000 per annum.
Some of the exciting job profiles available to a BCA graduate in India are listed below
In this article, we hope to have answered your most pressing question –“What career option to choose after BCA?” The options are indeed many – whether you decide to apply for jobs straight after graduating from your BCA program or follow it up with higher studies and qualifications. In the end, it all comes down to what your plans and goals are for the future and your area of interest. Whatever your decision, make sure that you list your options carefully and take time to arrive at your decision. Afterall, it is going to be one of the most important decisions of your professional life.