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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Tips to improve IT/ITES employability skills

Tips to improve IT/ITES employability skills

April 27, 2011 15:21 IST

In an online chat with Get Ahead readers on April 26 Sunder Ramachandran of WCH Training Solutions guided them on how best they can improve their employability skills to get meaningful employment in the IT/ITES sector.

Here is the unedited chat transcript:


Keith asked, Hi Sunder,I am working as Project Manager in reputed IT company.I have around 7 years of PM experience now. Should i take PMP. would it be advisable. would it really help in long term.
Sunder Ramachandran answers,  at 2011-04-26 16:02:16Hi Keith. PMP is great validation of your ability to manage complexities involved in global projects. It is also widely recognised. So it's a great certification to have under your belt.


ram asked, Hi, retail sector is good for working and what about career growth
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Absolutely Ram. Retail is an emerging sector and offers lots of opportunities. You could also consider doing a specialised retail course on offer these days to get a headstart in the sector.


Bramhanand asked, Hi, This is Bramhanand. I m pursuing PGDM from MDI, Gurgaon. I have 5+ years of experience in IT/ITes sector and served BFS domain. Can you please guide me reg career advancement or suggest any change ..
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Bramhanand. It seems I didn't catch your question a bit early. My apologies. Well with your pedigree and experience, you could target ample opportunities. It depends on what your domain interest is.


karichedu asked, how will be career in IT industry
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Kari, The IT industry is showing great signs of recovery and most large companies are on track to hire in large numbers this year. If you have the skills, then this is a great space to build a sucessful career.


Bhargav asked, Hi sundar , i am bhargav working as HR in IT can u tel carrier willbe good in this sector
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Bhargav. The function in IT companies is amongst the most dynamic. You can forcast the scope of HR professionals just by looking at the large no. of employees the companies in this sector have to manage. You could consider certifications in HR like SPHR and GPHR for better career progression.


yogesh kumar asked, HI Sundar What is positon on Market for IT JOBs : Yogesh
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Yogesh. In short, most experts are bullish on this sector from a hiring perspective. The industry is showing great signs of recovery and most large companies are on track to hire in large numbers this year. If you have the skills, then this is a great space to build a sucessful career


Bramhanand asked, After 5 yrs of experience and MBA under belt, what are opportunities I should look for ? How are make career move in presales and engagement !!
Sunder Ramachandran answers, It depends on what domains you are targeting. You could look at sales enablement or partner enablement or alliances which are typically roles you could land after about 5 years of front end selling in IT services / solutions.


vina asked, helo done bcom mba finance and certified in sap fi module.unable to get a break in sap implementation or support?how to strategise career into sap
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Vina. You could target SAP resellers or channel partners and gain valuable experience before moving into SAP roles with mainstream organisations.


ds asked, Hi, I have 2.5 yrs banking exp and then 3.5 IT exp in baking domain as functional consultant. which certification(s) will be good for me to take my career forward? I am an MBA from a reputed institute with strong academics.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi DS. Would like to know about your areas of interest. As a functional banking consultant, you get certified on various platforms. The first choice is whether you want to work with the IT function of a bank or work with companies that sell banking products / solutions globally.


Mona asked, Hey Sunder, I have done my MBA in IB. What are the career prospects for me?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Mona. MBA's have ample opportunities in the ITES sector. Do you have any work exp or have you just graduated from business school?


Sougata asked, Hi sundar, I am working in a very small company for last 4 years as a software engineer in Open Source related skill sets. I have exposure in variety of skill sets like in programing PERL, PHP, Different CMS like WP, Drupal, HTML-CSS etc and Also some Linux administration exposure as well. Now, when I am thinking for a change I can't fit info any of the criterion's of either developer or system admin. If I do an RHCE, will that help or I need to be expertise in a single one like either with PERL or PHP ? Can you please suggest something.... Thanks
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Sougata. If you want to remain an individual contributor, then you need to specialise in any of the above mentioned skill. Otherwise, with 4 years under your belt, you could look at team management roles where the emphasis is not so much on technical expertise alone.


itman asked, Hi Sundar, what are the prospects of independant IT consulting in India?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Itman. Consulting is lucrative however in India, it's a scale based business. You need to decide if you can build scale or work as a boutique firm. The large firms have already made inroads by setting up consulting business.


sinha asked, im graduate wkg as ID for 4 yrs for elearning co, have done project management course and going to learn MS project professional in a week, what other qualifications or skills should i acquire to increase my employability, when chaning co, i face problem due to my age which is 48. plz suggest
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Sinha. I don't think qualifications alone is the challenge here. With your experience and qualifications, you should be able to land jobs. You may consider polishing the way you present your CV / yourself in the interview.


NAVIN asked, Hi, In your answer to first question you suggested it's good to have PMP certification for project managers. But current trend of completing project fast using AGILE METHODOLOGY is creating fear in project managers mind. And I am observing managers are trying to acquire multiple skill (technical upgradation, more domain expertise etc) other than PM activities and bringing lot of pressure on them. So, what 3 things Project Manager should do to face current new challenge. Thanks.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Navin. All certifications have an expiry date and there is no secret sauce which will create excellent project managers. Broadly, people skills, ability to see through the problem and work in a diverse environment are key skills amongst many that project managers hould have.


jitender asked, hello sir.. i'm jitender i just want to ask u how freshers can get the job in IT/ITES companies e.g. strategies, preparation, required skills etc.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Jitender. You may want to refer to a previous article of mine where I have highlighted the key skills you need to acquire to land jobs as a fresher. http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2006/sep/22skill.htm


shajan asked, Recently IIJT a vocational training company was accquired by Team lease a staffing company ,because it was finding difficult to place students who were registering with them ,How much importance is soft skills recruiting a candidate Rgds Shajan Samuel
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Shajan. The challenge is not much in terms of placement but fitment. There are jobs however every candidate wants a job that matches their aspiration and interest. That's where an acqusition of this nature makes sense.


raja asked, Hi, I HAVE BEEN WORKING AS A CORPORATE-HR MANAGER IN AN AUTO ANCILLARY GIANT..HAVE VERY GOOD KNOWLEDGE IN HR, INDUSTRIAL & GENRAL LAW..I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE POSSIBLITY OF BECOMING A HR DOMAIN/FUNCTIONAL SPECIALIST IN A IT COMPANY?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Raja. The nuances of people management in IT is quite different from auto ancillary / manufacturing sector. You could target generalist HR roles to begin with and then choose to specialise depending on your areas of interest.


Shriniwas asked, Hi Sunder...Iam an MBA and working as an Asst Manager in the F&A domain. I have totally 8 years experience. Now that I have reached a saturation point in my career, what options do I have to pursue a interesting career in F&A? Can I change to areas like business planning and analysis etc?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Shriniwas. You could look at planning and strategy roles. Also, target companies that are in the midst of setting up F&A lines of business. Your experience can come in handy in landing roles in process mapping and transition.


pooja asked, hi sunder. what is the scope for content writers in IT sector?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Pooja. Content writing skills are in demand. Typically they are required to prepare marketing collaterals, sales proposals etc. Its also an area where there are not too many people so if you have the right skills, you are at a premium.


Joy asked, Helo, I am Fr Joy Nedumparambil, the Regional Coordinator of DB TECH (SKILLING INDIA) doing a govt project under MoRD. I am looking for people who will help in developing curriculum for these domains for 3 months courses. Any help?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Dear Joy. You could write to me at sunder@wchsolutions.com and share details.


suresh asked, sir i have a lot experience in it hardware&networking line .but i do not have graduation certifications . what should i do . is there any company in india they appriciate talent rather than certificate.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Suresh, Graduation is a pre requisit for most IT / ITES jobs. You may get support roles as an undergraduate but it will always remain a limiting factor in moving up the ladder. So without any delay, get a graduation degree under your belt. There are several distance learning options available.


Ankush asked, Hi Sundar, Iam working in one of the big4 and assiting the US team in marketing department which includes research also but that is very minimal. Can you please tell me what marketing openings exsist in IT companies and what are the prospects if one does SAS.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Ankush. Its easy to transition into sales enablement or sales support roles in IT given your background. Most global IT companies have their Center of excellence for sales and marketing in India and research skills are much in demand.


shrikantpkulkarni asked, Dear Sunder, I worked with one of the nationalised banks for 31 years,and retd as Officer. worked in almost all capacities like cashier to cash officer,clerk to credit/loans sanctioning authority/officers in the field of personal loans/housing/sbf/ssi/car loans etc.After retd I done MS-cit to cope with the present technology. Presently I am woring with IL&FS as facilitator-cum traier for FLS(financial literacy prog) and Debt recovery prog. My question to u sir, is there any scope for me in It/Ites sector in BFSI?s yes pl reply on shrikantpkulkarni@rediffmail.com
Sunder Ramachandran answers, You could target instructor roles in IT organisations which run large financial programs.


Mohnish asked, Hi Sunder, I am a engineering graduate with 4+ years of experience in BPO and then 2 years in Online Bidding and Proposal Writing in Web Development..Can you suggest what Post Graduate or Certification i can do
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Mohnish. Any certification that I suggest will be too geberic given that I am not aware of your areas of interest. Broadly, acquiring a management degree / ceritification will be helpful given that you have 6 + years of exp.


Dayanand asked, Hi, I'm a software engineer in a telecom industry since last 3 years. What is the future of IT industry in 2011-2012. I'm also thinking to start with small business of interior designing. Needs your advise on should I continue with job in IT or should I take up with the business.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Dayanand. It's not a either / or situation. The IT industry is hiring but let that not have any bearing on your entreprenurial traits. If you have a sound idea, now is as good a time to start a new business.


Wivek asked, 2 yrs experience in TCS. Just done wid MBA Finance. Which option looks better to u in long run - IT Business Analyst or Banking job in PSU??
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Wivek. These are two different career tracks. Given that you have worked with TCS, I doubt it if you would be able to adjust to the working culture of a PSU bank.


Ish asked, Hi, What is the scope for Support roles like Quality in the near future? What are the additional skills you would suggest to add up besides Six sigma?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Ish. Lot's of opportunities. You may consider a pevious article of mine highlighting the support roles in ITES: http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2007/apr/12bpo.htm


WiproSpectramind asked, I started my career in a call center which is the name as my nick.I was there as a networking engineer though it was a call center in 2002.THen i shifted to Proper Programming and have been in IT consulting for past 9 yrs.However my overall exp being 9 yrs when i go for interviews most companies do not take my 1st yr networking experience into account.Can you tell me the reason if possible.I guess it is also IT experience right ?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi. It depends on the kind of roles you are targeting. In the consulting space, your exp as a networking support associate becomes non contextual.


Wivek asked, Still u hvnt answered my question Sunder.I want to know which career track will offer me more growth in terms of salary and designation?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Working in mainstream IT will lead to better salary and growth prospects minus the secuiry and perks that a PSU job may offer.


Rajneesh asked, Hi Sunder, I am into Software testing (Manual Testing) and having 6+ Years of experience in this area, i'm not interested in people management, i would like to know the long lasting role like incase of software development one can become a specialist in particular language as his/her experience grow, here in case of manual testing, every time i used to test different software product after 4-5 months, but the responsibility remain same, which doesn't make me specialist, can you suggest me which role i have to target in software testing domain to become specialist?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Rajneesh. There are several testers who have built a reputation for being experts and run sucessful consulting practices almost individually.


prateek kharbanda asked, Sir, I am going to appear in AIEEE 2011, what are the best stream keeping in mind the industry future in which I go for B-TECH. Your answer will help me in taking decision.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Prateek. Any stream is only as 'hot' as you make it to be. If I say, computer science is hot and you don't enjoy that stream then nothing can get you burning. So don't go by trends. Focus on what you enjoy studying and choose based on those traits.


Aka asked, How is the current market for IT prof having 7 to 10 years of work-ex for those who are looging for more managerial roles then technical?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Aka. There is a dearth of managerial talent and 7-10 years is amongst the most demanded category.


PRASHANT asked, is there scope for energy management in IT/ITES sector? on what role?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Prashant. The facilities and administration functions have a mandate to look at 'greener ways' of doing business. So you could join these functions and then share your expertise. I am not sure if there are several pure play roles for energy management in IT / ITES. The awareness although is increasing.


Ram789 asked, Helo Sir, i am MBA (IT) and BE (E&CE)arnd 8 yrs exp and currently working as a Business Analyst in business analysis and consulting group in a reputed IT service company,now, is it OK if I join a similar group (a conulting group)in a US based BPO company (i.e, their main services are BPO but they do have a consulting services group as well)my concern is, will this tag of BPO company effect my future career in IT company in business analysis and consulting domain, thanks in advance
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Ram. This is a misocnception that working in a BPO will impact your transition into IT. Infact all large IT companies have large BPO verticals.


HUnky asked, Why is it that though IT hiring is on boom HR openings in IT is not that great..Is it beacause IT hiring is nuthing but just poaching or there is really a generation of new jobs..If so why is'nt many jobs available for HR in IT
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Hunky. There is an ongoing demand for HR professionals. You need to look up the right resources.


GANESH asked, Iam MBA(HR) qualified and having 9+ years of experience in H.R field in manufacturing and ITES. Which sector is good for better future in H.R field?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Ganesh. Both the sectors are poised for growth. The nature of these sectoes varies so your choice should be based on what you enjoy doing. Manufacturing will have aspects of IR however you would focus more on employee engagement initiatives in IT.


RaviNayak asked, Hi Sunder, I am having having 5+ years experience in Software QA and I have B.Tech degree, is there a great opportunity for Software QA/QC certifications Six Sigma or CMM etc.,? Is there any eligibility criteria for this certifications?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Ravi. A btech degree should get you enrolment in these certifications.


SUDHAKAR asked, HI SUNDER IAM DONE MBA IWORKED AS ON JUNIER ASSOCIATE IN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY TOTALY ONE YEAR EXPERIENCE CAN ICHANGE IT
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Sudhakar. Yes you can join the ITES sector. You can learn more about the opportunities through this article: http://www.rediff.com/getahead/2007/apr/18bpo.htm


MiddleEast asked, Hi, I have been working in Middle East for last 3 years and plan to work again for another 2 years. I would like to know why do companies in India consider Middle-East returned professionals not challenging. How to get through the initial screening and get to the interview panel, because I know once am in, I shall be able to convince. Please reply.
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Maybe its about the interviewing skills rather then you coming with middle east tag. An earlier article of mine on interviewing may help you: http://in.rediff.com/getahead/2006/sep/12interview.htm


rama asked, hello,i completed my engineering.i want to do mba.what are the career prospects in it industry
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Rama. Most IT companies regularly visit business school campuses for hiring so an MBA from a good b-school will be a good way to enter the IT sector.


deepaknp asked, Hi Sunder I am sales guy with more than 8 years exp in financial product sales out of which from last 4 years handling the team, what kind of openings will be available in IT/ITES sector for me. I am a MBA grade and no IT experince
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Deepak. Your xperience can be leveraged by ITES companies that run finacial sales programs. You could target team leader / manager kind of roles with ITES firms that serve large finacial services firms.


aav asked, What is the scope for a Diploma Electronics engineer? will a career in IT help?
Sunder Ramachandran answers, Hi Aav. There are several BPOs that serve technology clients and hire engineers to provide technical support. You can join them as a Technical Support Associate. BPOs also have an in house technology team and you can move to that department through an internal transfer after you have spent some time with the organisation. You should consider acquiring some professional certifications like MCSE and CCNA depending on your area of interest as that would improve your chances of finding a good job.


Aruna asked, Hi Sir. I have 6 yrs of marketing experience in BTL industry.Took 2 yrs of maternity break. Can pls suggest career prospects in IT/ITES industry
Sunder Ramachandran answers, You can look for a job in the BPO sectors as it offers fast growth opportunities to good performers. You may have to start at the entry level, as BPOs look for industry-related experience while hiring for supervisory or managerial roles unless you are able to demonstrate how your current work experience adds value in the BPO environment. Your background in sales would give you an edge. If you demonstrate consistent performance and an ability to lead people, you can become a team leader soon.


Sunder Ramachandran says, Thanks everyone for joining this forum. I hope I was able to answer some of your questions. Look forward to interacting with you in the next forum.