Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Hardware not a soft option
Nikita Singh

With the increasing number of PC users and emergence of India as a favoured outsourcing destination, a career in hardware offers good growth opportunities.

IF you have a penchant for unravelling the mysteries locked within circuits and switchboards and if playing with toys meant breaking and remaking them, you have the perfect acumen for the hardware industry.

Future scenario

The hardware industry is an attractive career option for those inclined towards the technical field. Statistics suggest that it has the potential to touch $62 billion by 2010, that is, 12 times itís existing size. The domestic market will account for $37 billion and exports for another $25 billion of this figure. This means there will be an increased demand for hardware professionals. There is a growing opportunity to exploit both the growing local hardware market as well as the established global one.

The hardware sector is attracting the best students today, and with the growing demand for trained professionals, this trend is only likely to grow in the coming years. "A hardware person is a must in any organisation that uses computers," says Atul Vohra, National Head, Aptech Computer Education. "Now, with the Central Government laying focus on the hardware sector, it is poised for a robust growth. The current exim policy had laid a significant thrust on making the electronic hardware sector globally competitive and export-oriented. With the softening comes a host of opportunities for the industry in India."

With the increasing number of PCs and strong emergence of India as a favoured outsourcing destination,`A0a hardware career`A0now offers good growth opportunities to all students.

Work avenues

Like the software career,`A0a hardware career needs strong technical expertise. India could be the ideal base for outsourcing hardware, software and services with domestic hardware market slated to be worth $44 billion and software and services exports set to touch $50 billion in the next six years.

According to a background paper circulated at a India Hardware Summit organised by the CII, the hardware and IT design exports are expected to grow at mammoth rates.

Profiles and certifications

It further said that Indiaís large domestic market, design services, and creation of innovative products in the market were major opportunities for the country.

About the various profiles in the hardware industry, Vohra says, "Apart from being a PC support specialist, a hardware engineer with networking knowledge can become an Internet engineer and be responsible for managing and maintaining the net-working architecture for an organisationís website and Wide Area Network (WAN) connectivity. A Net engineering student with both hardware and network knowledge can be absorbed in the industry as a System Engineer/Hardware Engineer/Network Engineer."

Placement prospects

All organisations that use computers need hardware specialists. With a stint at a good training organisation behind you, you may be involved in computer hardware design, development, and manufacturing companies like IBM, CISCO System, Hewlett Packard etc. If you are interested in operating and system software development companies, you may find yourself in companies like Microsoft, Sun, CISCO Systems etc. Other employers include user companies such as HLL, Reliance etc. and numerous medium and small-scale companies and users like schools, departmental stores etc."