Something is happening in Delhi. Mohammed Elmellas, a young student from the UK, has travelled over 4,000 miles to do a training course, and he’s not the only one. IT professionals from all over the world are travelling to India to polish their skills.
The IT industry is fast paced and there is a high demand for professionals with skills in the development and deployment of the latest software. Many use training programmes to get them up to speed and some are opting for courses in offshore training centres.
“I came to India to fast-track my career,” Elmellas explains. “My brother did a career enabler course here a few years ago and recommended it to me.”
It’s not just starters who are making the journey, but also seasoned IT professionals.
Wayne Nelson, an IT contractor from Liverpool with 15 years experience, travelled to Delhi to do a Cisco qualification. He says: “Gaining these certifications increases my skills and reinforces the work I'm doing. It’s a tough economy in the UK at the moment and you’ve got to stand out and fight for the positions that are around”.
IT courses are also attractive to contractors and freelancers who want to charge more for their services. Training for certification is a good way to learn new technologies and to work up the pay scale.
Nelson and Elmellas are some of the 100 or so trainees from Europe, Australia and Africa who have travelled to Delhi to gain IT certification. “The course is full-on”, says Elmellas, “but it will get me to where I want to be”.
One of the companies providing courses is Koenig Solutions, one of India’s largest IT training providers, which offers a wide range of recognised certification in software including Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, Red Hat, Linux and Java.
Koenig is not alone in the market for offshore IT training. Other Indian companies, such as IPSR, ACIT and IP-GATES, also offer affordable IT courses. IP-GATES, based in Goa, is a new player and runs bootcamps in Microsoft and Cisco. Similarly, IPSR has entered the offshore training market in the past few years and offers IT training and tourism packages in Kerala.
Cut price IT training
The market for IT courses is large, with around $25 billion spent globally on training in 2009. Although there are training providers in the UK and Europe, keeping up-to-date with changing technologies at home is not cheap.
In India, IT training and certification is comparatively inexpensive. The country has a reputation for cultivating highly skilled IT professionals, and low wages mean that offshore training can be delivered at a cut price. Indian IT trainers earn between £250 and £1,000 a month, a fraction of their UK equivalents.
“I picked Koenig because of the cost”, says Nelson. “I'm a contractor so it’s all paid out of my own pocket. No employer pays for my training and exams.”