SMU-Distance Education Blog

Posted On 1/29/2013 10:08:00 AM   |  Category Distance MBA   

Choosing between MSc IT and MCA

In the modern information-driven era, the emphasis is on acquiring the technological-edge.  Every business big or small is connected through the technology channels, spurning a huge demand for technological-expertise. This demand is catered to by a wide spectrum of courses the regular and distance learning mode- the popular ones among these being MCA and MSc IT. More than often, students are confronted with the dilemma of choosing between the two degrees, as it is perceived that both the courses are similar, the only difference being in that of the duration. Contrary to popular belief, the difference between MscIT and MCA is visible in terms of course curriculum and the career prospects. Let us see how:

MCA and its career prospects 

MCA-distance learning or regular is of three year duration, with six semesters (for colleges offering semester pattern examination). The major focus area of the MCA curriculum is on designing information systems for various organizations/industrial sectors such as insurance companies, hotels, banks etc. Students through an MCA degree learn to develop application software used widely in diverse areas. In addition, they also develop a strong foundation in computing, business functioning and mathematics as applicable to information technology. MCA is treated as a professional qualification in the job industry, equivalent to BE/B/tech in Computer engineering. MCA has been one of the legacy courses in the field of computers and most of the other programs, which followed suit, had their origin in MCA. The different job roles post an MCA degree is that of a: system analyst, software developer, network engineer/administrator, hardware engineer and sorts. 

M.Sc IT 

An MSc IT course is of 2 year duration. Here, the emphasis of the curriculum is more on programming in different areas: database, systems programming, networking and other integral aspects, which an IT professional should be proficient in. Most of the universities also feature a subject on “Communication skills”, as a majority of the IT projects involve client interaction, team building etc. The course equips students with advanced programming skills, which will help them to adapt to the evolving trends in the IT sector.

The various job roles, which can be taken up after an MScIT degree are that of a:  IT consultant, web developer, Systems Support Administrator, Interface engineer and sorts


While choosing between the two, it is important to know as to what skills will be acquired at the end of the program. An MscIT degree will help you deep-dive into hard-core IT with software-coding at various levels and layers, for a variety of systems. Whereas, an MCA degree gives the lead to both software and computer systems management as the expertise gained is a mix of the two (with equal emphasis on functional knowledge).

Some universities offer a later entry to MCA program for any candidate with an MSc IT background.

The job industry treats MCA as a professional qualification as compared to MScIT. In addition, MCA professionals are paid better than their Msc counterparts. But that doesn’t mean that MCA is the only choice for a bright career in IT.  For those, who have just started their career, an MCA program would be more beneficial, whereas working professionals with sufficient experience can upgrade their skills through an MSc IT program.

The balance between the two courses tips in favour of either MScIT or MCA depending on the work-experience of the candidate, which in turn determines the value-addition through the degree.


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huzaifa 3/24/2014 6:39:02 AM

I want study Msc.IT but I want know if my certificate will be the same with some one who study in the campus or will mine indicate that I did it online ?

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Hi..I have a question as i will completing my graduation in 2015 from SMU, Will be degree be valid in all India specially by IIMS

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Nitin 11/28/2013 1:34:49 PM

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