What should I do to overcome the distance education barrier in my career?

rahul_singh2rahul_singh2 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi Guys,

I am Rahul, 26 years old. I have completed my BCA in 2011 and MCA in 2013 both through distance education. Due to some personal problems and financials issue i picked up a job and worked as System Administrator from year 2010 -2015. So once financial stability of the family was restored I started perusing my field of interest that is Information Security and in year 2016 I did earned CEH , CHFI and have done Diploma in Cyber Law from ILI, New Delhi.

I have applied in 5-6 companies like wipro, TCS and other from naukri and other job portal and have faced cleared the technical rounds and I was quite appreciated for my skill and passion. But the problem I face at last is that Distance Education. Few companies said they only hire employee who holds minimum 15 year of regular degree. I have even tried to convince them but to no avail.

What hurts the most is that after clearing the technical round and hearing them appreciating you and only rejected due to the distance degree has really put me in a very depressing state. I only did it from distance because its legal and as per GOI and UGC these hold equal value.
But what I seek here is yours opinion and advice about what I do in future so that I could get a good opportunity with reputed organization or is it the end of my career.

Shall I do BCA or MCA through regular degree? Please give advice that I could help me to overcome the current situation. I appreciate you for your valuable time already.

Thanks & Regards


  • jibtechjibtech Posts: 377Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Honestly, I don't know the environment where you are.

    For my location, degrees granted from accredited schools are held in equal regard. There are some schools that are regarded as more prestigious, but those are unique situations, and application varies by situation.

    Without knowing the details of BCA vs MCA, and distance vs non-distance education, I don't have enough context to give any advice at all.

    I know that isn't really helpful, but I fear it may be a common perspective.
  • rahul_singh2rahul_singh2 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi jibtech, Thanks for replying.
    I am from India, BCA ( Bachelor of Computer Application) is a 3 year undergraduate program that focused on computer applications and different programming languages and other concepts like Networking, Software Analysis & design are taught to student.
    MCA ( Master of Computer Application ) is another 3 year Master degree But in some university can be done in 2 year as candidate coming from technical graduate program in computer are eligible for 1 year wavier as later entry (as in my case). MCA give more insight about the computer application and programming and vice versa.
    Distance Education provides education for those who are in remote areas and could not attend college and universities or the working professionals who cannot spend full day at college. In my case I did BCA and MCA both from Punjab Technical University. I enrolled through one of its Learning Center in my City.
    For my other technical competencies and certification you can look up in my first post.
    I look forward to your and the others members specially from India for their advice this could help me and many others like me.

    Thanks & Regards,
  • Rave18Rave18 Posts: 33Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Instead of going for a degree again, enroll at an institute that has a job guarantee/job assistance and focus on getting a job.

    Hopefully, after a few years of experience your method of getting a degree (Regular v/s Distance) won't matter much.

    All the best.
  • jibtechjibtech Posts: 377Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Thanks for the clarifications, Rahul.

    One question. You mentioned that some companies want 15 years of regular degree. I am reading that as a degree plus 15 years of experience. Is that accurate?
  • UncleBUncleB Posts: 417Member
    Hello Rahul, are you applying for jobs at home in India or overseas?

    I don't recognise the certifications (BCA/MCA) from a European perspective so if it is overseas roles you are applying for then it may be down to a lack of understanding on the recruiters part as to the value of the degrees.

    Another factor that may be influencing the bias against distance certification is the frequency that I see people from India performing industrial scale brain dumping for qualifications which lowers the perceived value of the places doing this. I have looked at boot camps for some of my staff who want to perform an intensive study session to progress in their career and the most cost effective places have been based in India, but after hearing how they are trained I have stopped any more staff attending - the focus is entirely around passing the exam rather than learning the technology and **** are not just actively encouraged but supplied and made a big part of the cirriculum.

    Sure the staff come back with the qualifications but they honestly don't know nearly enough about how to use the tech because of the focus on specific questions and not on the principles behind the tech.

    From the technicians I have interviewed in the UK I have also found a significant proportion of well certified staff from India cannot answer technical questions on the subjects they are certified in - it could be coincidence (I've interviewed 20-25 desktop support / infrastructure candidates in the last 2 years in this category so it is a limited sample) but from the few capable Indian staff I have hired, they openly confirm my bias that they qualifications mechanism in India is not working as it should.

    Note this is all in my experience and opinion and may not reflect the wider picture - the UK has a special relationship with India and we have a lot of people here who have the right to work and hence I see a higher proportion of applicants from there than most other overseas locations.

    Rave18 has the right approach to getting some progress - get some experience to prove you are not a "paper tiger" and this will go a long way to impressing other potential recruiters. Forget making more college/uni qualifications and focus on ones recognised in the business, but more importantly than that, focus on getting real world experience.

    If an employer is looking for someone with 15 years of work AFTER getting a degree then they are going to have a very small pool of candidates to chose from. This may just be them making this up as an excuse to turn you down but I would say move on and look for someone with a more realistic expectation. 15 years ago the internet was barely into broadband territory and security was pretty basic, so any degrees that would have finished back then would have offered little skills relevant to the landscape now.

    I would apply to a lot more companies than 5 or 6 and use these to build your experience and polish your skills then try to develop some niche skills that could make a more lucrative career for you in future.

    Good luck with the hunt.
  • bruce1979bruce1979 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Rahul I'm from India and currently settled abroad, I have gone through similar emotions as you, however my degrees were full time. My advice is don't be under the impression that degrees will give you recognition, try to spend time gaining the skills needed to perform at a global level, lookout for online trainings coursera, etc etc, spend time setting up the VMs , have a routine, learn everyday. In fact real employers hire talent, have you tried broadening your search? India is a vast country. I'm just saying by experience of working globally for 17+ years. Like UncleB said throw apply more.

    UncleB, It looks like you concentrate mainly on skills, I too have hired talent in the UK both from EU and Non-EU countries, I don't want to make it a race debate or some other kind of stupid thing, but I lookout for hunger to learn and share knowledge, I'm not looking for skills or qualification alone, but the attitude to learn and disseminate that information. Personally I will hire any talent if they present me with such an attitude, certifications and degrees are secondary. I work in the computer security field I know we can't learn everything...so my advice is if skills alone is criteria I think that's not an appropriate way to judge people or even pass a judgement about people from a particular region.

    I've notice a sense of developing perception with UK folks they have only seen people who made it to the other side of the fence...and these people to grow in the adopted countries try to be quick to gain a professional qualification. That does not mean majority of the people are less skilled and talented.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,035Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Based on the assertion that the degree is three years, I assume he's referring to 15 years of education. In the U.S., you'll sometimes see "16 years" of education, meaning a high school diploma plus a four-year Bachelor's degree.

    I once took a class with a couple of guys from there. They were upset that the course (Exchange) didn't come with a copy of a certain popular brain **** material. They got a copy themselves and spent the entire week pouring over hundreds of exam questions instead of doing labs and listening to lectures. I realize that's a tiny sample but if a culture has a history of promoting memorizing answers as opposed to demonstrating knowledge, I can see why companies would be wary of someone with a distance learning degree.

    How do you get around it? If you can get an interview, talk about the projects you did in school and how the reports you wrote helped increase your understanding of a topic. In the last year, the managers that report to me interviewed 95 people to fill 12 slots. Smart firms will ensure you know what you're doing before they hire you. I'd like to have a hands-on practical for some of the positions I hire for and some firms already expect people they interview to actively demonstrate they know how to do the job. For a Windows sysadmin, I'd ask them to create a user in AD, set permissions on a file, etc. All basic stuff but it gets rid of the people who only memorized answers.
  • rahul_singh2rahul_singh2 Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi guys, I Thank you for replying to my post.

    @Jibtech - those company want 15 years of regular degree and not 15 years of experience after degree.

    @ UncleB - I understand what you are trying to say for the situation that u had, In this world we get to meet different people, some we appreciate for what they are and what they can achieve and contribute to the community and some.. better less spoken here.
    As far as I am concerned, I don’t try to be paper tiger, getting interview and clearing it is not the problem I am facing, again referring to my first post I have attended many technical interviews and cleared it. Now you may ask How can I be so sure about it?
    Reason is :
    1. I was always appreciated at the end of the interview for my skills and passion for information security.
    2. I was able to perform the task I was asked to do, well in time. ( that demonstrate my ability to perform the given task and proves my eligibility for the post).
    3. In some companies I was even invited for discussion over lunch with my future team partners.
    4. I always ask at the end of the interview about my performance and if they have any feedback that could help me improve myself or any area that I should focus.
    So after all these I can very much calculate how was my interview and what are my chances.
    Where I get stuck is When they call for verification and start asking me question like
    HR: what is you total Experience in IT?
    ME : 5 Years
    HR: What is your highest Educational Qualification ?
    Ans: MCA
    HR: Mode of degree?
    Ans : Distance
    HR : You did BCA as distance education ?
    Ans : Yes
    HR: Ok . let me check with management. I will get back to you
    Me: is there any issue? You can tell me
    HR : Well as per our company policy we hire candidate who have minimum 15 year of regular degree.

    That’s how it ends most of the time.

    @Bruce, @ EANx

    I feel motivated that there are certain organization who give more values to candidate skills and their hunger to learn new stuff everyday and to perform. As opposed to many I have faced who are more concerned about degree.
    I am not someone who once acquire any skill will boast his entire life about it and try to brag for job as his right because he has acquired some skills in yesteryears. But I always strive to learn something new everyday. I pick whatever comes my way keeps on improving my self wherever or whenever I come to know where I lacks or when I find someones advice/ suggesstions useful and work my way on improving and acquiring those skills.

    After all these happened with me I have now mentioned distance education in my cv as well as in my profile at those job portals. I am applying to all the job offering suits me and I think I am well qualified and suitable for it. And now mostly my application is rejected or some calls take interview and salary that they offer; what to say I could do charity for them instead of taking the salary.
    If in an interview my candidature is turned down due to my skills are not of that level I will gladly accept it and work my way to improve and reapply elsewhere, that would not be problem instead that gives me opportunity to improve but being turned down due to degree issue that too which I valid and legal and is approved by the appropriate authority has what now started to broke me down. I feel like crying at some point but I don’t want my parents to be worried. I am the only child of my parents and as with my growing age my parents expectation with me are also growing. I smile at them always so that they are happy. I don’t want them to regret and feel bad that they asked to do my education through distance education instead I want them to feel happy and always show my gratitude towards them that they counted on me in when they needed support.

    I am currently preparing for OSCP and as with my preparation I believe I will be able to earn OSCP before I turn 27.
    I was also thinking about going for any regular degree like M.Tech as I have few savings and I could take few from my parents or education loan I could get. I cannot stay in uncertainty and I need to take decision that could improve my future chances. If I go for M.Tech it’s a 2 year regular degree and by the time I will finish it I will be 29 years old.

    So guys what do you recommend shall I do it ? shall I start preparing for competition exam? Registration will start from December and exams are most likely to be conducted between Feb 18 to May 18.

    Once again I thank you all for your valuable time for reading and replying to my post, In hope for overcoming those barriers in my career with all of yours expert opinion’s I have here written my heart out and there is nothing to left to hide if there anything else left do let me know and if you have any suggestions.. you are most welcome.

    Thanks & Regards,
  • bruce1979bruce1979 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Rahul, if you think MTech gives you the confidence then go for it. Age is not a barrier for learning. End of the day you should be comfortable with what you have and that gives you the confidence to give just that little bit extra, in an interview for example. Remember this famous quote from Raju Rastogi icon_smile.gif 3 Idiots (2009) - Quotes - IMDb
    Good luck.
  • UrbanBobUrbanBob Posts: 30Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Your applying for the wrong jobs. leave those companies alone and go for ones that don't care about education and experience is all that matters.
    I would not do your education all over again just for a few jobs that are the minority.
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