6 months at IGNOU for BPO training

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For an aspirant who is dreaming of a well-paying job in India's big BPO industry, here's something to give you a head start. IGNOU, a popular distance learning university, is offering a six-month online course to train aspirants for BPO industry. The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) claims to have got a good response to the 'Business Process Outsourcing-finance and accounts' course, and feel the BPO industry in India will welcome the trained lot. Most of those enrolling for the course are students of commerce and accountancy. R. Krishna Prasad is pursuing his bachelor's degree in commerce from Bangalore.

The diploma course that has an intake of 50 students is structured in such a way that apart from the classes conducted on weekends, the students are exposed to an 'online lab' which will simulate the working environment of a BPO. According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (Nasscom), over 1.1 million people are employed in the BPO industry in India. A significant number are below the age of 30. The industry is expected to employ 2.5-3 million professionals by 2010, contributing 7-8 % of the national GDP. India, which has a large English-speaking work force, has seen BPOs and call centers mushroom, particularly in major metropolitan cities. Nanda Gopal, another student pursuing the course, finds the weekend classes convenient and plans to shift to a BPO firm from his current job as an accountant. The course was launched in January this year, in collaboration with IT firm Accenture Services Pvt Ltd. IGNOU invested INR 4 million to set up the course while Accenture invested INR 1 million.

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