If you want to become an IT consultant, you need to do careful research and assess your own skills to determine if this is the right career move for you. To do your homework, you should take your time to learn what IT consultancy is and what it is not. You may want to interview long-time consultants, research average salaries and find out what you need to leap into the field. If you are interested in learning what an Information Technology consultant actually does, read on and find out for yourself.
Advising Clients and Making IT Recommendations
In the world of consultancy, your entire job is to assess the needs of an outside company and then advise them on how to achieve their goals in the most cost-friendly and effective way. If you work in IT consulting, your job will be to work in a partnership with outside clients to advise them how they can use Information Technology to overcome some of their operational problems and how to meet the objectives. Depending on the the organization, a consultant may help with IT system planning where they will offer strategic guidance or they will work with an existing system to improve its structure.
Training and Technical Assistance
An IT consultant must be more than just an expert on IT systems and giving advise, they also need to possess technical skills so that they can provide their clients with training on the systems after they are procured. In addition to provided user training to IT departments and staff, the consultant may also need to be available to offer technical assistance. Because technical duties are part of the job, consultants in IT often transition from other areas of the field where they offered technical assistance full-time.
What is a Day in IT Consultancy Like?
The tasks that you will carry out with this title will vary depending on the needs of the client. Every project is different, and this is what makes consultancy appeal to many who do not like the mundane. In a single day, you may meet with a client to discuss their requirements, define the scope of the project, travel to customer sites to gain an understanding of the work practices, meet with staff to define their software needs, research solutions, present the solutions, purchase systems, test and install the systems, train the users, offer technical support and market to prospects. If you are juggling more than one project at a time, you may be at different stages of each project and required to shift your focus from one stage to another in a single day. This is what makes consultancy so challenging.
The average salary of IT consultants working in the US is reported to be $70,506 per year according to data collected by Payscale.com. While this is higher than the national average, it does include salaries of the highest and lowest paid professionals working as consultants. The actual salaries reported earn between $44,160 per year and $111,414 per year, not including bonuses. To earn a salary on the higher end of the scale, you will need experience and a master’s in computer science degree. Be sure that you build your IT and communication skills to be taken seriously as an IT consultant, and leap into the field.