WHAT DO IT CONSULTANTS DO?
Information Technology (IT) is the broad term for jobs that involve using computer programming, data and analysis. This could be information security analysts, web developers, computer network architects, computer systems analysts, and other jobs that analyze how computer systems, software, data and security work within a company. An IT consultant typically works for a consulting firm or independently. The consulting firm is hired or contracted by a company to come in and analyze their IT systems and structure. The jobs can take weeks or months, but as consultants, you are contracted to work for that company until the job is done. Consultants often have an office they report to, but often work on-site at the company to which they are contracted.
HOW MUCH DO IT CONSULTANTS MAKE?
This depends on your role at the consulting firm. For example, information security analysts, web developers and computer network architects make a median annual income of $75,660 or $36.37/hour in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Computer systems analysts made $37.38 per hour, or $77,740 annually.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
A bachelor's degree in computer or information science, engineering or other computer related field is a great start, but if you know how to write code or computer programs and have demonstrable skills, you might get hired without it. To increase your chances, you might want to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Analytical Skills: IT consultants have to be able to look at complex data and computer systems and find inefficiencies, analyze weaknesses or security threats.
- Concentration: IT consultants are required to write code for long stretches of time. Concentration is required.
- Creativity: Finding new and innovative solutions to problems requires creativity.
- Attention to Detail: Analyzing and writing code means being able to look very carefully at a lot of data.
- Communication Skills: Consultants will have to speak to clients, write recommendations, listen to concerns and communicate with teammates.
- Problem-Solving Skills: IT consultants need to be able to analyze an issue, security threat or problem and make decisions on how to proceed.
- Organization: Many different aspects of a companies IT structure will be analyzed by you. Keeping it all straight is important.
- Teamwork: IT consultants may work with a large team of consultants, and company liaisons. Being able to work as part of a team is necessary.
- Presentation Skills: Consultants will be asked to present their findings and recommendations to their contracted company and to their own management. Being able to speak in front of groups and give smart presentations is crucial.