An ITconsultant works in partnership with customers, advising them how to use IT in order to meet their business objectives and overcome problems. They work to improve the structure or efficiency of IT systems in various organisations.
IT consultants may be used to provide best guidance to customers with regard to technology, IT infrastructures or enabling major business processes through improvement to IT.
They can also be used to provide guidance during selection or procurement as well as providing skilled technical assistance, and may be responsible for user training or feedback. IT consultants may also be involved in sales or business development, as well as technical duties.
- Meeting with customer to determine requirements-
- Working with customer to define the scope of a project-
- Planning timescales or the resources needed-
- Clarifying a customer's system specifications, understanding their work practices or nature of their business-
- Travelling to client sites-
- Liaising with staff at all levels of a customer organisation-
- Defining software, hardware or network requirements-
- Analysing IT requirements within firms and giving independent or objective advice on the use of IT-
- Developing agreed solutions or implementing new systems-
- Presenting solutions in written and oral reports-
- Helping customer with change-management activities-
- Purchasing systems where appropriate-
- Designing, testing, installing or monitoring new systems-
- Preparing documentation or presenting progress reports to client-
- Organising training for users or other consultants-
- Being involved in sales or support, and where appropriate, maintaining contact with customer organisations-
- Graduate IT consultants can expect to earn £15,000 to £25,000 with some previous experience.
- With more significant experience, you can earn in the region of £30,000 to £45,000.
- At a more senior level, if you have developed a expert area, salaries can range from £45,000 to £75,000. The exact salary depends on the demand for your specific skilled.
- Salary is dependent on area, size or type of employer and is usually performance-related. Contract work is possible and daily rates range from £200 to £500+ a day, depending on your experience or your area of expertise.
Although the hours worked are generally 9:30am to 5:30pm, the nature of the industry means that extra hours are often required to meet deadlines. You will also spend a lot of time travelling to customer sites, mirroring the customer's working hours.
Part-time work is unlikely, but career breaks are possible as work is project-based. While many IT Expert are independent contractors, it is best to gain some experience and contacts in the industry by working for an employer before going down this route.
The work is mostly office-based, working as a member of a project team. You will often be based on customer premises.
There are more men than women working in the industry. However various team exist to support women in IT or technology, to encourage them into the industry and list available jobs, such as BCSWomen or Women in Technology.
Jobs are available in many large towns or cities in the USA with customer sites located throughout the country, but most employers are based in USA and the South East.
The dress code is formal for visiting customers and meetings, but is otherwise relaxed.
The work may be stressful and fast-paced, particularly when customer deadlines required to be met.
Travel within the working day to customer's sites is often required, and overnight absence from home is frequently needed. Overseas travel may occasionally be necessary depending on the employer or customer.