So, you want to be an IT consultant? You’ve heard about these IT consultants, seen them in your time in the industry, and thought, “Hey, I can do that to!” Or, maybe even had no idea what they do or how they do it? Read on – learning how to be an IT consultant is actually not as hard as you might think!
What Is An IT Consultant?
First of all, let’s start off by asking, “What exactly is an IT consultant?” An IT consultant is someone who works in the IT industry, external to a company they perform work for, and seen as someone who has expert and specialised knowledge of a particular area. Let’s break this down:
· Works in the IT industry – This is a given. There are many types of consultants out there, but an IT consultant is, of course, a consultant in the IT industry.
· External to a company they perform work on. Generally, IT employees get paid by company X to provide services or perform work for company X. This means, the same company that pays you is the one that gets the work from you. An IT consultant actually gets paid by one company to do work for another company – paid by company X, provide services for company Y. See the diagram below for an idea on how this works.
· Expert knowledge in a particular area. IT consultants are perceived to have expert knowledge in a particular area of the industry. This can often be only a perception – many IT employees have specialised knowledge and can easily transition over to the consulting role. This article will explain how to be an IT consultant.
Benefits Of Being A Consultant
The main benefit of being a consultant is the variety of work you can perform. Consultants are generally hired for a single project (or multiple projects at once), rather than a permanent role. This means that once the project is over, the consultant’s role is usually over and they move on to the next one.
This might seem like a bad thing for someone who has never experienced this before, but I believe it’s a great benefit. I’ve been consulting for years, and this is the part I like most about it. You get to experience working for different clients, different projects, different industries, and different people. It all builds towards your overall experience as an IT consultant.
Cons Of Being A Consultant
There are, of course, some downsides of being a consultant. You may find yourself moving around clients a lot, depending on the work you do and the type of projects. This can result in not having a sense of belonging – you might not be able to personalise your desk, make good relationships with work colleagues, and become familiar with particular clients. This is part of the role of being a consultant. As long as you’re aware of these traits, and are content with them, then it shouldn’t be much of a problem for you.
How To Be An IT Consultant
Ok, so you know what an IT consultant is, and what the pros and cons are. Now, you’re asking, “How do I actually be an IT consultant?”.
Well, you do this in a pretty similar way to finding a job as a normal full time employee. The only difference is, is that you’ll be looking for jobs in consulting companies. These are companies that operate some internal staff (recruitment, HR, management, account representatives), but the majority of their staff are IT consultants who perform work for their clients.
Depending on the area where you live, there may be a variety of IT consulting companies. Some of the big companies, such as HP, IBM, and Accenture would have consulting areas. There may be others in your country or city that would also fit.
Start by looking for jobs on your preferred job hunting site (I’m from Australia, so I’ve used Seek in the past) for IT consulting roles. Submit your resume, get an interview, and land the job. It sounds so easy, right? Well, I’m sure you have a desire for career improvement and high motivation, as you’re on my site, but I’ll go into detail on this particular topic in a future post.
When you get a job in your company of choice, they will start by sending you out to client sites – companies that they have agreements with to supply IT services to. Depending on the agreement and the client, getting a role there could involve an interview, a resume, or just a simple introduction. From here, you perform your work for this particular client as a part of the project or team that you’re on.