So, you're thinking of becoming an IT consultant? Great choice!
The information technology consultant is one of the most demanded jobs currently in the US. Basically, an IT consultant will have to provide:
- Consultation services regarding software/hardware
- Consultation for multimedia
- Maintenance for databases, networks and hardware
IT consultants career requirements
Before we dive into steps, you'll need to have a bachelor's degree in Computer science, information technology or any related field. On some jobs you might need experience with a minimum of 1 year.
Employers usually look for someone who has at leas the bachelor's degree, but a master's degree will give you a boost. Certification is obviously well-received, but it's not required.
Most employers in this field feel better when hiring someone with at least 1-5 years of related experience. Like in every other field, the experience plays a huge role when it comes to the IT consultant.
The key skill you need to have is the ability to work in a team, have knowledge in the IT field and have great communication skills.
The salary may vary, but the average is $76,701 yearly.
In order to become an IT consultant, there are three major steps you'll have to take.
Step 1: Get a bachelor's degree
The better part of your knowledge in the IT field will come from your studies.
You will get to know a lot of useful information you'll need in the future. Usually, the bachelor's degree will expose you to courses in:
- Operating Systems
But, since it's just a bachelor's degree, you'll only get to know the fundamentals of these fields. You'll gain the deeper experience of how each of them works while working.
Every company you'll apply to as an IT consultant will require at least a bachelor's degree in information technology or a related field. So, if you're thinking of becoming an IT consultant you'll have to get a degree in the field first.
Step 2: Experience
You got your bachelor's degree? Congrats! Now, to the good part.
You'll need to gain experience…a lot of experience. Employers who seek professional IT consultants generally require having 1-5 years of experience in the field. Of course, depending on the position you're applying to.
An entry-level position, something like a computer support, will have to provide consulting in:
- Training (how-to's)
- Consultation services in general
But, if you're more experienced in the field you'll have to provide more. An IT expert will have to:
- Perform installations
- Support to a higher level
- Update the software and hardware
- Maintain the network systems
Step 3: Become certified
Even though not all companies require certification, but in order to excel in IT consulting you'll have to become certified.
It consulting has a lot of certifications you can choose from, such as:
- Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS)
- Microsoft Certified IT Specialist (MCITS)
- Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP)
and many more.
In order to get certified you'll need to follow a training in order to prove that you're ready to be certified.
In the training you'll have to face a lot of problems on which you'll be tested whether you've gained enough knowledge to be certified. The test may vary depending on what you're applying for. It can be a written test, or using a computer. Not to forget to mention that some certification need to be “renewed” on a regular basis.
Certifications are also divided into levels such as: basic, experienced, expert. It all depends on the level of the candidate.
So to sum it up, the way of how to become an IT consultant you'll have to:
- Get a bachelor's degree
- Gain experience
- Become certified