How To Be An Information Technology Consultant
Today, if you really want to work in the computer-science field but with a flexible and independent job environment, then become an IT-consultant. In fact, all you need is a degree in Information Technology in-order qualify for most jobs and should also consider taking business-classes so as to increase on your chances to succeed in this field. On the other hand, you may decide to work in a consulting agency or build your own IT-business depending on your preference. So, below are some of the steps that will guide you through becoming a successful Information Technology Consultant.
How to gain experience in Information Technology Consultation:
- Acquire a degree in Information Technology: A degree in Information-Technology will give you working-experience in software, web-design, networking and communication. On the other hand, if your university does not offer an IT degree then consider going for science degree because it offers similar skills. All in all, you should know that most employers in the IT field prefer to hire college graduates since they tend to the current trends in technology.
- Select a business minor: IT consulting requires just as much business knowledge as it does in tech-skills. So, consider taking several marketing, business-management and customer communication courses. Additionally, try to ask your professors about any weaknesses so that you can strengthen them as a consultant.
- Go for internship while you are still in college: Getting internship with an IT-consultant will actually help give you the relevant field experience and also boost your resume. In fact, internships are meant to help you apply your course skills coupled with learning how to interact with clients. So, the networking and communication skills you’ll learn during internship are as vital as your computer-related intern duties. Lastly, an internship will help you determine whether consulting is the right career path for you before committing yourself professionally.
- Apply for entry-level jobs in IT: Most consulting agencies prefer applicants with some work-experience. In fact, even if you are starting your own practice you will need time to build a steady list of clients. All in all, you should consider getting some experience by first working as a software application developer, computer systems analyst, data manager, web-developer, or computer support specialist.
- Network with other people in the IT-Field: Getting to know other people in your IT-field will help you to establish support and connections as you become a consultant. In fact, you should let them know about your specializations so that they can connect you to job-opportunities or direct potential clients. However, remember to return a favor to your contacts and you can also pass relevant opportunities their way.
- Gain some experience in a particular niche within IT: Most businesses usually hire consultants to solve a specific problem. So, consider defining your services so that companies can easily find you. All in all, decide on what you enjoy most about IT and then seek-out work that helps you refine that specialty. Additionally, keep up-to-date with which specialties are currently on-demand and some of the possible specializations include; web-development, network-administration, software or data analysis and hardware-systems.
- Start or join a consulting practice/agency: in-case you enjoy the structure and job-security provided by companies, apply for jobs at consulting-agencies. In fact, as a hired consultant your agency will feed clients to you basing on your specialties. However, you may also build your own practice if you prefer more job freedom. All in all, it’s best to first work for several years at a consulting agency while you’re starting your own practice.
How To Start A Consulting Practice:
- Choose self-employment: Working for an agency might not be for you if your main attraction about consultation is the flexibility. So, consider contacting clients and building up your business while you are employed elsewhere since your practice/agency may take several years before it becomes a viable source of income.
- Register your agency legally: The business registration process may vary depending on your country. However, it often requires making a business-plan and contacting a business-attorney to guide you through registration. So, select an attorney who seems to understand your consulting-agencies and is motivated to help you succeed.
- Build a website for your business: Collecting and sharing all your business information in one place will give employers a great idea of your skill-set. So, create a website for your agency and remember to include your IT experience, contact information and a portfolio. Additionally, include links to your resume/CV and attach it to emails you send to potential clients.
- Ask peers for peers for referrals: Try making a list of IT-professionals you have kept in contact with and then let them know about your consulting agency. In fact, you should ask your peers if they know of any clients within your field so that they can direct people who need your service to your agency.