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Careers in Information Technology (IT) consultancy can be divided into two classes; an individual is employed by an IT consultancy firm, or an individual freelancing as an IT consultancy and as such the person has no permanent base in any IT consulting organization. An IT consultant is a person who is specifically contracted to; provide professional information technology related advice to organizations, give guidelines and advise on how to effectively and safely utilize technology in their workplaces to further the organization’s goals. An IT consultant is also expected to offer solutions to various IT challenges that organizations may face.
To become an IT consultant, one needs to have possessed: knowledge, understanding, expertise, experience, and, above all, qualifications necessary not only in information technology fields but also in the business field. The rapid evolution and usage of technology witnessed in recent years have resulted in the emergence of the Information Technology consulting industry. In addition to this, the introduction of e-business has further fueled the need to reshape and re-strategize business models to fully take advantage of new opportunities. As a result, many organizations have now implemented various IT strategies for; communication, networking and data storage.
The IT consultancy industry is estimated to be worth over $376 billion, with approximately 433,000 registered IT consulting companies that have employed more than 2 Million consultants (Vault). To pursue a career as an IT consultant, it is necessary for a person to have at least an undergraduate degree in related fields such as; computer science, information technology, and business information technology. However, a bachelor’s degree is no longer the only determining factor to secure a job as a consultant, one needs to also attain the industry’s professional certifications such as; Cisco Certifications, CompTIA certifications (CISSP, CISM, CEH), graphics certifications, consultant certification, programming certifications among others (Reuscher).
I chose this particular career as I feel it’s adaptive in nature, isn’t monotonous unlike other careers, and it presents a chance to learn new intriguing things about technology every day. I also think that technology is the future, and it is a perfect time for me to get into the playing field. For this paper, I researched the job description, salary range, and the educational requirements of an IT consultant. I read articles written by consultancy firms and interested stakeholders alike. The IT consultancy career is lucrative for its; high income, flexible work schedule, job diversity, health benefits and growth in demand, hence many people consider it an attractive career.
It is reported that IT consultants earn relatively high and lucrative income. “The national average salary for an IT Consultant is $74,544 in the United States. Salary estimates are based on 4,589 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by IT Consultant employees” (Glassdoor). “Slalom Consulting offers the best pay with a median salary of $106K, though salaries there don't seem that varied, bottoming out near $79K and maxing out at just $124K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Accenture Technology Solutions, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Accenture, top-paying firms where Information Technology Consultants rake in a $97K, $93K, or $90K, respectively” (PayScale). The quotes presented above prove just how much a career in IT consultancy is desirable with the average base salary of $75,000, supporting my thesis. This benefit is important to me as a young person who is only just starting out, I need to be able to pay for my bills and save extra money for my future.
There is an increased demand for Information technology consultants in the US market. In his article Krill mentions that “Unemployment for technology professionals remains low, with tech consultants particularly in demand, according to jobs site Dice.com's Tech Trends report for the second quarter of this year” (Krill). The report also states that there was a significant growth in the industry, due to the creation of new job positions. The quote and example relate to my thesis as it is evidence enough that there’s increased demand for IT consultants. This benefits me as it means that I will not have a problem looking for work in the industry, as I will be quickly absorbed into it.
Information technology is a greatly diversified industry and hence presents an opportunity for me to choose among a great array of specialties. According to Jason Wong, the US economy is moving towards the manufacture of digits from its current state of manufacture of widgets. He further mentions that “The technology industry not only needs programmers and developers, but they also need writers, graphic designers, project managers, human resource personnel and marketing professionals, and the list goes on” (Wong). This benefit is important to me as I’m a person who likes diversity, I particularly rather learn something new and pursue a different career path than work in one career line for the rest of my life. The quote presented goes to prove that I can find satisfaction in this career because I can easily and quickly move from one line to the next. What is more is that the segments are sort of related and hence working in one provides a foundation in all.
A career in consultancy presents one with a flexible work schedule that works well for an effective work-life balance. An article by Brie Weiler Reynolds, states that the industry of computer and IT is among the ten fastest growing flexible job categories (Reynolds). This example supports my thesis statement that Information Technology consulting industry provides flexible working hours to its employees. It seems like nothing is really ever cast on stone. To me, the flexible work schedule will present a myriad of benefits, the most important one is that I will have time for my family, time to pursue my hobbies and of course time to further my education. A Forbes article on the importance of work-life-balance states, that “studies show the majority of workers who prefer companies that provide a healthy balance between work and personal life” (Stahl). The latter quote backs up the need for employees to ask for a work-life balance in their workplaces, to do other things not work-related.
The common health benefits as an IT consultant hired by a consulting firm are; medical benefits, dental benefits, and vision benefits (PayScale). The job at some point requires long tedious hours behind a computer screen, which can lead to vision problems. To mitigate this, consulting companies provide vision health benefits for its employees, in addition to the provision of computer screens with anti-glare. Such medical benefits are important as they greatly contribute to a person’s productivity, job focus, and work attendance.
The IT consultancy career is lucrative for its; high income, flexible work schedule, job diversity, health benefits and growth in demand, hence many people consider it an attractive career. From writing this essay, I have learned the various professional certifications needed to be successful in the industry and the various job segments an Information technology consultant can focus on. I have also learned that one can learn on the job, and it is not really important to have years and years of experience. I would recommend this career path to anyone who is willing and ready to learn on the job. A career in information technology doesn’t need one to be a tech guru, it is easy to learn on the job and therefore I think it is easy to transition from any career line to IT. Besides, many people love to be in control of their salaries and work schedules.
Glassdoor. IT Consultant Salaries. 28 November 2018. 30 November 2018.
Krill, Paul. Tech unemployment stays down, and demand for consultants soars. 16 July 2014. 16 November 2018.
PayScale. Average Information Technology (IT) Consultant Salary. n.d. 30 November 2018.
Reuscher, Dori. Top 7 Certifications for Freelancers and Consultants. 16 April 2018. Document. 30 November 2018.
Vault. Information Technology Consulting. n.d. Document . 30 November 2018.
Wong, Jason. Career in Information Technology: Future Prospects. 02 April 2015. Document. 30 November 2018.
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