IT Consultants help their clients improve and reach their business aims through new and tailored technology.
On a consultative approach, meaning an individual and a subjective approach, IT Consultants help businesses and clients achieve business aims by improving and enhancing their use of technology. This could be by upgrading current systems or practices or providing a new solution, to current issues they are facing using advanced and tailored technology. IT Consultants work with their clients from the initial problem solving and mapping out stages at the start of a client's consultation, right through to the execution and implementation of whatever solution the IT Consultant deems necessary.
IT Consultants need to be experts in their fields within Computing and IT. This could be software, networks and a whole myriad of IT areas, but graduates should be reassured to know that companies often provide extensive training for this. IT Consultants also need to be fantastic problem solvers for this career and able to spot and amend flaws in companies and their set up.
As this is a consultative and project based role, graduates will also be required to have great presentation skills for when they are feeding back to companies on their findings or even pitching for business at organisations. Graduates need to make sure their communication is also fantastic when looking to start a career in this field, this is because there may be times where they are explaining complex technological systems to those who might not have a similar level of understanding.
IT Consultant Salaries
The average starting salary for a graduate IT Consultant is £22,377. This is a fantastic starting salary for graduates to begin their careers on and will only grow as they become more experienced in the field.
IT Consultants usually work their way up to more senior positions in the field with management responsibilities. Many who join on graduate schemes at places like IBM or Atos have clearly defined career paths and others often pursue a specific specialisation.
The Daily Duties of an IT Consultant
As mentioned before, the daily duties of an IT Consultant are totally reliant on what point in a project they are at. The nature of the work that IT Consultants undertake is cyclical and this means that they are working through a loose process of: identifying a client's issues, seeing how technology could alleviate or solve these issues, implementing those solutions and resolving any residual problems. But of course an entire career cannot be shortened into those few steps, here are a few of the typical daily duties of an IT Consultant:
- Conducting reviews - IT Consultants need to first find out what a company needs, whether this is a small improvement to systems or wholescale new hardware. IT Consultants are either invited in to assess companies and provide their own review, or alternatively work for a company who has developed some software or similar that may be useful for certain organisations.
- Delivering findings - After extensive research and using their in depth insight, graduates IT Consultants will prevent their findings to the client. This will outline what the problems are that they have assessed, the causes of these and solutions they think will fix or alleviate these problems.
- Implementation and bug fixing - After reviewing or deciding on a plan of action, graduate IT Consultants will proceed to implement the solutions. Consultants lead the installation of any changes and keep a close eye on the success of this. Ensuring that the new solution works and there are no bugs or glitches in the new set up.
- Training and Support - With new technology, a client's employees can sometimes struggle to adjust. IT Consultants will be responsible for organising or lead training on how the new solution works and how employees should adapt to the changes. Graduate IT Consultants can also be a point of contact for when errors or issues occur further down the line.
- Traveling - Although not a massive part of day-to-day life for an IT Consultant, graduates considering it as a careers should be aware that the role comes with a lot of travelling and staying over while working on a client's site. This can sometimes mean weeks away and sometimes even travelling abroad to help clients with assessment, implementation and training.
- Working with designers and developers - The solutions that are provided to clients are not always ready-made, off-the-shelf products, sometimes IT Consultants can be required to work with designers and developers to develop new tailor-made solutions to fit the requirements of the client.
A career as an IT Consultant can be rewarding work, especially when the outcome is seeing the lives of employees and clients made easier and more efficient by the wonders of technology. The role is always varied and exciting and can see graduates working with some cutting edge technology and driving forward innovation across clients from all sectors.