IT and technical consulting
IT or technical consulting is a specialist area of management consultancy that focuses on investigating and analysing a business issue and designing an appropriate IT solution or system. This makes it a good career choice for computer science graduates with an interest in business.
Employers may be management consultancy firms that deliver these services through staff with an IT background, or technology firms with a consultancy arm.
The range of projects that an IT consultant can undertake include advising clients on how best to take advantage of new technology, developing new systems or products, and systems implementation.
Skills needed for IT consultancy
Employers want graduates who can work under pressure, often to tight deadlines. Organisational ability and time management are important, as well as the ability to prioritise activities within a project. You will also need to demonstrate excellent logical and analytical ability and be able to problem solve in a practical way.
You will be expected to cope with the rapid changes in technology and to be able to gain an understanding of a new project very quickly. This requires a commitment to on-going learning and ‘up-skilling’.
Excellent communication skills are also required, as it is often necessary to be able to communicate ideas and concepts quickly and clearly. This is important when working in a multi-disciplinary team or when communicating key information to non-technical managers.
Career progression in IT consultancy
Graduates working in technical consultancy can be given responsibility for developing functional specifications, designing documents, coding, testing and providing support for specific software.
Graduates are often employed in technical roles initially and then progress onto areas such as project management and implementation after a few years. Normally two to three years’ programming experience is required before moving into project management.
This career can involve international travel, as some consultancy firms have worldwide operations.