An IT consultant/contractor advises, plans, designs and installs information technology systems for their clients. They are contracted to work with industrial and commercial clients who are seeking help and advice about business and IT problems. There are many similarities between their work and that of systems analysts, designers and applications programmers.
An IT consultant may be self-employed or may work for a technology company or management consultancy (when they are often called technology consultants).
- Designing and installing IT systems.
- Defining objectives for projects.
- Writing reports and documentation.
- Training users and consulting staff.
- Compiling and presenting information.
Travel: can feature within the working day. Periods working away from home are sometimes required.
Working hours: in theory are 9 to 5 but can be longer.
Location: vacancies exist in most towns and cities.
Graduates without a computer science degree can undertake IT conversion courses on offer at various institutions throughout the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Computer science graduates typically start out as a programmer, software developer, systems analyst or web developer to gain the experience required to move into consultancy.
Alternatively, graduates with IT skills and an interest in business can join a technology or consulting firm with a graduate training programme.
Skills and qualities
Graduates working in IT consulting must be good at extracting information from people and explaining technical information to non-technical staff.