Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Career profile: IT consultant

Career profile: IT consultantAn IT consultant reviews and improves a company’s IT systems and solutions. They often work closely with the client to evaluate problems and suggest solutions.

On the job

IT consultants are expected to go into a new company (the client), learn about it very quickly, and critically assess their business practises, particularly their IT systems and whether they are working effectively. As IT consultancy covers a broad range of industries and market sectors, the work is varied and the consultant must be quick to adapt.

The job will involve meeting with the client, interviewing staff to find out more about the company, assessing their current practises, as well as proposing and implementing new solutions. There will also be a lot of testing involved as the consultant evaluates the systems that have been put in place.

Becoming an IT consultant

Most IT consultancies recruit people when they graduate, so you should have three or more A-levels, or four Scottish Highers and a degree. To get into one of the top firms, you should have at least a 2:1. Although it is possible to become an IT consultant without a specific degree, something relevant such as mathematics, computer science, information systems or electronic engineering will definitely help your chances.

If you're going freelance, you don't need any specific qualifications: you just need to be able to convince potential clients of your expertise and deliver work that builds your reputation. Qualifications will still be very useful for this, but getting some real-world experience could be even more valuable.

Training for IT consultancy

Training will give you two strands of expertise; business solutions and IT knowledge. The IT training will get you up to speed with , especially when it's . The business training will give you grounding in analysis, problem-solving and evaluation.

Many large companies run mentoring schemes so that you are supervised and guided throughout your training. Larger companies will also offer more formal training, whereas smaller companies are likely to rely on training on-the-job. If you're going freelance, it might still be worth looking for training courses to keep your knowledge up to date and demonstrate your expertise to potential clients.

Related links