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Become A Consultant/Project Leader

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Working As A Consultant/Project Leader

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Processing Information
  • Getting Information
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • $93,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Consultant/Project Leader Do

Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

Duties

Computer systems analysts typically do the following:

  • Consult with managers to determine the role of IT systems in an organization
  • Research emerging technologies to decide if installing them can increase the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness
  • Prepare an analysis of costs and benefits so that management can decide if IT systems and computing infrastructure upgrades are financially worthwhile
  • Devise ways to add new functionality to existing computer systems
  • Design and implement new systems by choosing and configuring hardware and software
  • Oversee the installation and configuration of new systems to customize them for the organization
  • Conduct testing to ensure that the systems work as expected
  • Train the systems’ end users and write instruction manuals

Computer systems analysts use a variety of techniques such as data modeling to design computer systems. Data modeling allows analysts to view the processes and data flows even before programs have been written. 

Once programs have been written, analysts conduct in-depth tests and analyze information and trends in the data to increase a system’s performance and efficiency.

Analysts calculate requirements for how much memory and speed the computer system needs. They prepare flowcharts or other kinds of diagrams for programmers or engineers to use when building the system. Analysts also work with these people to solve problems that arise after the initial system is set up. Most analysts do some programming in the course of their work.

Most computer systems analysts specialize in certain types of computer systems that are specific to the organization they work with. For example, an analyst might work predominantly with financial computer systems or engineering computer systems.

Systems analysts help other IT team members understand how computer systems can best serve an organization by working closely with the organization’s business leaders.

In some cases, analysts who supervise the initial installation or upgrade of IT systems from start to finish may be called IT project managers. They monitor a project’s progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Many computer systems analysts are general-purpose analysts who develop new systems or fine-tune existing ones; however, there are some specialized systems analysts. The following are examples of types of computer systems analysts:

Systems designers or systems architects specialize in helping organizations choose specific types of hardware and software systems. They translate the long-term business goals of an organization into technical solutions. Analysts develop a plan for the computer systems that will be able to reach those goals. They work with management to ensure that systems and the IT infrastructure are set up to best serve the organization’s mission.

Software quality assurance (QA) analysts do in-depth testing and diagnose problems of the systems they design in order to make sure that critical requirements are met. They also write reports to management recommending ways to improve the systems.

Programmer analysts design and update their system’s software and create applications tailored to their organization’s needs. They do more coding and debugging than other types of analysts, although they still work extensively with management and business analysts to determine what business needs the applications are meant to address. Other occupations that do programming are computer programmers and software developers.

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How To Become A Consultant/Project Leader

A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science field is common, although not always a requirement. Some firms hire analysts with business or liberal arts degrees who have skills in information technology or computer programming.

Education

Most computer systems analysts have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Because these analysts also are heavily involved in the business side of a company, it may be helpful to take business courses or major in management information systems.

Some employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in information systems. For more technically complex jobs, a master’s degree in computer science may be more appropriate.

Although many computer systems analysts have technical degrees, such a degree is not always a requirement. Many analysts have liberal arts degrees and have gained programming or technical expertise elsewhere.

Many systems analysts continue to take classes throughout their careers so they can learn about new and innovative technologies. Technological advances come so rapidly in the computer field that continual study is necessary to remain competitive.

Systems analysts must understand the business field they are working in. For example, a hospital may want an analyst with a thorough understanding of health plans and programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, and an analyst working for a bank may need to understand finance. Having knowledge of their industry helps systems analysts communicate with managers to determine the role of the information technology (IT) systems in an organization.

Advancement

With experience, systems analysts can advance to project manager and lead a team of analysts. Some can eventually become IT directors or chief technology officers. For more information, see the profile on computer and information systems managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Analysts must interpret complex information from various sources and be able to decide the best way to move forward on a project. They must also be able to figure out how changes may affect the project.

Communication skills. Analysts work as a go-between with management and the IT department and must be able to explain complex issues in a way that both will understand.

Creativity. Because analysts are tasked with finding innovative solutions to computer problems, an ability to “think outside the box” is important.

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Consultant/Project Leader Jobs

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Consultant/Project Leader Career Paths

Consultant/Project Leader
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Manager, Program Management
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Technical Project Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Practice Leader
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Partner Information Technology Project Manager
Enterprise Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant/Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Technical Delivery Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Technical Delivery Manager Technical Project Manager
Implementation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant/Project Manager
Manager, Project Management Office
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Manager Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Business Analyst Senior Consultant Information Technology Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Consultant Solutions Architect
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Development Manager Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Consultant Systems Architect Senior Technical Consultant
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Lead Consultant Project Analyst Senior Finance Analyst
Finance Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant/Project Manager Implementation Manager
Integration Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Senior Consultant Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Leader
8 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Customer Relationship Management Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Solutions Architect Network Manager Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Consultant/Project Leader?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Leader 3.8 years
Application Lead 3.0 years
Senior Consultant 3.0 years
Project Leader 2.7 years
Staff Consultant 2.6 years
Lead Consultant 2.4 years
Consultant 2.4 years
ERP Consultant 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Consultant/Project Leader
Consultant 14.2%
Programmer 3.2%
Developer 3.1%
Top Careers After Consultant/Project Leader
Consultant 14.6%

Do you work as a Consultant/Project Leader?

Consultant/Project Leader Demographics

Gender

Male

63.3%

Female

25.1%

Unknown

11.6%
Ethnicity

White

49.3%

Asian

21.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

30.2%

Chinese

17.5%

Mandarin

15.9%

French

6.3%

Arabic

3.2%

Japanese

3.2%

Russian

3.2%

Swedish

1.6%

Irish

1.6%

Vietnamese

1.6%

German

1.6%

Dakota

1.6%

Greek

1.6%

Bengali

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Serbian

1.6%

Norwegian

1.6%

Thai

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Cheyenne

1.6%
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Consultant/Project Leader Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.5%

More Tech Institute

7.3%

New York University

6.7%

San Jose State University

6.1%

DePaul University

6.1%

Ohio State University

5.0%

University of Houston

5.0%

Colorado Technical University

4.5%

Northeastern University

4.5%

George Washington University

3.9%

George Mason University

3.9%

University of Florida

3.9%

University of Washington

3.9%

Columbia University

3.9%

University of Oklahoma

3.9%

Villanova University

3.4%

University of North Texas

3.4%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.4%

Harvard University

3.4%

Duke University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

23.5%

Computer Science

14.9%

Finance

8.9%

Project Management

6.2%

Computer Information Systems

5.9%

Management

4.7%

Electrical Engineering

4.1%

Marketing

4.0%

Information Technology

3.8%

Computer Engineering

3.3%

Engineering

2.9%

Accounting

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering

2.4%

Computer Applications

2.4%

Management Information Systems

2.2%

Education

1.7%

Information Systems

1.7%

Economics

1.6%

Industrial Engineering

1.5%

Political Science

1.4%
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Degrees

Masters

40.1%

Bachelors

38.5%

Other

11.5%

Certificate

3.0%

Doctorate

3.0%

Associate

2.6%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$93,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$71,000
Min 10%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$93,000
Median 50%
$121,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Accenture Federal Services
Highest Paying City
Pleasanton, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Consultant/Project Leader make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Consultant/Project Leader in the United States is $93,351 per year or $45 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $71,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $121,000.

Real Consultant/Project Leader Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Member of Consulting Staff-Project Leader Cadence Design Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Sep 25, 2012 $155,503 -
$184,300
Lead Project Consultant Daynine Consulting, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Dec 14, 2015 $106,300
Lead Project Consultant Daynine Consulting, Inc. Pleasanton, CA Jun 13, 2016 $106,184 -
$139,500
Project Lead-Principal Consultant Spartan Solutions Plano, TX Dec 19, 2016 $101,192 -
$140,000
Advisor: Project Lead Consultant CSC Consulting, Inc. Middletown, NJ Jun 27, 2014 $97,635
Advisor: Project Lead Consultant Computer Sciences Corporation East Hartford, CT Aug 01, 2015 $93,330
Senior Project Lead Oracle JD Edwards Consultant CD Group, Inc. Norcross, GA Sep 04, 2010 $84,000
Project Lead Oracle JD Edwards Consultant CD Group, Inc. Norcross, GA Sep 04, 2010 $80,000
Project Lead Consultant IBM India Private Limited New York, NY May 01, 2011 $77,430 -
$78,698
Senior Consultant/Project Lead Capgemini Us LLC Mooresville, NC Oct 01, 2013 $76,711 -
$120,000
Senior Consultant SAP & Project Lead Aicomp Consulting, Inc. Memphis, TN Sep 16, 2015 $75,000
Project Lead Consultant/Developer Byteware Inc. Alpharetta, GA Jan 03, 2014 $75,000
Project Leader Consultant CSC Consulting, Inc. New York, NY Oct 14, 2011 $74,422
Project Leader, Senior Consultant CSC Consulting, Inc. Atlanta, GA Feb 03, 2013 $74,381

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Top Skills for A Consultant/Project Leader

  1. Project Management
  2. Business Requirements
  3. Data Warehouse
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Promoted to lead consultant with comprehensive project management and executive advisory skills aimed at improving efficiency and productivity within the organization.
  • Facilitated requirement gathering and documented business requirements.
  • Provided data modeling and product expertise to help design and develop optimal data warehouse systems.
  • Monitored review of Configuration Items and change accounting activities to ensure adherence to Configuration Management procedures & policies.
  • Provide administration and normalization of the SQL Server company database.

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Top 10 Best States for Consultants/Project Leader

  1. New Jersey
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Virginia
  4. District of Columbia
  5. Colorado
  6. Delaware
  7. New York
  8. California
  9. North Carolina
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (1,496 jobs)
  • (179 jobs)
  • (1,832 jobs)
  • (567 jobs)
  • (1,029 jobs)
  • (121 jobs)
  • (2,131 jobs)
  • (5,398 jobs)
  • (1,261 jobs)
  • (1,591 jobs)

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