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Become An Information Technology Consultant

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Working As An Information Technology Consultant

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

  • Repetitive

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Information Technology Consultant 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 An Information Technology Consultant

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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Information Technology Consultant Career Paths

Information Technology Consultant
Information Technology Manager Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Senior Director Of Information & Technology
14 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Analyst Systems Administrator
Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Analyst Systems Administrator Senior Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Web Developer Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager
Information Systems Director
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Manager Applications Development
Application Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Project Manager Information Technology Director
Director Information Technology Infrastructure
13 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Analyst Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Systems Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Technical Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Infrastructure Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Analyst Chemist Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Application Manager
Director, Applications
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Programmer Analyst Senior Business Analyst Business Systems Senior Analyst
Business Systems Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Administrator Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator
Information Technology Supervisor, Information Technology
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Project Leader Project Management Lead
Change Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Software Development Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Senior System Administrator Information Technology Operations Manager
Manager Information Technology Applications
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Information Technology Consultant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Information Technology Consultant
Consultant 6.7%
Internship 3.5%
Manager 3.0%
Top Careers After Information Technology Consultant
Consultant 8.9%

Do you work as an Information Technology Consultant?

Information Technology Consultant Demographics

Gender

Male

74.7%

Female

16.1%

Unknown

9.1%
Ethnicity

White

56.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.4%

Asian

12.4%

Black or African American

11.0%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.2%

French

10.3%

Chinese

6.4%

German

5.5%

Mandarin

5.4%

Portuguese

4.9%

Japanese

3.8%

Italian

3.2%

Arabic

2.9%

Russian

2.7%

Hindi

2.4%

Carrier

2.1%

Korean

1.8%

Cantonese

1.7%

Urdu

1.5%

Hebrew

0.7%

Gujarati

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Danish

0.6%

Turkish

0.5%
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Information Technology Consultant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.6%

Pennsylvania State University

6.2%

University of Maryland - University College

6.0%

University of Houston

5.6%

New York University

4.9%

Strayer University

4.5%

George Washington University

4.4%

Western Governors University

4.4%

Old Dominion University

4.1%

George Mason University

4.0%

DePaul University

3.9%

American InterContinental University

3.7%

Syracuse University

3.7%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.6%

Capella University

3.6%

Purdue University

3.3%

More Tech Institute

3.3%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.2%

Boston University

3.1%

Texas A&M University

3.0%
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Majors

Computer Science

19.0%

Business

17.9%

Information Technology

11.7%

Computer Information Systems

10.4%

Electrical Engineering

4.7%

Computer Networking

4.2%

Computer Engineering

3.9%

Information Systems

3.7%

Management Information Systems

3.7%

Finance

2.8%

Management

2.7%

Project Management

2.4%

Accounting

2.2%

Computer Systems Security

1.8%

Psychology

1.7%

Communication

1.6%

Criminal Justice

1.5%

Economics

1.5%

Marketing

1.5%

Computer Applications

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.9%

Masters

23.2%

Other

16.8%

Associate

10.3%

Certificate

3.6%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

1.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$59,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
AT&T
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does an Information Technology Consultant make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Information Technology Consultant in the United States is $79,363 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $59,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $106,000.

Real Information Technology Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief IT Consultant Precision Global Consulting, Inc. Scottsdale, AZ Nov 14, 2016 $200,000
IT Consultant The Resource Collaborative Inc. Newark, NJ Jun 22, 2016 $187,830
Principal IT Consultant Farmers Group, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Nov 21, 2016 $185,000
IT Services Management Consultant YB Analytics Technologies LLC Aurora, CO Jun 15, 2016 $178,100 -
$179,100
IT Services Management Consultant YB Analytics Technologies LLC Aurora, CO Jun 15, 2016 $177,960
IT Consultant The Resource Collaborative Inc. Far Hills, NJ Sep 07, 2015 $170,000
IT Consultant Anagh Technologies, Inc. Piscataway, NJ Mar 19, 2015 $165,000
IT Consultant Core Information Technology Services Inc. New York, NY Dec 31, 2016 $164,000
Information Technology Business Consultant Agilent Technologies, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Jun 21, 2016 $156,000
IT Technology Senior Consultant Sap America, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Dec 04, 2016 $155,000
IT Database Consultant BB&T Corporation Winston-Salem, NC Jul 15, 2016 $155,000
IT Business Consultant Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company Plano, TX May 16, 2016 $151,200
IT Consultant (Architect CRM) Nous Infosystems Pvt. Ltd. Atlanta, GA Jan 18, 2016 $145,000
IT Consultant ITC Infotech (USA), Inc. Phoenix, AZ Oct 01, 2015 $76,260
IT Data Analytics Consultant Optum Services, Inc. Cypress, CA Jan 12, 2015 $76,232 -
$100,821
IT Consultant KPIT Infosystems, Inc. Edison, NJ Sep 10, 2015 $76,212
IT Consultant KPIT Infosystems, Inc. Edison, NJ Jul 01, 2015 $76,050
IT Consultant Eis Technologies, Inc. Duluth, GA Aug 25, 2016 $76,000
IT Consultant (SAP) Avventis Inc. Edison, NJ Oct 26, 2015 $76,000
IT Consultant Hudson Data, LLC Houston, TX Mar 28, 2016 $65,000
IT Consultant-SAP Mouri Tech LLC Philadelphia, PA Aug 09, 2016 $65,000
IT Consultant (QA) Avventis, Inc. Old Bridge, NJ Jan 10, 2016 $65,000
IT Consultant Aita Consulting Services, Inc. North Brunswick, NJ Feb 02, 2015 $65,000
IT Consultant-SAP Mouri Tech LLC Saint Louis, MO Mar 10, 2016 $65,000
IT Security Consultant Security Risk Advisors Wyomissing, PA Sep 17, 2016 $65,000
IT Consultant Hudson Data, LLC. NY Dec 27, 2016 $65,000
IT Consultant Anagh Technologies Inc. Piscataway, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $65,000 -
$75,000

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Top Skills for An Information Technology Consultant

  1. Computer Hardware
  2. Customer Service
  3. Infrastructure
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Diagnose and repair computer hardware and software problems using innovative procedures producing better and more optimized computers for our customers.
  • Delivered excellent customer service and consultation in computer, networking, and technical support for campus residents.
  • Designed and implemented infrastructure which centralized network services and client-server applications resulting in major increase in efficiency.
  • Synchronized project managers in keeping change orders log organized in Excel and updated their database management system.
  • Have installed and administered Windows networks including configuring Remote Access services.

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Top 10 Best States for Information Technology Consultants

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Washington
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Virginia
  5. Oregon
  6. North Carolina
  7. Texas
  8. Pennsylvania
  9. Minnesota
  10. Arkansas
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  • (1,098 jobs)
  • (675 jobs)
  • (2,119 jobs)
  • (365 jobs)
  • (1,278 jobs)
  • (2,999 jobs)
  • (1,384 jobs)
  • (834 jobs)
  • (174 jobs)

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