How to Become an IT Strategy Consultant

Learn how to become an IT strategy consultant. Research the education requirements, training information, and experience required for starting a career in IT strategy consulting. View article »

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Video Transcript

IT Strategy Consultant

IT strategy consultants manage IT projects for clients and businesses to help them keep up with advancements in technology and increase their efficiency and profits. They provide recommendations, guidance, and support to help clients develop and maintain their computer equipment, software, and IT operations to ensure the best possible performance.

Management analysts, including IT strategy consultants, usually work in office settings, splitting their time between meetings with clients, the evaluation of IT systems within a company, and the consolidation of their findings into reports. Consultants may work full-time or, for those that choose to be self-employed, may have enough control over their schedules to set their own hours. Self-employed analysts must build their own client bases and may have more stress in ensuring future work than consultants who are contracted out by an IT service.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree for most positions; some employers prefer a master's degree
Degree Field Computer science or related field
Experience 2 to 10 years, depending on level of employment
Key Skills Excellent interpersonal, communication, and leadership skills; ability to work with a team; creative thinking skills; strong analytical skills; adaptability; knowledge of DNS, DHCP, WWW, Wi-Fi, TCP/IP, Windows 2000/03/08, and business process framework; smartphone, PDA, and cell phone support knowledge is a plus; must be willing to travel for some positions
Median Annual Salary (2015) $81,320 yearly (for all management analysts)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Steps

Now let's check out the career steps for IT strategy consultants.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

IT strategy consultants usually need bachelor's degrees in computer science, information science, or a similar field for entry-level employment. Bachelor's degree programs in computer science usually take four years to complete and focus on practical applications of common IT concepts. Courses may include computer systems architecture, data structures, programming theories, and information security.

To really stand out, complete an internship. Some schools and companies offer IT consulting internships that provide students with experience in the field. This can be valuable to potential IT consultants when seeking employment.

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

IT strategy consultants new to the field typically find entry-level positions with large IT consulting firms. They take on consulting projects that entail developing technology solutions to business issues, such as systems integration, technology development, and business intelligence. They plan, implement, and manage these solutions to help companies develop more efficient business practices and increase the company's profit margin. Some employers provide training for entry-level candidates. This career requires expertise in the IT industry, so strategy consultants are required to continuously pursue professional development opportunities.

Step 3: Earn a Master's Degree

Some employers prefer candidates with master's degrees in computer science or a related field for advanced IT strategy consultant positions. A computer science program with a focus on computer networks might include advanced coursework in computer networks, data management, analysis of algorithms, software engineering, IT project management, and other related topics. Students may be required to complete a written thesis or pass a written examination to graduate.

To recap, with a mix of experience and education, an IT strategy consultant can earn about $81,000 a year to manage IT projects for clients and businesses to help them keep up with advancements in technology and increase their efficiency and profits.

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