Information technology (IT) infrastructure consultants are experts on computers and their hardware, software, and networks. They are vital to ensuring that all technological systems in a business are functioning properly. As such, a bachelor's degree in IT is a common prerequisite to employment.
For those who possess Internet technology training and problem solving skills, a job as an IT infrastructure consultant may be a good fit. These consultants work with companies in setting up and maintaining their computer systems. If computers interest you, continue reading to discover if a career as an IT Infrastructure Consultant is an option.
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's Degree|
|Other Possible Requirements||Relevant work experience and certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||8% (for network and computer systems administrators)|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$77,810 (for network and computer systems administrators)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Job Description for IT Infrastructure Consultants
Internet technology (IT) infrastructure consultants are independent computer professionals who assist companies in building, installing, and maintaining their computer systems. They may work on their own or be employed by consulting firms.
Consultants are responsible for reviewing a company's computer systems, documenting any changes made, and making recommendations for improvements. They may set up intranets or network systems within a company and configure routers and servers. They may also be responsible for dealing with network security. If there are any networking problems, consultants may be called in to troubleshoot or repair these issues.
In addition to working with management on the design and overall organization of a company's computer system, consultants may provide technical support to workers. On a daily basis, they may travel to different locations to assist multiple clients.
Salary and Career Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2015 median annual salary of network and computer systems administrators, who sometimes act as IT consultants, was $77,810. Generally, education, certification, and experience are equally important in finding employment in this field. Between 2014 and 2024, the BLS predicated a growth of employment in this field of 8% for computer systems administrators. Demand for these professionals is due in large part to the number of businesses upgrading to new technology systems.
Requirements for IT Infrastructure Consultants
Good communication skills and keen attention to detail are essential for those in consultant positions. On a daily basis, consultants may have to communicate with company staff and system users about a variety of technical issues and explain implemented or desired changes.
Typically, IT infrastructure consultants must possess at least a bachelor's degree, but in some cases equivalent work experience in the IT industry or a combination of an associate's degree and work experience may be considered acceptable substitutions. Schools offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs in network infrastructure and IT infrastructure. Coursework typically covers network security, management, and operating systems.
Other relevant undergraduate majors include computer science, math, engineering, or a physical science field. For more technically advanced jobs, a graduate degree may be necessary.
Certifications are a good way to improve career opportunities because they indicate proficiency in specific systems and programs. Software companies and product vendors often offer certification and training programs for IT professionals. Continuing education courses and seminars provided by manufacturers may be helpful to ensure that skills remain sharp and up-to-date.
The BLS predicts average growth and favorable opportunities for jobseekers with a related bachelor's degree and familiarity with the latest technology. IT infrastructure consultants can keep up to date on technological trends through continuing education and certifications.