The evolution of the digital landscape and increased dependency businesses have on technology solutions have created the perfect environment for IT consultants. Experts in the field of information technology and computer science are in demand.
So to help out, we’re here to thoroughly review what an IT consultant job description looks like for those interested in pursuing a career.
In the meantime, with this article, we’ll take you through:
- What precisely an IT consultant does, and what their role entails.
- A list of the responsibilities you’ll find in an IT consultant job description.
- And the necessary skill sets and requirements organizations look for when hiring an IT consultant.
Keep reading this article for a step-by-step breakdown of what it takes to become an IT consultant.
IT consultant job brief
As an IT consultant, you’ll bring a wealth of experience and skills working with information technology to clients to meet their business goals. You can expect to carry out any number of tasks related to resolving technical issues, giving strategic advice on implementing solutions, overseeing IT project management, and offering training programs for in-house staff.
We’ll get more into the particularities below, but IT technical consultants can wear many hats depending on the job. Since they are typically hired as external analysts or contractors, IT consultants also possess business acumen. Operating as an independent contractor requires adept communication skills and the ability to market yourself as a technical consultant.
Essentially, you’re a business consultant with a focus on information technology. As such, understanding basic customer service and knowing how to work with clients is also crucial. It is especially true if you decide to start a consulting firm down the road.
Responsibilities of an IT consultant
The work of an IT consultant covers a wide range of responsibilities. With an IT consulting job or project, you’ll need to:
- Understand a business’s needs and objectives.
- Review organizational practices and regulatory compliances.
- Meet with clients to map out the scope of a project.
- Define and allocate any resources necessary to complete a project.
- Analyze an organization’s IT infrastructure and data.
- Arrange a timeline for completion.
- Design, install, test, and audit new hardware, software, and networks.
- Remain on-call to fix any issues.
- Address any security threats or vulnerabilities.
- Work with or train an organization’s IT team.
- Write detailed status reports to present to management.
- Respond to feedback and identify room for improvement.
Requirements and skills
Specific requirements to fulfill a role as an IT consultant will be on a case-by-case basis. Organizations provide job descriptions based on their unique needs or on what labor statistics determine the best suit for the position.
However, most organizations will look for a degree in information technology, computer science, information systems, software engineering, or a related field. While not strictly necessary, IT or PMP (Project Management Professional) certification is valuable. An MBA or relevant graduate degree is also highly beneficial for those who want to explore skillsets more affiliated with business consultants.
Regardless, the following is a list of other requirements and skills you’ll want to demonstrate:
- A bachelor’s degree in any of the subjects listed above.
- Proven experience in the field, either as part of a team or as an independent technical consultant.
- Experience with database languages and various operating systems.
- Proficiency in writing code.
- An expert understanding of the entire Microsoft Office suite.
- Logical and meticulous problem-solving skills.
- Exceptional analytical skills.
- Excellent soft skills (i.e. interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills).
- Time management and organizational skills.
- Flexibility with working hours and travel.
Let’s wrap up with a summary of the main points from our look at an IT consultant job description.
- An IT consultant is an information technology expert and professional helping businesses that want to realize their goals through technology. Acting as a technical or management consultant, you’ll advise organizations on implementing the best industry practices.
- An IT consultant's responsibilities depend on the job and needs of an organization. Therefore they can be expected to perform many tasks that encompass the entire spectrum of responsibilities typically held by an IT professional. Those responsibilities range from troubleshooting a network issue to monitoring cybersecurity threats to leading training programs for an organization's in-house team.
- Again, jobs will require different skill sets and qualifications, but obtaining a bachelor’s degree or specialized certification in information technology, computer science, or software engineering is highly recommended. Additionally, experience with code, various databases and operating systems, and working with clients are just a few of the skills a technical consultant should have.
We hope to paint a complete picture of the IT consultant role if you’re considering a career in information technology as a technical consultant.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the responsibilities of an IT consultant?
An IT consultant is a technical consultant who fulfills the necessary responsibilities to maintain and protect an organization’s IT infrastructure. That said, the umbrella of tasks a technical consultant is responsible for is comprehensive and covers anything an IT team would already be expected to do. Some examples would include determining the scope of a project, managing the installation of specialized hardware like an applicant tracking system, updating software, writing reports, and fixing any bottlenecks in their IT process.
What are the skills involved in being an IT consultant?
Apart from an expert-level knowledge of programs like Microsoft Office and operating systems, an IT consultant or technical consultant will also need to possess skills related to writing code, troubleshooting complex problems, communicating technical information, and working with clients. Skills associated with being a business analyst or entrepreneur will help a consultant better understand the technical pain points of an organization and how to best resolve them through proven IT best practices.
What are the questions asked in an IT interview?
An IT interview may contain any of the following questions:
- Do you have a bachelor’s degree or greater in information technology?
- What certifications do you hold, and where did you obtain them?
- What programming languages do you use?
- Can you tell me about a successful IT project you oversaw?
- How do you manage deadlines?
- How do you keep up with changes and innovation in the IT industry?
What questions should I ask a consultant?
Finally, here are some questions you might consider asking a technical consultant if you’re looking for one:
- What strategies do you employ when working in collaboration with other people?
- What was the most challenging project you’ve worked on, and how did you resolve the issues?
- Are you certified? If so, in what specialization?
- What interests you about consulting as opposed to working in-house?
- How many clients do you manage at any one time?
- Are you willing to work overtime and travel?