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How to Become a Computer Consultant

Close Up of a Professional Office Specialist Working on Desktop Computer in Modern Technological Monitoring Control Room with Digital Screens. Manager Typing on keyboard and Using Mouse.

Are you thinking of opting for a career in computer consultancy or any other IT-related domain? Getting a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant field can kickstart your IT career. That is just the first step in how to become a computer consultant.

Here’s the good news:

Getting an online degree in this domain has never been easier!

Computer consultants can work in many roles, such as entry-level technology support staff, server maintainers at e-commerce businesses, repairers of cyber security, preventers of information theft, or even trainers of their team. They may even have the responsibilities of overseeing entire IT departments and managing day-to-day operations.

Computer consultancy is a financially and emotionally rewarding job. You can make an average of $37.52 an hour while solving people’s problems. But to get into this industry, you need to be aware of the significance of holding relevant degrees and certifications, the responsibilities of an IT professional, and the pros and cons of this industry.

We cover all this and more in this comprehensive guide about becoming a computer consultant.

Let’s get right into it!

Who Is A Computer Consultant?

A computer consultant is an IT professional specializing in a particular field of information technology. Because of the immensity of the information technology industry, becoming a computer consultant is a limitless opportunity with excellent growth potential. The need for computer solutions is growing side by side with the digitalization of our world.

The educational requirements of a computer consultant vary from one specialization to the other. However, getting a bachelor’s degree in computing, computer science, or any other IT-related field is necessary. Additional certifications from prominent software companies such as Microsoft, although optional, can work wonders in kick starting your career as a computer consultant.

Steps To Become A Computer Consultant

Becoming a computer consultant is challenging but rewarding. Apart from a related bachelor’s degree and optional certifications, at least 1 to 7 years of related experience is what makes you stand out from the competition. However, having the necessary skill set is the most significant aspect of becoming any computer consultant and a successful one. Therefore, let us look into the steps to make you an excellent computer consultant.

Getting A Bachelor’s Degree

The minimum educational requirement of most technology consultant positions in information technology companies is a bachelor’s degree. Suppose an individual opts for a bachelor’s degree in information technology. In that case, they are most likely to study coursework related to programming, information security, systems architecture, database, and network fundamentals.

 

A bachelor’s degree in computer science includes coursework like programming, web development, project management, software engineering, data structures, and computer architecture.

The Necessary Work Experience

Well-reputed information technology companies typically offer IT consultant positions to applicants with 1 to 7 years of related experience (depending on the job level) in the work field. Entry-level information technology jobs include computer support specialists or IT technicians and provide the expertise and skill set for training, consultation services, and support.

Most jobs require consultants to support and update computer software, hardware, and network systems and perform installations. However, some jobs will ask the consultant to do any number of IT tasks.

Getting Certified

The third step to becoming a top-notch computer consultant is getting certified. Although it is not a requirement for all information technology consultant positions, prospective employees with professional certifications stand out from the rest. Numerous IT certifications can do this job and simultaneously advance an individual’s professional capabilities, which significantly boosts their career. Some beneficial operating system certifications include the Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS), Apple Certified Support Professional (ACSP), and Microsoft Certified IT Specialist (MCITS). These certifications, available at primary, experienced, and management levels, usually include training programs and written exams, whereas others require certificates. The level of an applicant’s education, skill set, and work experience determines the level of certification they are eligible for.

What Does A Computer Consultant Do?

System analysts, computer engineers, computer scientists, and other computer specialists are generally referred to as computer consultants. Computer consultants put technology to the best use to find solutions for technological problems, which helps a management or computing consultant firm flourish. Their job is to develop technical information, contacts, tools, and expertise that clients cannot provide for themselves.

IT consultants have many responsibilities, ranging from management to computer and software repair to maintenance of intricately linked large-scale networks. They can be broadly categorized into the following three niches, although independent information technology consultants can have various other specialties:

  1. Maintenance and Repair
  2. Security
  3. Project Management

Titles Computer Consultants Use & Their Duties

Computer specialists such as system analysts either redesign old systems to make them sustainable for new applications. They also design new computer systems according to specific requirements. On the other hand, computer software engineers develop and create software systems to mechanize and control business, manufacturing, and management processes.

Database administrators devise ways to store and organize data using database management system software efficiently. Computer support specialists, in contrast, work for the provision of support, advice, and technical assistance to users and customers alike.

Which Skills Are Required To Become A Computer Consultant?

No matter the niche specialty, almost all computer consultants require specific critical skills. These capabilities include efficient communication skills, productivity, ability to meet deadlines, work independently or as a team, word processing software capability, technical and deep comprehension of computer networks and systems, and creative software experience.

Let’s look at some of the specific computer consultant responsibilities.

  • Provide comprehensive documentation and track of work performance
  • Communicate with clients to ensure that the problem is resolved to their satisfaction
  • Use LAN software and other electronic products to provide PC support, including troubleshooting, to end-users in professional medical and university settings
  • Identify and remove malignant software from computers and laptops
  • Troubleshoot operating systems, computer hardware diagnostic, and fixing internet connection issues
  • Know Linux and utilize it to provide a web interface to campus OpenVMS email systems
  • Install custom Linux desktop operating system, manage the hardware design, and integrate software written in C++
  • Respond to hardware questions and problems, keep service level requirements in view, and deal with intermediate to complex PC software
  • Implement SQL store procedures of external and internal views and recovery systems
  • Program and link all laptops to individual computers in offices via code passwords
  • Tune SQL, memory allocation, disk I/O, access paths, and resource contention

Become A Computer Consultant – Mandated Qualifications, Required Degrees, Special Certifications

Zippia.com analyzed 6,408 computer consultant resumes for a thorough investigation of computer consultant education and found out that 62% of applicants held a bachelor’s degree, 21% had an associate degree, and 9% boasted a master’s degree. In addition, 24% of computer consultants majored in computer science. In contrast, most others had computer information systems (9.0%) and business (14.3%) as their majors. 8.3% of applicants had an electrical engineering-based degree, and 5.4% had an information technology major.

Certifications are a powerful tool. However, not all certifications are created equal. Some of the most common and beneficial certifications for computer consultants include:

  1. Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) offered by AICPA
  2. Management Consultant Professional (MCP) by AAFM
  3. Certified Network Computer Technician (CNCT) by ETA
  4. IT Information Library Foundations Certification (ITIL) offered by Zavata
  5.  Security 5 Certification by EC-Council
  6. Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) by certifying Global organization knowledge
  7. Computer Service Technician (CST) by ETA
  8. Software Engineering Master Certification (SEMC) by IEEE.

Computer Consultant Salary – How Much Does A Computer Consultant Make?

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics marks the average salary for an information systems manager to be $142,530 per year. However, computer consultants with a master’s degree earn about $110,942 annually, more than those with a bachelor’s degree who make $102,167 per annum. Computer consultants with an associate degree earn the least: $95,004.

Roughly speaking, a computer consultant can earn anywhere between $59,000 to $120,942 annually, with the average annual salary coming up to $78,046. Gender and racial pay gap exist as well: women earn 97 cents for every 1 dollar earned by men. Similarly, black or African American computer consultants earn 92 cents for every 1 dollar earned by Asian computer consultants.

The highest average salary in the United States for a computer consultant is in Oakland, CA, coming up to around $99,990 per annum and $48.07 per hour. Beverly, MA and Edison, NJ come up next, with salaries averaging $88,890 and $85,115 per annum, respectively.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Becoming A Computer Consultant?

Like every other career choice, a computer consultancy profession has ups and downs. Here we will talk about the pros and cons of becoming a computer consultant.

Pros of Becoming A Computer Consultant

Monetary Benefits

Information technology is one of the most financially rewarding professions out there. The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 83,100 new computer consultant jobs to open up by 2028 and ranks computer and mathematical sciences third amongst all dominant occupational groups in “An Overview of U.S Occupational Employment and Wages in 2010,” with a mean annual salary of $77,230. The only other groups with higher earnings are management and legal occupations.

An IT Job Keeps Your Creative Wheels Turning

A computer consultant’s day brims with problems and puzzles. One thing is for sure: a job in information technology would never have a dull or repetitive day.

Job Satisfaction

An IT consultant is a challenging job, but it is also rewarding. A program written flawlessly and working seamlessly to solve problems provides psychological satisfaction. No matter the role, a career in information technology is highly rewarding.

Excellent Job Opportunities

Since most professional industries use computers and related technology, IT professionals have good jobs. CNN’s Money and PayScale rank IT jobs as five out of the top 20 and 14 out of the top 50 highest paying jobs with abundant potential for growth. The future for IT consultants in today’s rapidly digitizing world is quite bright, and not just in the United States.

Educational Growth Opportunities

Information technology is continuously updating. Professionals need to keep their knowledge and education up to date. The only way to do so in today’s digital world is to keep learning.

Cons of Becoming a Computer Consultant

Long Hours

Almost all IT jobs have one demerit: the hours are long, and personal time is prone to interruption. It is usual for IT consultants to work nights and even on weekends. Like medical emergencies, IT emergencies can occur at any time. If you intend on becoming an IT professional, be ready to be at a beck and call to deal with emergencies as they arise.

Elusive Solutions

IT professionals have to have efficient communication skills and a lot of patience as the industry is filled with difficult problems and elusive solutions.

IT professionals also have to work under pressure to complete a job within a specific time frame.

How Can You Advance in the Computer Consultant Career?

As mentioned before, the most efficient way of advancing in the computer consultant career is to keep learning.

Similarly, getting as many certifications as you can pave the way to a successful career. Steven Ostrowski, Director of Corporate Communications at the Computing Technology Industry Association, considers lifelong learning the key to success in the IT industry and says that:

“For the people who are working in the industry now, the best advice we offer is to expand and work on their skills. It’s very difficult for anyone individual to stay on top of everything, but look for those opportunities, even if you have to do it on your own time, without the support of your employer.”

Although it is easy to think you work as a single unit, it is essential to be aware of the importance of being a team player. Working well with a team is one of the most prominent career boosts in the IT industry. Most jobs require dealing and communicating with a diverse group of people.

Brushing up on your soft skills may also be a good option. Most employers prefer an individual with excellent soft skills.

Question: What is a computer consultant?

Answer: A computer consultant is an IT professional specializing in many information technology fields.

 

Question: Which educational qualifications do you need to become a computer consultant?

Answer: The most suitable education qualifications to become a computer consultant are a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computing, computer science, or any other IT-related field.

 

Question: How much do computer consultants earn?

Answer: Computer consultants are among the highest-paid professionals with an annual salary anywhere between $59,000 to $120,942. Professionals with a master’s degree earn the most, those with a bachelor’s come second, and associate degree holders earn the least.

 

Question: Can you earn a computer consultant degree online?

Answer: Yes, you can earn degrees related to the information technology industry online. Head over to our website to look at the universities offering online degrees in computing, computer science, and other IT-related fields.

Holding a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer consulting is the key to progress in the information technology industry. Through it, you can improve your skills and knowledge to strengthen your future while simultaneously making the world a better place.

You can become a computer consultant right from the comfort of your home by enrolling in an online degree program. Interested? GetEducated has compared, ranked, and reviewed the best and most affordable online colleges for computer consulting degrees.

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