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Information Technology consulting is, according to CNN Money (Best Jobs for Fast Growth), one of the fastest-growing careers. If you are out of work or considering a change, you should consider technology consulting as an alternative.
There are several ways you can approach Technology Consulting as a career alternative – as an independent (working as a contractor for a consulting firm or directly for a client) or as a direct employee of a consulting firm or technology services provider.
Independent Consulting contractor
- Pros: Working as an independent allows alternatives and options as to clients and assignments you take. The per-hour pay tends to be higher for independent contractors, You develop direct relationships with your clients which can be leveraged into additional assignments and introductions to other potential clients. Some expenses related to your role as an independent may be tax deductible (speak to your Accountant). Lastly, this can be a viable short-term alternative while you are looking for permanent full-time employment if consulting is not your long-term career goal.
- Cons: You will most likely have gaps in assignments which will create gaps in billable hours ($). You must find your own clients or subcontract with a third-party consulting firm. Your benefits are not covered, so you will need to pay for the benefits yourself. Vacations and days off are not paid.
Direct Consulting Employee
- Pros: Working as an employee in a consulting firm provides the full backing of a consulting firm. You will have less pressure regarding assignments as these should be scheduled by your firm (and you are generally getting paid when you are between assignments). You will most likely receive benefits as well as paid vacation. There is upside potential for an increased bonus for additional assignments or work you identify (or refer to).
- Cons: You will have less control over assignments and your pay is likely to be lower than as an independent. You must develop internal as well as external relationships. Take a look at some of the links below.
Types of Technology Consulting:
- Software Implementation: Helps install and configure software for clients. According to Glassdoor.com, the national average salary for implementation consultants is $72,000 (not bad).
- Managed Services: Implementation and support of software hosting, infrastructure support, and Disaster Recovery setup/support.
- Hardware Selection/Implementation: Help clients decide on the appropriate hardware configuration for their organization and implement solutions.
- Training: Provide software user or technical training for clients.
How to Become a Technology Consultant:
There are lots of resources to help you launch your career as a technology consultant. Take a look at some of the links below:
- 11 tips for new consultants to hit the ground running
- List of IT consulting firms
- 5 Steps to Becoming a Competitive Tech Consultant
career Tip of the Day: How to Get an IT Job Using a Recruitment Agency
Suggested Reading: How to Become a Technology Consultant