What Is an IT Management Consultant?

Information technology (IT) management consultants analyze the technology needs of organizations and then make computer systems recommendations. Learn about degree options, employment options, typical job responsibilities and salary potential. Schools offering Industrial Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an IT Management Consultant?

Management consultants examine the processes in place within a company and determine how to make those processes more effective. IT management consultants focus specifically on the technological needs of an organization and must be aware of the latest computer technology to match the right programs and systems to the organization's needs. To do this, they might use a number of research methods, including on-site observation, interviews and data analyses.

What IT Management Consulting Degree Programs are Available?

Programs in specifically IT management consulting didn't appear to be available as of February 2011. However, public and private U.S. schools do offer bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs in IT management, through which aspiring consultants can learn to address the challenges organizations face in using technology and personnel effectively. Courses cover such topics as IT architectures, modeling business processes, technology life cycle management, rapid application development and organizational behavior.

Bachelor's degree programs include general education courses in composition, mathematics and the social and behavioral sciences. Master's degree programs may require a thesis project or comprehensive examination. Doctoral degree programs require a dissertation. If you have only a bachelor's degree, you'll likely need to accumulate several years of IT work experience before you can become a consultant.

Where Could I Work?

Any business entity, educational institution, government agency, association or non-profit organization that either uses information technology or provides technology support services is a potential client for consulting services. Specific figures for IT management consultants weren't available, but approximately 758,000 management analysts were employed as of 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Of these, roughly 22% worked for management, scientific and technical consulting services industries. The BLS anticipates that over the years 2014-2024, businesses and governments will increasingly rely on outside expertise for IT management and other needs, contributing to a 14% rise in the employment of management analysts.

What Job Duties Will I Have?

Your day-to-day tasks will include researching the operations of client organizations, conferring with their IT managers, and advising them on the acquisition, deployment and management of their technology resources to best meet their objectives. A significant share of your effort will be spent on observing operations, interviewing workers and writing analytical reports. Computers, networks, software and the employees who use them will be among the resources under your purview. You may also provide advice on budgeting, organizational change, staffing, systems design and project implementation.

What Salary Could I Expect to Earn?

Specific salary figures for IT management consultants weren't available from the BLS but, for the broader category of management analysts, they report the mean salary was $91,770 as of May 2015. Consultants working in management, scientific, and technical consulting services earned a mean wage of $104,120. According to 2017 data from PayScale.com, the median salary for an IT consultant was $74,526.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are several other specialties that management analysts might consider besides information technology, such as personnel restructuring or inventory management. Companies might hire a group of management analysts to work together and revitalize the entirety of the business' policies and procedures. Some management analysts don't have an area of specialization, but instead work within a specific industry. For example, the healthcare industry has one of the highest demands for management analysts.

When it comes to IT, some companies choose to hire a full-time IT manager instead of a consultant. These professionals continuously monitor their organization's computer use and needs and direct the upgrading and installation of new hardware and software as needed. They often direct a team of IT professionals to keep the organization's computer system running smoothly. IT managers usually have a bachelor's degree in computer science and several years of relevant work experience.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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