What Is a Computer System Design Consultant?

Learn the job duties and employment outlook for computer system design consultants. Find out the education, skills, and experience required to work in this field. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Computer System Design Consultant?

Computer system design consultants, also referred to as computer systems analysts, work with hardware and software systems to provide businesses and organizations with efficient and complete technical solutions. It is their job to assess a business' current production model and make changes by implementing computer automation wherever possible. These advancements come in all forms of hardware and software. It is essential to have a wide variety of knowledge concerning computer operating systems, technology, and conflict management to perform this job effectively. Below, the table provides some additional details about this career:

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Computer Engineering, Information Management, Computer Science
Key Responsibilities Develop software, code, perform computer backups, make sure networks are secure
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 21% (for computer systems analysts)
Median Salary (2017)** $66,577 (for computer systems analysts)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com

What Does a Computer System Design Consultant Do?

As a computer system design professional, you'll be responsible for the planning, design, and maintenance of hardware and software systems. Your job duties would include researching and implementing communication technology, specialized software, and various hardware components necessary to complete tasks, projects, or operations. As a consultant, you'll deal primarily with companies that don't have their own in-house information technology (IT) planner.

What Education Do I Need?

Although you can become a computer design consultant with a bachelor's degree in computer related disciplines, such as computer engineering or information management, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that it is most common for employers to require a 4-year degree in computer science for jobs of this nature (www.bls.gov). You'll need training that provides you with direct, hands-on experience with computers and courses that cover IT services most in demand, such as network security, software engineering, database administration, and mobile access management. Since you'll also need to provide hardware solutions, you should ensure you learn at least the basics in communication technologies, computer systems architecture, and disaster recovery components.

What Skills Do I Need?

To offer a wide range of services and enhance your employment opportunities, you'll need to be familiar with Windows, Unix, and Macintosh operating systems and the hardware design of all types of computers and servers. Part of your job would include developing proprietary software, making knowledge of codes, languages, and platforms essential. You should know the best hardware and software for a particular project, such as backup and redundancy, networking communications, or data security. Specific skills and requirements depend on your client or employer and could consist of conflict and integration management, industry certification, or significant experience in computer programming.

What Is the Job Market Like?

In 2017, PayScale.com estimated that computer system analysts earned a total pay of $40,071 to $92,617, including profit sharing and bonuses. The BLS projected that the demand for computer system analysts would grow 21% between 2014 and 2024, adding an estimated 118,600 jobs.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer and information systems managers oversee a company's computer operations and needs, planning and meeting the IT goals for the organization, and implementing new technology as needed. Computer programmers write and edit coding languages to direct computers and software applications in how to function. Information security analysts research security programs and implement online defenses for their organization's computer systems, keeping important digital files safe from unauthorized access. These careers will need a minimum of a bachelor's degree.

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