Self-reliant, motivated and highly skilled information technology (IT) professionals often aspire to become information technology management consultants. Companies worldwide need IT experts to ensure that information systems run properly and meet the organization’s objectives. Launching an IT management consultant career can include the opportunity to work independently or for a consulting firm. Laying the foundation for a successful IT management consultant career can start with enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Information Technology Management.
Job Outlook For Information Technology Management Consultants
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of management consultants will grow rapidly in coming years. Job growth will occur as industry and government increasingly rely on outside experts to improve organizational performance. Despite the strong job growth, competition for these high-paying positions will be keen; individuals with an advanced degree and specialized skills should have the best prospects.
While the role of management consultants often varies with each client or employer, and with each project, information technology management consultants generally help an organization improve performance through analyzing existing business problems and developing plans to solve them. They may work on improving the organization’s information systems or developing information technology solutions to general business challenges. Professionals in this role also develop strategies for organizations seeking to enter or remain competitive in the global electronic marketplace.
After defining the nature of the problem, IT management consultants analyze available, relevant data and then make recommendations, utilizing project management skills to plan strategies and schedule project deliverables. In addition, they are typically responsible for managing project staff, bringing leadership skills into play.
Status reports, quality reviews and process documentation are all important daily activities of an information technology management consultant. They may present findings through written reports or face-to-face presentations.
Depending on the employer and need, information technology management consultants may identify and analyze gaps between current processes and the desired objective, design new processes, develop performance measures and plan transitions to new processes.
Information technology management consultants often split their time between a main office and the client’s location. Some travel frequently. A 40-hour work week is standard. Self-employed IT management consultants typically work from home and set their own workload and hours.
According to national salary data on PayScale.com, as of December 2010, information technology consultants had a median income of about $77,878 per year, with those in the 25th to 75th percentile earning between $57,127 and $98,629 in total pay.
PayScale.com data also indicated that IT consultants with a master’s degree can earn more than those with only a bachelor’s degree. In fact, based on 75th percentile salary figures, graduates with MBA earned $96,747 per year while those with a BS in computer science earned $88,811 per year – a differential of nearly 9%.
With additional experience, IT management consultants can move into roles of increasing responsibility, resulting in much higher potential annual pay. A sampling of IT positions on PayScale.com in December 2010 revealed the following salary ranges:
|Project Manager, IT||$66,546 to $103,902|
|Chief Technology Officer||$103,997 to $191,395|
|Chief Information Officer||$101,226 to $200,365|
The data shows that the top salaries generally go to IT management consultants with solid experience and the advanced education employers need to remain competitive in a shifting global business environment.
Education and Training Requirements
Entry requirements for information technology management consultant positions vary. For some entry-level jobs, an associate’s in computer information systems or bachelor’s in computer information systems degree is sufficient. For others, employers show preference to candidates with a master’s degree or specialized expertise. Many employers in private industry seek individuals with an MBA.
Competing for information technology management consulting jobs can be tough; earning an MBA with a specialization in Information Technology Management can improve one’s prospects. Coursework typically includes organizational behavior, database management technology, global information technology management and strategic management of technology and innovation.
Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Information Technology Management are able to:
- Solve real-world challenges with modern theories of leadership, management and negotiation.
- Successfully manage computer systems.
- Identify e-business strategies and opportunities in the global marketplace.
- Assess risk and return of emerging technologies.
- Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as an information technology management consultant.
Make Your Information Technology Management Consultant Career Goal a Reality
If you are a self-motivated individual, with discipline and strong technical skills, you could be a great fit for an IT management consultant career. You’ll need outstanding analytical and interpersonal skills, as well as a solid business education. Earning an MBA with a specialization in Information Technology Management could help you achieve your goal of an information technology management consultant career.