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How do I Become an IT Consultant?

Article Details
  • Written By: G. Kirkland
  • Edited By: J.T. Gale
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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To become an information technology (IT) consultant, you most likely will need a college degree, on-the-job experience, good networking skills to help you find clients, and excellent service skills to help you retain those clients. Having an undergraduate degree in computer information systems or other computer-related field is typically required, although it isn't completely necessary. Skills at business planning and bookkeeping can be desirable, as well. Many successful IT consultants specialize in one or two areas, thereby helping them to focus their business while making a name for themselves in a niche area.

When looking to become an IT consultant, you might find that on-the-job experience can be more valuable than having an IT degree. Working for various employers can help provide you with the skills necessary to run a successful business. Once you become an IT consultant, your goal should typically be to take all of your combined knowledge and experience and put it to the best use for your clients.

One of the best ways for a person to be successful as an IT consultant is to specialize. By choosing a particular niche, you can establish yourself as a first-call specialist. Clients typically will pay more for a specialist with extensive knowledge in a particular subject than they do to a generalist that knows a little bit about everything.

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Finding and retaining clients is a major portion of the job once you become an IT consultant. Too many consultants fail to plan ahead for their next assignment and do not begin to market themselves until after he or she runs out of work. It can take anywhere from 200 to 400 potential clients to provide you with enough work to stay continuously busy.

To generate clients once you become an IT consultant, you might consider making a list of all of your business associates, employers, vendors, suppliers, and decision-makers. A good way to reach out to them could be to create an electronic brochure about you and your skills. In it, you can list specific accomplishments, information about your skills, and what you bring to the market. This brochure can be sent out on a quarterly basis to help keep your information current for your clients, as well as help keep your name in front of your clientele. If you reach out to numerous prospects, chances are that you will find at least 10 people that will talk to you.

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