You can become a business technology consultant by developing an expertise in matching technology solutions to business strategies. Clients in this area expect consultants to have credentials in both business administration and information technology (IT) that will include a combination of education and experience. There isn't one specific formula to determine the appropriate amount of each needed across both disciplines. Generally, you should work to develop a specialist's deep knowledge of business operations and a generalist's broad knowledge of technology hardware and software platforms.
Consultants tend to have a unique set of credentials that exhibit less standardization than what you would find in an employee position that conforms to a standard job description. Finding two consultants doing the same work in the same industry with completely different professional biographies is not unusual. There are generally certain competencies expected in particular consultancies that can provide a reasonable path to establishing a recognized expertise. Keep in mind that working as a consultant often has more to do with relationships and marketing yourself than any specific credential or combination of credentials.
To become a business technology consultant, you will need at least an undergraduate degree in a business major. Consultants tend to have more success with an advanced degree to their credit because it lends an additional level of credibility to their advice. Consequently, a master's of business administration (MBA) would be helpful.
Most business schools offer specialty classes in applications of IT and business systems development. Focusing on IT for your business education is feasible but generally not the best option. A business technology consultant has to first be able to understand business strategy and systems before he can propose a technology solution. Your foundational specialty should be business operations, against which you apply your general knowledge of technology.
Practical experience developing business systems using various hardware and software technology platforms in large scale environments will do the most to help you become a business technology consultant. Consultants benefit the most from being able to point to references and successful past engagements that demonstrate the ability to handle large scale diverse aspects of the job. You can gain experience by working as an employee in corporate IT departments, working for another consultancy before branching out on your own, or working as a subcontractor under a more experienced firm on big jobs.
Specific knowledge of technology platforms can be obtained in a variety of ways. Developers offer training and credentialing to users as part of their marketing strategy. Proprietary schools and other third parties also offer training and credentialing for a fee. To become a business technology consultant, you have to stay up-to-date on the latest hardware and software platforms. A working knowledge of the options available will enable you to identify the best solution for a client's expressed needs.