People who work as implementation consultants normally consult high level managers and executives about how best to implement new systems and adapt to new trends and regulations. These professionals often are experienced information technology (IT) specialists, though they also tend to have plenty of experience working in other facets of a particular industry. For instance, an implementation consultant in the financial industry might have a deep understanding of financial intelligence systems, as well as regulations that apply to areas such as trading and investing. To become an implementation consultant, it is important to earn an undergraduate degree in a field such as information systems. If you choose not to study a computer related field, you should at least take courses that prepare you to apply software and telecommunication solutions in organizational contexts.
Aside from understanding information systems, a person who wants to become an implementation consultant should also be a business expert. Courses in management and finance are very important for an individual with these kinds of aspirations. In most cases, it is also necessary that you have a strong understanding of your industry. For instance, if you want to become an implementation consultant in the pharmaceutical industry, you need to be familiar with laws and regulations dictated by a food and drug administration. You also need to become aware of pharmaceutical markets, including competitor companies, products, and retailers.
A person who wants to become an implementation consultant can begin his or her career with only an undergraduate degree in a field related to business information systems. Individuals who are interested in moving into senior level positions, on the other hand, can greatly benefit from graduate degrees. It is common for people to start working in industries of their choice after earning undergraduate degrees then returning to school to pursue higher levels of education. In some cases, employers might even fund promising employees' graduate educations.
To become an implementation consultant, it is important that you get experience in as many different areas within your industry as possible. In most cases, you should concentrate on designing and implementing IT systems. You should also take managerial positions. It is important that you find opportunities to lead projects. In these cases, you might assemble teams of employees, lead strategic planning initiatives, and choose intelligence solutions.
Many implementation consultants work for firms that are contracted by businesses in need of assistance. Others might work as full time consultants for specific businesses. In either case, you can benefit from finding a niche area of specialization, since this can help you establish a particular client base.