An IT consultant works with businesses in order to optimise their use of Information Technology to meet business objectives and overcome problems. By helping businesses improve their structure and technical systems an IT consultant can improve efficiency and production. As well as dealing with technical solutions and system maintenance the job may also involve sales, marketing and managerial duties while working as part of a team.
In order to become an IT consultant, especially in a top company, it is usual to have formal qualifications in computing, or in a related area (such as business management), and have a strong interest and proficiency in computing. A typical graduate job will require a 2:1, or higher, bachelor degree in an Information Technology subject or a Higher National Diploma (HND) with relevant experience. There are many different courses available in the area of IT; some of which are more general whereas others specialise in certain subjects such as computer science or software engineering. Some universities also offer joint honours courses where you can study IT along with another subject such as business or marketing; you should research each course thoroughly to decide which one is best suited to you.
Like most university courses you will first need at least five GCSEs graded A*-C, usually including one in maths and sometimes science as well. Other entry requirements usually include at least three A levels or a B-TEC in information technology. Each course will have different entry requirements so you should check with each institution individually before applying.
It will help your CV and entry profile for university if you have prior experience in IT and computers. This could be helping family and friends fix their computers at home or, if you can, getting a part-time job in a company where you can expand your knowledge of how IT is used in business.
Career pathways after graduation
There are many opportunities for IT graduates as many companies require specialist knowledge to help them develop their IT departments. A lot of companies offer graduate schemes where you will be employed under the supervision of a senior IT consultant and brought into the company.