Have you ever thought about being a tech consultant? There is an ever-growing market for tech consultants, who work with consulting firms or independently as freelancers to help businesses address technology problems. If you’ve ever thought about working as a tech consultant, here’s everything you need to know.
What does a tech consultant do?
Tech consultants help businesses solve technology problems that they don’t have the internal capacity to handle. This might mean something like helping a business implement Salesforce, switching over their CRM, or bringing their IT department into the 21st-century. Tech consultants sometimes work independently as part of their own agency, business, or sole proprietorship. But for the purposes of this article, we will be discussing the more common type of tech consultant: one who works for a large consulting firm such as Deloitte. These tech consultants are hired by a large consulting firm, and generally work with an external company in teams to help them address whatever concerns they have. Tech consultants need to have robust technology skills, the ability to work well independently and as part of a team, and a willingness to travel for work or change assignments often. But for all its unique challenges, being a tech consultant also offers great career opportunities and unique experiences. Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of working as a tech consultant for a technology consultant firm.
Pros of being a tech consultant
Diverse job experience
One of the qualities employees enjoy most about working as a tech consultant is the opportunity to get a diverse array of job experience. Due to the short term nature of most contracts, tech consultants generally work with each client or team for a matter of weeks or months. Though this can be a drawback to some, for others it means that they get a first-hand look inside many different companies and industries. It offers employees the opportunity to explore fields of interest that they wouldn’t normally learn about. Additionally, future employers find this wide array of job experience to be extremely valuable.
Tech consultants are in high demand. In order to succeed, you have to have a wide variety of skills that aren’t always seen combined in the same individual. Highly-skilled consultants are in demand, and furthermore, the position is not a good fit for everyone. This combination of factors means that tech consultant positions tend to pay quite well.
Future employers find a tech consultant background to be highly desirable. This is because working as a tech consultant shows technology expertise, hard work, teamwork, and critical thinking. Additionally, many large consulting firms are highly respected, and therefore their employees often go on to work at highly coveted positions with companies such as Google and Facebook. Regardless of whether you want to work as a tech consultant long term, doing so for even a period of a few years can give your career a huge boost and put you on the path to success in another field of your choosing.
Cons of being a tech consultant
Traditionally, tech consultants were required to travel to visit the companies they worked with in-person. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, this has changed significantly, although similar trends still exist. If you don’t have to travel frequently, you’ll still likely be asked to change from project to project frequently, such as every few weeks or months. This high rate of change can be desirable for some people, because not everyone wants to work at a job where they do the same type of thing every day. But for others, this frequent change can be stressful, and it can make household duties like taking care of children or pets challenging.
The amount of stress you’ll face as a tech consultant varies widely depending on where you work, your position with the company, and the types of projects you work on. But it is generally thought that tech consultants deal with more job stress than others because of the combination of frequent change, work travel, and the need to adapt to new work environments often. If you’re looking for a low stress, predictable job, this might not be the best fit for you.
Tech consultants work on project basis, committing their time to finishing up with one client or project before moving on to another. This often translates into occasional long work days and gaps between projects other times. This variability is the natural result of a job that is by nature highly changeable. Having a flexible, adaptable working style is a must to be a happy and successful tech consultant.
As a tech consultant, you might have to cope with high turnover among your coworkers. This is unsurprising given the high-pressure, fast-moving pace of the job. Anyone who has worked on a team can tell you that this churn can negatively impact morale and increase workload for everyone. It won’t always be true, but the higher average rates of turnover are worth keeping in mind for anyone considering this line of work.
Is being a tech consultant right for you?
Based on the pros and cons we’ve listed, do you think working as a tech consultant would be right for you? If you have top-notch experience in technology and are interested in working in a fast-paced, challenging environment, you might enjoy working as a tech consultant. And if the idea sounds appealing but you’re turned off by some of the negative aspects, remember that there’s always the option of being an independent tech consultant. Working independently lets you cut through a lot of the red tape involved in the industry, but of course also requires a much larger commitment and level of responsibility.
Whatever you choose, the team at Tech Talent South is here to support you on your career path in technology. We place technology professionals of all skill levels with Fortune 500 companies. Contact one of our recruiters today to learn how we can help you find the position of your dreams!