In our latest Matlen Silver blog, we shared the characteristics of a full-service Technology Solutions Provider that differentiate them in the tech space. While TSPs are generally an entity comprised of solutions experts, we now ask, “who are those experts?” Many of those experts are aptly classified as Technology Consultants, often called Information Technology (IT) Consultants. And falling under the umbrella of Technology Consultants, there is a myriad of roles, disciplines, worker classifications, and expertise that define any technology consultant.
In fact, technology consultants are some of the most diverse professionals in the employment landscape, spanning every industry and niche market. They serve as either the gears that help Technology Solutions Providers build what works for their clients. Or, they work independently, joining solutions teams or working directly for hiring companies to help create, innovate and improve tech-based business processes.
In any capacity, a technology consultant’s mission is to create efficiencies, manage costs, mitigate risks, protect organizational integrity and drive successful outcomes that improve businesses.
How do you become a Technology Consultant?
While the requirement of formalized training is slowly starting to change, in general, it is widely accepted that Technology Consultants will have training and education in a computer science-related major, either presenting with a collegiate degree or specialized certification. Technology consultants will be fluent in the basic understanding of information technology. We have not yet moved away from the 4-year degree across the majority of hiring companies; however, there are some organizations that are exploring prioritizing hands-on work experience over formal education.
By the very nature of their title, Technology Consultants are hired to lead a digital transformation or manage one aspect of the entire process. There are tech generalists that are able to collaborate across the business and tech teams, with excellent project management skills and an acute ability to translate technical terms and ideas into more mainstream, digestible information for an organization as a whole.
There are technology consultants who also drill down into specialized disciplines, as noted by the many other roles that fall under their umbrella like Software Developers, Programmers, Information Technology Analysts, Cybersecurity Analysts, Cloud Engineers and more, who understand how to code, develop software, integrate networks, and execute security strategies.
Yet, while most professionals in the field already have a technology-based background, rapidly-changing needs in the market are showing individuals steadily migrating to technology positions from other industries over the last few years. Along with the healthcare industry, the employment forecast for technology roles shows no sign of slowing down, and professionals are taking notice and making moves. With the availability of training for a second career, as well as business roles that already touch the tech side, you no longer need to have your origins in tech but can grow into that role during your career journey.
What do Hiring Companies look for in a Technology Consultant?
As most organizations are focused on a definitive technological transformation, they are seeking out Technology Consultants that bring a desired skillset to the table, whether it be specializing in a program language, implementing certain network configurations, or building cloud and security platforms to wholly support them. Of course, expertise in continually evolving technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep learning, is highly coveted.
Like with most industries, depending on the complexity of the project at hand, a Technology Consultant will need to demonstrate experience level, whether in length of time or project outcomes based on their technical skillset. However, in addition to possessing technical know-how, many employers are seeking a high level of business acumen, and the right combination of soft skills for their tech hires. The ability to adapt, lead, communicate and thrive in a team environment are important contributing factors to landing a job in tech (or anywhere for that matter).
Technology Consultants lead in independence and the trend in remote work.
The pandemic may have made “remote work” and “hybrid work” household terms, but technology consultants have been embarking on this work lifestyle for years. While some consultants require in-house work (for instance, the installation of network hardware), much of what a technology consultant manages can be done off-site. And in fact, these consultants are often responsible for developing, implementing, and securing the technology that makes off-site working possible for all an organization’s team members.
With the ability to work from anywhere, anytime, it’s no wonder that technology professionals comprise the largest segment of freelance or independent workers in recent surveys. That’s not to say that technology consultants don’t seek out traditional full-time employment. But with the availability of different worker classifications that allow for more flexibility, movement, and even higher pay-scales from organization to organization, coupled with now widely accepted remote work environments, technology consultants are in an optimal position to work independently.
Technology Consultants will continue to enhance the digital future of work.
With research showing that 2.3 million technology consultants are operating in the U.S. alone, no longer is the tech department a distant arm in an organization. Technology consultants are leaders in their organizations, touching virtually every industry as the future of work relies more heavily on technology foundations and advancements. Their influence is woven throughout an organization, from the moment you walk through the secure office doors or sit down in your home office and log in to the network each workday.
Technology solutions firms and recruiting experts like Matlen Silver have known this is where we are headed for decades. That is why we are the premier partner for connecting hiring companies with leading Technology Consultants of today. Contact our team today to collaborate on the best digital transformation strategy, executed through our network of the top tech talent in the industry.