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What exactly do tech consultants do?

Would it include any sort of programming or SWE?

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Naomi,

It doesn't have to involve programming or software engineering - if you don't want it to.

As a technology consultant you can work with your customers to guide them on what what they should do next for their company or even what they should stop doing to make their technology and teams work in a more efficient way.
To be a successful technology consultant you need to be interested in technology and want to understand what the trends are going to be so you can share this information with your customers.
There are lots of areas customers will need to support and expertise on when it comes to technology, such as how to structure a technology team, how to run a project or even how to respond to government/regulator queries.

I hope that is helpful!
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Donzaile’s Answer

Naomi that is a great question, consulting is a vast field that several markets take advantage of. A consultant is a professional who is very knowledgeable in a specific field or multiple fields and are relied upon for information or guidance by a client. Depending on the field , a college degree may be necessary , such as a medical consultant or legal consultant , some professions just take experience like in sales for example. If you can learn just about everything there is to know about something and you have a skill for problem solving and you have great listening skills as well , you can become a successful consultant.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Naomi
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Ryan’s Answer

Hey Naomi,

Technology consulting provides expert advice and guidance to clients on a wide range of technology-related issues. Their primary goal is to help clients use technology effectively to achieve their business objectives.

Tech consultants typically work with clients to identify their technology needs and requirements, and then develop and implement solutions to address those needs. This may involve designing and implementing software applications, developing and deploying hardware and networking solutions, providing technical support and training to clients, and conducting research and analysis on emerging technologies and industry trends.

Some specific tasks could look like this:

- Conducting needs assessments and identifying areas where technology can help clients achieve their goals
- Developing and implementing technology solutions to address client needs, such as software applications or hardware upgrades
- Providing technical support and training to clients to ensure they are able to use technology effectively
- Conducting research and analysis on emerging technologies and trends in the tech industry
- Working with clients to develop and implement strategies for managing their technology infrastructure and systems
- Collaborating with other professionals, such as software developers or network engineers, to develop and implement technology solutions for clients.

It helps to understand how languages interact and how engineers work but not required to be a programmer yourself. I would suggest a broad understanding of key languages that will be exposed to you or your client. Being familiar with them will help you understand the landscape more deeply.
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Claire’s Answer

I did an internship at Accenture, which is a tech consulting company, last year. I am a CS major at CMU and am currently interning at Cisco as a SWE consultant intern. As a tech consulting analyst intern, we didn't really build any projects ourselves. Rather, we used our knowledge of technology to advise clients and come up with solutions for them that use other companies' products. Most of our work was researching and creating slideshows. However, right now I am doing coding projects for internal clients, who we often need to work with closely to translate their wishes into a clear tech problem with a well defined scope. So, I think it really depends on what type of tech consulting position you are in and what company you're at. Sometimes you may just help clients conceptualize their desires into a concrete plan that uses possibly multiple different technologies to do what they want, while other times you may actually be creating those technologies.
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Phani’s Answer

Designing and testing a range of software and technical solutions.
Driving the rapid adoption of new technologies, ideas and processes.
Creating user and training documentation and overseeing training sessions.
Using data modelling and analysis to inform and illustrate solutions.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Naomi
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Shweta’s Answer

In my opinion, key technology consulting elements are:
-IT strategy development
-Account Management
-Knowing client’s industry better than client does.

Hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Hey Shweta, can you elaborate on what "IT strategy development" and "Account Management" are? For a students, these terms may not make sense Gurpreet Lally, Admin
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Chiranjib’s Answer

Hi Rebecca

A consultant is someone who helps the client reach their desired goal by sharing their expertise. This is a very generic definition of who a consultant is.

Now, as some of the other experts have correctly pointed out, there are several branches under consulting.
1. Strategy consultant
2. Management consultant
3. Operations consultant
4. Human resources consultant
5. Financial advisory consultant
6. Technology consultant
and many more...

All these branches will again have sub-branches, for example, Technology consulting may be categorized further into:
1. Hardware
2. Database
3. Software
4. Cloud
5. Security
etc.

Now, depending on the type of education and expertise you have, your consulting field will vary. But whatever field you choose, deep expertise is expected, as otherwise how will you help clients reach their goals?

Not all types of consulting require programming or software engineering knowledge, as you might have understood already.
But some definitely need it. For example - An information technology consultant, specializing in cloud, is expected to understand the technology landscape very well and should have hands-on experience in multiple cloud services.

I hope this made sense. Best wishes.

Thanks,
Chiranjib
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Amanda’s Answer

Hey Naomi- Tech consultants can work in a variety of areas- from cybersecurity to emerging technology, to cloud services, and much more. The type of roles within technology consulting also vary widely as the teams need to have different skills. There are those who can code/program, design processes and work with the business, requirements gathering and design of architecture, and much more.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Naomi
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Cale’s Answer

Great question! Many terms are not known by just their names and students don't usually say they want to be a "consultant" when they grow up. I certainly didn't.
Technology consultants might mean a very specific role or a generic role within a technology company (example, I am a consultant at a tech company that assists with planning. It's not specifically technology consulting but it is consulting within a technology company)

My advice is to look online at job boards (Linkedin, indeed, monster, etc...) and see what the job requirements are for the search term "consulting" or "consultant"

Each company might define it differently so this should give you a good idea of the variety of minimum requirements.
[note: you will not become a consultant rigth away as it's not an entry level job. You can work towards this career however and it is rewarding]

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the advice. Naomi
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Michelle’s Answer

As a tech consultant, we provide advice on hardware, software and network capabilities to businesses and people. We also define requirements, design and define the solutions. We help businesses and people understand how to leverage technology for their business needs. We ask a lot of questions to understand who is involved, what technology is at play and what processes need to be developed or enhanced to solve the problems.

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

Study computer science and/or engineering
Sign up for Salesforce Trailhead to learn more (for free!)
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I am glad to hear that you would like to be tech consultant.
There are many different aspects in technology, eg Development, System, Database, Hardware, Security, etc. All is of these have their own specific domain knowledge.
The consultant can be in one of the particular area or they can be a specific platform or product.
If you are interested to be a consultant, I suggest you can start with taking computer science course in the college first. This will give you an overview of different aspects. You can then decide what area you develop your career.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Naomi
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Terry’s Answer

Hi Naomi! In my experience, tech consulting is a versatile profession that offers a range of work opportunities and requires adaptability. As a tech consultant, one is able to work with a range of technologies based on their specialization, offering ample opportunities for growth and exploration.

As a technical consultant, one enhances information technology systems by implementing hardware and software solutions. Through analysis and communication with management and other departments, we provide innovative solutions to meet their needs and improve the system's efficacy.

In the world of consulting, the options are endless and depends on what specialization you are interested in pursuing. I have shared a link with you regarding the role of a tech consultant, which might be helpful for your reference.

https://nigcareers.com/technical-consultant-job-description/

Hope this helps!
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Jerel’s Answer

Hi Naomi! It's great to hear that you're interested in tech consulting. Tech consultants are professionals who work with businesses to help them use technology effectively to achieve their goals. Tech consultants can work for consulting firms or as independent contractors.

As a tech consultant, your primary focus is on providing strategic guidance to businesses on how to use technology to improve their operations. You might help them develop a technology strategy, evaluate technology solutions, or implement new systems. Your goal is to help your clients achieve their business objectives through the use of technology.

While tech consultants do work closely with technology, they typically do not do any programming or software engineering themselves. Instead, they work with technology teams to understand the capabilities and limitations of various systems and technologies, and then translate that information into business recommendations for their clients.

That being said, some tech consultants may have a background in programming or software engineering, and may use that knowledge to inform their recommendations. Additionally, some consulting firms may have dedicated teams of programmers or software engineers who work on the technical aspects of their projects.

I hope this gives you a good understanding of what tech consultants do. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask!
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Wilson’s Answer

I'm in the tech consulting, in a more cloud security side of things. What we do is we advise clients on what security controls and solutions we put in place into the cloud products they use. For example, we would advise clients on security controls and solutions for G Suite and Microsoft 365 applications. Once the clients agree, we implement and test it for them.
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Humzah’s Answer

Technology consulting includes a plethora of disciplines:

- Business Purpose: Based on this an organization can figure out it's IT needs
- Technology - An organization can determine hardware, software, business logic, processes, and security it will utilize to serve its purpose
- Strategy - The best method to achieve successful and most efficient results for the business
- Security - Ensuring the business is secure from malicious actors, disasters, and competitors

Consulting involves a lot more than the list I have provided above since it always depends on the business requirements. Consultants provide services that assist clients with achieving their long term or short term goals utilizing technology that can conveniently and efficiently satisfy customers and clients benefitting from the business's services offerings and products.
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Connor’s Answer

All really depends! I am in what is known as "tech consulting" and our team and I implement the newest version of SAP to our clients. I am on the Project Management side of things.

As many said before, tech consulting can mean SO much! It just depends what you're after whether it's: cloud services, emerging tech, blockchain, cybersecurity, etc.
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