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What exactly do tech consultants do?

Would it include any sort of programming or SWE?

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Subject: Career question for you

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11 answers


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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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