Oh My Job is a web series dedicated to discovering jobs as explained by in-the-field professionals. In this episode, Lucas, an IT consultant, tells us about his job and day-to-day tasks at BCG Platinion.
An information technology consultant, otherwise known as an IT consultant, helps businesses create value and optimize their performance through technology.
IT consultants undertake strategic or operational missions, but they also help a client in implementation; they help develop or roll out a prototype or software to respond to a specific need.
“One of the last things I worked on was for a big manufacturer who wanted to create their 5-year road map about artificial intelligence. In a case like this, we’re going to help them decide what to invest in, what technologies and architecture to set up, what kind of people to hire, and so on.”
To carry out a project successfully, an IT consultant goes through several steps. They will begin by conducting interviews with certain employees within the client company, with the aim of collecting information and data. The second step consists of analyzing the collected data. Next, the IT consultant will discuss each subject with their in-house experts, and with the client, too, to formulate recommendations and action plans. Lastly, the IT consultant will hand over the results of their analyses and propose appropriate solutions.
Although the classic path is engineering school, IT consultants can enter the field through many different ways, including business school with a major in IT or higher studies like an MBI.
- They must be very analytical, while also being creative: Analytical because they must scrutinize a vast amount of information. Using this information, they must be creative in order to find the best solutions to their client’s problems.
- They must also be flexible. An IT consultant changes clients, sectors and often the problems they are working on. So they must be able to adapt quickly.
- And they must know how to be humble while confronting the issues they will manage and working with clients and new teams.
“…companies coming to consulting agencies have very complex issues with no easy answers. We are humble with the people we are going to work with, especially at the beginning of our career. We aren’t there to tell them what they should do. We are there to help them develop solutions and set them up.”
- To top it all off, an IT consultant must be proficient in using a certain number of technical tools, especially data analysis tools.
“On a daily basis, we use data analysis tools. Excel when it’s simple. Otherwise, Alteryx and Tableau. If we are on a data science project, we might use Python on Jupyter Notebooks. If we test APIs, we’ll use Postman.”
Externally, IT consultants work with all types of businesses, from luxury goods, agri-foods to aerospace—anything is possible. In-house, they work with a project team made up of other IT or specialized consultants, experts, and project managers.
The annual salary in the US is about $64,000 per year.
“The biggest advantage in consulting…we can hope for a 10% increase on average per year. Which means in 4 or 5 years, we’ll be over €60,000. And after a dozen years, hopefully over €100,000.”
In the consulting industry, there is a very standard career path: consultant, senior consultant, and finally, manager. What is interesting is that at each one of these career steps, consultants might also be asked to come on board by one of their customers. By progressing in the IT sector, an IT consultant can become part of IS management departments. They can start as a project manager or even IS direct. Another path is that of a product owner in a digital system management team, a scrum master or a member of a development team.
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