dcsimg

Career Story: Self-Employed Information Technology Consultant

Self-Employed Information Technology Consultant

Job Title: Self-Employed Information Technology Consultant

Type of Company: I am a self-employed consultant. I help my clients solve business problems with computer systems (technology).

Education: BA, Liberal Arts, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Previous Experience: After college, I took a job doing computer programming. The job involved doing custom programming for clients. Over time, I began to work more and more with clients, and less and less with machines. My career has continued that trend so that, although it's always technology-related, I work more with people and business challenges than computer issues.

Job Tasks: My consulting work with clients helps them with business and technology issues. Lately, I have developed a sideline and specialty in helping hospitals raise funds. It probably sounds simple, but it involves sophisticated computer systems and many strategic decisions. I work with my clients to ensure that the computer systems are doing as much as possible to increase the efficiency of their offices. And that the proper information is being captured and reported to enable managers to make informed decisions about how to run their business.

Here's an example to make it clearer what I mean. Some people -- wealthy people -- make very large donations to hospitals, literally millions of dollars, in appreciation of the care they've been given. Working with the donors to reel this kind of gift in requires many meetings and a lot of creative work. (It's not so simple to give away a million dollars!) And hospitals have come to depend on such donations to keep their heads above water. (Hospitals don't actually make a big profit.) So it's important to them to anticipate their needs and track donations coming in -- along with who made them, of course -- and to monitor the efforts they're making to win further donations. Tracking all this information requires databases, reports and consistent business procedures. It is my job to help my clients create these things.

A typical day involves meeting with managers and discussing the problems they are encountering, and then designing some sort of technological solution for their problem. Over time, we would meet again to confirm that the solution will address their problem. Once that is confirmed, a building phase begins. As the solution (computer program, report, etc.) is developed we check in to confirm that we are on track. In the end, there is usually some training involved to help people use the new system. Of course, this doesn't really all happen in one day!

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: As an independent consultant, I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being my own boss. Of course, no one is really ever his "own boss"; everyone works for someone. In my case, my customers are the boss. Still, I find that owning my own business allows me more freedom than working for another company.

I don't know if there's a worst part, but there's a large responsibility about being self-employed and there's not much of a safety net. If my company has a lay-off... I'm the first to go!

Job Tips: If you're interested in technology as a career, I would encourage you to learn a business as well. Just knowing technology is fun and can be helpful to people. But when that knowledge is combined with business knowledge (of healthcare, finance, manufacturing... anything) then you offer much more value.

And anyone in school should make sure that he can write well. Even with texting, Facebook and cell phones, written communication is still very important in business. Being able to write clearly and persuasively will significantly help anyone's career.

Additional Thoughts: Some kids are focused in high school and know what they want to be. Others have no clue. I was the latter. I'm 48 now and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up! But work hard and study hard. Your education will be very important no matter what you choose to do. Your career might pick you -- rather than vice versa -- but you will create many more opportunities for yourself by studying hard now. You're young now, but it won't be long (trust me!) before you are supporting yourself and, perhaps, a family. Make it as easy on yourself as possible. Give yourself the best chance. It sounds silly, but your parents really are right: do your homework and study hard.

Popular Schools offering Computer Programming Software Development Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Love solving problems with technology? Make it into a career with a degree from GCU!

  • Programs: B.S. in Computer Programming
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

  • Programs: Mobile Gaming
  • Degrees: Master
Platt College
Anaheim

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Web Development Programming Diploma Program
  • Degrees: Certificate
ABCO Technology
Los Angeles

ABCO Technology is an accredited computer training academy that offers diploma programs for individual students, professionals and companies to learn different areas of Information technology and seek gainful employment.

  • Programs: Programming, PHP , Java, more...
  • Degrees: Certificate

Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.

  • Programs: Computer Programming - Associate, Mobile Application Software Engineering - Bachelor, Computer Science - Bachelor, more...
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor
California College San Diego
National City, San Diego, San Marcos

The Secret to Getting Ahead is Getting Started

  • Programs: Computer Programming (AAS), Computer Science - Software and Mobile Application Development (BS)
  • Degrees: Associate, Bachelor

Earn your Master's in Computer Science online from Syracuse University without relocating or leaving your job. GRE waivers are available for those who qualify.

  • Programs: MS in Computer Science
  • Degrees: Master

You can advance your career with a degree from Charter College Online.

  • Programs: Certificate - Computer Technician
  • Degrees: Certificate

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Computer Information Systems (Bachelor of Science) - Online, Cybersecurity Certificate
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Certificate

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Computer Information Systems, Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Software Engineers For Systems

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Software Engineers For Systems, including:

Back to Top