Consulting field proves popular among IT business graduates

A growing number of graduates from the top IT college programs in the country are going into the field of IT consulting. Find out more about what makes these programs stand out.

When we were compiling the research for the TechRepublic Special Report entitled Top 10 U.S. college programs, I noticed that it was mentioned that a number of the graduates from these business schools go on to become IT consultants. Some of the programs even offer specific IT consulting courses.

Here are excerpts from the report that illustrate this point:

  • Meaghan Bouchoux, a 2000 James Madison University grad now working as a manager with Bearing Point, credits the school's IT Consulting course with giving her consulting career an immeasurable head start. "By the time I had graduated, I had gone through an entire systems development life cycle, so nothing was a surprise to me when I entered the consulting world. I had done the hands-on work to create that mock project from the ground up and was a few months ahead of my peers because of that experience," said Bouchoux, who in 2008 was hailed by Consulting Magazine as one of the top 30 consultants under 30.
  • The IT program at Virginia Tech, which currently hosts approximately 270 degree-seeking undergrads, attracts students desiring a technical degree they can apply to the business world. It comes as no surprise then that many of the program's graduates move into consulting firms where a more technical background is often valued alongside business acumen.
  • Many graduates of the Computing and Information Technology track [in Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business] go into consulting or work for software development or implementation companies.

Download the Top 10 U.S. college programs report for more specifics about the schools' programs. Then, post to the discussion to tell us a little about your training to become an IT consultant. Was it primarily on-the-job training, classroom education, or a mix? Or, are you completely self taught?


Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

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