IT Employment

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Choosing IT consulting

By junior ·
For a long time i've been wondering what path it should choose in the IT world, after goggling, job searching, and looking through career magz, website etc? and comparing with my goals i?ve found that IT consulting matches exactly what I need to be.

Anyhow enough of the story line?

I?m currently only A+ certified (with have 2 years in the VoIP & networking industry) I?ve read that this level of certification is enough to start an IT consulting business, though it may be true once I target my market carefully I wonder if I should wait until I complete my networking +, security + and MCSE exams to increase my technological experience and abilities.

At this point i?m confident at handling stuff such as:
PC installation, troubleshooting, Helpdesk, Network installation and upgrade, security implementation, Backup strategies, Digital communication (Email, Voice, In-network Instant messaging) Basic user training,

Please let me know what you think!!


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Back To The Basics

by FirstPeter In reply to Choosing IT consulting

Sounds like you have the technical skills; most of those are probably right on target for small businesses. You might also want to look at server management - that's another key service more and more SBs are after.

But aside from that, what about the "basics"?

Going into consulting (on your own, I presume) requires quite a bit more than the technical skills. In fact, I would argue that the technical skills are less important than things like communication, project/time management, and the like. You can find someone (think partnerships with other consultants) to do the technical work if you can't, but if you can't communicate well you might as well kiss business goodbye.

Keep in mind that as an independent consultant you've got responsibility for (among other things):
- Marketing
- Sales
- Billing
- Bookkeeping / Accounting
- Budgeting
- Project Management
- Pricing

And all of that is on top of doing the actual work itself. :)

From a consultant's point of view (a view that's shared by most of my clients, as well), certification is pretty much worthless from a marketing/sales perspective. If small businesses are the focus of your business most of them really don't know, much less care, what "A+", "MCSE", "CCNE", etc., stand for. All they care about is that you can do what you told them you'd do.

That's not to say having those certifications is a waste of money - it's good for your training (you want to stay on top of your tech), but don't count on them bringing home the proverbial bacon.

All that said, it's a heck of a ride. Don't let the downs get to you (there WILL be downs), and enjoy the ups when they come. If you don't mind taking the risk of working for yourself and can effectively budget your time, money, and other resources, GO FOR IT!

Matthew Moran has some good advice (he's got a good blog, too, on IT Toolbox):

The TR thread below might also help (it covered a topic along the same general vein):

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