Careers

IT Sector Life: Is IT a Good Career Field: Should You Be an IT Consultant?

Good salary & chance to live in international locations make IT industry an attractive choice. Learn all about the IT sector life here to know if pursuing a career in IT is the right choice for you.

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1. Career in IT Consulting: What do IT Consultants Do?

IT Consultants are responsible for taking care of all aspects of a project, right from getting new business, to capturing requirements, design, build, test and release it into the market. It is just that all these aspects are within the context of a software package. In the simplest of words, I am an IT professional. I work for an IT company as a consultant.

So the skill sets required are the technical knowledge and experience to implement that package. I specialize in telecom billing software package, which is required by telecom companies to collect payments from their consumers and generate the bill for them. Also, that package can generate reports for company’s internal use to take care of their accounting.

Should you be an IT consultant? Well, that depends on your interest and aptitude. So before we take a look at the IT sector life, let’s learn a little about how to know if IT is a good career field for you.

How is job life in IT industry

Contents: Jump to Section

1.1 Industry/Sector
1.2 Social Image
1.3 Reasons to Become an IT Consultant
2.1 Personality Traits Required
2.2 Physical Demands
2.3 Psychological Demands
3.1 Extra Curricular Activities Recommended
3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up
3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows
3.4 Related Fiction to Read/ Novels
4.1 Part-Time Options
4.2 Traveling Required
4.3 Average Workday/What to Expect
5.1 Retirement Prospects
5.2 Threats from Automation
5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit

1.1 Industry/Sector

Telecom, computer, software, digital, automotive, etc.

IT professionals may work in many industries, as the software package can be used different industries. The primary industry for my skillset is Telecom, but I have also worked in digital content and automotive industries using the same skillset.

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1.2 Social Image

Respectable but not well understood.

Generally, IT professionals are well-educated and earn well, which makes this profession quite respectable, especially if you are working in a good company.

However, the IT profession is perceived as difficult to understand by most people, even though IT is all around us these days. Probably many people have no interest in understanding and simply choose to ignore!

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1.3 Reasons to Become a IT Consultant

Good pay-scale, good work-life balance, opportunity to travel the world and live abroad & work with people around the world.

One of the best things about the IT sector life are the flexible hours. The IT jobs have great working hours (9 to 5), but even within those, lots of managers allow work from home options.

Frankly for me, it was not much of a choice for me to get into this profession. At the beginning of my career, all that mattered was landing a good job. But with experience, I could foresee good growth, opportunities to travel the world, connect with people across the globe and also earn a respectable salary. Hence I stuck to this profession.

2. What It Takes to Be a IT Consultant

2.1 Personality Traits Required/ Preferred

Aptitude in computers & technology, dynamic personality, networking abilities, good communication.

Mostly soft skills are required in the IT industry. Though in IT industry, it is always good to have a strong technical hold of the area you are working in, but that matters only up to a certain level. Beyond that, it is all about having a dynamic personality, good contacts with people in the industry, social skills and ability to interpret customer’s need.

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2.2 Physical Demands

Frequent travel, frequent after-hour phone-meetings (telecons).

Travel is, of course, a big part of the IT sector life. It could be short term (for weeks) or long term (for years). The more you can travel, the more you will interact with the customers. Since it is at the client location where the real action is happening. After all, all the work is being done for the client only.

Whether or not they are located at an international location for a project, IT professionals are frequently required to be available for phone meetings during after-office hours with client & colleagues.

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2.3 Psychological Demands

Work pressure to get a project, extended periods of too much or too little work.

There are two phases to my profession – bench period and project period. If you are not working on a project, you are on bench. Bench time is mostly easy going but you always have the pressure to get yourself to be on a project, as people on project are deemed more useful.

The onsite projects are the biggest part of the IT sector life. When you are on project, the work pressure depends on the type of project and client’s demands. I have had days when I had to work for 20 hours straight, and days where no work at all for months together.

3. How to Build Interest in a Career in IT

3.1 Extra Curricular Activities Recommended

Reading, debates or public speaking, team sports or college clubs, exercise, music or meditation.

Read a lot of stuff. Try to know things happening around you. Improve your speaking and presentation skills. Let go off your stage fear. So join some activities or clubs that can help you practise public speaking. These are necessary when you’re looking to get promoted from mid to higher management.

Don’t hesitate to think beyond the normal. Also, since traveling is a very common part of the IT sector life, keep yourself active and learn how to relieve stress.

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3.2 Related Hobbies to Take Up

Computers, new technologies, basic writing, NGOs or starting a club in school.

Every teenager should probably learn the three key software that every IT professional needs – Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Some writing skills also come in handy as this job involves a lot of documentation and emails. Try to join some non-profit organization or start a club in your school. This will help you improve social and leadership skills, which are helpful when you get promoted to management roles.

Besides this, learn self-sustainability skills like cooking, washing, ironing etc. as they will be helpful when you are out traveling all alone.

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3.3 Related Movies/ TV Shows

Steve Jobs
The Social Network
Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year.

3.4 Related Fiction to Read/ Novels

Go for Lee Iacocca’s biography, Marketing Management by Philip Kotler, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell.

We would also recommend books about upcoming technologies like big data, blockchain, cloud computing, etc.

4. IT Sector Life: Life as an IT Professional

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4.1 Part-Time Options

Possible but uncommon.

This depends on how you are able to manage your time. People do freelancing as well, since many small companies require professionals who are expert in certain areas to work on small projects. Location is not much of a constraint for this job, so you can work on such projects from anywhere at any time.

Additionally, a full time IT job may still leave extra time for you to take up other part-time work or hobbies, although after-hour meetings with offshore clients or colleagues may not allow this.

4.2 Traveling Required

Extensive and frequent.

Extensive traveling – both short term and long term – is required based on project needs. Clients prefer some key folks to be based onsite to coordinate with the offshore team. Companies often do rotation of onsite-offshore team members to maintain enthusiasm in the team.

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4.3 Average Workday/What to Expect

Described below is a typical day in the life of an IT professional who is based out of client location in US.

9.00 am – Reach office

9 – 9.30 – check emails and respond to key ones. Prepare list of items to be acted upon. Check the calendar for all meetings scheduled for the day.

9.30-1 – Coordinate with client team on project work. Work on design documentation, analysis, reviews, follow ups, etc.

1-2 – Lunch

2-5 – Attend meetings scheduled. Take down key items to be passed to offshore. Send out meeting notes as applicable. Get clarifications. Prepare agenda for next day.

5-7 – Attend offshore calls, explain the delivery items offshore team needs to take care of. Take status of the delivery so far and any questions to be clarified by the client.

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5. Future of Your Career in IT Consulting

5.1 Retirement Prospects

Standard age of retirement is around 60. You can start your own company or become a freelancer post retirement.

5.2  Threats from Automation

Not really, since with automation, new jobs will be created to gain the skill-sets of new technologies and implement them.

5.3 Common Reasons for People to Quit

Most people at entry level quit as soon as they get a better salary offer elsewhere. Hence, attrition rate is very high at that level. At middle level, normally people quit due to location constraints or if they are not happy with their current managers. People also quit at this level if they don’t foresee any more growth in current position, due to less positions available at higher level.

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Alexander

    March 25, 2019 at 11:20 am

    So helpful. Thanks, I’m reading this for my son who is considering IT engineering.

  2. Sabrina

    March 30, 2019 at 12:00 am

    IT still seems like one of the most popular choices in India with a good salary.

  3. Bhakti

    April 9, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    valuable Information, thanks.

  4. judi

    April 10, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Excellent article! We will be linking to this great article on our website.
    Keep up the good writing.
    – bahastopikgosip2

  5. E kapoor

    June 3, 2019 at 7:42 pm

    So the IT Sector Life can be dull for anyone who doesn’t love IT!

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