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Essential Training and Certifications for Aspiring IT Consultants

By Maria Hickey on March 7th, 2024

For IT professionals looking to become IT consultants, it’s important to build expertise around in-demand technologies that clients need help with. This includes areas like cloud computing, cybersecurity, data management, and network infrastructure.

While having strong technical skills is a good starting point, getting certified by top technology companies can help take your credentials to the next level. Industry-recognised certifications from companies like Microsoft signal to potential clients that you are an expert in those areas.

The Value of IT Certifications

While hands-on IT experience is the basic requirement for consultancy roles, credentials deliver additional advantages, including:

  • Expertise Signals – Renowned certifications signal IT expertise to prospective customers.
  • Higher Billings – Many certified consultants set premium day rates compared to uncertified peers.
  • Project Access – Top organisations mandate consultants carry certain credentials before assigning them to jobs.
  • Career Development – Certifications help consultants specialise around high-demand technology areas.
  • Partnerships – Certifications provide access to valuable software, tools and partner programs.

Given these benefits, the return on training investments proves substantial.

Top Certification Areas

When deciding which certifications to pursue, focus on areas such as:

Cloud Computing Certifications

Getting certified in cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud is essential for consultants focused on cloud migration and management.

Cybersecurity Certifications

Cybersecurity credentials like CISM (Certificate in Information Security Management Principles) and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) validate skills in securing enterprise systems and data.

Data Management Certifications

Certifications in leading databases and analytics tools like Oracle, SAP and SAS are useful for consultants pursuing big data roles.

Project Management Certifications

Widely-recognised project management certifications like PMP demonstrate critical abilities in planning and governing IT projects.

Network Infrastructure Certifications

Certifications in networking from companies like Cisco and CompTIA validate skills in designing and supporting modern IT infrastructure.

Pursuing both broad certifications as well as specialised credentials in key niches are helpful.

Navigating Training Logistics

Finding time for training while working poses challenges, but flexible options exist:

Online Self-Paced Courses

  • Allow you to learn at your own pace on a flexible schedule
  • Enable fitting training around existing work commitments in small increments
  • However, lack of an instructor poses risks of developing knowledge gaps or improper skills practices without live expert feedback

Live Remote Training

  • Provides scheduled access to instructors for live Q&A during virtual classes
  • Enables clarifying concepts and gaining guidance in real-time
  • However, committing to inflexible scheduled sessions can prove challenging alongside client obligations
  • Might require adjusting consulting availability if training times are limited

Immersive Bootcamps

  • Comprehensive 2-4 week in-person programs offering 8+ hours of daily intensive hands-on training
  • Deliver deep-dive curriculum and extensive IT work for accelerated skill building

Conferences

  • Often week-long events delivering education across dozens of sessions
  • Mix of keynotes, panels, networking events and focused breakout sessions
  • Better for awareness and inspiration rather than definitive certification preparation

The key is choosing an approach that fits both your schedule constraints and learning needs.

Brisco IT Consultant Insurance

For IT consultants pursuing elite expertise, globally-recognised certifications enable you to position yourself as an expert on the  subject matter, warranting premium fees.

However, elevated consultant statuses also bring heightened liability risks. 

At Brisco Business, we offer comprehensive insurance tailored to risks facing advanced IT consultancies. Our policies protect against errors and omissions claims, cyber incidents, property damage, and other costly threats that could disrupt your practices.

We understand certified consultants face greater performance expectations from clients – meaning more liability exposures. Our customised IT consultant insurance policies deliver coverage shielding the hard-earned value of your credentials. Contact us today to lock in policies protecting your consultancy so nothing halts your rise to the top.

Maria Hickey

For more than 20 years, Maria has worked in the insurance sector and has extensive underwriting and customer service expertise. Maria is an experienced Senior Underwriter with a particular specialism for shop, office and surgery related insurance.

All articles by Maria Hickey

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