How to Get Started as a Freelance IT Consultant

freelance IT consultant is a professional who is technically well qualified and proficient enough in the field to provide IT solutions to the problems faced by large business houses. If you want to become a freelance IT consultant, you must be proficient enough in software development or development of IT solutions. As companies prefer to outsource their non-core business related activities like IT to freelance professionals, you can get good opportunities to start with if you have the skills necessary.

Educational Qualifications

Though you can become an IT consultant for sheer knowledge on the subject, the time taken to establish yourself will be very long. A degree in engineering, computer science or information technology will help you overcome this hurdle. Apart from this, you should have diplomas or certifications in latest technologies.

As there are various types of IT consultancy services available, including Enterprise Portal Solutions, Enterprise Content Management Solution, Business Intelligence and Data warehouse, Document Management Solution, Custom Application Development, Distributed Computing, and more, the technical qualification required for becoming a freelance IT consultant depends on the type of IT consultancy service you want to provide. For example, for Enterprise Portal Solution, you must have knowledge of IBM WebSphere, MS Sharepoint or other related software. Specialization is absolutely crucial in starting as a freelance IT consultant.

Working Knowledge

You must possess a working knowledge and expertise by working as in-house IT consultant for at least a few years before you start as a freelance IT consultant. You may work in more than one type of IT consultancy sphere if you possess technical knowledge in more than one field. At a later stage, you can choose to stick to one kind of niche and enhance your knowledge on the particular realm.

Getting Started

The first step is to make your presence felt as a freelance IT consultant. The best way is to create a website that tells in detail your skills and expertise in the field. It should provide the information on the technologies you are familiar and have worked with. You can also post your portfolio with your achievements in the IT consulting field.

Initially you may have to start working as a freelance IT consultant for small companies that do not have in-house IT staff. Select the projects that are specific to your specialization. Even though the offers come slowly in the beginning, sticking to your specialization will increase and build your credibility. Update your knowledge in the IT consultancy field regularly. You must be able to provide the best possible solution to your clients by equipping yourself with latest technological know-how.

Final Word

The outsourced IT consulting projects might throw you new challenges every day, and the inflow of money might be slower until you prove yourself in this career. Thus, as a freelance IT consultant, you must be ready to face these adverse circumstances and overcome them. As of June, 2007, the hourly rate for freelance consultants is found to be between $72.45 and $100. This of course will increase with your experience and knowledge.