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Information Systems Consultant

Information systems consultants study, design, and develop information systems as business solutions. They provide advice on a wide range of related issues.

  • Avg. Salary $87,074.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.70
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 19,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Business Systems Specialist, Computer Specialist, Informatics Consultant, Information Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Management Information Systems Consultant, Systems Analyst

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Information Systems Business Analysts and Consultants (2171.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (C071) 
  • 2011 NOC: Information systems analysts and consultants (2171) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

12%
12%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Information Systems Consultant is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Information Systems Business Analysts and Consultants
INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing information to design, develop and administer information systems business solutions

METHODICAL

Interest in precision working to ensure products and systems are delivered according to accepted policies and standards, in administering task schedules, and in documenting technical specifications

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to advise on information systems strategy, policy, management and service delivery, to set and clarify objectives and agendas; and to plan and manage projects

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information systems consultants help companies operate efficiently and effectively. They develop information technology (IT) solutions for business problems.

Information systems and technology provide support for many common functions within organizations. Both for-profits and not-for-profits rely on:

  • business communication systems
  • finance and cost management
  • procurement and materials
  • operations (management, manufacturing, engineering, logistics, distribution)
  • customer and market management
  • human resource management.

Information systems consultants help people throughout organizations define their information-related needs. They then develop suitable information systems. Consultants assess the fit of available software and adapt existing apps for specific uses. They sometimes help design or restructure business processes supported by information systems.

There are 5 phases in developing an information system:

  • an initial review (including business or technical studies and preparing cost-benefit analyses) and, where needed, a request-for-proposal process
  • a more detailed look at system requirements (including data and process modelling)
  • system analysis and design (including assessment of existing software)
  • system development and testing
  • system rollout, rating and maintenance.

When acting as project managers, information systems consultants oversee the work of computer programmers. Programmers write programs or integrate the required system components.

Information system consultants must spend a lot of time reading and attending seminars and conferences. This helps them keep up to date with new developments in the computer industry,

To learn more about systems analysts who specialize, see the Information Systems Quality Assurance Analyst, Systems Auditor, and Systems Security Analyst occupational profiles.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2018

In general, information systems consultants work standard office hours. They work in office settings or from home. Private consultants spend much of their time in clients’ offices. They may travel for extended periods of time.

They sometimes work evenings and weekends to meet project deadlines.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information systems consultants need to possess:

  • the ability to think logically and critically
  • the ability to pay attention to detail
  • the ability to be flexible and adapt (to manage change effectively)
  • the ability to work on their own, in teams and as group mentors
  • speaking and writing skills (including the ability to express ideas and solutions in clear, understandable language and to give presentations to groups)
  • people skills to develop good working relations with clients and vendors.

They should enjoy:

  • studying business problems and finding creative solutions
  • taking a step-by-step approach to doing precise work
  • lifelong learning and technology
  • taking charge, planning projects, making decisions, and managing others’ work.
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information systems consultants need both technical expertise and training or experience related to business. A 4-year university degree in computer science is a good starting point. However, few employers hire consultants directly out of university. Most computer science graduates must first gain experience in computer programming. They must also acquire education or experience related to business administration or management.

Information systems consultants must engage in ongoing learning to keep up with changing methods and technologies.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Canford Institute of Technology

Concordia University of Edmonton

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies through the objective application of specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the I.S.P. designation, you must be a registered member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

What You Need

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) has defined the body of knowledge required for certification and recognizes the many different ways this standard may be achieved. Applicants must provide documented evidence for 1 of the following I.S.P. designation criteria routes: (1) Established Academic, (2) IT Industry Leader, (3) Established IT Professional, (4) Education Plus Experience, (5) Exam, (6) Professional Experience Only (applicants must have entered the field prior to 1976), or (7) Upgrade from Candidate Status. For official, detailed information, visit the CIPS website, CIPS Alberta website or contact CIPS Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Information systems professionals who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered professionals in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta
PO Box 21085
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6R 2V4
Phone Number: 780-431-9311
Toll-free phone number: 1-844-431-9311
Fax number: 780-413-0076
E-mail: alberta@cips.ca
Website: ab.cips.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Information systems consultants who work as employees provide services for a whole organization. Those who work as private consultants work on a contract basis and do different projects for different companies. To learn more about private consultants, see the Management Consultant occupational profile.

Many information systems consultants start off as computer programmers. With experience and more training, they move into information systems management. Further advancement prospects depend on the size and nature of the organization and the consultant’s qualifications.

Information systems consultants are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events that affect overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities that come up when people leave existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities that come up when new positions are created)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the C071: Information Systems Analysts and Consultants occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 212 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2018
Information systems analysts and consultants

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.56 $48.59 $33.95 $34.65
Overall $23.68 $70.03 $43.70 $43.41
Top $29.34 $78.95 $52.30 $49.88

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
ALL INDUSTRIES
Educational Services
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

36%
36%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

9%
9%

Vacancy Rate

4%
Related High School Subjects
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
    • Financial Management
    • Management and Marketing
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Physics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2018

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website: www.cipsalberta.ca

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website: www.ictc-ctic.ca

Technology Alberta website: technologyalberta.com

For more information on career planning, education and jobs call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre toll-free at 1-877-644-9992 or 780-644-9992 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Supports Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2018. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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