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Occupational Profile

Information Systems Consultant

Information systems consultants analyze, design and develop information systems business solutions and provide advice on a wide range of information systems issues.

  • Avg. Salary $90,348.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.67
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 14,100
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

52%
52%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Information Systems Consultant is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Information Systems Business Analysts and Consultants
NOC code: 2171.1
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 Jun 16, 2017

Information systems consultants help organizations operate as efficiently and effectively as possible by developing information technology solutions for business problems.

Many common functions in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations are supported by information systems and technology:

  • 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 in all parts of organizations to define their information related requirements and develop appropriate information systems. Where appropriate, consultants assess the fit of available applications and adapt existing software for particular uses. In some situations, they may be involved in the design or restructuring of business processes supported by information systems.

There are five phases in developing an information system:

  • preliminary investigation (including conducting business or technical studies, preparing cost-benefit analyses) and, where necessary, management of a request for proposal process
  • more detailed system requirements investigation (including data and process modelling) 
  • system analysis and design (including evaluation of existing software)
  • system development and testing 
  • system implementation, evaluation and maintenance.

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

To keep up to date with new developments in the computer industry, information system consultants must spend a considerable amount of time reading and attending seminars and conferences.

For information about systems analysts who specialize in particular aspects of system design, see the Systems Security Analyst, Information Systems Quality Assurance Analyst and Systems Auditor occupational profiles.

Working Conditions
Updated Jun 16, 2017

Information systems consultants usually work standard office hours in office environments or from home. Private consultants spend much of their time in clients' offices and may travel for extended periods of time.

Evening and weekend work is sometimes required to implement new systems or meet project deadlines.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jun 16, 2017

Information systems consultants need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think logically and analytically
  • the ability to pay close attention to detail
  • the flexibility and adaptability required to manage change effectively
  • the ability to work independently, in teams and as group facilitators
  • excellent oral and written communication skills including the ability to express ideas and solutions in clear, understandable language and to deliver presentations to groups
  • the interpersonal skills required to maintain good working relationships with clients and vendors.

They should enjoy:

  • analyzing business problems and finding innovative solutions
  • taking a methodical approach to work that requires precision
  • taking responsibility for projects that require planning, decision making and co-ordinating the work of others.
Educational Requirements
Updated Jun 16, 2017

Information systems consultants need a combination of technical expertise and business related training or experience. A four year university degree in computer science is a good starting point. However, few consultants are hired directly out of university unless they have previous business experience. Most computer science graduates must first gain experience in computer programming, and acquire education or experience related to business administration or management.

Information systems consultants must continuously upgrade their knowledge 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.

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 Jun 16, 2017

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.

Education

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 Jun 16, 2017

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Organizations may hire information systems consultants as employees to provide consulting services for the whole organization. Or, they may hire private consultants on a contract basis for specific projects (for information about private consultants, see the Management Consultant profile).

Many information systems consultants start off as computer programmers and, with experience and additional training, move into information systems management. Further advancement opportunities 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 in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 14,100 Albertans are employed in the Information systems analysts and consultants occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 212 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As information systems consultants form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for information systems consultants.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Jun 16, 2017

Information systems analysts and consultants
NOC code: 2171

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 $21.28 $53.33 $34.85 $34.65
Overall $29.11 $63.82 $45.67 $45.03
Top $35.56 $89.83 $57.25 $53.12

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
Transportation and Warehousing
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Educational Services
Wholesale Trade
Manufacturing
Health Care & Social Assistance
Business, Building and Other Support Services (aka Management, Administrative, and other Services)
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

52%
52%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Physics
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
    • Financial Management
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Computer and Information Technology
Other Sources of Information
Updated Jun 16, 2017

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) website: www.cips.ca

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

Technology Alberta website: www.albertaict.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Oct 01, 2009. 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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