"The ability to solve business problems is more important than technical skills."
– John Hickey, District Manager

IBM mainframe, DEC VAX/UNIX
Professional services Medium-sized shop


GE Consulting Services assists clients in developing complex software systems from planning and design through coding, testing, and implementation. Applications range from data network services through electronic data interchange and custom system design and programming services.

Formed in 1981, GE Consulting Services has 1,725 employees, with 58 in the greater Boston area. Their headquarters is in Rockville, Maryland. GE Consulting is a wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Corporation, based in Fairfield, Connecticut. GE Corporation is publicly held, with annual revenues of $50 billion.



Computer professionals work on client sites, primarily in the IBM mainframe and DEC VAX/UNIX environments. Programming is generally in COBOL, C, or FORTRAN. Additional software used may include DB2, IMS, Ingres, ORACLE, Sybase, INFORMIX, or Rdb. In addition, a number of projects use CASE tools, such as Knowledgeware's Information Engineering Facility (IEF) and networking software, including Banyan, 3COM, and Novell networks.

There are 50 computer professionals at GE Consulting in New England. Job titles include Associate Consultant; Consultant; Senior Consultant; Supervising Consultant; Principal Consultant; Executive Consultant, which is a technical position equivalent to the management position of Consulting Services Manager; and District Manager. Approximately 70 percent of the work is new development; the rest is maintenance. While staff members move back and forth between the two types of assignments, most Supervisory and Principal Consultants are in new development.

Recently, computer professionals designed a 150-user work authorization system, tracking engineering design work. The system was written in FORTRAN, using Ingres on a DEC VAX machine.


Employees work at customer sites throughout the Boston area, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Albany, New York. Facilities at client sites vary. There is an occasional need for travel. Overtime averages 5 hours a week, but can increase to 20 hours a week for as long as 4 weeks near a project's deadline. Overtime is compensated at straight time.

GE Consulting is proud of the fact that they specialize in particular areas, such as the technology migration practice, which concentrates on porting a system from one platform to another, and develops their expertise in that area. The company feels they offer computer professionals excellent training, a variety of technical assignments, a well-structured career path, and the opportunity to earn project bonuses.

The company observes 10 holidays. They offer 2 weeks of vacation to start and 3 weeks after 3 years. The company pays for medical insurance, short-term disability, dental insurance, vision care, life insurance (one times the annual salary), and tuition reimbursement. There is a 401(k) plan in which the company matches a certain percentage of an employee's contribution, and a profit-sharing plan. While GE Consulting has not had any across-the-board layoffs, they have had to let people go in response to market conditions, usually when a particular skill set was no longer needed. Employees affected by the reduction in force were offered extended severance pay.


GE Consulting Services looks primarily for the technical skills that relate to their customer's environments, that is, IBM mainframe and DEC. Candidates should not just be programmers or analysts, however; they should be consultants capable of understanding a customer's problem from a business standpoint. A bachelor's degree is usually a minimum requirement. The average computer professional at GE Consulting has 8 years of experience. Many have Master's degrees. The company does hire exceptional entry-level computer professionals, usually those with a Master's degree and considerable practical experience in school.

Eighty percent of new employees are found through internal recruiting. Ten percent are found through job fairs and the balance from ads in the Boston Globe or employment agencies. GE Consulting hired 20 computer professionals in the last year for which figures are available.


Phone calls are fine, but follow with a resume.

Mr. John Hickey, District Manager

(617) 890-6100

GE Consulting Services

1601 Trapelo Road

Waltham, Massachusetts 02154

Copyright 1991. Vandamere Press. Covin’s New England Computer Job Guide