So What Exactly Is A Management Consultant Anyway?
If you are interested in the structure of business and how it works and would like to work in a job that is virtually recession proof, then you may want to consider a career as a management consultant. So why is this kind of career recession proof? Well, even in slower economies, companies still need the services of consultants to help them to cut costs and increase revenue. So what exactly does a consultant do?
A management consultant has a pretty varied job role but in the main they are responsible for finding ways to improve a company’s performance by providing advice and expertise so that the company can prosper. A consultant will look into the structure and management of an organisation as well as the day to day running of a business. They will identify areas that need improvement by utilising key skills such as research and data collection and from this, will come up with solutions to get the business back on track. Most of the work is carried out ‘on site’ and contracts can vary depending upon the demands of the client. Consultants can work in every area of business including health care, marketing and media, banking, retail and hospitality, so there are plenty of opportunities
Typical working activities
As a new graduate recruit you can be expected to be involved in research and data collection, interviewing employees and management of the company, organising and conducting training workshops, running focus groups and preparing business proposals. As a more senior consultant you will be responsible for identifying underlying problems and formulating solutions to these issues as well as making sure that the solutions are carried out. You may be responsible for overseeing and managing the entire project whilst leading your team.
Like any business there are some key qualities that you will need to possess and they are as follows:
Excellent written and oral skills
Good understanding of business practices and how they should work
Problem solving skills
Cope well under pressure
So how do I get into it?
The formal way
Any type of degree qualification of 2:1 or more is sufficient to starting a career in consultancy, however degrees with an analytical or numerical background are more beneficial. Areas such as Business, Finance, Economics, Mathematics, Engineering or Science are preferred. It is worth noting that many consultancy firms do have a minimum UCAS points requirement so you will need to make sure that you exceed these requirements. A degree at foundation level or an HND is not sufficient to get you on the starting ladder. Post graduate degrees such as PHD’s or MBA’s are also good grounding for a consultancy placement but are not essential
The informal way
If you have no formal degree qualifications it can be a little trickier, however if you have a good grounding in the business world and can prove that you know what you’re talking about, then you might consider setting up your own consultancy. Management consultancy firms will rarely take people on without a degree, so setting up your own business might be ideal if this is what you really want to do
Management Consultant pay
The pay scales for a consultant vary depending upon position and experience. A junior can expect to earn somewhere between £25,000 and £35,000 increasing up to £50,000 with more experience. Senior consultants can be expected to earn anywhere between £80,000 and £120,000 per annum.
Management consultancy can often be a demanding job, in which companies put their faith in you to try to turn their business around, so the pressure can be quite high. This is why the pay is fairly good. The hours can be long, but consultancy firms are now paying more attention to work life balance and are starting to take into consideration working from home, flexible and even part time working and maternity/paternity leave. If you are good at what you do, then there is no reason why you cannot get to the top and be earning some seriously good money in this profession.