Management consultants provide businesses with strategic advice to facilitate organizational change, analyzing a company's strategy, operations, or information technology. To increase the value of their organization, companies hire consultants to conduct research, develop hypotheses, analyze data, and make recommendations for implementing change. Some firms work with a diverse set of industries, while others may be specifically focused in areas such as healthcare, nonprofit, or technology.

Consultants at large global firms, such as McKinsey and BCG, generally work in multidisciplinary teams on-site at the client's location. The work is intellectually challenging, ever changing, and the schedule can be exceptionally demanding. Several days of travel per week can be common, especially for analysts and associates in large-firm organizations. Individuals in this field are usually well compensated for their expertise. The training gained in a management-consulting career prepares many individuals for executive and leadership positions in myriad sectors as they move forward in their career path.

Desired Skills for Consulting

  • Analytical skills: Use clear and logical thinking to assess unrelated data, develop a hypothesis, and discover creative solutions.
  • Communication skills: Listen, understand, and appropriately respond to individuals and situations
  • Flexibility skills: Move quickly and effortlessly from one project or task to the next.
  • Leadership skills: Drive the decision-making process by listening to, understanding, and influencing others.
  • Interpersonal skills: Assess people, situations, and motives. Respond in a thoughtful, appropriate manner.
  • Teamwork skills: Work together and put personal priorities aside for the good of the group and organization.

In addition to many of the skills listed above, an understanding of general business practice can be helpful. However, business knowledge may be acquired on the job or part of an orientation program for some larger firms. Foreign-language skills may also be valuable, especially in global management-consulting firms.

Typical Job Titles

  • Analyst
  • Associate
  • Engagement Manager
  • Expert
  • Expert Principal
  • Engagement Manager
  • Partner
  • Program Analyst
  • Specialist

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