- What does a strategy consultant do?
- Strategy consultant career path
- Strategy consultant salaries
- Qualifications and training
- Strategy consultant skills
- Pros and cons of being a strategy consultant
- Strategy consultant work-life balance
- Strategy consultant employers
- Related jobs
- More information
Do you want a job that combines your analytical mind with business strategy? Are you good at research and giving advice? If you have a passion for numbers and understanding data, a career as a strategy consultant could be for you.
Are you interested in a career as a strategy consultant? Explore the consulting jobs available right now.
What does a strategy consultant do?
Strategy consultants help a business to produce the best strategy for their future work possible. As a strategy consultant, you look at the past performance of a business, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and come up with a future action plan with the objective of making the business more successful by achieving its goals.
In this role, you can be a specialist in several different areas of a business. This includes economic policy, organisational strategy, digital strategy and business model transformation. These areas have a different focus so require a different set of skills and expertise to tackle them. At the beginning of your career in strategy consulting, you could act as a more general consultant and specialise later on.
As a strategy consultant, here are the typical responsibilities and tasks that you have:
- Having meetings with your team to set your tasks for the day and update them on your progress
- Researching an organisation
- Researching competitors and analysing how well the organisation matches them and the industry average
- Conducting quantitative analysis on data from the relevant area that you’re working in, for example staff productivity
- Conducting interviews with customers or stakeholders to get an understanding of the organisation
- Having interviews and conversations with experts to understand the market
- Conducting nationwide consumer surveys and analysing the output to understand the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation
- Working with CEOs and boards to produce a long term strategy
- Presenting to team members and organisations on the outcome of your work and the strategy that you recommend
Strategy consultant career path
Within a consultancy firm, the career progression for strategy consultants is fairly linear. You have the opportunity to digress from the consultancy path and move into other areas like venture capital and private equity. With enough experience, you may decide to set up your own consultancy business. If you stay on the consultancy path, here is the typical career progression.
Junior consultants often have similar duties to more senior consultants but with less responsibility. This includes research, analysing data from a company and talking to experts and consumers, then reporting on the research to the company. You form a long-term strategy with the company taking into account the outcome of your research.
Mid-level or associate strategy consultants have more responsibility than junior consultants. In this role, you have larger projects or work with higher profile organisations. You apply the skills you learned at junior level to produce more informed strategies.
Senior consultants have a greater workload. In this role, you may take on more than one project at a time. You oversee the work of less senior colleagues, making sure their work is at a high standard and training them when they need help.
The highest position of most strategy consulting firms is partner. This job moves away from strategy consulting and into the running of the firm. As a partner, you make bids for projects which your consultants will complete. You need to sell your consultants’ expertise, demonstrating an excellent track record of work and what they could do for a company which another firm couldn’t. This is a highly social role, requiring you to impress clients.
Strategy consultant salaries
When you’re employed as a strategy consultant, you typically work for a consultancy firm and go into the other companies that hire your consulting services. Here are the salary levels that you could get in your career as a strategy consultant:
- Junior strategy consultants earn between £35,000 and £45,000 per year
- Mid-level strategy consultants make an average of £53,000 per year, varying between £35,000 and £74,000 per year depending on the firm, location and your experience
- Senior strategy consultants earn an average of £61,000 per year with the potential to make over £90,000 per year depending on the firm, location and experience
- Consultant managers earn an average of £66,000 per year
Qualifications and training
As a strategy consultant, you are well compensated for the hard work that you put in. Since it is a highly desirable job, putting in the work and having the right background could help you secure a job. Here are the steps that you should take to join the strategy consulting career path:
To be a successful candidate for a strategy consultant job, you need to have an undergraduate degree. Degrees that are relevant to strategy consulting include finance, business management and business analytics. A master’s degree isn’t necessary but can help you stand out amongst the other candidates.
Having work experience helps you join the strategy consultant career path. Work experience gives you the relevant skills and experience that a firm is looking for. One way of getting work experience is through an internship. Having an internship in a strategy consulting firm shows you what it’s like to work as a strategy consultant and can help you decide if the job and working environment is right for you.
Interview questions for a strategy consulting job may include case study questions. This is where the interviewer asks you how big the market is for a specific product in the UK and you provide an answer with reasoning behind it. Having a general understanding of the market and how products and services perform in it could help you answer these questions.
Strategy consultant skills
Alongside a good working knowledge of analytical software, here are the transferable skills that help you in your career:
- Research. Your work involves a great deal of research. This is so you can understand various markets, the performance of the company and how well consumers respond to it. You need good quantitative research skills (using numbers), and qualitative research skills (finding meaning in forms of research like interviews with consumers).
- Communication. You have important verbal interactions with people all day as a strategy consultant. This is from the interviews you conduct with experts and consumers, the strategy planning meetings you have with CEOs and boards, to presenting your findings and recommendations to the client. Having great communication skills and, more importantly, being able to tailor the way you communicate to the person you’re speaking to improves your chances of succeeding in your working life and being promoted.
- Resilience. Working as a strategy consultant is hard. You have very long working days which rely on you working very hard. Being resilient means you can take the difficult working week and continue showing up for work even when it’s difficult.
Learn about the 11 key skills consulting firms look for when hiring new consultants.
Pros and cons of being a strategy consultant
Whilst strategy consulting could be the perfect job for you, there are several things that you should consider before committing to the career path to make sure it’s the right role for you.
- Your work is varied and changes based on the companies that you consult for. This could make your working life dynamic and interesting
- There is a great career trajectory
- You can earn a great deal of money in strategy consulting
- If you enjoy analysing data and using it to make plans, you may find strategy consulting enjoyable work
- You get to learn about the intricacies of a business
- Your work could be high profile if you work with top companies. You get to help decide what the future of these massive companies will be
- You work long hours every week. This can make your working life stressful and limit the amount of time you have at home, meaning your work-life balance is poor. Having to commute to work could exacerbate the issue, especially if you’re traveling to other companies
- Promotions may lead to more stress. The path to being a partner in a consultancy firm is highly competitive and requires a great deal of work to gain the relevant skills and progress in a company
- You may have a variable amount of work if you’re relying on companies contacting the firm you work for or a company renewing your contract
Strategy consultant work-life balance
Strategy consulting can lead to a stressful working life. You work long hours, potentially between 50 and 60 per week. This is usually within an office setting. You may travel to other companies around the country to consult for them. This may mean staying in other cities for short periods of time or commuting.
Strategy consultant employers
Working in strategy consulting usually requires working for a firm which brings in clients for you to work with. Many consulting firms hire graduates to train them in good consulting practice. Here are some of the top consulting firms that you could work for:
Related jobs to strategy consultant
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Learn about Bright Network member Krishan and his fantastic strategy consultant job at KPMG, including his tips on how you can follow in his footsteps and start your career in strategy consulting.
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