- What does a management consultant do?
- Management consultant career path
- Management consultant salaries
- Qualifications and training
- Management consultant skills
- Pros and cons of being a management consultant
- Management consultant work-life balance
- Management consultant employers
- Related jobs
- More information
Are you creative? Do you enjoy coming up with innovative strategies? If you’re great at problem solving and want to put your expertise towards a career in business, being a management consultant could be ideal for you.
If you’re interested in a career as a management consultant, explore the graduate jobs available right now in the consulting sector.
What does a management consultant do?
Management consultants help a business to reach its potential. You make recommendations for future work that the business can do to improve efficiency, organisation and output. Here are some of the tasks that you might do as a management consultant:
- Analyse the company’s outputs, including publications it produces to identify anything that would give the public a negative image of the company
- Look into the structure of the business and identify any internal changes that the business could make
- Conduct secondary research on the performance of the company
- Interview employees to see who is performing well and who could improve
- Meet with your colleagues to update them on your progress and thoughts about the company
- Presenting your findings to the company along with your recommendations for improvement
Management consultant career path
As with any consultant job, you can work up in seniority and move into management positions in the company if you decide to. Here is the career path associated with management consultants:
Management analysts and junior management consultants assist mid-level and senior management consultants with their work, completing tasks that they need to do for a client. You could write reports, make presentations and analyse data. As a junior management consultant, you might be assigned a small business to consult for, your work being monitored by senior colleagues.
Mid-level management consultants are assigned their own clients. You work with this client for the duration of your contract, analysing their work and providing advice. This is a step up in responsibility from junior and entry-level work.
Senior management consultants are assigned larger or higher profile companies to work with. This job has all the same tasks as junior and mid-level management consultants but with more responsibility and influence. Alongside your own responsibilities, you might monitor the work that your junior colleagues do, making sure it’s accurate and up to your standards.
If you decide to side-step into managing a consulting firm, you could work towards becoming a partner. This role involves liaising with clients, making sure they’re happy with the service they got from you. You meet with new clients to get new prospects for the company. You manage the consultants in the firm and keep them working to your standards.
Management consultant salaries
Management consultants often have great salary prospects and career paths. Here are the salaries that you could earn in this role:
- In entry-level roles like management analyst, you earn £35,000 per year on average. Whereas, in a junior management consultant job, you earn an average of £28,000 per year.
- In mid-level management consultant positions, you earn an average of £50,000 per year.
- In senior management consultant jobs, you earn between £50,000 and £100,000 per year.
Qualifications and training
If you want to get your dream job in management consulting, having the right qualifications and experience is important. Here is what you need to start your career:
Most management consultants have an undergraduate degree in a business subject like finance or economics. Having a master’s degree is preferred but not a requirement. An alternative to a degree is a diploma. If you’re interested in getting a diploma instead of a degree, you can look into Sussex Business School’s professional consulting diploma for management consultants.
If you’d rather have a more hands-on approach to your education, you can do an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships include learning the theoretical requirements of the job and being trained by current experts working in the field so you have direct experience in doing the job. You can explore the current apprenticeships available to you with the government’s apprenticeship search tool.
Having some relevant work experience makes your application stand out to any hiring manager. You could get work experience through an internship in a consultancy firm. Doing an internship shows you what it’s like to work in a firm and teaches you some of the necessary skills for the job. Having these skills is particularly helpful if you’re completing a degree rather than doing a more specialised diploma or apprenticeship as it’s a great opportunity to develop them before you begin your working life.
If you’re looking to become more qualified in management consulting, you can join the Chartered Institute of Management Consultants (CIMC) and explore the professional management consultant courses that the CIMC offers. Having professional qualifications isn’t a requirement of management consulting work but it can help you develop your skills and prove that you’re ready for a promotion or more responsibility.
If you’re interested in working as a management consultant, learn more about the consulting recruitment process and the application timelines for graduate jobs in consulting.
Management consultant skills
If the management consultant career path sounds perfect for you, having the right skills helps you show a hiring manager that you’re a great candidate. Here are the ideal skills for this role:
- Business understanding. Having a good understanding of how businesses work is really important for this job. By using your knowledge, you can recognise areas of the company which aren’t performing well and provide advice for improving it.
- Math skills. Part of the management consulting role is analysing the performance of a company. To do this, you need to have good math skills so you can understand the meaning behind the numbers.
- Problem-solving. In order to help a company, you need to provide solutions to problems. Having great problem-solving skills means you can find creative ways of dealing with the issues a company has.
- Communication. Being a management consultant requires good communication skills. This is so you can report back to a company on what they’re doing well and what they can improve on. You need to communicate well in your presentations and in the reports you write.
- Analytical skills. Analytical skills help you analyse all areas of a business, including how individual colleagues perform, the success of marketing campaigns and other factors which impact the overall running of a business.
- Attention to detail. You need to be able to focus on minute details as a management consultant. This helps you find areas that you could suggest improvements for, even if it’s making a small change which adds up to a big improvement in the long run.
Do you want to know more? Here are the 11 key skills consulting firms look for.
Pros and cons of being a management consultant
Whilst the management consultant role has some very appealing perks, there are factors that you should consider before fully committing to the career path.
- The role often offers travel either in the country or abroad
- You have the opportunity to earn a lot of money being a management consultant
- You get the opportunity to work with many different businesses and learn the inner workings of them
- It is satisfying seeing your work improve a company and watching it thrive after you’ve spent a lot of time working with it
- You have a very poor work-life balance in this role. The working hours are long, particularly around big deadlines
- The travel required for this job is a problem for some people because it means having a stable routine is not possible. Moving around means starting again in a new area which can be very difficult if you have a family
Management consultant work-life balance
The working life of a management consultant can be stressful. Your working days can be extremely long, sometimes working from 9am to 7pm to finish all the work you need to do in a day. At the end of a contract, you have more deadlines so your working day might increase even more.
As a management consultant, you are employed on a temporary contract by a company. Most of the work you do will be in the company’s office. This means either commuting or temporarily moving to another area while you work through your contract.
Management consultant employers
If you’re aiming for the top, you could work for some of the best consulting firms in the country. Many of these firms take on graduates to train in consulting. Here are the consulting firms that you could aim for:
- Bain and Company
- Boston Consulting Group
- CIL Management Consultants
- L.E.K. Consulting
- McKinsey and Co
- OC&C Strategy
You can learn more about the leading graduate employers in the consulting sector and read this Bright guide to the big three consulting firms.
If you want to get going with your career in management consulting, complete this module to learn how to succeed in consulting applications.
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If you’re interested in beginning your career in consulting, complete this Bright Network introduction to careers in consulting module.
Are you intrigued by the role? Learn what it’s really like to be a management consultant.