Consultants give expert advice across all sectors of business, government, and non-profits across the world. Consultants might specialize in strategy, operations, tax, finance, HR, IT, sales or help out in multiple areas. They fix failing systems, manage people, cut costs, and much more, and they’re highly compensated to do so. Ironically, consultants, who are supposed to eliminate organizational inefficiency, are highly paid, don’t generally create new revenue sources (while nominally improving the ones that exist), make far-reaching decisions based on subjective, flawed analysis, often lack technical skills, among other counterintuitive attributes and actions. If you’re looking to break into this field, think carefully about how you can separate yourself from the average, overrated consultant.
Top Consulting Skills and Qualities
- Deep understanding of economics.
- Creativity, especially when problem-solving.
- Effective, positive communication.
- Leadership skills.
- Intuitive understanding of when to take control, and when to defer to a more knowledgeable expert or source of information.
- Expertise in an area like IT, markets, or some other essential aspect of business.
- Academic success and relevant work experience.
Top Consulting MBA programs know these skills and attributes are what employers are looking for, and design their programs to help you cultivate them within you. The programs in our Best Online Consulting MBA Degree Programs ranking will prepare you for a consulting career with courses in:
MBA Consulting Curriculum
- Organizational Leadership and Change
- Employee Training and Development
- Project Management
- Organizational Communication
- Relationship Selling Strategies
- Managing Innovation
- Market Opportunity Assessment
- Managerial Economics
Also, MBA Consulting programs will give you a great opportunity to meet like-minded peers who will be invaluable in the incestuous world of consulting gigs. The top Business schools have extensive alumni, professional networks and real-world internships/projects that will help you build your resume and prepare you to succeed in consulting.
The State of Consulting
There’s a lot more consultants than you might think. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 806,000 consultants in 2016, and their median annual salary was $81,330. The field is expected to see consistent (12%) growth through 2026, which is far faster than average. Inc.com reported that management consulting is a $250 billion industry in 2017. Consultants often have multiple clients, specific time-based projects they work on, and flexible, varying work schedules. Consultants help consultants get new clients, or for example in government, consultants peddle their access to politicians to corporate interests to enrich themselves. Inc.com also noted that because of its redundancies, waste and corruption, the management consulting field is ripe for disruption by new, better-skilled consultants, especially as hiring within management consulting continues to grow.
So what are the salaries associated with top Consulting job titles? Let’s take a look:
Average Consulting Salaries
- Business Analytics Manager: $116,396
- Business Development Director: $173,646
- Business Consultant: $71,254
- Senior Consultant: $103,000
This information was culled from Payscale, Salary.com, and Glassdoor. Pascale also noted that top special skills associated with higher business consultant salaries include IT Consulting, Requirements Analysis, Operations Management, Business Strategy, and Project Management.
Becoming a Consultant with a Consulting MBA
In order to break into this field, you’ll need credentials that prove your capability, a detailed understanding of theories and practices within management consulting, and a professional network that can help you land in one of these lucrative, growing positions. A Consulting MBA is a giant first step towards those goals. Fortunately, you can earn one from home, at a schedule that fits your current responsibilities. We’ve ranked the The 10 Best Online Consulting MBA Degree Programs, and have a host of rankings within the world of online MBAs to help you find a program that works for you.
MBA Central Rankings Are Based On
- Support Services
- Quality Classes
- National Rankings
- Special Features
MBA Careers and FAQs
We prioritize these features because our goal is to get you into an online MBA program that you can succeed in. When you have the time, money and motivation to complete a graduate business degree, you can quickly be on your way to a new, or improved career. Here’s some resources on MBA Careers, MBA FAQs, and different MBA Concentrations. If you see yourself more as an entrenched manager than a mercenary consultant, you might consider our Online Masters in Business Management ranking.
Finding a Consulting Job Once You’ve Earned Your Consulting MBA
Major consulting firms recruit directly from top Consulting MBA programs, so make sure to stay in frequent contact with your advisors and career development department while you earn your degree. Freelance consulting will come even more through word of mouth, or by constantly applying to job board postings. Make sure to check the job postings of major consulting firms, or see what consulting jobs are available at top organizations that overlap with your specialty. Social networks, especially LinkedIn are a great way to chase a consulting job as well. Remember, consulting jobs often go to people who have no business consulting, and end up costing organizations far more than they provide. If you can demonstrate consistent value, you’ll be a breath of fresh air in the field. An online Consulting MBA is at your fingertips, and an online MBA in another discipline is as well. Wait not, waste not!