|Management Consultant / Analyst career options
As the business environment feels the heat of competition, more organizations are calling upon or management consultants or management analysts to keep abreast of the emerging challenges. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that Management Consultant / Analysts as a profession is poised to grow at a promising 24 per cent over the period 2008-2018, adding 178,300 jobs from its 2008 level of 746,900 jobs to a projected 925,200 jobs in 2018.
Despite the huge job opportunities that exist, this aspect of the business world is likely to witness keen competition. This is a direct result of the following reasons:
Belong to diverse educational backgrounds
Often choose to work independently
Have a high earning potential, drawing an average salary of $73, 570
Job opportunities are expected to be best for those with a graduate degree, specialized expertise, and a talent for salesmanship and public relations. In order to give themselves a competitive edge, consultants can earn the Certified Management Consultant designation. The designation can be obtained from the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) USA and is given to those who pass an exam and an interview covering the IMC USA's Code of Ethics.
Management analysts and consultants collect, review, and analyze information in order to make recommendations to improve an organization's structure, efficiency, or profits. Management consultants may practice as individuals or as part of large international organizations such as McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, Deloitte and many others. Some may be specialists in specific industries such as healthcare, telecommunications, while others may specialize in business functions such as human resources, marketing, information systems, etc.
A management analyst's job broadly entails the following activities:
Define the nature of the problem by analyzing annual revenues, employment details, expenditures, interviewing management, etc.
Develop solutions taking into account factors such as nature of organization, its relationship with others in the industry, internal structure and organizational culture.
Report findings and recommendations to the client.
Help implement suggestions.
Typically the private industry employing management consultants require a minimum qualification of a master's degree in business administration (MBA) or related discipline, typically from a Top Tier College. Some may require an additional record of work experience, in the related industry. Other firms and government agencies might hire analysts with a bachelor's degree for entry-level posts of research/management analysts and later promote them to consultants over the years.
Management consultant jobs receive their impetus from the growing need felt by organizations to streamline processes and increase efficiency. The primary areas where organizations resort to aid from management consultants are while coping with regulatory changes, advisory services post the economic crisis, lowering energy consumption in their green initiatives, designing intranets and establishing online businesses, inventory control, cost analysis, organizational restructuring, etc.
As the U.S. firms expand operations to foreign countries, they need to hire management consultants to advise them on entry level strategies as well as iron out the organizational, administrative and other local/cultural issues.
Contrary to popular belief that economic downturn adversely impacts the need for management consultants as they may be considered an extravagance, they may actually witness a spurt in demand as businesses seek their advice to cut costs and stay profitable. So on the whole the outlook for management analysts looks far from bleak what with the high earning potential and low entry level barriers in terms of start up and overhead costs. However to add a caveat, sometimes small consulting firms meet their demise due to lack of managerial expertise, or consulting experience.
A graduate degree coupled with strong analytical, oral and written communication skills are some of the desired "success mantra" attributes for management consultants.