Management consultants provide strategic advisory services to help organizations of all kinds improve performance and solve problems. Management consultants often specialize in strategy, marketing, information systems, organizational development, human resources, operations, or finance.
Management consulting is a large and growing profession. In the U.S., the management consulting industry employs over 600,000 consultants and earns over $70 billion in revenues, with worldwide annual revenues exceeding $230 billion. Large companies are increasingly employing their own staffs of internal consultants. Consulting skills are valuable in other fields and professions, including careers in investment banking, private equity, venture capital, business development, accounting, and corporate law.
Success in consulting is built on trustworthiness, professionalism, and positive client relationships. Management consultants must have a strong work ethic, exemplary communication skills, collaborative teamwork skills, diagnostic reasoning, flexibility, and clear thinking. They thrive on data-driven analysis, and display effective discernment and judgment in recognizing and prioritizing issues.
Management consulting firms hire undergraduates for their analysis skills and ability to learn and communicate effectively. Huge industries today that depend on the expertise of consultants are health care, government, manufacturing, technology systems, and customer service. Critical courses for management consulting include those related to data analysis tools, project management, negotiations and teamwork.