What does Consultancy involve?
Quite a few industries use the term consultant (eg beauty consultant, travel consultant, consultant in a hospital) but to many people, they are mainly concerned with business and management. A consultant is generally an expert in a particular field who offers specialist business advice to companies with some form of business problem that can't be handled in-house. The recession in certain industries, such as manufacturing, has meant some companies are less inclined to pay money to outside organisations, and rely on internal experts.
At present the biggest users of consultants are the financial, public (central and local government) and communications sectors.
Why should I apply for a career in Consultancy?
- Excellent financial rewards
- Job variation
- Client facing roles
- The prospect of helping smaller companies progress
- Vault Career Guide to Consulting - Basically a must-read for anyone who wants to get into consultancy
- Complete Case Interview Preparation - This book is one of my personal favourites in term of getting prepared for interviews
Training and Applicants
Entry below degree level is unusual. As jobs can be so competitive, you will often be expected to have postgraduate qualifications - either to become increasingly specialist or to gain a management qualification, such as an MBA. Consultancy staff will need to have excellent communication and IT skills.
What opportunities are available within the sector?
Opportunities exist with one of the few really large consultancy firms, who turn over millions of pounds in profit, or with any one of a number of smaller companies. Self-employment is also a possibility for experienced consultants. A large number of consultancy firms run graduate training programmes. Information on these can be found here.
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As with many industries, competition might come from foreign firms. Some of them will be able to provide the same expertise, but at much lower prices. In response, a few of the large (and expensive) UK firms may be forced to cut staff or try to give organisations buying-in consultants more value for money. Smaller firms, who tend to charge less than the large ones, may get a bigger share of the work. This has already started to happen.
When did you begin training?
How did you find the traning?
Did/do you enjoy the job?
Have you gained anything from this job and if so, what?