What Are Consulting Jobs? (With Careers, Salary And Skills)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published 16 November 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Companies employ corporate consultants to develop strategies, solve business problems and help implement changes. A consultancy job requires strong analytical skills and business acumen to advise and suggest recommendations to clients. Learning more about consultancy careers, salaries and jobs can help you decide if this is the right career choice for you. In this article, we discuss what are consulting jobs, understand the responsibilities of consultants and learn about the skills required to become one.
What are consulting jobs?
To better answer the question, "what are consulting jobs" it's effective to understand that these jobs usually entail resolving client problems by offering expert knowledge, skills and services. Consultants bring specialised knowledge and experience to execute efficient resource utilisation during critical business processes. Often, consulting experts identify discrepancies in an organisational strategy or workflow, diagnose the core challenges and offer recommendations. They may also create new solutions to assist businesses in increasing productivity, creating new products and increasing revenue. Consultants often provide solutions and recommendations directly to senior leaders like directors and chief executives.
What do consultants do?
Consultants offer calculated expert opinions, undertake business process analysis and suggest result-oriented business recommendations. They also create business solutions and plans to boost company performance. Consultants are a valuable resource to enhance business profitability as they bring insights from an outside perspective. Most consultants begin their careers by working at consultancy and professional service companies. Some may become independent consultants and work with clients directly after gaining adequate experience. Whichever medium or domain you choose, the duties and responsibilities of most consultancy projects are nearly identical.
Businesses commission projects to consultants due to their in-depth knowledge and expertise of particular industries or subjects. These disciplines may be marketing, sales, product development, HR, mergers and acquisitions or even launching initial public offerings (IPOs).
How to become a consultant
Becoming a consultant requires formal education, training and real-world corporate experience. Follow these tips if you want to build a career in consultancy:
1. Get an education
Firstly, complete an undergraduate degree to develop basic knowledge in different business subjects and identify your interests. Once you have clarity regarding your desired field of consultancy, you can then pursue a master's degree. If you choose a consultancy field related to your education, you may perform better because of your foundational knowledge of the industry. Furthermore, higher educational qualifications help you establish credibility and expertise during interviews.
2. Choose a domain
Consultants usually offer their services and expertise in niche domains and subjects. You can identify your area of specialisation based on your interest and education. Furthermore, you can also choose to work exclusively in specific industries, like manufacturing, human resources or informational technology. Once you finalise your chosen specialisation and domain, you can also consider taking short-term courses in the subject to enhance your skills.
3. Choose a mode of consultancy
You could either offer consultancy services as an independent consultant or as a full-time employee of an organisation. This choice depends on your career goals, the desired degree of professional freedom and financial flexibility. Pursuing independent consultancy may bring higher freedom in terms of choosing projects as per your choice, but might not have the job and pay security offered by full-time employment with a consultancy firm.
4. Develop your personal brand
If you choose to work as an independent consultant, developing your personal brand is of critical importance. Also known as self-marketing, personal branding helps you in building a reputation in the corporate world. The image of your personal brand eventually works as a lead magnet and can help you attract more clients. Identify the kind of projects and organisations you want to work with, create tangible and measurable results and promote them in your network to develop your brand.
5. Gain relevant experience to get jobs or projects
Begin gathering relevant experience to display your consultancy skills. Whether you are working as an independent consultant or in an organisation, work on projects in your area of specialisation. Create a strong resume or company website enlisting all your practical experience and work on projects to demonstrate your expertise and skills. Apply for relevant jobs or leverage your professional network to find business projects.
Related: How To Make A Resume (With Examples)
Skills required for a consultancy job
Most consultancy jobs require you to collect and evaluate business metrics, modify business strategies and execute processes to help companies accomplish their goals. Here are some skills that can help you accomplish these tasks:
1. Business acumen
Having a strong business acumen, knowledge of key performance indicators (KPIs) and business strategy is essential for consultants. Studying key performance indicators (KPIs) boosts a consultant's knowledge of performance metrics, eventually helping them identify the areas of improvement and the overall effectiveness of business strategies. Consultants usually have comprehensive theoretical knowledge about business models and processes, alongside having practical experience in implementing these concepts in practice.
2. Transition management
Most consulting roles drive a significant change in organisational workflows. Such professionals have to be comfortable at helping organisations and teams adapt to the transition with new strategies, processes and techniques. Hence, consultants require strong transition management skills to help clients navigate disruptions and change smoothly.
3. Analytical skills
Consultants are usually responsible for designing practical solutions that solve specific challenges for clients and businesses. They may have to consult data and information from a variety of sources to design the best strategy or implementation process. Similarly, they require strong analytical skills to monitor and gauge the effectiveness of implemented solutions and strategies.
4. Collaborative and leadership skills
Consultants usually work in teams where people have varied skills and expertise. They may have to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to collect and assess data. Similarly, the implementation of their recommendations may also require working with diverse teams and individuals. Hence, collaboration and leadership are typically desirable skills in consultants.
5. Exceptional communication skills
Consultants often work directly with the company's top leadership and may have to interact directly with the CEO and CFO regularly. Whether in the form of reports, presentations, meetings or client calls, consultants require excellent communication skills to explain their vision and provide updates. Similarly, communication skills are essential to lead teams effectively and ensure collaboration between different stakeholders of the project.
Top consultancy jobs
Here are some common consultancy job listings:
National average salary: ₹8,32,556 per year
Primary responsibilities: Technical consultants usually play the role of IT support engineers and assist technical departments with operations. They may help maintain and enhance business IT systems in a company and work with the chief technology officer (CTO). Technical consultants may also suggest hardware and software solutions to resolve specific business challenges or work with the digital team to ideate and create products.
National average salary: ₹2,66,253 per year
Primary responsibilities: Management consultants may work to boost company performance by suggesting workflow changes, facilitating collaboration between different departments and creating strong growth strategies for the business. They may also consult the senior leadership in defining the role of the company's managerial profiles or provide training to managers. These consultants usually refine a company's management process, whether it's for the management of in-house workflows or for a client's project.
National average salary: ₹5,20,855 per year
Primary responsibilities: Associate consultants generally assist senior consultants by providing insightful market analytics through data collection and research. They may process data and build reports for offering clarity to company leaders and senior consultants. Furthermore, they may be responsible for reporting, creating presentations, sending proposals and client management.
National average salary: ₹22,589 per month
Primary responsibilities: Business consultants usually work with companies to accomplish specific business goals like market expansion, new product launch, customer engagement or brand building. They may also perform assessments on the client's business strategy to strengthen their overall company practices. They usually advise businesses on financial affairs and help establish long-term goals.
National average salary: ₹20,053 per month
Primary responsibilities: A financial consultant generally recommends investment strategies according to the company's financial situation. They may offer advice on purchasing stocks and bonds, while also forecasting revenues and expenditure. In addition to this, these consultants are also usually a part of designing and evaluating capital expansion solutions.
National average salary: ₹18,935 per month
Primary responsibilities: HR consultants usually offer talent strategies and help business manage their workforce effectively. They may simplify employee life cycles by suggesting changes in company policies related to hiring, onboarding, retention, engagement, remuneration and benefits. They can also conduct HR and employee audits to identify current challenges and recommend suitable solutions.
Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.
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