If you haven’t had the opportunity to pick up any of the popular management consulting books available in the market, we’ll help you learn the basics.
Management consultant Amit (aka MBA Dropout) continues his series on the management consulting industry. This time he covers the various types of consulting jobs – from the mainstream options like strategy consulting and operations consulting to the niche markets (real estate consulting, design consulting etc).
Types of Management Consulting jobs
Management & Strategy Consulting – This is about helping an organization become more efficient. Examples would be to reduce costs (cut down on overheads, increase efficiency), help it expand (launch strategy of new product or service, expand footprint into a new geography) and assist in pricing products and services (price a new aircraft engine for sale to Air India versus Kuwait Airways).
- IT/Technology Consulting – Anything to do with technology and IT would fall into IT consulting. A firm might want to have a central repository of data – a new data-warehouse would need to be built, which would necessitate a complete data review process – “as-is” and “to-be” scenarios would need to be worked out, a database solution (Oracle, Microsoft SQL, etc.) would need to be selected. The IT division of a firm might need guidance on which CRM or ETL tool would lead to minimal implementation and support costs, considering factors such as data volumes, types, size of customer base, details to be captured, integration with upstream and downstream systems, etc.
- Operations Consulting – This type of consulting mostly applies to manufacturing-type situations. For instance, a firm might want to reduce assembly line defects from 5% to 1% in 3 months. A call center might want to achieve waiting time reduction of 1 minute, and 5% improvement in “abandonments”.
- HR Consulting – As companies strive to improve the productivity of their employees, HR Consulting has become a very important consulting type over the last few years. They assist companies with framing of employee friendly HR policies, guidelines and mandates, improve performance management systems (which would include modes/types of feedback, appraisals, reward and recognition criteria, etc.), determine processes to streamline performance based incentives/compensation, etc.
- Marketing & Sales Consulting – A firm might need assistance in understanding what the most effective promotional channels are, which ones to consider, how budgets should be allocated across these channels, how large the marketing and sales team should be, how to increase reach of sales teams, how they should track effectiveness (and take corrective action immediately), etc.
- Real Estate Consulting – Real Estate Consultants assist firms with valuations, property-related legislation (tax, compliance, etc.), locating and renovating/building the best possible office/factory/residential space at the lowest possible price.
- Boutique & “small shops”
- Engineering Consulting – A city might need a new bridge across a river, for which design and building plans would be required, a new factory with multiple automated assembly lines might need to be constructed, an engine might need to be designed for a new aircraft, or a helipad might need to be built atop a 100-storey building. Engineering Consultants would be employed for such assignments.
- Design Consulting – Design Consulting companies help with design of new products – phones, musical instruments, watchs, computers, etc., or civil structures – stadia, theatres, hotels, etc., or a new one of a kind beachfront home for a billionaire.
- Pharma Consulting – Pharma Consultants assist with launch strategy of new drugs, marketing of drugs about to lose patent and go generic, pricing/co-pay in collaboration with medical insurance companies, legislation, etc.
- Petro Consulting – Petro Consultants help answer questions such as which drilling site would have the most oil reserves, least risk, most favorable legislation, etc.
Often a management consulting company would offer services in multiple areas. For example, the top consulting firms in the world offer Management / Strategy Consulting, IT / Technology Consulting and Operations Consulting services. There are virtually an infinite number of types of consulting companies specializing in every imaginable type of consulting – the list is endless.
Typical business problems
- Does a merger make sense? Would the value of the whole be greater than the sum of the parts?
- 5 new competitors are about to enter a particular market in the next 3 years. We need a sales forecast for the next 5 years. Develop a strategy that would allow us to preserve/gain market share.
- My marketing department is burning money. I need to reduce costs without affecting performance and sales in any way.
- I need a datawarehouse built for my company. As of today, I don’t have even a single centralized data repository – everything exists on employees’ laptops in a thousand spreadsheets. How do I go about it?
- I want to introduce my product/service in China, Taiwan and Malaysia. Build me a roadmap, and entry/launch strategy.
- Employees at my company are unhappy with our current performance management/appraisal and R&R system/process. How do we revamp the system/process to motive and drive employees more effectively, increase employee satisfaction, and at the same time give them more relevant, pointed, specific, constructive and practical feedback?
- My (petroleum) company is looking at 4 prospective offshore drilling sites. I want to go for the two most profitable options. Which two?
- We have had the same brand positioning, value proposition, logo, mission statement, etc. for 50 years now. The world has changed, and so have we. We need our logo, brand positioning, messaging, mission statement, etc. to be in sync with what we are today. Please help us transform our company/brand.
- Yesterday it was only email, then there were Orkut and MySpace, and now it is all about Facebook and Twitter. I want our company to be future ready from the digital promotions perspective. What should be my roadmap and strategy?
If you’ve always wondered if you’d make a good consultant, get a free profile evaluation from Amit on our Management Consulting Jobs forum.
Types of Consulting Job Titles
Consulting jobs are found in almost every industry today. The work can be exciting, well paid, and can include travel as well as telecommuting.
Consultants are experts brought in by a business to solve a particular problem. Rather than being hired as employees, many consultants work as temporary contractors and move on once their task is complete.
A business might bring in a consultant because no employee has the needed skill, or because a fresh, independent perspective is needed.
Consultants can offer advice on business management or marketing, provide training for new technologies, help improve team functioning, or handle difficult tasks such as layoffs. Because consultants can fulfill many different roles in many different industries, compensation can vary a lot, but is often quite good.
Types of Consulting Jobs
Generalist consultants have expertise in many fields, and offer their services to companies to help make overall improvements.
Specialist consultants have knowledge, and sometimes certifications, for a specific industry, or segment of a company.
Some consultants work for a consulting firm, and others work freelance. Part time as well as full time work is available, as well as entry level through executive positions. It’s also possible to be hired as a contract consultant with a company, and then be offered a permanent position.
In consulting firms, titles include the typical upper management positions, such as chief executive officer and vice president, that most companies have.
Below that level, titles might indicate the individual’s particular area of expertise, such as business analyst, marketing consultant, or human relations consultant. Titles for entry-level positions include associate business analyst, consulting executive, or administration executive. Some individuals work as consultants their entire careers, but it is not unusual for professionals to do some consulting between jobs.
To become a successful consultant, you must have a special set of skills. You need good analytical skills to evaluate the issues, and the ability to efficiently problem solve. Effective communication and strong leadership skills are important in order to implement positive changes for your clients.
Intellectual curiosity is necessary to gain and build upon the general and specific knowledge you need to be effective. You need excellent presentation skills to lay out comprehensive plans to your clients. You should also have strong writing, organizational, and computer skills.
Consulting Career Paths
There are many paths to a successful consulting career. Some people are recruited as consultants or analysts right out of college. Graduates with a track record of student leadership and strong writing and presentation skills will be highly regarded by firms seeking junior level employees.
Other consultants have had a successful career in another business, and make the transition to consulting in favor of a more flexible schedule and varied work.
Tips for Finding a Consulting Job
Consulting jobs can be found in a variety of ways. The major consulting firms recruit on campus for junior level analyst and consultant positions.
Consulting firms and companies seeking freelance consultants advertise open positions on job boards.
You can check the websites of consulting firms, who often list job opportunities, and apply online directly to the company. Freelance consultants can find jobs through the recommendations of firms that have used their services. Using LinkedIn and your personal business and social network is also effective in finding consulting work.
Consulting Job Titles
A - D
- Advertising Consultant
- Activation Consultant
- Brand Management Consultant
- Business Analyst
- Business Consultant
- Change Management Consultant
- Commercial Print Management Consultant
- Compensation Consultant
- Compensation Survey Analyst
- Consultant, Federal Health
- Consultant - Human Services
- Consultant Employment Specialist
- Consulting Advisor
- Creative Consultant
- Customer Service Improvement Consultant
- Cyber Security Strategy Consultant
D - H
- Dynamics AX - Functional Consultant
- Economic Consultant
- Educational Consultant
- Environmental Air Quality Consultant
- Environmental Audit Consultant
- Environmental Consultant
- Environmental Field Consultant
- Environmental Project Manager
- Field Technical Consultant
- Financial Consultant
- Foreclosure Consultant
- Fundraising Consultant
- Government Contract Consultant
- Healthcare Change Capture Senior Staff Consultant
- Healthcare Consultant
- Healthcare Management Consultant
- Healthcare Market Research Consultant
- Human Capital Consultant
- Human Resources Consultant
I - R
- Implementation Consultant
- International Consultant
- Lactation Consultant
- Lead Consulting Engineer
- Legal Consultant
- Legal Nurse Consultant
- Management Consultant
- Marketing Consultant
- Marketing Data Consultant
- Medicaid/Medicare Consultant
- Organizational Development Consultant
- Political Campaign Consultant
- Political Consultant
- Political Strategist
- Principal Consultant - Infrastructure
- Project Manager
- Recruitment Consultant
- Research Assistant
- Retail Sales Consultant
S - Z
- Safety Consultant
- Sales Consultant
- Sap Security Consultant
- Senior Benefits Consultant
- Senior Lync Consultant
- Senior Risk Control Consultant
- Software Implementation Consultant
- Solutions Consultant - Electrical Engineering
- Staffing and Employee Relations Consultant
- Strategy Consultant
- Tax Advisor
- Technology Consultant
- Telecom Analyst
- Websphere Consultant
- Wedding Consultant
- Weight Loss Consultant
Lists of Job Titles
More information on job titles and list of job titles for a variety of occupations.
More About Consulting Careers: How to Get a Job as a Consultant