When considering a career in consultancy, you’ll fall into three main categories: Independent, management, and corporate.
There are popular consultancy jobs within these categories that could help you put your knowledge to good use and earn a pretty penny.
To get you started, this guide will highlight a few of the top consultant jobs to consider and how you can pursue consultancy as a career.
Management consulting careers
When you initially think of consultants, you usually think of people who work with management to make processes within a business more effective.
Even within this category, there are a number of different consulting careers you can choose from. Consultants are hired to improve or recommend changes to a business’s overall strategy or to help them during times of change – for example, in a merger or acquisition.
In terms of salary, management consultancy is where you’ll make the big bucks. In fact, these consultants are paid some of the highest salaries in the world.
Getting into the field is difficult. You’ll need the highest grades, the right connections, and to master the interview process. That is if you want to work for one of the top consulting firms. If you want to take on the role independently, you’ll probably need decades of experience in the field or experience working for a firm. Either way, you’re going to need to be the best of the best, as the industry is incredibly competitive.
In management consulting, there are 3 main jobs:
Strategy management focuses on the top levels of s a business. You’ll take a top-down view of the business to help managers identify the long-term vision and how to achieve it. This may involve entering into new markets, re-allocating resources, or mixing up the current client portfolio.
To be a strategy consultant, you’ll need an in-depth understanding of a client’s specific market and the ability to do extensive data analysis. This career is incredibly prestigious and will take some serious grafting to get your foot in the door. It may require you to take multiple degrees and become an expert in networking with the elite.
Business operations cover processes, procurement, outsourcing, and supply chain. As an operations consultant, your role will be to look at how businesses can optimize their operations in order to improve quality, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
You’ll work closely with senior executives and will be more involved in the deployment of any improvements you recommend.
Financial advisors or consultants help businesses to survive through the worsts of economic crises and thrive into the future. They are brought into help managers make informed decisions about their investments or purchases – both on a small and large scale.
Consultants interested in finance are best taking a business or economics degree and an MBA specializing in finance. This will set you up with extensive knowledge about corporate finance, restructuring forensics and litigation, real estate/asset management, and much more. You also have to gain a Series 65 or 66 license from the US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Corporate consultancy careers
There is a broad spectrum of jobs available in corporate consultancy. Those interested in working at a corporate level will need at least 10 years of experience within their specific industry, and you’ll definitely need to specialize in an area rather than attempting to cover it all.
Below are the top consulting careers in the corporate world.
Of course, a hugely popular choice for budding consultants is IT. As technology and its infrastructure is such an integral part of keeping the business world running, IT consultants can be deemed as the backbone of a business’s security and operations.
As an IT consultant, you’ll understand system integration and software management, how to analyze data to create more positive outcomes for businesses, and have the tools you need to improve enterprise architecture.
Although it sits in the corporate category, businesses of all sizes will likely depend on the knowledge of IT specialists and consultants at some point.
This umbrella term encompasses everything from training employees and team building to conflict resolution.
Business consultants will work with their clients to create SWOT analysis which can then be used to provide recommendations to capitalize on their strengths. For retail-based businesses, you may be required to look at which is best: Increased lead generation or improving the average order value. It’s up to you to analyze the data and make the best recommendations.
In terms of employability, business consultants need a great track record and plenty of experience in their field. It’s unlikely you’ll be hired as a business consultant merely based on credentials.
Large corporate enterprises now have a responsibility to think about how their activities impact the environment. So if you’re interested in putting your business knowledge to good practice while also promoting a greener world, environmental consulting could be a hugely fulfilling job to pursue.
The consultants will help businesses ensure they stay within compliance with environmental laws or industry regulations. You’ll be able to navigate everything from waste management processes to city planning and construction. You’ll analyze how business plans will affect the environment and may even be responsible for submitting applications to local government.
Environmental consultants will need to be highly knowledgeable about biology, law, the government, and the environment.
Of course, another major element of the business is sales. Consultants work with sales teams to improve performance and create better outcomes for the business.
You’ll focus on training teams up and down the country but may also be hired to assess workflows and management. As an outsider, you’ll have a fresh perspective to offer the sales team, which can reinvigorate their passion for the job, boost productivity and reach those all-important sales figures.
Unlike other consultancy work, becoming a sales consultant is pretty easy. However, you’ll obviously need experience working in sales and managing a team. And, as with most jobs, the more experience you have, the better your prospects.
Independent Consulting Careers
While corporate and management consultancy will often require you to be attached to an already established firm, there are still plenty of ways you can use your expertise to build your own business from the ground up.
Independent consultants may help businesses – big and small – generate leads, launch their own products or market themselves on the international stage.
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Marketing is probably one of the most popular jobs a small business will outsource. Plus, even the largest businesses will work with marketing agencies as a fresh pair of eyes on an old marketing strategy.
To become a marketing consultant, you’ll need to be up to date with all the latest ideas, strategies, and technologies. This could either be through regularly furthering your education through online courses (via Udemy or Google’s Digital Garage, for example) or by working as a freelancer on small projects across multiple fields.
You’ll also need experience. Even if you don’t have official qualifications, if you can prove you’ve had a positive impact on a business’s sales or overall success, you’ll certainly be appealing to start-ups and small businesses.
Marketing consultants may be sworn in to help employees understand the importance of content marketing or may even be asked to manage PPC advertising for the business. You’ll need extensive knowledge of SEO, and will benefit from understanding successful techniques for voice, TV, print, and radio (because social media isn’t the only channel for marketing).
Although you’ll still need the same licensing, you may prefer to work with smaller businesses and induvial as a freelance financial advisor.
You can be a serious help to others who need to manage their expenses, investments, and taxes.
Day to day life has just as many financial challenges as the corporate world. Whether that’s managing money for inheritance or splitting the money in a divorce.
A great way to use your financial expertise is to help people achieve financial independence. Alternatively, you may want to help individuals manage the risks of investing and recommend specific stocks, bonds, or assets.
Image consultants are a little more creative and get the chance to help people achieve their dreams. Our appearance can have a significant impact on our financial success, perceived intelligence, trustworthiness, and authority.
As such, those looking to succeed in life may hire an image consultant to give them that extra boost.
Image isn’t just about the clothes you wear, either. These consultants can help individuals improve their communication skills, show them the ropes of business etiquette, and improve their body language to portray a certain persona.
Ironically, image consultants are usually sought out by clients based on their own image. Using your expertise, you should be able to create a successful and achievable image online to attract clients who want the same thing.
There are so many ways to dive headfirst into your own consulting role. The first step, however, is to expand your knowledge in your field as wide as possible and get networking with all the right people.