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Career profile: Management consultant

Career profile: Management consultantManagement consultants are often bought into organisation to make them more efficient and (if it’s a business) to help them make more money.

A what?

Management consultants come into companies for a relatively short amount of time to help solve certain problems and to help the organisation to run more smoothly. They sometimes specialise in specific areas like finance, HR, IT or marketing and offer advice on these subjects, but some management consultants are more general and will consult on a range of issues facing the whole business.

On the job

Management consultants get to work in lots of different environments as they move between organisations, giving their advice. They usually have to start off spending time with management teams where they learn about the company and find out what problems need solving. They will then carry out a review of the organisation, looking at bits that aren’t working very well – this will be done by looking at the accounts and talking to the employees and managers.

Once they have worked out where the weak spots are, the management consultant will put together a plan for improvements. This could mean changes to the way certain departments work, and in some cases cutting back on staff or other costs. Projects could be as short as a day or last more than a year depending on what it is the company needs (and what they can afford). Most management consultants have to be prepared to travel and need to be quite outgoing as they will be meeting new people all the time.

Starting salaries range from around £20,000 to £32,000 a year but can rise to more than £200,000 depending on the employer and where they live.

How to get there

Employers look for candidates with honours degrees (usually at least a 2:1). Any subject
is acceptable, but candidates who have studied business, management, economics, maths, psychology or information technology may have an advantage.
Entry to a degree course is usually with a minimum of two A-levels and five GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), or the equivalent. Different universities have different entry qualifications though, so you should check with each one that interests you.

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