How to Become Consultant

This article provides in-depth information into What is Consultant? What Consultant do? Degrees for Consultant, Steps to become Consultant and much more.


What does a Consultant do?

A business consultant also called a management consultant or management analyst is a professional adviser who is expertised in areas to look after the business in organisation with the increase in overall efficiency by increasing profits, increasing the revenue by cutting down the costs. They can be hired by government agencies or contractors especially to increase the productivity of business, solve the problems related to business with effective interaction with the various departments of the organisation, inventory control, personnel and reorganizing corporate structure.

The roles of the consultant includes,

  • Give professional advice to the organisation to improve the business.

  • Solve problems related to the business 

  • Conduct research on the operating procedures

  • Look over the internal documents, reports

  • Control the day-to-day operations

  • Monitor the functions of various departments in organisations such as HR, supply chain management, finance and others.

Consultant salaries

According to the Bureau of Labour statistics, in 2020 the salaries offered to a consultant is a median salary of $109,283 and typically ranges between $27,539 and $191,027. This depends and varies due to the years of experience, education, certification, additional skills.

Job growth

The employment opportunities of a consultant is projected to grow for about 14 percent in the period of 2018 to 2028 which is estimated to be faster than the growth of the average job.

The growth is expected to be stronger in the government agencies, organizations focusing on the international business and also small industries. The employment of consultants increases in fields such as information technology or human resources.

Steps to become a Consultant

Here are some steps you can follow to become a consultant and increase your employability towards a successful career,

Step 1- Earn a Bachelor's degree

A Bachelor's degree for a consultant career is a rare program but students can choose to get related fields such as finance, business administration, business management, or accounting to specialise in the fields of interest. So before you choose the field of specialization, you must know what field  you want to pursue your career in.

Students can also choose computer systems to earn knowledge of computers and other courses may include, marketing, psychology, human resources, engineering, political science and government.

Step 2- Gain experience

Gaining experience is an important part in the field of consultancy. You could gain experience even prior to graduation by internship programs or immediately after earning a degree under the guidance of  an experienced consultant. On-the-job training also helps to get an entry level position at a government agency or private business. With the work experience, your employability and earning potential increases towards an advanced career.

Step 3- Earn a Master's degree 

Completing a master’s degree is according to your interest and many agencies and private businesses require you to have a Master's degree in Business Administration. Students can choose tese online as well as a traditional education program at community college and universities, with also full time and part time according to students convenience. We advise you to choose a program which offers courses that gives a complete accredited coursework.

Step 4- Get a certification

A certification is not necessary for a business consultant, however having a certification gives you a better opportunity to seek a job over the applicants who aren't certified. The certificate is given by a number of organizations and amongst some recognised certifications are Certified Management Consultant (CMC) offered by the Institute of Management Consultants, USA. To obtain this certification you are required to complete three years of practice as a full-time employee and a specific written and oral examination. 

After obtaining the certification, you are required to continue your education for a few credit hours in order to keep it active.

Step 5- Land on a job

After getting suitable training and experience with the certification, you are not ready to work at an organisation. You must be aware of all the areas in the business and management to solve the problems of the organisation. As a consultant you could also choose to attend the stand-alone courses, training sessions, workshops and conferences to be updated on the latest trends, technologies and information. Building contacts and interacting well with the clients makes you a successful person at your career with increasing your earrings.

Types of degree for a Consultant

The common types of degrees chosen by the consultants are Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Here is a guide for you to understand about the degree level and how they benefit you,

Bachelor's degree for Business consultant

A bachelor's degree is a four year program and offers 120-130 credits for a student to complete the coursework. You  are required to choose the right programs and courses to pursue the consultant career, some courses to choose are business, psychology, accounting. His is the minimum degree requirement for a consultant’s job and to be marketable in the competitive field. This offers both classroom education as well as practical experience.

Masters in Business administration

This is a two year program which offers 50 credits for a student to complete the coursework, which is both a traditional method of educating students as universities and colleges and also online programs. Most agencies and private business require a masters degree to hire a consultant and hence it is a terminal degree in the business world.

Concentrations to be considered by a consultant

Academic concentrations: You must ensure the courses you choose are related to your career opportunities and make sure they are accredited by the board of education. Some courses offered are detailed below,

Bachelor's degree for Business consultant

Some courses you can choose in the four year program are,

MANAGEMENT CONCEPTS:

This course offers the basic concepts of management, principles and techniques of management that can be used to make the cornerstones. This course helps in understanding the role of managerial skills in every occupation and its theory.

Skills acquired:

  • Planning and organizing the events and operations to be conducted.
  • Directing and controlling the team effectively.
  • Leading the group towards accomplishing the organizational objective
  • Manage the project team and monitor the progress 

BUSINESS ETHICS:

Business is a course that deals with the study of business principles, policies, corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility, and fiduciary responsibilities

Skills acquired

  • Decision making in business and its ethics
  • Analyse the real world case and controversies in a business
  • Manga Create a good  working condition and ethical atmosphere 

PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS:

The course focuses on the principles and factors of economy and to study how they relate the real world problems as applications of business. Studying the balanced approach to micro- and macroeconomics with the theory of economics.

Skills acquired:

  • Understand the principle of economics in business
  • Business aspects of government economy and international trade
  • Economical factors affecting the decision making
  • Estimation of the costs, returns and principle

BUSINESS AND SOCIETY:

This course describes the political, social, legal regulations  around the modern business including the study of corporate responsibility and ethical decision making wit the management concepts of business

Skill acquired:

  • Effects of social and global regulations on the business
  • Decision making process with corporate responsibility
  • Stakeholder influence of the business

Master’s of Business Administration

The courses offered in the accelerated degree program are responsible to induce necessary knowledge to the students to enter the corporate world, they are,

FINANCIAL REPORTING AND ANALYSIS:

The course focuses on the financial accounting techniques and process to create the report and financial  statements in a standard form. This helps in analysing the financial status of the business.

Skills acquired:

  • Learn to create financial statement of the organization
  • Analyse the financial information and determine the financial position 
  • Understand the accounting standards
  • Financial strategizing to interpret the results.

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS:

This course is to study the overview of business interaction between computer science and well-known business disciplines such as finance, marketing, and management.

Skills acquired:

  • Use of technologies to run  business
  • Understand the business  wide operations
  • Understand the resources and stragetising the business
  • Communication, control, governance, plan according to the information technology and management principles.

STATISTICS FOR MANAGERIAL DECISION-MAKING:

This course provides an overview of the evaluation and structuring of the business to overcome uncertainties and complications with the use of statistical theory and business systems analysis.

Skills acquired:

  • Statistical analysis of business
  • Interpret the data to make effective decisions

CORPORATE ORGANIZATION:

Course deals with the complexities and challenges associated with organizational life and to  understand the theories, principles, and frameworks that will help you to design more effective organizations.

Skills acquired:

  • Identifying the problems  and strategies accordingly
  • Overcome the challenges and complexity in the business
  • Learn the general management tactics

Career concentrations

Getting educated to become a consultant gives you the opportunity to explore other job opportunities, here are some listed to help you choose,

Auditor:

An Auditor is a professional who prepares and inspects the financial records to ensure all the documents and financial statements are accurate. This includes financial methods to detail the accounts and records. They mainly work on the financial operation to make the business run smoothly. They are offered with an annual salary of $67,190.

Budget Analyst:

A budget analyst is a person who estimates the budget and monitors the expenses and revenues. This is to make sure the revenue obtained is returning the investments made . The duties is to look after the reports, payments, receipts, inventory lists and ensure that a company is company performance. The average salary offered to a budget analyst is about $71,590.

Cost Estimator:

A cost estimator works on the collection and analyses the data to estimate the cost, time, material, labour to be spent to obtain the product or service. Estimation of cost to build any product or project is important to run a business and allocate the resources efficiently. The average earning of a cost estimator is about $64,000 annually.

Market Research Analyst:

A market research analyst analyzes the market scenarios for the product or service being built in the organization. They research the demand and supply with the  potential sales of a product or service.the market keeps changing and hence you must learn about the customer need, satisfaction and feedback. The median salary being offered to a market research analyst is $63,000 per year.

Management Consultant:

A management consultant helps in managing the overall business with professional advice and suitable managing the function of various departments across the organisation. They look after increasing the efficiency and productivity with an organised manner of performing work and tasks. These might include the management of departments such as finance, operations, supply chain, personnel and more. The average salary offered to a management consultant is about $92,000 annually.

Stand out skills required for a Consultant

A consultant is a highly expertise profession in their field, but there are some skills required to be developed in one to excel in the profession and here are some skills listed. they are,

Time management: A business runs in an accurate manner and timely decisions are to be made to enhance the business performance. As a consultant you are effective in managing time with the tasks, plans, operation, client management s most of them will have deadlines.

Problem-solving: They must possess problem solving skills by identifying the problems existing. A consultant is mainly responsible to get professional advice and solution to problems and overcome challenges. Hence, they must have a good ability to identify problems and solve them according to the client's concern.

Analytical thinking: In an organisation, there exist problems in various departments and they are mostly interlinked. As a consultant you can think analytically with the local skills to solve the problem as an individual as well as collectively.

Excellent communication skills: A consultant must have effective communication skills to interact with his teammates and clients and also have good writing skills make reports and financial statements essential to run a business smoothly. At times, they must answer questions of people and groups effectively to convince them with the solution to be implemented in the business.