Are you thinking about pursuing a career as a business consultant? It’s important to know what to expect in the career, but also what you need to do to become one! You’ll first need a degree, some skills, and perhaps even your master’s. Here’s everything you need to know to become a business consultant:
What is a Business Consultant?
A business consultant is an individual who helps organizations with certain aspects of the business. They can provide advice and recommendations on overall strategy, operations, finances, leadership, management, industry outlooks, HR, and more.
Consultants generally work to solve the challenges and problems a company is facing, either in the day-to-day or long-term. They can conduct surveys, studies and more to properly understand the issue at hand and come back with their results and strategies so the company can take appropriate actions. Business consultants are usually brought on only short term, but they can be hired for longer projects.
Some other tasks and responsibilities they will have to complete include:
- Create research reports
- Observe business operations and employees
- Survey interview techniques
- Analyze data and financial information
- Confer with management
- Solve complex problems
- Help the company meet goals
- Work with specific budgets
- Develop business plans
- Work within industry regulations and laws
- Networking with peers
- Customer service and client retention
They can also be called management analysts, business analysts, and management consultants. Individuals in this field have to be prepared to travel as clients aren’t always local. Business consultants can work with everyone from small business owners to international companies.
What Skills Do You Need as a Business Consultant?
There are a number of skills business consultants need in order to be successful:
- Strong reading comprehension
- Able to active listen
- Strong critical thinking
- Decision making
- Able to analytically evaluate situations, challenges, and problems
- Strong problem solving
They also have to be knowledgeable about a number of certain areas in business including customer service, employee and customer experience, administration, supply chain management, management, psychology, education, training, and human resources.
How Do You Become a Business Consultant?
If a business consultant career sounds up your alley, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to become one.
1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
A majority of business consultants have a bachelor’s degree and it tends to be a requirement to enter the field. The degree should absolutely be in a business related field. Business administration and management is the most popular major, but individuals can also pursue business/commerce, organizational leadership, finance, and more.
More than 78% of business consultants have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
2. Participate in an Internship
An internship can help you get your foot in the door, especially with companies that specialize in consultations. You can move on from the company after your internship or you might find employment there.
3. Get Certified
Certifications are usually not requirements for business consultants, but they could help you find employment and increase your salary.
A Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification focuses on confirming your experience and education. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification allows you to show your partners and clients that you can handle their needs and challenges.
These certifications and others can also ensure you’re always improving your skills and working on professional development. Potential employers may take note of your efforts outside the workplace.
4. Consider Earning Your Master’s
As with certification, a master’s degree isn’t a requirement for this position, but it can also increase your earning potential. You’ll be able to establish yourself as an expert in the field and could even allow you to open your very own consulting business. About 29.1% of business consultants have a Master’s of Business Administration.
What is the Job Outlook for Business Consultants?
Passion could be leading you down this career path, but it’s also important to know the statistics around the field.
As of 2022, the median salary for business consultants is $93,000. The 10th percentile makes $50,190, but the 90th percentile makes $163,760.
Between 2018 and 2028, the field is also expected to grow 21%, which is quite a bit especially when compared to other industries and job fields. There are 6,930 annual projected job openings, which ranks number 3 in net job growth.
If this field sounds interesting to you, but you’re not quite sold on this particular title, there are similar careers you might want to consider, including
- Marketing manager
- Training and development manager
- Human resources specialist
- Regulatory affairs manager
A business consultant can be quite the engaging field. You can choose to specialize in a niche industry, travel all over the world, and help companies aim towards success. Does it sound interesting to you? Search YOUR perfect career with our career finder tool today.