How to become a Management Consultant

Overview, Courses, Exam, Colleges, Pathways, Salary

Management & business administration


Who is Management Consultant ?

Management consulting may be a very satisfying career path, both in terms of work satisfaction and compensation. A management consultant is a highly skilled individual who utilizes his essential experience to resolve business conflicts and disagreements. Management consultants assist firms in increasing their efficiency and growth by resolving problems and identifying new and more efficient ways to do things. Management consultants have the opportunity to engage with senior management and top executives in organizations, which fosters the development of strong relationships and a supporting network.

Although there are no hard and fast rules regarding academics in the management consulting field, owing to the severe competition, certain employers prefer a master's level degree or an MBA, therefore enrolling in an MBA program from a reputable university might help you obtain your ideal job. Management consulting positions in India typically demand a minimum of two to three years of professional experience. Some individuals begin in entry-level positions and progress to consultancy jobs within the same business. Work experience is intended to acclimate you to the working reality. Assuming further responsibility and managing a variety of responsibilities entails a high learning curve!

Here are some steps to becoming a Management Consultant

  1. Education and Qualifications: To become a management consultant, start by obtaining a Bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as business administration, finance, or engineering. A strong academic foundation is crucial for entering the consulting industry.
  2. Gain Work Experience: Secure internships during college and consider working in entry-level positions within consulting firms or related industries after graduation. Practical experience will enhance your problem-solving and analytical skills.
  3. Pursue Advanced Education (Optional): While not always necessary, pursuing a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) or other relevant advanced degrees can provide a competitive edge and open doors to prestigious consulting firms.
  4. Develop Specialized Skills: Acquire data analysis, project management, and communication expertise to become a well-rounded consultant. Specialized skills will make you more valuable to clients and employers.
  5. Build a Professional Network: Networking is crucial in the consulting world. Attend industry events, connect with professionals on platforms like LinkedIn, and seek mentorship to expand your connections and gain insights from experienced consultants.

Qualifications needed for Management Consultant

  1. Education: A bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Management, or a related discipline is often required. Some positions may prefer candidates with a master's degree, such as an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or a specialized business-related master's degree.
  2. Industry Knowledge: Expertise in specific industries or sectors can be advantageous. Management Consultants often specialize in areas like finance, healthcare, technology, marketing, or operations, and having relevant industry knowledge can add value to their services.
  3. Problem-Solving Skills: Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities are essential for Management Consultants. They must be able to identify challenges, analyze data, and provide effective solutions to improve organizational performance.
  4. Communication Skills: Excellent verbal and written communication skills are crucial for effectively interacting with clients and presenting findings and recommendations.
  5. Interpersonal Skills: Management Consultants work with various clients and teams, so they must have strong interpersonal skills to build relationships, collaborate, and manage stakeholders.
  6. Project Management Skills: Managing consulting projects requires effective project management skills to meet deadlines, allocate resources, and ensure successful project outcomes.
  7. Data Analysis: Proficiency in data analysis tools and techniques is essential for gathering and interpreting data to make informed recommendations.
  8. Adaptability and Flexibility: Management Consultants often work on diverse projects in different industries, requiring them to be adaptable and open to new challenges.
  9. Business Acumen: A deep understanding of business operations, market dynamics, and financial principles is critical for providing strategic advice to clients.
  10. Certifications (Optional): While not always mandatory, certifications such as Certified Management Consultant (CMC) or relevant industry-specific certifications can enhance credibility and demonstrate expertise.
  11. Professional Experience: While entry-level consulting roles may be available for recent graduates, most Management Consultant positions prefer candidates with prior consulting experience or relevant work experience in a specialized field.

Typical day at work

What does Management Consultant do?

  1. Analysis and Assessment: Conduct an in-depth analysis of the organisation's processes, operations, and structure to identify areas for improvement and growth.
  2. Problem-Solving: Identifying the organisation's challenges and issues and developing solutions and strategies to address them.
  3. Strategy Development: Assisting in formulating business strategies, market entry plans, and growth initiatives.
  4. Process Optimisation: Streamlining and optimising business processes to enhance productivity and reduce costs.
  5. Change Management: Guiding the organisation through major changes, such as mergers, restructurings, or technology implementations.
  6. Data Analysis: Analysing data and financial information to provide insights and recommendations to the organisation.
  7. Client Communication: Collaborating with key stakeholders and management teams to present findings, recommendations, and progress reports.
  8. Project Management: Overseeing the implementation of recommendations and ensuring successful project execution.
  9. Market Research: Conduct market research and competitor analysis to help the organisation stay competitive.
  10. Specialised Expertise: Providing expertise in finance, human resources, operations, or technology.

Abilities and Aptitude needed

What are the skills, abilities & aptitude needed to become Management Consultant?

  • Apart from academic credentials, students need also to exhibit organisational and managerial abilities to increase their chances of being employed by a reputable firm.
  • Students should concentrate on developing a strong awareness of the business environment and market trends, as well as strong interpersonal and communication skills, knowledge of two or more languages, acute analytical capabilities, and the capacity to work under tight deadlines and pressure.
  • A management consultant must be self-motivated and disciplined to manage a large workload on consistently must master the art of prioritising several tasks to each one while simultaneously enhancing the quality of each delivery.
  • Businesses are keen to deal with consultants that are productive, efficient, and capable of doing their duties with minimum supervision.
  • Additionally, technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, and Pattern Analysis are frequently employed in the consulting sector to infuse their services with innovation and agility. To do this, current workers are taught in the use of these technologies, and organisations prioritise applicants who are familiar with the newest technology advancements when recruiting new personnel. Thus, management consultants must be flexible to shifting work cultures and capable of providing customers with rapid and lucrative consulting solutions.
  • Networking is what consultants do daily to establish true connections with their clients or coworkers, and as such, it is a critical component of management consulting.  
  • Consultants work under considerable strain. They are often required to meet deadlines and hence must make optimal use of their time t accomplish assignments on time.
  • Management consultants work together with the institution's leaders and other workers to accomplish the institution's objectives. They must create novel solutions to customer challenges. While certain aspects of the obstacles faced by various customers may be similar, each circumstance will almost certainly offer the consultant with distinct hurdles to overcome.
  • Employers expect the majority of consultants to possess collaborative abilities, academic competence, and innovative leadership. Additionally, firms need consultants that are motivated, passionate about change, and strategic thinkers.


Salary for Management Consultant?

The monthly average salary for a Management Consultant in India can vary based on experience, location, consulting firm, and industry. Management Consultants are highly sought for their expertise in providing organisations with strategic guidance and problem-solving skills.

On average, the monthly salary for a Management Consultant in India can range from INR 60,000 to INR 1,50,000 or more.

Here is a rough breakdown of salary levels based on experience:

  1. Junior or Entry-level Management Consultant: INR 60,000 to INR 80,000 per month.
  2. Mid-level Management Consultant (2-5 years of experience): INR 80,000 to INR 1,20,000 per month.
  3. Experienced and Senior-level Management Consultant (5+ years of experience): INR 1,20,000 to INR 1,50,000 or more monthly.

Please note that these figures are approximate and can vary depending on the specific consulting firm, the projects undertaken, and the consultant's qualifications and skills.

Management Consultants may also receive additional benefits, bonuses, and performance incentives based on their contributions and successful project outcomes. Additionally, salaries in the consulting industry can be influenced by market demand, economic conditions, and the industry or sector in which the consulting firm operates.

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Which Industries are open for Management Consultant?

  1. Management Consulting Firms: The obvious choice is to work with specialized management consulting firms that offer services to clients from different industries. These firms cater to various businesses and provide solutions for their specific challenges.
  2. Financial Services: Banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and other financial institutions often seek management consultants to improve operational efficiency, risk management, and compliance processes.
  3. Healthcare: Hospitals, healthcare systems, and pharmaceutical companies hire consultants to streamline operations, enhance patient care, and develop strategies for growth and cost reduction.
  4. Information Technology: Technology companies and IT departments within various organizations may seek consultants to optimize their processes, implement new systems, and manage digital transformation projects.
  5. Manufacturing and Logistics: Manufacturers and logistics companies often engage management consultants to improve supply chain management, production processes, and cost efficiency.
  6. Energy and Utilities: Energy companies, utility providers, and renewable energy firms may hire consultants to address challenges related to sustainability, resource management, and regulatory compliance.
  7. Retail and Consumer Goods: Retailers and consumer goods companies use management consultants to enhance their market presence, customer experience, and supply chain efficiency.
  8. Government and Public Sector: Government agencies and public institutions hire consultants to develop policies, improve public services, and manage complex projects.
  9. Non-profit and Social Impact: Non-profit organizations and social enterprises seek management consultants to optimize their operations, enhance fundraising strategies, and achieve their social missions effectively.
  10. Education: Educational institutions, both public and private, may utilize consultants to improve administrative processes, implement technology solutions, and enhance academic programs.
  11. Hospitality and Tourism: Hotels, travel agencies, and tourism boards may engage consultants to enhance guest experiences, optimize operations, and develop marketing strategies.


Are there internships available for Management Consultant?

  1. Consulting Firm Internships: Many consulting firms offer internships where you can work alongside experienced consultants on real projects for clients. These internships provide exposure to the consulting industry's day-to-day operations and methodologies.
  2. Corporate Strategy Internships: Large corporations often have in-house strategy teams that work on various business improvement projects. Interning with these teams lets you understand how companies make strategic decisions and solve complex business challenges.
  3. Non-profit and Social Impact Internships: Some non-profit organizations and social impact consulting firms offer internships that address societal and environmental issues. These opportunities allow you to use your consulting skills for a greater cause.
  4. Government and Public Sector Internships: Government agencies and public sector consulting firms may have internships that involve working on policy development, public administration, and process optimization projects.
  5. Boutique Consulting Firms: Smaller, specialized consulting firms may also offer internships, providing a more intimate and hands-on learning experience.
  6. Independent Consultants: Some experienced management consultants operate as independent practitioners and may be willing to take on interns to support their projects.

Career outlook

What does the future look like for Management Consultant?

Whereas B-schools continue to expand throughout India, an increasing number of management consulting firms are establishing themselves in the market, providing a range of consulting services to foreign and local enterprises. Today, consulting is an appealing career option since it offers a competitive income package and enough opportunity for personal growth. A management consultant's function is critical to an organization's quick development and success. The need for professional help in simplifying businesses, cutting expenses, and enhancing ROI in a dynamic market is expanding in both the private and governmental sectors. Consultancy firms are recognised to be among the most active recruiters at universities and may serve as a suitable launching pad for your consulting career.

Management consultants may vary from huge generalist organisations that provide a broad range of services to smaller firms that specialise in specific expertise and abilities. Consultancy employment is available in a wide variety of industries, including information technology, healthcare, finance, and retail. While management consultants may be engaged by big corporations, the majority of them operate on a contract basis or are self-employed with a business analytics company. Management consultants who are employed on a contract basis may prepare proposals and submit bids for tasks. Management consultants may also specialise in other areas, such as inventory management, project management, company management, or restructuring organisational structures to eliminate duplicate and non-essential labour. Certain individuals are specialists in a certain sector, such as telecommunications or healthcare. Management consultants engaged by government organisations are often classified according to the kind of agency.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What qualifications do you need to be a management consultant? 

To become a management consultant, you typically need a combination of education, skills, and experience. While specific qualifications may vary between companies and industries, common requirements include:

  • A bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as business, economics, finance, engineering, or a related discipline.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities.
  • Proficiency in data analysis and using tools like Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Relevant work experience, often in a business or consulting-related role.
  • Some consulting firms may prefer candidates with an advanced degree, such as an MBA or a Master's in a specialized field.

2. Which MBA is best for management consulting? 

Answer: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best MBA program for management consulting depends on factors like your career goals, personal preferences, and the specific consulting area you want to specialize in. However, some renowned business schools with strong management consulting programs include Harvard Business School, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Stanford Graduate School of Business.

3. How long does it take to be a management consultant? 

Answer: The time it takes to become a management consultant can vary based on individual circumstances. 

Here are some general steps:

  • Bachelor's degree: Typically takes 3-4 years to complete.
  • Work experience: Gaining relevant work experience can take a few years, depending on the individual's career path and opportunities.
  • Advanced degree (optional): Pursuing an MBA or a master's degree can take 1-2 years.
  • Entry-level consulting position: After completing education and gaining the necessary experience, landing an entry-level consulting position can take some time, depending on job market conditions.
  • Becoming a management consultant can take 4-8+ years, considering the various steps involved.

4. Can I become a management consultant without an MBA? 

Answer: Yes, it is possible to become a management consultant without an MBA. While an MBA can provide valuable skills and open doors to certain consulting firms, many hire candidates with diverse educational backgrounds and relevant work experience. Some may look for individuals with specialized knowledge or expertise in particular industries or areas.

5. What is the salary of a management consultant in India?

Answer: The salary of a management consultant in India can vary based on factors such as experience, educational background, the consulting firm's reputation, and the location of the job. As of my last update in September 2021, the salary for entry-level management consultants in India could range from ?6 to ?12 lakhs per annum. With more experience and expertise, senior consultants could earn anywhere from ?15 to ?30 lakhs per annum or more. Keep in mind that these figures are approximate and can change over time.
Job market conditions and salary ranges may have evolved since my last update, so it's good to research current data and consult reliable sources for the latest information.