What is Consulting?
"Consulting is the business of providing expert advice to a specific group of people. The true meaning of consulting is helping people solve problems and move from their current state to their desired state."--Consulting.com
In other words, consultants, whether independent contractors or employees for consulting firms, are in the professional services industry. Businesses hire contractors or firms to work on projects, provide expert advice, develop strategy, solve problems, etc.
Why pursue a career in consulting?
Consultants have a career that is always adapting and changing. New clients, projects, and practices keep the work fresh and interesting. Some benefits of working in consulting include:
- Completing dynamic projects that change every few weeks or months
- Opportunity to travel to new cities and countries
- Competitive compensation
- Collaborating with high-level individuals
- Fortune 500 companies as clients
- Working on the cutting edge of business and technology
Who can be a consultant?
Any academic major makes an individual a potential fit for consulting. Consulting firms compete for projects from all industries, and therefore a variety of background experience is needed within their employees. Some benefits of working in consulting include working for clients that are Fortune 500 companies, completing dynamic projects that change every few weeks or months, having an opportunity to travel, competitive compensation, and working with high-level individuals. Characteristics that make people strong candidates for a career in consulting include the following:
- Desire for constant learning
- Willingness to travel
- Ability to think critically
- Skilled communicators
- Understanding that change is necessary
- Capable of making connections and working with others
- Passion for challenging work
What are examples of top firms?
The consulting industry raked in roughly 148 billion dollars in 2018, and it is still growing. The proceeding list includes some of the highest grossing and most prestigious firms:
- A.T. Kearney
- Bain & Company
- Booz Allen Hamilton
- Boston Consulting Group
- McKinsey & Company
- Oliver Wyman