Earning your MBA in consulting will prepare you for employment as a leader in the management consulting field. With this in-demand MBA, you will develop the skills and knowledge to provide advice to enhance the efficiency of businesses and other organizations across the country and world.
What Is Consulting?
Consulting is defined as providing objective advice and assistance to organizations related to the strategy, structure, management and operations in the pursuit of improving efficiency, profitability and other related business objectives. It is the process of helping your clients to solve their most difficult business challenges. The role of a consultant can vary widely depending upon your industry and specific expertise.
The United States economy is on a strong growth path, with current unemployment below 4% and GDP growth in the 4% range for the last quarter. Strong business and economic growth should continue to produce robust demand for management consultants and analysts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS reports employment for management consultants will increase by a strong 14% in the next eight years, which is faster than average. Demand for business consulting services will grow as companies seek ways to boost efficiency in their operations and control costs. As business markets get more competitive, companies will need to use their resources in a more efficient manner.
Professionals interested in a healthcare consulting role should be especially interested to know that demand in this space will be very strong in the next decade. This industry area is seeing higher costs because of the aging US population. More management analysts and consultants will be needed to assist companies to navigate the health insurance regulatory environment.
The most popular career path with this MBA is a management consultant or analyst who has the following roles:
- Collect and organize information about the problem that needs to be solved or procedure to be enhanced in the company
- Interview employees and do onsite observations to determine the methods, equipment and personnel that are needed.
- Analyze financial and related data, such as revenues, expenditures, and employment reports
- Provide recommendations for new company systems, procedures and organizational changes
- Mae recommendations to business managers through written reports and presentations
Many management consultants are specialists in certain areas, such as inventory management or mergers and acquisitions. Others could specialize in one industry, such as IT, healthcare or pharmaceuticals. Most management consultants work for consulting companies and are hired on a contractual basis by many organizations temporarily.
Currently, management consultants and analysts hold 806,000 jobs in the US, with the largest number working in these areas:
- Professional, scientific and technical services: 30%
- Self employed: 17%
- Government: 17%
- Finance and insurance: 11%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 5%
BLS states the median salary for all management consultants is $82,400 as of May 2017, with the top 10% earning more than $152,000 per year. Salaries in various industries for management consultants are:
- Professional, Scientific and technical services: $87,800
- Management for companies and enterprises: $82,900
- Finance and insurance: $81,700
- Government: $78,100
Some of the best consulting companies in the US to work for with this MBA include:
- Roth Staffing Companies
- Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe
- Pricewaterhouse Coopers
Online Consulting MBA Degree
Business professionals today who are employed in a full-time job can get their MBA consulting degree online. An online MBA degree can often be completed without ever visiting a college campus, and you can take your classes on your own schedule.
Students who are interested in becoming business consultants can earn their online MBA in management consulting from Arizona State University. This online degree offered by the W.P. Carey School of Business will give you the ability to learn what you need to know to thrive in the competitive world of management consulting.
This program is accredited by the AACSB and is also ranked in the top five online MBA programs in the US. This business school is also rated as the #4 in the country for supply chain management and #10 for information systems, according to US News and World Report. The program is 49 total credit hours, 17 classes and five weeks per class.
Required classes are:
- Leading People, Teams and Organizations: Organizational Theory
- Statistics for Managers
- Financial Performance Reporting
- Operations and Supply Management
- Decisions, Market Structure and Games: Managerial Economics
- Create and Deliver Customer Value: Marketing Management
- Finance: The Art of Managing Resources
- Ethical Issues for Managers
An MBA is a graduate level degree, so you must have a bachelor’s degree first to earn your MBA. However, there are many business degrees at the bachelor’s level that can be useful for earning your MBA in consulting later. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University will provide you with the fundamental business management skills to be successful in a variety of business and consulting roles in your career. Students in this four year, online degree program can specialize in many areas:
- Healthcare Administration
- Management Information Systems
- International Business
- Project Management
- Public Administration
This business bachelor’s degree provides you with the core business management skills to be successful in many business occupations, including consulting:
- Financial Accounting
- Managerial Accounting
- Principles of Finance
- Introduction to Marketing
- Principles of Management
Earning your MBA in consulting will make you eligible for many high-paid and exciting consulting jobs across the country. One of the options is the MBA in strategic consulting from the University of California Berkeley. This university has a high number of MBA students – approximately one out of four – take a career path in consulting. After graduation, many will join some of the leading consulting firms in the country, including Bain, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and Deloitte. Others may take business strategy roles at companies such as Google, Facebook and Salesforce.
Courses in the program, such as Fundamentals of Design Thinking, as well as many experiential learning opportunities, will give you the hands-on experience you need to be a success in consulting. Also, peer academic advisors and members of the business school’s Haas Consulting Club will provide you with information about internships and will help you to improve your case interviewing skills so you can be successfully recruited by top companies.
Courses that you may take in this consulting MBA program are:
- Financial Information Analysis
- Corporate Finance
- Power and Politics in Organizations
- Marketing Research
- Information and Technology Based Marketing
- Innovation in Service and Business Minds
- Data Science and Data Strategy
- Strategic Leadership
All schools and MBA programs have their specific requirements, but you can expect to need to meet the following standards in most programs:
- 0 GPA may be required
- GRE or GMAT scores required at some universities
- Three professional or academic recommendations
- Writing samples
Each program will have its own course requirements. At NYU Stern, students in the MBA consulting concentration take these courses:
- Financial Accounting and Reporting
- Statistics and Data Analysis
- Firms and Markets
- Consultative Practices
- Financial Statement Analysis
- Executive Decision Making
- Financial Management
Students who want to earn their MBA in consulting or a related specialty will need to make a substantial financial investment in their education. MBAs can cost tens of thousands of dollars to earn, with some costing more than $100,000. Students should investigate the scholarship options at their institution. Also, consider the following scholarships that can generally be used at any accredited MBA program in the US:
- AAUW Career Development Grants
- Charles T. Bauer MBA Scholarships
- Credit Suisse MBA Fellowship Program Americas
- Dennis W. and Jane B. Carlton Fellowship
- Forte Fellows Program
- Gerardo Werthein Scholarship Fund
- Little Family Foundation Scholarship
- M&T Bank MBA Fellows Program
- Military MBA Scholarship Program
Professionals who want to enhance their business consulting careers can benefit from the following business certifications:
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)
- Certified Business Process Associate (CBPA)
- AIPMM Certified Brand Manager
- AMA Certificate in Analytical Skills
Business professionals in consulting and related fields who want to further their careers may consider belonging to these important business associations:
- National Association of Women Business Owners
- National Business Association
- International Association of Professional Business Consultants
- Institute of Management Consultants
- Society of Professional Consultants
Earning your MBA degree in consulting is one of the best business management career paths you can take today. You will be equipped with a highly desired degree, and have the skills to work as a highly respected business management consultant.
- Management Analysts. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm
- What Is Consulting? (2015). Retrieved from http://www.iconsulting.org.uk/purchasing-consultancy/why-use-an-ic-consultant/what-is-consulting
- Five Certifications to Advance Your Management Career. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.kellyservices.us/us/business_services/business-resource-center/managing-employees/top-five-certifications-to-advance-your-management-career/