What are the skills required for management consulting? That’s a question many ask themselves when trying to launch out and explore the career path of management consulting.
Indeed, the need for management consultants keeps rising with the increasing emergence of companies around the globe across different niches and industries.
Unfortunately, over 50% of these companies struggle to survive due to managerial incompetency. And these result in many loopholes in their operations and, of course, adverse effects on their bottom line.
So in this post, you’ll learn about who a management consultant is, the skills required for management consulting, and every other thing about the job descriptions of a management consultant to companies. Both small and large corporate organizations.
Whether you’re someone aspiring to become a management consultant or a startup owner trying to learn about the skills to look out for when trying to hire one for your business, read on.
Who is a Management Consultant?
A management consultant is a business professional who, through certification and experience, knows how to make businesses achieve efficiency. It could be startup companies, SMEs, nonprofit organizations, or large corporate bodies.
Regardless of niche and industry, management consultants help businesses create value and solve issues while maximizing their growth and improving their performance and productivity with the resources at their disposal. These include time, finances, human resources, and other assets.
Some big global brands like Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, and others have benefited from the indispensable service of high-profile management consultants and still do.
Responsibilities of a Management Consultant
The roles of a management consultant may vary from organization to organization or from industry to industry. However, as someone who wants to become one, below are some of the functions that you would have to execute as a management consultant:
- Gather data through quality research to have a clear grasp of a business organization and its industry
- Provide expert advice and mentorship to companies and their employees that revolve around corporate and strategic leadership, information technology, financial management, advertising, and marketing, amongst others.
- Carry out objective analysis and assessment of business operations, work ethics, and policies that can influence its productivity with the aim of presenting an unbiased perspective as a solution(s)
- Conduct interviews with employees and top stakeholders of a company to sieve priceless data that can enhance the execution of a project and, of course, the business’s general performance.
While those are significant reasons you probably want to take management consulting seriously as a career option, you’ll agree a management consultant must have some skills for strategy consulting to perform all those roles and responsibilities to a company.
Skills required for Management Consulting
The skills needed for management consulting can form a long list that makes you think a management consultant is a business generalist.
To some extent, any professional in management consulting for businesses often has good knowledge and background about different aspects of running a productive business.
With that said, below are the required skills for management consultants:
1. Research is a management consultant skill
A management consultant is an avid user of information and data. In short, his job depends on them. And to get the necessary information he needs to help businesses, he employs his research skills in conducting careful research, surveys, interviews, or any other means to extract quality information that reflects the state of these business organizations.
Thus, as a management consultant, you would usually have to research the competitive firms of the company you’re rendering management consulting. With that, you will discover better ways of improving business situations and operations for the client firm you’re consulting for by comparative analysis.
2. Communication and public speaking skills
Providing management consultancy services involves interactions and collaboration. So as a management consultant, you must be an effective communicator.
But beyond being able to communicate effectively one-on-one, a management consultant needs solid public speaking skills. Because after you’re through with all your research about the business organization, you’ll need to present to the management team your findings in a business meeting and pragmatic actions and policies to adopt to achieve efficiency across various departments and levels.
3. Critical thinking & Problem-solving skills
A Management Consultant is a critical thinker who carefully examines data about different aspects of a business operations and its performance to be able to give expert solutions to areas of weaknesses. It could be about the customer service, advertising or marketing loopholes, or as the case may be.
And as an experienced business strategist, the management consultant develops strategies and workable plans and then presents them to a company’s top management team.
4. Data analysis skills
As a management consultant, you’ll need to enjoy working with figures and data (quantitative or qualitative) because your job description demands that.
And to help a business achieve peak performance and productivity as a management consultant, you must have the ability to gather data, interpret them against some key performance index (KPI), and use them to make informed managerial decisions for a business organization.
5. Time management is a skill of management consultants
Every management consultant places a premium on time because they believe it takes time to fix a mess created in time. Thus, as professional business problem solvers, they set time against goals and their entire consulting process. From the research phase, data gathering and analysis to the recommendation phase, which involves pitching the solutions as a set of practical actions to be taken.
6. Business Acumen and dexterity
As a management consultant, the summary of the management consulting skills you must have is unquestionable business dexterity. And you can only get that through years of experience working with top business leaders running successful businesses, coupled with high-powered professional training.
In other words, you must be business-orientated and know what it means to scale up a business and make it successful in the long run.
Certification and qualifications for Management consultant
While we’ve looked at the skills needed for management consulting, it is pertinent to know beyond guessing the required certification for a management consultant.
Essentially, kicking off your career in management consultancy demands a bachelor’s degree. However, degrees in subjects with numerical and analytical backgrounds are preferable because they position you better for opportunities. Examples of those subjects include business, statistics, finance, and economics, amongst others.
However, a relevant degree in your industry is an added advantage. Because as a management consultant, you proffer solutions to the challenges of businesses, and an educational background in that industry simplifies your work.
FAQ on Skills required for Management consulting
1. What skills do consultants need?
Every management consultant needs high-powered skills that not only make them able to diagnose weaknesses in the operations of a business but help them. And they include research skills, communication, and public speaking skills, critical thinking & problem-solving skills, and data analysis skills, amongst others.
2. Do you need a degree to be a management consultant?
Yes, a bachelor’s degree is required. While any degree from any discipline would suffice, one from any business-orientated subject is preferred.
3. Can I become a management consultant?
Sure, you can if you want. But just like any other career, you need to get some education and hone your management consultant skills.
4. What degree do you need to become a management consultant?
A degree in finance, economics, statistics, mathematics, accountancy, or other disciplines with a numerical and analytical foundation is what you want.
5. How much does a Management Consultant make?
The amount a management consultant can earn depends on a few factors, including the years of experience, educational level, the firms involved and the region/country he is working.
Yes, the location influences a management consultant’s salary, as it varies from country to country. According to Zippia, management consultants earn an average annual salary of $99,360. Also they believe management consultants in locations like Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, Maryland, and Wisconsin tend to make the most.
Final Thought on Skills required for Management consulting
No one becomes an expert in a chosen career overnight. It takes deliberate effort, training and education that may, all together, take months or years, as the case may.
Similarly, you can develop the skills required for management consulting and keep honing them along your career path of being a management consultant.