But wait, are you professionally certified to qualify?
One of the fastest growing industries in the world is also the most selective and exclusive in matters of hiring and firing. Firing, in this case, is largely due to the misunderstanding of exact client requirements, not to mention the constantly evolving business and technological priorities that large corporations are struggling to keep up with, and more than often failing.
As a management consultant, understanding ground level business strategy is key. The market is projected to cross $158bn in 2020, and only the best of breed will make it.
If you were to profile the talent that makes it to the likes of McKinsey, Boston Consulting, Deloitte, Bain and Oliver Wyman, the common thread that binds them as cohorts is their deep and unfaltering understanding of business strategy. In fact, understanding of key business strategies, alongside the inevitable communication skills, are the two biggest factors impacting management consulting hires in 2019. Here’s a closer look- The size of the global management consulting industry stands at $133bn, with global strategy consulting alone making up for $31bn of that pie.
This is an industry boom of unprecedented proportions, buoyed only by the expertise of business strategy and industry knowledge. Most of us want a piece of it, and you probably do, too.
Out of the 254,749 business strategy related jobs on LinkedIn as on date, nearly half, at 114,392 are exclusively for management consultants, according to a CredForce research. So what skills are the world’s biggest employers looking for?
Good Education and Professional Certification – This is at the very pre-qualifier stage, before you’re even called for an interview. Your education, if not from an Ivy League or at the very least a top tier institution, can be supplemented by valid industry acknowledged and sought after certifications. This sets you apart from the run-off-the-mill grads from MBA colleges and gets you the interview.
Superlative Communicators – This one trumps all. Communication is the core of management consulting. Not just fluency with language, but a deep understanding of the several components that go into communication; being receptive, body language, empathy with the speaker, vocal intonation, all together make up the package. Remember that even with a reservoir of knowledge and skills, this is the only outlet to let your prospective employers know you well. So hone this like there’s no tomorrow.
Quick Adapters – Is it really a surprise in a constantly disruptive world? Employers expect their strategy consultants not just to play and win, but remain ahead of the game at all times. Adaptability to newer methodologies, thought processes and frameworks, besides the obvious technology skills, add the exact value and score to your candidature that employers are looking for, even as software and ‘automation first’ take a front seat in your employers’ and clients’ lists of priorities.
Creative Minds – This is what will stand you in good stead when the going gets rough. The corporate world has moved on from the dogmatic thinking and flowcharting of processes. Breaking silos and wearing multiple thinking hats, ideating outside the box and bringing your own practical solutions to the forefront will go a long way in ensuring your success as an entrepreneurial employee – the very definition you will find in most job descriptions for strategy consultants out there today.
Solution Focused Decision Makers – According to renowned research firm Forrester, more than 60% of client engagements in strategic consulting are derived from current process problems, automation solution provisioning and increasing market share in newer territories. Consulting, stripped down to its bare minimum, is strategic solution provision to an existing business problem. Hence the analytical skill requirements. The prized talent in the market today is one who is constantly honing their decision-making skills aided by the latest in technology breakthroughs while maintaining stringent focus on the solution in the fastest delivery times with the minimum budget allocation. Yes, the employers will come knocking at your door.
Deep Knowledge of Business Strategy – If all the other components make the ship, this is the wood and metal. Business Strategy, and its multiple components, have gone beyond traditional input/output calculations a long time ago. The emphasis now is to tackle phenomena like digital transformation and hyper personalized solutions through sound, tried and tested strategy frameworks that will withstand the constant waves of disruptions, both in technology and international trade. The cornerstone, if you will, of an aspiring management consultant’s skillset is the sound knowledge of the latest trends and insights in business strategy with a focus of providing long term benefits to the clients, not quick fixes and patchwork.
So, you wanted to be a management consultant? The time is ripe, no matter your educational background. Industry experts from all over the world have collaborated to bring you the first of its kind professional certification in business strategy, which qualify you for that prestigious employer name you have always dreamt of in your resume. What’s holding you back now?
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