A business consultant is a professional who provides a wide array of consulting services to companies. The job scope of a business consultant is a rather broad one, as these professional often provide consulting services in the following areas:
- Business administration
- Human resources/staffing/training
- IT systems
- Special projects
- Organizational operations
- Advertising/marketing/media relations
Today’s businesses are often looking for ways to reduce overhead, control staffing costs, and compete in today’s fierce, global marketplace. The diverse field of business consulting may include everything from identifying the problems of a failing business to updating a company’s human resource policies. In fact, any area of a business can be improved with the help of business consultants.
Unlike many professions in business, a business consultant’s job is straightforward: to advise businesses on issues related to efficiency and cost-reduction within their area of expertise. A business consultant must be able to provide expert advice in a professional manner, drawing on their experience and passion for their area of expertise.
Business professionals with proven track records of success usually hold business consultant jobs, as the field of business consulting demands impressive experiential credentials.
Becoming a Business Consultant
The business consultancy industry demands well-rounded professionals with equal parts qualifications, experience and expertise.
In order to obtain the skills necessary to achieve success as a business consultant, students must earn impressive education credentials, including undergraduate degrees in business-related fields. Because most business consultants are specialists in specific areas of business, graduate degrees or MBAs in industry specializations are an important aspect of a business consultant’s resume.
Business consultants may receive much of their experience through successful industry careers, or they may choose a more direct route through jobs with business consultancy firms. Either way, a significant number of years must be dedicated to achieving the knowledge necessary to work as a business consultant.
Salary and Employment Projections for Business Consultants
According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the management, scientific, and technical consulting services industry is expected to grow by an impressive 83 percent – more than 800,000 new jobs – between 2008 and 2018.
The median business consultant salary under the BLS industry classification for management analysts was $78,160 in May 2010, with the top 10 percent earning more than $138,790.
Employment for management analysts is expected to grow 22 percent from 2010 to 2010. The BLS states that the demand for consulting services is expected to increase considerably as companies look for ways to improve efficiency, control costs, manage resources more efficiently, and compete in international business.
Resources for Business Consultants
- Institute of Certified Business Consultants
- Association of Management Consulting Firms
- Institute of Management Consultants USA