Consultants provide expert advice to other professionals. Think of them as skilled problem solvers who can provide an objective perspective or specialized knowledge that is lacking inside a company. Organizations across all industries and sectors rely on consultants to provide expertise to help them maximize their profitability or effectiveness and keep them running smoothly.
Large management consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, Boston Consulting Group help organizations improve their structure, management, profitability, and assist in the development of strategies for short- and long-term growth. Immediately after graduation, undergraduate students that start with a large management consulting firm most often begin as a generalist and gain exposure to many fields. Graduate students with prior work experience or specific expertise may be able to specialize earlier at these firms. Undergraduate students interested in specializing earlier in their careers, should consider boutique consulting firms, which offer more specialized guidance for their clients in areas such as nonprofit, economic development, health care, government, environment, or engineering.
Consulting firms seek talent from diverse backgrounds including social sciences, humanities, and STEM fields. Read on to learn more about the various types of consulting firms, the breadth of roles that are available, and how to assess whether a consulting career is right for you.