Understanding the needs of a business and solving its problems are challenging tasks. That’s why organizations often rely on outside consultants to analyze the issues, offer solutions and help the company meet its goals. No two days are alike for management consultants, who enjoy a strong salary and the chance to make a difference in the corporate world.

If you’re looking for an immersive career, follow along to learn how to become a management consultant.

What is Management Consulting?

On a basic level, a management consultant is brought into a company in order to solve a problem and provide solutions for the company to act upon. As you can imagine, the variety of issues and the steps needed to meet them can be complex.

A company might want to improve its operations or determine the best way to proceed following a corporate realignment. As the management consultant, you will need to take a close look at the situation — sometimes involving years of company data — and combine it with your business/industry knowledge to develop a solution. The task requires analytical, research, communication and interpersonal skills.

This position can require significant travel in some work environments. Commonly, employment can be obtained through organizations that specialize in consulting services, and there are government agencies that employ management consultants. Self-employed management analysts are also prevalent.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, management consultants earned a median wage of $78,600 in 2012, and job outlook from 2012 to 2022 is expected to grow 19 percent.

Getting Started in Management Consulting

For entry-level positions, a bachelor’s degree is often required. Business and management are common choices, although other options are possible — such as economics, finance and computer science — as they provide you with the knowledge and experience to specialize in your consulting role.

However, some employers prefer the Master of Business Administration (MBA), which is especially the case for larger employers and more advanced industry positions. Certification through the Institute of Management Consultants USA is also preferable, once you obtain the necessary experience (three years).

If you’re interested in a management consulting career, consider advancing your education. At Point Park University, we offer online business degrees that can help you gain the necessary experience to succeed in this growing field.

Take a look at the online B.S. in Business Management, and the online MBA, for more information. Both programs let you study when and where you have the time — and both offer concentrations to tailor the degree to your intended specialty area.