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Jobs in Business Consulting: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in business consulting. Read on to learn about career options, along with salary and job outlook information.

What is a Business Consultant?

There are multiple job options in the business consulting field, such as in management analysis and market research analysis. As a management analyst, you would be responsible for studying organizations and finding ways for them to be more efficient and cost-effective. A market research analyst spends their time studying the market to best understand how new products and services will be received and whether they will be profitable. Both these positions involve observation and the gathering of data. The table below outlines the general requirements for these career options.

Management AnalystMarket Research Analyst
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Accounting, Computer Science, Business, Social Sciences Communication, Marketing, Mathematics or Statistics, Social Sciences
Training Required Work experience Internships and on-the-job training
Licensure Required Voluntary certification, no licensing required Voluntary certification, no licensing required
Job Growth (2018-2028) 14%* 20%*
Median Salary (2018) $83,610* $63,120*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Jobs Can I Find in Business Consulting?

If you are interested in building a career through business consulting, you may enjoy a career as a management or market research analyst. A management analyst's duties generally include gathering and analyzing data, discussing new systems with company personnel, documenting findings and designing a recommended plan of action. Market research analysts have similar duties, but focus on data and methods used by the company's competitors.

Working as an analyst, you would be expected to collect information on customer demographics, needs and spending habits, as well as identify demand in new markets. Your duties could also include forecasting upcoming sales trends and attending staff meetings in order to advise management with proposals that usually concern pricing of company products, promotion and design.

What Do I Need to Study?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you only need a bachelor's degree for entry-level management and market research analyst positions, but obtaining a master's degree is preferable for advanced positions (www.bls.gov). Most colleges do not offer programs in consulting, but related training can be found through management, marketing, business systems and finance programs.

You can find a variety of programs at the bachelor's degree level, including the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Management, B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing management and Bachelor of Business Administration in Management. These bachelor's degree programs offer classes in finance, accounting, business information systems, business law and advertising.

You may also need courses in the social sciences to learn how to predict the behavior and spending habits of consumers. Pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can help you gain skills in areas like instructional and performance technology, as well as conflict management, while studying electives in marketing and economics.

What Can I Expect From These Jobs?

The BLS predicted that employment for management analysts would increase 14% between 2018 and 2028, and employment would increase 20% for market research analysts during the same time. Full- or part-time positions are available, but other employers may only be looking to hire under contract.

The BLS reported that the median salary for management analysts was $83,610 in 2018, while the median salary for market research analysts was $63,120. You may also consider obtaining professional certification to increase job and advancement opportunities, such as the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) credential or Professional Researcher Certification (PRC).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

For individuals with an interest in numbers, a job as an accountant or auditor may be of interest, though you would likely have to pursue an undergraduate degree in accounting or finance. If you are interested in product development, you may consider a job as a cost estimator. These professionals look at all of the different factors involved in producing a new product, like time, labor, and materials in order to establish the overall cost to a company.