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About Management Consulting

A management consultant is a professional who, for a fee, provides independent and objective advice to management of client organizations to define and achieve their goals through improved utilization of resources. He or she may do this by diagnosing problems and/or opportunities, recommending solutions, and helping implement improvement.

The US government identifies management consultants as "management analysts" and tracks their total number and employment status. As of May 2007, nearly 500,000 management analysts work in the US, including those employed internally to private and public sector organizations and independent consultants. Because of the survey techniques in use and the large number of independent management consultants working as sole practitioners, this figure is likely to have been significantly underestimated.

The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides a description of management analysts. Highlights of this description are:

  • Despite much faster than average employment growth, opportunities should be best for those with a graduate degree, specialized expertise, and a talent for salesmanship and public relations.
  • About 27 percent of management analysts (over three times the average for all occupations) are self-employed.
  • A bachelor's degree is sufficient for many entry-level government jobs. Many positions in private industry require a master's degree, specialized expertise, or both.
  • Keen competition is expected for jobs as management analysts because of the independent and challenging nature of the work and the high earnings potential that make this occupation attractive to many.

The BLS summary includes:

  • Nature of the Work
  • Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement
  • Employment
  • Job Outlook
  • Projections Data

IMC USA tracks this important information on behalf of its members and uses the data to identify future trends.

Next: How to Hire a Management Consultant


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