Careers Service Occupations

Management Consultancy

Management Consultancy

About

A career in management consultancy can offer you variety, with the chance to work with a range of clients on different projects.

It is likely that you will need to travel frequently to spend time on client sites.   

Salaries can be high. According to the Management Consultancies Association, recent graduates could earn between £25,000 and £30,000 and with a few years experience this could increase to £50,000.   

The Management Consultancies Association report that in 2015 the UK consulting industry grew by 8.05%. Consultancy is a popular option for graduates, meaning that there is competition for opportunities. 

Careers advice

You can find advice from Inside Careers: Management Consultancy and TARGETjobs: Management consulting. See also TARGETjobs' online edition, Consulting.

Industry news

Sources of news include Management Consultancies Association and Top-consultant.com.

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates. 

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:

Making contacts

Making contacts is essential for success in this sector. Many jobs in this field come through networking and speculative applications. You could start with:

Social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, is useful for making contacts, finding employers and opportunities. Find out more about how to use social media for your career.

Events

Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and other events give valuable insight and the opportunity to make contacts. Regular events for this sector include employer presentations.

Many large employers and the professional bodies in this sector run events and other opportunities, for example:

  • PwC run a programme of events for undergraduates and graduates.
  • Accenture list recruitment events on their web site.  
  • See the KPMG web site for their calendar of events.  

For more events for this sector see Careers Service events or  External Events.

Takeaway resources available in the Careers Service

Related Sectors

You may also be interested in Accountancy and TaxActuarial, Insurance and Pensions, Administration, Banking and Finance, and Economics and Statistics.

See our other occupational pages for more options.

Roles and Skills

There are no specific degree subjects required for a career in consultancy, although some employers prefer a degree related to business, economics or finance. Most employers will recruit graduates with a minimum of a 2:1.

Many graduates enter management consultancy through a graduate training scheme. It is common to start your career as an 'analyst' before moving on to a consultancy role once you have gained some experience. 

The following job profiles include descriptions of typical duties and entry requirements.

Management consultant

Skills employers look for

  • excellent interpersonal and communication (verbal and written) skills
  • strong analytical skills and the ability to solve complex problems
  • the ability to work in a team
  • negotiation skills and the ability to work collaboratively
  • leadership skills
  • commercial awareness

Gaining Experience

Getting into management consultancy is extremely competitive. Relevant work experience will help to show your motivation for working in this sector. It will also help you to develop the skills employers are looking for.

Applications for internships with larger consultancies generally open around August. Closing dates are as early as October and November. The majority of advertised internships are aimed at penultimate year students.

Smaller consultancies often don’t advertise opportunities. You may need to contact them with a speculative approach. You should do this early, as it can be competitive.

Some of the larger consultancies such as McKinsey, Accenture and EY offer insight days. These give you an insight into consulting and working for their organisation. Often they are for first year students. These opportunities are usually advertised on their websites and on our External Events page.

You can also develop relevant skills in extra-curricular activities while at university by:  

These can help you develop your team working, communication and problem-solving skills. 

Internships

Individual consultancies will advertise internships on their own website. Use the resources in Finding companies below to identify consultancies.

See Internships, Placements & Shadowing for more internship resources.

Specialist recruitment agencies

Vacancies are advertised through recruitment agencies but many are for experienced applicants. Use the resources on our Recruitment Agencies page to search for specialist recruitment agencies. Contact them to see if they handle vacancies suitable for new graduates.

Finding companies

Finding Jobs

Competition is strong, particularly for entry-level positions. Vacancies aimed at graduates are often advertised as ‘analyst’ roles.

Employers will look for applicants with strong academic results – a 2.1 or above - work experience and relevant skills.

Closing dates are usually early, around November to January.  A smaller number of consultancies will recruit year round. 

Vacancy sites

See Graduate jobs for more vacancy sources.

Specialist recruitment agencies

Vacancies are advertised through recruitment agencies but many are for experienced applicants. 

Finding companies

Find consultancies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for.

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

In the North East

Whilst a high proportion of consultancy roles are London based, many of the larger firms have regional offices in cities such as Newcastle. KPMG, PwC and Accenture all have offices in Newcastle.

Use the Inside Careers web site to research employers in the North East.  

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