Forget Banking. Consulting Is the Hottest Trend For New MBAs
Whether you are finishing business school or thinking about going, the decision to advance your career is one that can fill you with a new sense of purpose. Getting the MBA so that you can make the kind of money that reflects your worth is important. However, you should also look beyond the immediate rewards of a prospective job and towards the ultimate achievements it could lead to.
As a newly-minted MBA you will have the competence and confidence to become an entrepreneur and an innovator in your own right. More and more MBAs are beginning to realize this, which is one of the reasons why management consultancy is once again outdoing investment banking as the profession of choice for the nation’s best business minds. Working as a management consultant allows you to carry on learning and refining ideas related to analyzing and rebuilding businesses from the bottom up. It also gives you the means to develop a network of talented and ambitious professionals who you may one day need as partners, clients, or supporters.
All of this on top of the fact that management consultancy pays better. An article in The Economist lays out the many benefits and advantages of becoming a consultant.
The piece makes a good case for why those seeking to run their own business should do a stint with a consulting firm. Here is a passage that encapsulates the argument:
Whereas banks expect MBAs still to be with them in five years, consulting firms ask recruits: “Whom do you see hiring you in five years?” Encouraging them to think about life beyond the firm has several benefits, consultants believe. It attracts the strongest candidates and it gives the firms a high-powered network of alumni who may become future clients.
For MBAs, the exposure to different industries and the access to senior managers that a consulting job brings are a perfect base from which to launch a new career, says Julie Morton of Chicago Booth. That base salaries for those going into consulting are among the highest for any industry—a median of $135,000, compared with $100,000 for Chicagoans signing up with an investment bank—only makes the choice easier.
You can read the entire article here. While it is true that becoming a banker can still lead to big money in the long term, in the end you’re still working for someone else. The better move is to get into a post-MBA job that will position you to break out on your own.
And another thing: You don’t necessarily need an MBA to get a job at a consulting firm. Even the top firms hire people from graduate programs of all kinds. Indeed, if you have spent a number of years in business, you may be hired on the strength of that experience alone.
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About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.