Management Consultant

Management consultants study the methods, techniques and principles that guide a business towards achieving its objectives. They work independently and are approached by business to advise them on matters relating to general management, strategy, personnel, finance, marketing, sales, production and public relations.


Management consultants aim to improve an organisation's position or profile by helping to solve problems, manage change and improve efficiency.  They investigate problems and opportunities, offer suggestions and conceive action plans to be followed. They advise and guide management in overcoming problems relating to changing circumstances inside and outside the organisation. They have to expose difficulties and opportunities, submit possible solutions and show how these solutions should be applied.

The nature of their activities depends largely on the nature of the business client’s requirements of the consultants. Management consultants may be asked to analyse the structure of the firm in order to rectify problem areas or to advise and guide management in order to improve one or more of the firm’s functional areas such as marketing or financial control. They may be required to train clients’ personnel in certain fields.


The work environment of consultants can be divided into three typical situations:



  • those who are mainly office bound, such as financial consultants

  • those who also work at clients’ premises or on premises stipulated by the client

  • those involved with training of personnel, such as industrial consultants


Although the workload can be heavy, management consulting is a sociable profession with plenty of networking opportunities. The work involves conducting research, surveys and interviews, compiling and presenting information, analysing statistics, writing reports, making recommendations and  implementing new procedures or training.


Key skills for management consultants are commercial awareness, good numerical skills, attention to detail, analytical skills, excellent interpersonal skills, teamworking skills, IT skills, good oral and written communication skills and self-motivation.


A driving licence and foreign language abilities can also be useful.


Employment


  • management consulting firms

  • businesses, as a consultant for the management of the company

  • self-employment, with enough experience, can start own management consulting firm


Getting Started


  • arrange to speak to a management consultant about this type of career

  • develop your communication and computer skills

  • read as many financial, human resource, computer and management magazines and journals as possible


Programmes

Boston City Campus and Business College, Coastal KZN TVET College, Monash South Africa, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, Prestige Academy, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Limpopo, University of Pretoria, University of Stellenbosch, University of the Free State, University of the Western Cape


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