The past decade has seen a rapid growth in demand for consulting services, reflecting a long-term shift towards outsourcing and more flexible employment practices in the private and public sectors. Consulting firms and individual consultants can provide wide-ranging advice to client organisations. The services offered by consulting firms can be as diverse as agribusiness, health care administration, information technology, e-commerce, engineering, human resource management, financial management and investment.
Within consulting firms, graduate opportunities can be found in many business areas including strategic business planning, corporate financial services, human resource management services and increasingly, information management and e-commerce strategy development.
Joining a major consulting firm offers graduates the chance to work alongside more experienced consultants and undertake the preliminary research and analysis of business structures, processes and systems that are part of the consulting brief. As part of their induction, graduates usually gain broad experience by being exposed to a range of companies and industry sectors. Following this general introduction, they are likely to undertake more specialised assignments according to their interests, skills and qualifications.
Opportunities for graduates are still predominately found in large management consulting firms, all of whom have well established graduate recruitment programs. There are also numerous other consulting firms that recruit graduates, from international organisations to smaller local operations.
What you need
- A bachelor’s degree – typically in commerce, law, information technology, economics or accounting – is a basic requirement for entry into a graduate program at a major consulting firm
- Generalist degrees welcomed
- Ability to research and work in a team
- Business analysis skills
- Ability to confidently deal with clients
- Specialist knowledge/experience are highly valued, making consulting an area for career progression
- Consistently high academic results