There are as many types of consultant jobs as there are professional specializations. Consulting jobs offer excellent hourly rates or salaries and can keep talented people busy with interesting work. The qualifications for consulting work are the same as they would be if you were applying for a position with a single company; however, the skills you need are slightly different. As well as the knowledge and job skills that any particular professional needs, a consultant needs to be flexible, personable, and able to think on his or her feet.
There are many different types of consulting. Management and IT consulting jobs tend to be the most abundant, but the overall demand for consultants of all types is fairly high. The following are some popular types of consultant jobs:
• Management Consultant
A management consultant is usually employed by organizations to help them improve their performance. By bringing in management consultants from outside of the organization, companies are able to obtain objective and unbiased opinions, as well as strategies and techniques based on specialized knowledge and experience. Management consultants are often employed to solve particular problems that are troubling a business and also for the completion of one-off projects which require additional management staff for a set period of time. Management consultant jobs often include a training component in which senior managers and others are taught new methods, procedures, and technologies to improve productivity and performance.
• Strategic Consultant
Strategic or strategy consulting can come under the heading of management consulting but often doesn't. A strategy consultant guides top managers, in particular the chief executive officer, in making the best decisions to maximize medium- and long-term profitability. These consultants often develop simulations of alternative outcomes given different variables in order to predict the best direction and approach for the organization. These consultant jobs are in shorter supply, and most strategy consultants start out as management consultants.
• Human Resources Consultant
A human resources consultant is employed by organizations to screen, interview, and recruit applicants for advertised positions. Human resources consultants can also be contracted to evaluate the training, development, and performance of employees and to create career paths within the organization. These consultants can also be responsible for creating certain employee benefits programs and conducting job performance and evaluation interviews. A human resources consultant can also reduce costs and improve productivity by effectively outsourcing some jobs and bringing in other consultants and contractors.
• IT Consultant
There are a range of different types of IT consultants. One of the most common uses of IT consulting services is to gain expert help in choosing the best information technologies to meet organizational needs. This type of consultant evaluates the given business's needs and advises on the best hardware, software, and other information technologies to effectively achieve the organization's goals. Consultants will then train employees in how to use the new equipment and technologies effectively, as well as on how to incorporate them into strategic planning. Because information technology is a major cost to businesses, obtaining professional advice can save money in the long term. The right choice in equipment and software can also enhance the success of a company.
Other IT consultants come into the equation later and include programmers and network specialists.
Engineers can be employed as consultants in a range of industries but are most commonly consultants for manufacturing and construction concerns. These consulting jobs are specialist positions which usually require knowledge and skills specific to a particular industry, so a consultant engineer will need more than professional qualifications; he or she will need long-term experience in the particular industry.
• Marketing Consultant
Professional marketers create campaigns and develop strategies to increase market share, introduce a new product to market, and conduct market research to determine if there is a demand for a potential product. In order to become a marketing consultant, you will need to have a formal marketing qualification and solid experience in marketing. It is unlikely that you will be able to move into a consulting position straight out of college.
These are just a few of the many consulting positions that are actually available. If you are interested in becoming a consultant, you will need to obtain the relevant professional qualifications for your desired profession and then obtain as much specific experience as possible before broadening that experience into other work environments. Once you have the knowledge, skills, and track record you need, you can get your feet wet in consulting by registering with agencies which specialize in consulting services. If you do well in the various consulting jobs you undertake, you will gain a good reputation and organizations will seek you out.