A good consultant is one who is driven by ideas and has the motivation to do things that are possible so as to make a client or an organization flourish. They must have the capability in entering some complex and even situations of hostility and at the same time do the assessment thoroughly regarding what is required to be done.
Consulting has two paths of career, one is specialist consultant and the other is generalist consultant. A specialist consultant has the focus on a particular industry or area, squeezing out a lot of deep information and other knowledge and functions. Then they do the application of the acquired knowledge to help a company. And one can really flourish as consultants in the field of information technology.
Then the next are the generalists' consultants. These consultants work in companies where they can give and offer advice in the wider prospect to the various companies who are designated to enable a company or a client to function efficiently, with productivity. A career as a generalist consultant has major prospects in the accounting sectors and firms. Graduates hailing from prestigious colleges and universities have been employed as consultants in these firms.
Pursuing a career in consulting is not on assumptions of facts that the firms are only concerned about the pedigree, which is not the case. To become a successful consultant and work in a major firm, one must acquire a graduate degree first. It would become great if one could also acquire an MBA degree. But then there are prospects that are hired as consultants even having degrees in JD, PhD, public administration degree, etc. Even under graduates are being employed in various consulting organizations and firms, especially under a program that has the involvement of return to the B school or the business school.
Going through the interviews in various firms for the post of a consultant is rather an experience of intimidation. Various intense questions and analysis are done. Therefore, the skills of a consultant should be that he or she must have a personality that is idea driven. Then a future consultant must have a personality that is service oriented. Since it is a service industry and you would have to have the ability to help the clients. The sign of perfect consultant is one who possesses motivation towards committing to meet the various needs and requirements of their clients. This aspect is first considered when a person is being hired in the field of consulting. Your success is determined by your power in becoming an asset to your firm or organization. The next thing that a consultant should possess is the quality of becoming a people person. The top priority of becoming a good consultant is in building and maintaining a healthy relationship with the clients.
Remember this field is rather a demanding one and this definitely requires a prospect who is first a kind person, who is friendly, intelligent, and likes to serve the others. Then one must also have the characteristics that are helpful, the ability to work for long hours, have the knowledge of business information, various IT skills, Clear and logical thinking, and definitely concise writing skills.
This field of consulting is a promising one because this industry employs around 300,000 applicants and this industry is estimated to be at $30 million. Though there are prevalent ups and downs, still this is a flourishing industry that has the capability to prosper and expand. In the sector of international business, consulting is a big industry and it is growing rapidly too. There are few of the consultants who are able to make it without any firm by themselves. Firms like Bain, McKinsey, etc hire students from top listed B schools like Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, and Sloan at MIT, etc.
The economic condition and the meltdown do not have an effect on this industry. In fact during such conditions, companies hire more consultants. The salary structure a consultant employed in a good firm ranges from $90,000 to $100,000 annually.