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Top 5 MBA Programs for Management Consulting Career: Broad Experiences, Best Pay & the Unfortunate Case of Travel Fatigue

Top MBA Management Consulting CareerManagement consulting is a coveted career choice for many MBA aspirants and even experienced professionals. A consulting career can be very rewarding in terms of the sheer responsibility that the job entails, travel and networking opportunities, and the paycheck. If you want to know how Management Consulting became a favorite for MBAs, read The History Of Management Consulting and the Influence of Marvin Bower in Management Consulting


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the management, scientific and technical consulting industry is expected to grow by 2.4% by 2024 with 1.57 million jobs added in the market against the national average job growth of 0.6%. Among the fastest growing jobs in the US - Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists is estimated to add 587,800 jobs by 2024. The mean annual wage of management analysts across industries was recorded at $91,770, in 2017. Typical management consultant salaries fall in the range of $110,000 - $170,000, which goes up to around $280,000 for senior consultants. Even during the recession, the consulting industry had proven resilient. A career in management consulting is a great choice, with immense job satisfaction if you are aware of the traveling and advisory responsibilities.
Top consulting firms such as McKinsey, Bain, Deloitte, Booze & Co, Accenture, AT Kearney, LEK, Monitor and BCG hire heavily from top MBA schools such as Kellogg, INSEAD, Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. These schools provide the most opportunities and attract top management consulting firms from all over the country. If you are interested in pursuing a career in management consulting, here are some of the top MBA programs to consider.

Kellogg

At the Kellogg School of Management, there is a student-run consulting club in the campus which helps students figure out what management consulting is all about, what it demands and has to offer and also help decide whether or not it is a career that they should pursue. The Kellogg Consulting Club also assists companies to engage with the accomplished talent pool at the campus. Kellogg case studies are famous the world over and are known for taking on the timeliest of business issues. According to the Kellogg recruitment report, the percentage of acceptance for consulting jobs was 33% with a median base salary of $1,45,000 in 2016.

INSEAD

At INSEAD, the MBA curriculum is designed to prepare you thoroughly for a career in international business and one of the hot spots for consulting firms from all over the world for recruitment. The first half of the program comprises 14 core courses; you can choose 11 electives, from over 70 on offer, for the second part of the program. It is during the second half of the program that you can choose to concentrate on specific areas such as management consulting. INSEAD faculty members are from 37 different countries and are all involved in strategic research in key areas of global businesses. In 2016, at INSEAD, 48% of the graduates went into consulting job function with a median base salary of $110,000 and a total median salary of $156,900.

Harvard University

MBA at Harvard can change your life. With the top-notch Harvard curriculum, field-based learning, international immersions, case method courses and multimedia simulations; you gain invaluable and practical leadership lessons from Harvard. The Management Consulting Club at Harvard conducts case interview workshops, career panels, speaker series, and a consulting career fair. 27% of the 2016 class chose the consulting job function earning a median base salary of $140,000 and a signing bonus of $25,000 with the total compensation at $165,000.

MIT


The MIT Sloan MBA program consists of classes taught by highly qualified faculty, ample chances to interact with business leaders, case studies and discussions, and collaborative projects. The academic coursework is rigorous and balances ideas and theory with real-world application. The highly flexible curriculum at MIT allows students to define their career path. The MIT Sloan Management Consulting Club helps MIT students who seek to specialize in management consulting and strategic management. 34.1% of the students chose Consulting job function earning $140,000 in median base salary.

Stanford

Stanford is a top-ranked business school with strong ties to Silicon Valley. With a really strong general management program, Stanford makes a great choice if you are interested in a career in management consulting. The curriculum is tailored to the background, work experience and career aspirations of each student. Stanford has a Management Consulting Club that brings together students who are interested in consulting. Stanford's Career Management Center will work with you to create a personalized plan for a future career in management consulting. In 2016, 24% of the class chose consulting with the median salary at $145,000 and a signing bonus of $25,000.

Top MBA Management Consulting Salary

Pros of a management consulting career

A consulting career can be very rewarding. You get to meet a lot of people – many of them at very senior levels, travel the world, and not to mention the handsome remuneration. Management consulting perhaps has more autonomy than most other corporate jobs.

A stint in management consulting will expose you to all aspects of business and people at different levels. Consultants, because of their broad experience, are suitably equipped to land senior management roles during the latter part of their career.

When you are recruited into a consulting firm, you get a lot of training and mentoring. There is a wide variety of problems you deal with, so there is no chance of getting bored with the job. Even as a junior consultant hired right after your MBA, you will get to interact with the executive team of the company to which you are offering your consulting services. Consulting offers ample opportunities to travel within the country and abroad. With the regular performance reviews that are part of all big consulting firms, there is also a real opportunity for promotions and bonuses.

Cons of a Consulting Career


As you move up the chain of command, a consulting job makes more demands on your time. Since you will be assuming a managerial role, you will also be spending time not just on completing client work, but also on selling your services to new clients.

A jet-set lifestyle may feel great to start with, but soon, travel fatigue may set in. It is not very glamorous to live out of a suitcase for years on end. You may also have to travel to locations that are not your favorite spots in the world.  As a management consultant, you may find it challenging to balance your personal and work life. Because of the inherent unpredictability of the job, you will never know where your next project may take you or for how long.

Future


However, consulting can be a great start to your career. Smart, enthusiastic people looking to develop leadership skills and problem-solving abilities will find that a consulting job is a great fit for their personality. The sheer variety of the projects, opportunities to interact with top level executives and exposure to different corporate cultures in client companies, can all help develop skills that are transferable to different careers. You may even decide to work as an independent consultant after a while.

Next Step

If the pros of the job far outweigh the cons, management consulting may be a great career choice for you. Read how you can stand out in a competitive application pool with Winning MBA Essay guide or find out MBA programs by speciality.

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