A fat paycheck, international travel schedule, brand-name client base and a fancy new sports car. Ah, the dream life of a consultant. But how do you jump into the glitz and glamour and get an entry-level consulting job? Entry-level jobs at the Big Five consulting firms – Accenture, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PriceWaterHouseCoopers – can be difficult to come by. Most consulting companies recruit for their entry-level jobs on campus. But that’s not the only way to launch your business consulting career.
Qualities Needed for Entry-Level Consulting Jobs
To gain an entry-level consulting job, you need a wide range of skills. Intellectual skills include the ability to think quickly on your feet, research and evaluate information, reason, and think outside the box. You also need people skills like diplomacy, courtesy, tact, respect for others and the ability to predict and manage other people’s reactions. To gain an entry-level job, you also need solid communication skills – listening, writing, speaking, coaching, and mentoring come into play. You must be able to lead, withstand pressure, maintain your composure, and adapt to new situations. You also need to weigh self confidence, initiative, and ambition against your ethics and integrity. That’s because your reputation will be your most valuable asset, whether you’re going for an entry-level consulting job or setting your sights on partner.
Education for Entry-Level Consulting Jobs
Most entry-level consulting jobs ask for an undergraduate or masters degree. Your field of study usually needs to be somewhat relevant to the consulting career field and consulting firms often look at your grades.
Experience for Entry-Level Consulting Jobs
Entry-level consulting jobs at big consulting firms aren’t actually entry-level. Even though some companies headhunt at universities, most look for candidates with five or 10 years of experience.
How to Find Entry-Level Consulting Jobs
On-campus recruiting and consulting firm websites should be your first choices in your job search. But if you’ve tapped out those resources, try searching for entry level consulting at Monster or browse entry-level consulting gigs at eLance.
Independent consulting: entry-level job options
Some people decide to forgo the pressure and limitations of a big consulting firm career. Instead, they make their own entry-level consulting jobs and work out how to become a consultant. These independent consultants seek out contract work. They network within the local business community, target their rates and services to the market, and follow their own paths. It helps to research the market, develop a business plan, take marketing seriously, and manage your consultancy like a real business. And, while it’s easier to become a consultant if you’ve got a few years of experience, many companies actually seek out new grads for entry-level contract work. If entry-level independent consulting sounds like the job for you, check out the article on "Steps to becoming a consultant".
Entry-level consulting job