Consulting is a popular career choice for many college graduates. The three major consulting firms - McKinsey, Bain and BCG - offer similar roles and responsibilities. However, if you have more than 10 years of work experience, you may be hired at a much higher level, such as a director or partner. These positions are highly sought after and few companies in the industry are able to fill them. At the entry-level, junior consultants are the workhorses of any consulting team.
They are responsible for researching information, collecting data, analyzing it, and creating PowerPoint slides. Junior consultants are more involved in the execution of tasks than in strategic planning. They typically report to senior consultants and support them in their workflows. Senior consultants do all the work that junior consultants do. However, they usually own their own workflow.
This means that they oversee the planning and process of their work, in addition to the execution. Senior consultants also have the responsibility to manage a junior consultant. They will supervise their work and provide direction and guidance. They will also be responsible for managing relationships with junior-level customers. Senior consultants are usually accountable to managers who have developed experience and specialization in a particular industry or function.
It usually takes 2 to 3 years to move up to the next level. An important factor in this decision is the ability to sell consulting work. The four major consulting firms - McKinsey, Bain, BCG and Oliver Wyman - all have different titles for entry-level positions. At McKinsey, this position is known as a Business Analyst; at BCG it is Partner; and at Oliver Wyman it is Consultant. The transition from an entry-level role focused on data analysis and execution to a project manager position is often the most difficult part of a consulting career. Titles for entry-level positions include Associate Business Analyst, Consulting Executive or Management Executive.
It is also possible that you may be hired as a contract consultant at a company and then offered a permanent position. At the highest level of consulting, degrees include typical senior management positions such as CEO and Vice President. These positions are held by most companies.