what is a consultant?
After gaining years of experience, you can become a consultant in your area of expertise. Consultants turn their knowledge into a resource, and companies are willing to pay for their advice and valuable insights.
As a consultant, you research your employer’s target market and company to identify problems and opportunities for expansion. You also recommend solutions for business-related issues and help facilitate changes in an organisation. Some clients hire consultants to revitalise or downsize their business. Sometimes, you restructure a failing business or provide counsel during a start-up by conducting a feasibility study and identifying opportunities.
The scope of your work as a consultant requires passion for your work and an interest in your industry sector. Organisations look for consultants when they need an external perspective on business issues. That means they need someone who can breathe a new life into the venture and help turn the tide. A successful consultant needs more than industry-specific knowledge. You also require skills in business analysis, troubleshooting and strategy.
what do consultants do?
Consultants can work for any industry as in-house consultants or for consulting firms. In-house consultants provide in-depth analysis of the business since they study it from all perspectives and recommend opportunities for improvement. A consulting firm often works with multiple companies and provides expert advice on a range of industry issues.
Would working as a consultant suit your analytical skills and industry experience? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a consultant role.view jobs
average salary of a consultant
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a consultant is ₹11,00000 per year in India. Along with the basic salary, consultants often enjoy various benefits, including medical insurance, pension schemes and paid vacations. Some companies motivate consultants with bonuses for successful projects.
what factors affect a consultant's pay?
Consultants' earnings depend on their area of expertise. For example, consultants in engineering or construction are likely to earn more than health consultants. The financial sector also pays consultants high salaries. The company you work for also determines your earning potential. In-house consultants’ pay fluctuates in line with their company's size and financial resources.
Working for consulting firms affects your pay structure; most consultancy pay is based on the clients and your experience level. Consultants with years of experience earn more since they bring transferrable skills to the job and stimulate change using tried-and-tested methods. Relocating can also increase your earnings, as the pay in big cities is higher than in small towns.
types of consultants
Consultants work in many different industries, each with different job responsibilities. Some common types of consultant include:
- business consultant: as a business consultant, you assist companies in solving problems by offering expert advice on business strategies. You help them boost performance by improving their processes, developing a new HR strategy or providing operational support.
- education consultant: as a consultant in training and education, you help academic institutions deal with various issues in primary, secondary and higher education. You also assist organisations that have educational objectives, such as publishers, government agencies and non-profit organisations.
- healthcare consultant: consultants in healthcare institutions aim to improve efficiency and minimise expenses. You recommend new procedures and ways to increase revenue and manage workplace risks.
- it consultant: as an IT consultant, you analyse threats to computer systems and the functionality of programmes to improve efficiency. You also recommend ways for utilising information technology to enhance business performance.
- management consultant: as a management consultant, you provide advice and guidance to top-level managers in an organisation. You assist with developing strategies and business goals and advise them throughout the decision-making process.
working as a consultant
Curious to find out what a consultant does daily? Read on for insights about your career prospects and daily duties.
duties and responsibilities
Your specific role as a consultant depends on your type of consultancy, but most consultants perform the following duties:
- research: unlike other professions who conduct continuous research, consultants work from hypotheses. You formulate a theory and research it to prove or disprove an argument. When looking for information, you read reports and financial statements and interview various stakeholders. The aim of your research is to gain a thorough understanding of your client's company and industry.
- studying the market: if you are consulting for a start-up, you conduct a feasibility study to learn about their target market. You provide critical insights into market segmentation and demographics before recommending potential niches for the start-up to explore. For large companies, your job is to identify expansion opportunities.
- data analysis: as a consultant, you support your findings and recommendations with relevant data. Your research yields information that needs to be consolidated and analysed before drawing appropriate conclusions. The analysis stage helps you discover the current state of the market and how your employer is doing compared with their competitors. You can recommend strategies to strengthen their position in the market and increase revenue.
- presenting findings: once your research is complete, you make presentations to stakeholders to discuss your recommendations. When your client decides on the strategies they would like to adopt, you create implementation plans and monitor the outcomes.
- business development: as a consultant, your job entails identifying new businesses and finding opportunities for business expansion. You help managers create materials for pitches and meet with potential clients.
As a consultant, you work in various industries with diverse clients. You can work in the technology, finance, accounting and manufacturing industries. Most consultants work in office environments regardless of the industry, and often assign research duties to other employees. When you are a consultant, you frequently travel to meet clients or view off-site facilities. Sometimes, you attend conferences or travel overseas if you work for a multinational company.
who are your colleagues?
Depending on your employer and field of operations, your colleagues might include analysts and junior analysts. You might also be working in close proximity to accountants, healthcare professionals or teachers, as well as other specialists that could include, but not be limited to, engineers, fulfilment managers, professional advisors and business development professionals.
Consultancy is a flexible career that provides full-time and part-time opportunities or short-term contracts. Consultants often work over 40 hours a week on a full-time contract. While you work the standard office hours, sometimes you have to work evenings and weekends when attending important events. Freelancing opportunities are also available in various fields. Most consulting firms hire short-term contractors or part-time consultants, depending on their needs.
Working as a consultant provides various opportunities for building your career and joining a managerial position. Most consultants begin as analysts or junior consultants. After a few years of experience and tangible accomplishments, you become a senior consultant. You can increase your qualifications and expertise to become a director or chief executive officer. Consultancy also provides self-employment opportunities, but you start by working in a company to develop a track record and build your skills.
advantages of finding a consultant job through randstad
Finding your consultant job through Randstad provides important advantages, such as:
- a wide variety of training and development opportunities
- an experienced contact person to provide help if needed
- a range of opportunities in your area
- get paid on a monthly basis
- temporary and permanent contracts
Looking for a permanent role? A temporary job as a consultant is often a stepping stone to an attractive permanent job. Every year, thousands of people earn a permanent contract with great employers, thanks to a temporary job found through Randstad.
education and skills
Successful consultants have extensive academic qualifications. Some of the educational requirements and additional qualifications include:
- degree: you can start your career as a consultant with a bachelor's degree in any field, including business, finance, science, IT or engineering. If you plan to be a consultant in healthcare, a degree in science or a related field is necessary. Knowledge of the industry is essential to get a job.
- postgraduate studies: while postgraduate qualifications, such as a master's or doctoral degree, are not compulsory, they improve your job prospects. Some companies prefer consultants with MBAs or doctorates.
- work experience: consultancy is a competitive career, and commercial experience gives you an advantage. You can take up internships or join graduate training programmes to improve your skills. Professional certifications like PMP/Prince2 with the relevant minimum work experience will add value in terms of your career prospects.
skills and competencies
Apart from academic qualifications, the following skills and competencies will help you excel as a consultant:
- creative thinking: solving business problems requires someone who thinks outside the box and comes up with unique solutions. As a consultant, creative thinking helps you come up with ideas to solve various issues in a company.
- problem-solving skills: sometimes, consultants are responsible for resolving conflicts between managers and employees or saving a company on the brink of bankruptcy. Problem-solving skills help you identify ways to resolve disputes and find resolutions to revive a company.
- communication and listening skills: as a consultant, you listen to employees and stakeholders to understand their concerns. When assessing the impact of a problem, you should listen empathetically instead of focusing solely on the financial aspects. Once you develop strategies for resolving an issue, communication skills help you share them clearly.
- time management: time management skills help you make it to all your consultations and meetings on time. Organisational skills help you achieve your goals and follow your schedule. Preparing for the day's activities is useful for optimising your time and completing the items on your to-do list.
FAQs about working as a consultant
FAQs about working as a consultant:
what does a consultant do?
A consultant provides advice on the best procedures to improve performance and increase income. You help businesses optimise their processes.
what does consultant mean?
A consultant is a professional in a specific field who provides analysis and recommendations to companies or individuals. They are objective troubleshooters and fixers who offer expert advice and suggest strategies for handling various issues.
what qualifications do you need to be a consultant?
To become a consultant, you need a degree in business management or another relevant subject. Industry-specific knowledge of the sector you intend to work in is also essential.
what is a consultant's salary?
A consultant earns an average salary of ₹7,77,943 per year, but the pay bracket fluctuates depending on your area of expertise. You also enjoy numerous benefits and bonuses.
what are the skills of a consultant?
As a consultant, you need analytical skills to evaluate your research findings and problem-solving skills to develop strategies. Communication and organisational skills are also essential.
how do I apply for a consultant vacancy?
Applying for a consultant job is easy: create a Randstad profile and search our job offers for vacancies in your area. Then simply send us your CV and cover letter. Need help with your application? Check out all our job search tips here!