With the job market rewarding specialisation, a one-size-fits-all MBA may no longer be enough. While the classic specialisations in Marketing, Finance, HR, IT, and others are still useful, they won’t necessarily make you stand out from the crowd.
What would make a difference — and help YOU make a difference?
For those of us who want to get ahead and make an impact in a range of companies, Consulting Management is fast catching up across verticals.
Every business house needs a consulting specialist especially when it faces a tough situation due to prevailing market and economic conditions or is unable to meet its target due to an internal crisis, or any other factor that inhibits the business to grow further.
What happens in a Consulting Management program?
An MBA in Consulting Management is fairly unique in itself.
While the early part of the MBA program covers the full range of business management skills (Marketing, Finance, HR, etc.), the Consulting Management stream finishes with courses designed to build consulting skills and introduce a range of “hot topics” leading-edge consultants should be familiar with, like AI, Blockchain, Change Management, M&A and more.
In short, in the Consulting Management program, students jump-start their professional consulting careers, equipping themselves to lead not just one business, but many.
How is a Consulting Management program useful?
Whether you’re working in IT, business strategy, sales, HR, cost optimisation and efficiency, or beyond, current consultants who want to upscale their careers or shift from one specialisation to another (e.g. from technical IT work to strategy and general management) will find this course useful.
Such candidates are also well-positioned to succeed in the MBA specialisation with their existing foundational skills.
If you have deep experience in a particular industry and would like to impact more than one company, a Consulting Management program will provide you with skills that would be required for this industry.
Likewise, internal consultants who operate within a company (consulting for various departments) but who want to branch out to external consultancy will also benefit from the program’s client relationship-building skills and our network of global top-tier consultants.
Chartered Accountants and others with business analytics skills will also benefit from this program, as well as those who want to launch the next phase of their careers internationally.
Further, you may like to ultimately launch your own consulting firm, as many of our mentors have. Experienced guidance and an extended, global network would give you a significant advantage.
How can a Consulting Management course benefit an organisation?
By hiring a consultant, clients have access to deeper levels of expertise than would be financially feasible for them to retain in-house on a long-term basis.
Moreover, clients can easily implement short projects that need extra manpower and control their expenditures on consulting services by only purchasing as much service from the outside consultant as desired.
Independent advice and brand-name recommendations can also be valuable when making key decisions.
How can B-schools give the best Consulting Management education?
A school that offers an MBA specialisation in Consulting Management should aim to meet the need for top-notch consultants. Students opting for this specialisation should be engaged in the classroom using a modern pedagogy that simulates the decision-making challenges consultants face today.
The specialisations should cover topics such as client development, advanced consulting and communication skills, decision modelling, project management, change management, practice development, and corporate recovery.
Management schools offering such a niche management program should reach out to major organisations to get their inputs and also their expectations from the students. This way, the students are much more aligned to the organisations’ expectations and are able to perform better.
Some global B-schools of Indian origin offer a Consulting Management program that covers a generic MBA course, and offers specialist consulting skills such as scoping work, writing proposals managing projects, initiating relationship, growing client organisation relationship, corporate valuation and integration.
Students of Consulting Management should have access to all the Innovation labs, access to faculty networks and the network of the mentors. This way, a student gets to have experiential learning and interact with the business community in the country one studies.
Career options in Consulting Management
Such a course not only helps to get you into consultancies but also provides the requisite jump-start to your career growth.
Having said that, the career options for professionals and the students pursuing Consulting Management is upbeat. There is a world of opportunities that are available for them in the literal sense.
Consulting Management cut across borders and a master’s program in this will help professionals and students join some of the world’s top consultancies. It will also enable them to have more international opportunities.
To sum up — upscaling your career, broadening your impact, and making a difference in organisations that seek change — do these sound like your calling? If it is, then you’ll need the knowledge, the skills, the qualifications, and the network to make it happen.
So, what’s your next step?
The article was first published in India Today.
SP Jain School of Global Management offers a specialisation in Consulting Management as part of its Global MBA program. To know more about the specialisation, please click here.
About the Author: Dr CJ Meadows
Dr CJ Meadows is a thought leader on tomorrow’s innovation. Consultant, entrepreneur, author, and speaker, she has led and advised companies and leaders across the globe.
Area Head of Consulting Management and Director of i2i – The Innovation & Insights Center at SP Jain School of Global Management, a Forbes Top-20 International Business School, she holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). She has over 20 years’ experience in Asia, Europe, and North America as an entrepreneur, dot-com builder & innovation lab co-founder, and Accenture IT & business strategy consultant. She has designed and delivered executive education programs individually and in conjunction with top business schools like INSEAD, AIM, NUS, and SMU.