How to Become a Business Consultant

If you want to become a business consultant, you need impressive credentials. Business consultancies include some of the top jobs in the business world, and credentials are earned the hard way, with hard work and experience. Business consultancies are a big, diverse field. Business consultants are hired to do everything from turning a failed business around to telling businesses how to run their HR policies legally. Any aspect of a business practice can involve consultants.

Education and training

Creating the skill sets for a consultancy forms a major part of any consultant's early career. Business consultants start with business management college qualifications and in many cases additional degrees in professional disciplines. This high starting point is a good indicator of the nature of the business consultancy field. The consultancy culture emphasizes top quality qualifications, experience, and expertise.

Business consultants work in the areas where their skills are strongest. Their basic skill sets also evolve into consultancy careers in other ways. Many consultants are specialists in particular areas of business and industries. Different industry specializations, experience and qualifications form an important element in the business consultant's natural repertoire. For example, a business consultant with industry experience based expertise in marketing will naturally gravitate to that field in a consultancy.

Some consultants require professional licensing depending on the industry, and statutory requirements of local, state and Federal governments.

Becoming a business consultant

Business consultants are experts in their fields. The only way to prove you're an expert in your business field is doing real practical business, a lot of it and a lot of doing it well. For business consultants, their business record and achievements form a hugely important portfolio of career credentials. A business consultant can be achieved by either of two career streams:

  • Employment with a business consultancy: For business graduates, this is the direct route into a consultancy career. This involves corporate form of career progression through the organizations and positions developing consultancy skills and experience. It's common for qualified business graduates to do internships in consultancies as part of their career path to consultant level. This is extremely useful practical work, and talented interns can in fact move in to consultancies at this early stage.
  • Industry specialists and business experts: The longer career road is that of the experienced industry business expert. Many professionals further develop their successful industry careers into business consultancies. Their advice is sought because of their credentials and achievements in their industries. Some of the biggest consultancies in the world, and some of the world's most famous businesspeople operate these business consultancies.

Types of business consultant

For simplicity in this very complex area, we're referring to business consultants in two basic classes as business experts and specialists. This is a breakdown of different types of business consultant in these classes:

Business experts: These deal with corporate operations.

  • Sales
  • Business administration
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Human Resources/ Training
  • IT systems
  • Organizational and corporate
  • Projects

Specialists: Industry experts in these fields.

  • Technical (Industry-specific professional consultants)
  • Sciences and technology
  • Engineering
  • Media
  • Advertising
  • Marketing