The perks that the best strategy consulting firms offer grow as you spend more time in the industry.
While the intangible benefits are plenty – working with the best colleagues and clients in the business, great exposure, powerful networks – the most obvious and quantifiable change you’d see is in the compensation.
If you can stick around long enough and move into the higher designations, management consulting salaries can progress very rapidly over time.
Disclaimer: Much of this data is anecdotal and not really based on a thorough academic style survey. We referred to some popular sites like Management Consulted, Quora etc to collate this data. Some of it may be dated or off the mark. Use it to get a general idea of the numbers.
We’ve included the breakup for Analyst and Associate positions which tend to be entry level positions after completing an undergrad or masters degree. So, it’s easier to get access to this data vis-a-vis the other senior positions.
Also, keep in mind that there are no absolutes in the industry. The compenstation range can fluctuate based on the consulting firm specific policies, the location. For fast-track consultants, the compensation range is on the higher side. Also read Consulting Entry level salary in USA, UK, India, Germany, Australia
The simple answer is to get in via the Associate role and gradually work your way up impressing all who matter in the firm and outside.
Easier said than done, as there’d be several hurdles at every single stage. The biggest hurdle is the competition that you are up against – your fellow MBA brethren and colleagues.
The following table gives a general indication of how long it takes to move from one designation to another. Considering the bigger pressure of moving ‘up or out’, there are no guarantees. Only a smaller percentage move up (i.e. get promoted to the next level).
|Associate (MBA)||Senior Consultant||2 years||40%-70%|
|Senior Consultant||Project Lead||2 years||40%-70%|
|Project Lead||Principal||2 years||40%-70%|
|Partner||Senior Partner||7 years||40%-60%|
It can take 10 years for an MBA graduate to become a partner at a top consulting firm like McKinsey / Bain / Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
While these are just approximations, the actual time for promotions could be lesser or more based on the consultant’s performance.
Many consultants may choose (or be coerced) to move out. This isn’t a bad thing actually, as those who move out get lucrative opportunities in the industry that would make regular MBA grads envious. If you are interested, here’s an insight into life after consulting: exit options
The first step is to get into one of the best bschools for consultant jobs. These universities regularly feeders into the consulting industry. Not going to one of them can seriously reduce your chances of managing the career change.
We’ve helped several Indians crack this first stage (MBA applications) and they’ve in turn played all the right cards to gain an entry into the elite consulting firms after their MBA. Here’s one such story: How to become a management consultant at McKinsey, BCG, Bain. Also read How to get an interview at McKinsey, Bain, BCG
If you are in the same boat that they were a few years back and need some formal support in improving your chances at the consulting bschools, drop us an email.
If you are only exploring the field, here are some tips to help you crack Management consulting interview questions. And if that doesn’t satiate your appetite, here’s a whole bunch of management consulting articles.
Consulting not your cup of tea? Find out how much the other popular MBA careers pay by reading this article – Average MBA starting salary in USA, India. Also read Top Consulting Firms in the World. Also read The dark side of Management Consulting and Technology vs Management Consulting.