Is Becoming a Consultant Worth It? A Comprehensive Guide

Many MBA students consider management consulting to be their next big step after graduating. They are deeply impressed and very excited by the high-profile, well-paying careers that most consultants build. They quickly decide when recruiting companies reach their top high schools and make an attractive sales pitch. The training and speed with which you learn in consulting are unparalleled. Of course, there are many formal training programs you can take advantage of (which should not be minimized), but you will also be able to learn on the job.

Because projects are fast and you usually work with teams, you can quickly gain knowledge from those who have more experience and become a “quick expert” in all kinds of fields; I feel that I have gained mastery in areas ranging from developing KPIs for the entire organization to conducting interviews with parties stakeholders to assess the potential savings companies can achieve through supply chain contracts in a matter of years. Being a consultant, you will often lay the foundation for success in any career you may pursue after consulting. If you've worked to help some leading organizations around the world solve complex problems, you'll be much more marketable and attractive to other companies. There is a possibility that in the future you will no longer want to be a consultant. Traveling is exhausting, stress is overwhelming and long hours catch up with you, whatever the case, the background is important.

I ran my own successful IT consulting company for 10 years before being tempted to return to the 9-to-5 routine with a job that was too good to turn down. Of course, there are pros and cons to this lifestyle, but consulting can really open a set of unique doors with respect to managing relationships that are often overlooked. However, if you're more into predictability and stable work environments, consulting may not be a good profession for you. Companies usually hire consultants because they want to go through some kind of change and seek direction and advice. When there is so much money at risk, many unhealthy political dynamics are generated within the consulting organization.

I found a job at Price Waterhouse after finishing graduate school, and it turned out that I really enjoyed consulting. If you're feeling hesitant about the field, check out these five potentially better reasons to explore, choose, or stay in consulting. After the consultation, you can return to the world full-time as an IT manager, CTO, CIO, vice president of IT, but it all depends on your experience and drive. Because of its nature of varied and often changing projects, consulting allows career seekers to quickly test industries, functional areas, and even geographies to see what they like best. I understand, it's just a job, but everyone needs to take some kind of work and consulting can offer you opportunities that not many professions can offer. Professionals who lack a strong work ethic or who can't sustain long hours often don't succeed in consulting.

Yes, consulting has its drawbacks, but it is not without many opportunities to learn, grow and progress as a professional. So is becoming a consultant worth it? The answer is yes! Consulting offers unique opportunities for learning and growth that few other professions can match. You will gain valuable experience working with leading organizations around the world on complex problems while also having the chance to test different industries and geographies. However, it's important to remember that this profession requires hard work and long hours so make sure it's something you're willing to commit to before taking the plunge.

Trent Monserrate
Trent Monserrate

Friendly social media enthusiast. Subtly charming web nerd. Passionate zombie buff. Subtly charming gamer. Extreme zombie ninja.