Management consultants, also known as management analysts, are responsible for facilitating organizational efficiency and increasing profits. Businesses hire consultants to create strategies that will help them stay competitive in today’s evolving electronic marketplace. In the current business landscape, companies are constantly trying to increase profitability and decrease costs. Management analysts help them do this.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of management analysts is anticipated to grow 22% by 2020. As market competition increases, businesses will need to use their resources more efficiently.
Growth is expected to be especially strong in smaller specialized consulting companies, the public sector and international businesses. Job seekers may face increasing competition because the position’s relatively high salary makes this role appealing to many job seekers.
The overall goal of management analysts is to advise business managers on how they can improve organizational efficiency and increase profitability by decreasing costs and increasing revenues. To do this, analysts must gather and organize information about a business problem or procedure that needs improvement. They must then interview employees and observe the corporate environment to determine how to address the problem(s). Analysis of finances, revenue, expenditure and employment reports would then be necessary in this process.
After determining how business issues can be resolved, analysts must develop solutions and recommend new systems, procedures or organizational changes. Recommendations must be made to senior management in a live presentation or written report. Analysts must also follow up with managers to ensure that previous changes that have been made are effective.
Some analysts work for a single company, but most are employed on a contractual basis. They can work independently or with a team, depending on the project at hand. Analysts often specialize in certain areas such as inventory management or reorganizing corporate structures, or in industries such as healthcare or telecommunications.
Management analysts who work on contract typically obtain work by writing proposals and bidding for jobs. Proposals must include who will do the work, how it will be done, what the cost will be, how long it will take and why the consultant should be chosen. Usually, businesses that require analysts’ help solicit proposals from a few analysts and companies that specialize in the required work. They choose the proposal that best fits their budget and business needs.
It should be noted that analysts work under tight deadlines and often have long hours. In 2010, almost one-third of management analysts worked more than 40 hours per week.
According to 2012 BLS data, management analysts earned a median annual wage of $78,600. The lowest 10% earned less than $44,370, and the top 10% earned more than $142,580.
Most management analysts must have a bachelor’s degree to obtain an entry-level position. Some employers prefer to hire those who have earned a master’s in business administration (MBA) degree for top jobs. According to 2010 BLS data, 28% of management analysts had a master’s degree.
Job candidates can gain a competitive advantage by obtaining the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation offered by the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Inc. Applicants must meet minimum levels of education and experience, provide client reviews and pass an interview and exam that cover the IMC USA’s Code of Ethics. CMC-designated analysts must be recertified every 3 years. The certification is not required, but it can help increase job opportunities.