Graduate Careers Advice

Graduate Business Management And Consulting Careers

James Thornhill

The business sector (also known as the professional services industry) provides advice and services to improve the efficiency, performance and profits of businesses.

Business managers are responsible for a particular team or task and ensuring everyone works to their full potential in order to get a job done as efficiently as possible. You’ll need to be motivated, a strong leader and dedicated to success.

Consultants are often based on the client’s site and are tasked with analysing the business strategy and structure, looking at how the organisation operates and how it is managed. After detailed observation and analysis that can involve detailed data collection, interviewing employees and reviewing records and reports, management consultants will normally offer recommendations for improving the business and solutions to any problems the business is experiencing.

Businesses need advice and support on a range of issues including operational management, strategy and planning, human resources, financial management and information technologies.

Business consultants often focus on a particular area of the business such as strategy, marketing, finance or human resources depending on their expertise, but some larger consultancies may take a more holistic approach, analysing each section of the business and suggesting company-wide solutions.

The consultancy industry in the UK is worth around £8.5 billion and employs more than 80,000 people.

Organisations will sometimes call in business consultants to provide resources and manage and advise on projects such as company restructuring. It’s a varied job that requires confidence and tenacity and can also be very rewarding both professionally and financially.

How much can I earn as a Business Management And Consulting?

The average starting salary in the business and professional services industry is £30,300 according to ‘The Graduate Market in 2016’ by High Fliers.

The report puts the full range of salaries in the industry between £16,000 and £42,000.

With more experience and responsibility, this can rise to between £40,000 and £60,000.

Senior consultants, working for large companies may earn from £70,000 to £90,000. 

What qualifications do I need to be a Business Consultant?


After Bachelors degree

A common route into this industry is via a graduate training scheme with an employer. Competition on these schemes is very strong and you will need to have a degree to at least a 2:1 level to gain entry.

A postgraduate qualification, such as a master's in business administration (MBA), may also be helpful though is not essential.

Foreign language skills are also highly valued, as many firms work with international clients.

What Skills Do I Need To Be a Business Consultant?

To work in business management and consulting you will need the following skills:


•Problem solving

•Numeracy skills

•IT skills

•Knowledge of business practices



•Commercial awareness

What Experience Do I Need To Get A Job In Management And Consulting?

Although it is not essential to have previous experience, any experience of working in a business gained from work placements, internships or volunteering would offer you a strong advantage when applying for graduate schemes.

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