Becoming a consultant is no easy task. It requires a great deal of effort and commitment, and those who lack a strong work ethic or can't handle long hours may not be successful in this field. Consulting is not a 9-5 job, and you may find yourself “always working” due to the amount of time spent on the road. If you're looking for stability and structure, you may want to consider another career path. That being said, consulting does offer the opportunity to create your own work.
Wouter explains that certifications are not necessary to become a consultant, but certificate programs can provide physical and interpersonal skills that degree programs may not cover. They also make it easier for potential employers to recognize your commitment and professional knowledge. Consulting is a popular career choice among graduates, but the ratio between the number of candidates and vacancies or job offers is high. It's been reported that consulting giant McKinsey only hires 1% of applicants, and each of the big four professional services firms (Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC) receives tens of thousands of applications for more than 1000 open positions. Despite this confidence, only 16% of respondents said that business knowledge was one of their top five skills - yet it's essential for a successful consulting career. To make sure you have enough money for interviews, it's important to understand what business knowledge is and how you can develop it.
This includes accounting (26%), finance (16%), technology (13%), and more. IT consultants should also be comfortable managing the basic functions of a variety of operating systems, software applications, and hardware platforms - both old and new. Successful consultants should have no reservations when it comes to contacting technical support services for software or hardware manufacturers. In addition to having the right skillset, consultants must also be able to market themselves effectively. This means having an up-to-date resume, portfolio, website, and social media presence. You should also be prepared to network with potential employers and clients in order to get your name out there. Finally, it's important to remember that becoming a consultant is not an overnight process.
It takes time and dedication to build up your skillset and reputation in order to become successful in this field. With hard work and perseverance, however, you can become an expert consultant in no time.