Consultants are highly sought after for a variety of reasons, but the main one is that they can save you a lot of time and effort. When you hire a consultant, you're essentially paying for someone to do the legwork for you, freeing up your time to focus on other aspects of your business. Companies are willing to pay consultants for their specific skills and knowledge that their clients lack, as well as for the prestige and extensive experience that comes with the job. For instance, when a company is looking to expand, it often hires a consultant to help it through this process. Before McKinsey began hiring aggressively at Harvard Business School, earning an MBA and pursuing consulting wasn't as prestigious.
That's why consulting firms, in particular, want to hire the best and brightest, since the pedigree of their employees is one of the main selling points. Companies are starting to create centers of trust in internal consultants who can create and manage projects and, at the same time, outsource only labor-intensive data collection functions. For a job that even elite business school graduates can struggle to explain, top-tier management consultants can earn incredibly high salaries even when they're just starting out. McKinsey, for example, is one of the companies that hire MBA students the most and, in general, its consultants come from top-level schools such as INSEAD, Harvard and Wharton. Despite all the advantages of consulting, there are some drawbacks. After all, junior consultants with zero to five years of experience do much of the work that companies pay a lot of money for.
And no matter how expensive this talent is, it actually ends up being more profitable for companies since most consultants leave after three or four years instead of requesting a promotion. Additionally, consultants and contractors face a real risk (although admittedly small) of not getting paid. I also have the impression that consulting is the new electronic banking, now that finance is so perverse these days, which helps fuel the conductor recruitment machine. When I left consulting after two years, my managers were surprised that I was going to work just because I paid more. In conclusion, consulting is an attractive career option for many people due to its high salaries and prestige. However, it's important to be aware of the potential drawbacks before taking on this type of job.
Consultants must be prepared to work hard and take on a lot of responsibility in order to be successful.