Consulting analysts, or management consultants as they are more commonly known, help companies overcome management problems. As companies get bigger and businesses more complex they don't often have the resources to tackle management issues. Management consultants come in and propose ways in which an organisation can improve the way it is run, resulting in better efficiency, a happier workforce and increased profits.
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Analysts work either for themselves or work as part of large teams working for management consulting organisations. Some analysts specialise in specific areas of industry such as health care, human resources, marketing or information systems. An analyst's job is to solve the management problem put forward to them by the company that is employing them. They do this by analysing company data, interviewing company staff and observing the firm's operations. They then document their findings and prepare recommendations for change, which are then presented to management.
Consulting analysts will spend some of their time in their own offices and the other time in offices of their client. Sometimes this will involve both national and international travel and the analyst can be away from home weeks at a time. The average analyst will spend more than 40 hours a week in the office, especially when deadlines draw near, and will not be compensated for this time. With experience, and a large book of contacts, some consultants can go freelance, dictating their own hours and being able to work from home.
A bachelor's degree is the very lowest qualification requirement to become a consulting analyst. However, many employers now require their analysts to have a master's in business administration (MBA), or years of experience in the sector the company specialises in. Relevant bachelor's degree programs include management consulting, business, accounting, economics, statistics, engineering and computer and information science.
In 2008 there were 746,900 consulting analysts in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The employment rate for this profession is set to rise by 24 per cent between 2008 and 2018, which is higher than the national average for all jobs. This is because industry and government organisations are increasingly looking for outside help to streamline and improve the efficiency of their organisations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for consulting analysts in 2008 was £47,820. The highest 10 per cent of those surveyed earned more than £87,002 a year. Analysts who worked in computer systems and design-related services earned the most, followed by those in scientific and technical consulting and then those working in government. Benefits include private health insurance, paid vacation, retirement plans and bonuses.
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