Consulting salaries and more

Seven reasons to choose a graduate career in consulting - aside from salary

At interview, what will your answer be when a recruiter asks, 'Why do you want to be a consultant?'
You’ll be entrusted with responsibility and working with senior clients very soon into your career

If you join the consulting sector, you’re likely to be earning in the region of £33k, with great perks thrown in such as sponsored MBAs, paid time off for charity work and excellent maternity benefits. But when a recruiter asks you why you want to be a consultant you can’t answer, 'The salary, of course!' Make sure you can articulate what your (less tangible) reasons are for wanting to enter the profession. We’ve spoken to working graduate consultants from a range of firms and come up with eight great reasons for wanting to be a consultant:

1. Variety

'One day you could be looking at issues around the uptake of messaging services… the next looking at the effect electrical infrastructure has on house prices in Cornwall,' says Adam Lapthorn, an analyst at Frontier Economics.

One of the most appealing aspects of management consulting is the huge variety of projects you’ll work on, colleagues you’ll work with and clients you’ll meet. Many consultancies also offer international travel opportunities.

2. Early responsibility 

The nature of the job gives you great exposure to senior clients which presents development opportunities you wouldn’t typically get until later in your career,' says Imogen Buchan, an associate consultant at Bain & Company.

You’ll be entrusted with responsibility and working with senior clients very soon into your career, which is exciting if you’re the type that thrives on challenge.

3. Continuous learning

‘There is a wealth of training programmes that you can choose from, covering both technical and soft skills,' says Charlotte Gibney, a senior business analyst at A.T. Kearney.

Management consulting offers the chance to keep learning and developing throughout your career.

4. Top-notch workmates

‘Part of me expected it to be full of stereotypical ‘city job, banker types’… but everyone here cares about people, as well as the work they do,' says Aidan Devane, an associate at The Boston Consulting Group.

The consulting sector attracts top-quality graduates, so you’ll be working with diverse, intelligent, like-minded colleagues who enjoy combining creative, innovative thinking with a very practical approach to problem solving.

5. An impressive skills set

'Alongside my analytical and communication skills I have greatly improved my time management skills,' says Philippe Ducrest, an associate at Parthenon-EY.

Thanks to the toolkit of business and management skills you’ll develop, consulting could open up interesting options in other career areas further down the line.

6. Achieving results

‘It’s very satisfying to see a development that I’ve carried out go live, and to see the impact it can have on an international finance company,' says Jamie Gillespie, a consultant at Alfa.

If you work on a successful consulting project, there is immense satisfaction when you see that it has made a real difference and benefited a client.

7. All degrees sought

There is a strong numerical element to consulting, so it can be an advantage to have a degree in business, economics, science or technology, but it isn’t essential. The consulting profession also offers exciting career prospects for those with a relevant postgraduate degree, MBA or industry experience.