Becoming a consultant requires a combination of skills, education, and experience. A degree in business administration, finance, economics, psychology, marketing, or computer science is often beneficial. However, the most important factor is the ability to solve problems and interact productively with clients and team members. Professional certifications are not required but can be beneficial.
For those who know early on that they want to pursue consulting, the typical path is to attend recruitment events organized by consulting firms, complete an internship, and then apply for a full-time job. Entry-level management consultants should possess technical and soft skills, such as project management, quality assurance and control, and business requirements. The Institute of Management Consultants USA offers the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) certification. Although not required by law, some customers may require consultants to be licensed and insured before doing business with them.
In addition to the necessary skills and qualifications, consultants must also be comfortable with the volatility and challenges of the job. The sensitive or “political” nature of consulting assignments requires maturity. Employers tend to have very specific requirements for functions.