If you are looking to start and build a career in Consulting, you can prepare for it. Here are some points that you need to consider.
Educational Qualifications Required
There is no specific subject related qualification that may be required. A Bachelor's Degree is generally the minimum level of education that is preferred, however, a post graduation degree or certification would be good too.
What do the Consulting companies look for in candidates?
Communication skill - In Consulting you have to speak, primarily in the English language. If you want to work in a different country than India, you will gain a significant advantage by learning the native language of that country (eg. German in Germany or Austria, Italian in Italy, Japanese in Japan). You have to be a really good listener and also have the ability to ask the right questions, and communicate your ideas and solutions without ambiguity.
Problem Solving and Logical Thinking - Can you get to the root cause of the problem? Are you able to logically analyze the data in front of you. In fact, even when all the data may not be available, you should be able to derive estimates based on what you have. This is primarily about being able to structure your thoughts and comprehend situations well, and think clearly.
Analytical skill - This is definitely one of the key areas that you need to have or build. This is one skill that has to be developed by you. The ability to observe and analyse situations, information, data and derive inferences is what makes a consultant successful. The easiest way to gain this skill is to learn through courses that are readily available - it would help you to build a better Resume/CV as well as crack the interview and perform well in the job. More details on these courses at the end of this article.
Technical Skills - There are some Consulting roles that may also require certain technical skills like Advanced Excel, SQL or VBA, or Big Data languages like Python and Hadoop. If you want to improve your chances of getting through such consulting interviews, there are courses that prepare you for these skills as well.
Management Skills - In a Consulting role you will need confidence to operate on your own and work with a team, you will need leadership skills to navigate through people related situations, and you will definitely need to be able to work under pressure. If you want to work internationally, learning about intercultural communication, teamwork and leadership would be an added advantage.
Developing Skills - Gain an advantage over other candidates
It is really easy to develop skills / knowledge through learning programs. If you are pro-active and want to take control of your self-development, and increase the chances of getting into your dream company in consulting, here are some courses that I found on UpGrad that you may want to enroll in and learn from:
There are many other courses that you can search for and find on the internet. Just ensure that you have the right courses with relevant points of learning.
Once you have completed the courses, you can add these to your Resume/CV. This will help you to get the call for the interview as well, because the relevant skills/knowledge are advertised through these courses in your Resume/CV.
A few other things that you need to do:
Read Books on Consulting and Consulting companies.
Read articles and content on Consulting on the internet.
Read business magazines to stay up to date with the industry happenings and insights.
Watch videos that are related to consulting.
Connect with juniors and seniors in relevant companies in the consulting sector on LinkedIn and interact with them.
Try to get internship opportunities in consulting firms, small or big. Internships also help you to learn a lot.
When the day of the interview comes, you will be confident and perform well if you have prepared well!