The Outlook for MBAs in Organizational Consulting

Even the most successful companies often require an outsider’s perspective on how they do business. Part of the reason for their success is recognizing that there is always room for improvement and that there is value in conferring with experts. That is where organizational consultants come in. Organizational consultants are independent contractors retained by a company to assess its operations and develop a plan to improve its efficiency and ultimately increase its profitability. These consultants require a thorough knowledge of business, organizational theory and project management. In most cases, they have developed this knowledge through a combination of higher education and experience in the field.

In this article we will look at where organizational consultants work, what skills employers seek in prospective candidates and how they are trained.

Where do MBAs in Organizational Consulting Work?

Companies in all industries and of all sizes may contract organizational consultants, indicating that organizational consulting professionals ply their trade in a wide variety of environments. Fortunately, the skills they bring to bear apply to something all of these diverse businesses have in common: an organizational structure. Whether a company manufactures microchips or facilitates e-commerce solutions, the concepts of how to get the best use of human and material resources remain largely consistent.

Organizational consultants may be solo operators, partners in boutique firms or agents of transnational consulting firms. Some of the big names in organizational consulting include Deloitte, Ernst & Young, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, according to a recent study from IDC.

What Skills do Organizational Development Consulting Firms Look For?

Learn.org identifies the following principle responsibilities for the position:

  • Organizational Assessment: By close observation of day to day operations, research and interviews, the consultant develops an understanding of a company’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • Change Management: Once a plan has been developed, how can it be enacted? The consultant guides management and personnel through the process of shifting problematic behaviors and working more efficiently.
  • Problem-Solving and Team-Building: An expert external presence can cut through blocked lines of communication between staff, provide outside-the-box recommendations for dealing with obstructions and bring together stakeholders.
  • Meeting Design: Poor meeting procedures can severely stifle the usefulness of these gatherings and impede productivity. In a real way, organizational consultants can help personnel re-learn how to communicate with one another.
  • Meeting these challenges requires a professional with an inside understanding of how successful businesses operate, and the insight to make the lessons gleaned from this study transferable. Therefore, employers are looking for candidates with a relevant academic background and a proven knack for personnel management.

How are Organizational Consultants Trained?

While many veteran consultants entered the field when only a bachelor’s degree was required and developed a strong resume of direct professional experience, today most employers prefer candidates with a graduate degree in business, such as an MBA. Today there are a number of MBA programs which offer specializations in organizational consulting.

Spring Arbor University’s online MBA is one such program. Offering a fast-track option which can be completed in as little as one year, or a traditional path requiring a minimum of 18 months, this top-ranked program augments core lessons in international business, finance, marketing and more with a focus on behavioral science and organizational leadership.

Graduates will find themselves well-positioned to pursue entry-level jobs in organizational consulting, a field with an average salary range between $71,000 and $142,000 per year.

For more information on SAU’s online MBA program, please contact us for a program guide.

Please see our earlier blog posts on The Importance of Accreditation and Admissions Representative Joins Online MBA Students at International Business Summit.

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