Are you always leaving stores, restaurants, and other businesses thinking, Ugh! Things would be so much better if they just did XYZ… Do you have excellent people skills? Do you excel at problem-solving? If so, you might want to consider a career as a management analyst.
What do management analysts do?
Management analysts (also called management consultants) work with clients to help their clients businesses run more efficiently and become more successful. Companies hire management analysts for many reasons: to improve their hiring processes, to streamline decision-making, to cut wasted spending, etc. Consultancy projects can range in length from a few weeks to several years. Tasks would differ by project, but general responsibilities may include:
- Meeting with clients to assess their needs
- Researching the clients industry to identify challenges, opportunities, competitors, etc.
- Documenting current processes by reviewing the clients history and interviewing employees at all levels of the organization
- Meeting with the clients customers and suppliers to get their perspective
- Preparing reports that describe how things are now
- Making recommendations for change
- Helping the client choose which recommendations to implement
- Helping the client implement recommendations
- Measuring success and reporting back to the client
- Hours can vary considerably based on the project and the client. While many management analysts work a typical 40-hour week, overtime isnt unusual, especially as deadlines near.
- Most management analysts are based out of a home office but spend considerable time on location with their clients.
- Many management analysts travel extensively – sometimes abroad – and may spend several weeks at a time away from home.
- Excellent interpersonal skills – especially listening and persuasion
- Ability to absorb and sort through a vast amount of information, identifying the facts that are most relevant to the project or problem at hand
- Ability to work both alone and as part of a team
- Ability to gather a consensus among parties with sometimes conflicting interests
- Business know-how
- Good presentation skills
- Able and willing to work long hours when needed
Education and Training
- While there are no specific entry requirements, most management analysts are educated at least to the degree level, often in fields such as business, management, human resources, finance, IT, etc.
- Experience in any area of business will make you more competitive.
- An alternative route is to participate in a management consultancy firms graduate training scheme straight from university. These schemes are highly selective, however, and you would likely need a degree of at least 2:1. Any previous business experience would also increase your odds of being admitted.
- Foreign language skills are helpful, especially if you want to work for an international consultancy.
- While its not required, some management analysts obtain a postgraduate qualification such as an MBA.
- Once on the job, you would receive training from your employer, likely under the supervision of an experienced management analyst.
Its crucial for management analysts to keep up with the latest trends and developments in the business world.
- One of the best ways of staying current is to take advantage of courses and seminars offered by professional associations like the Institute of Consulting (IC) or the Management Consultancies Association.
- If youre a member of the IC and have at least three years of experience, you can aske to be assessed for the Management Consultant Award (MCA), which functions as a seal of approval in the industry.
- You could choose to specialize in a certain aspect of business, like human resources or finance.
- As you gain experience, you could move into a management role, directing a team of consultants.
- You could also freelance or start your own consultancy firm.
The job outlook is good, with the number of people employed as management analysts expected to increase by 165,000 by 2020.
If you have a head for business, an analytical mindset, and outstanding people and leadership skills, you could have a bright future as a management analyst.