I received this question from a client & thought I would share my response, as many consider consulting as a career path. “I have been considering leaving my technology organization and joining an IT consulting firm – what are some of the career risks and benefits that you see with professionals jumping to the consulting industry?“
According to the Kennedy Information and Industry Intelligence Company, the consulting industry has grown at a 20% rate since the 1980s. The sector is a $118-billion industry. It is six times larger than 10 years ago, employing between 350,000 and 400,000, and the top 25 global firms make up 60 percent of the industry. The consulting industry is broken up into four key areas:
1. 50% IT consulting.
2. 21% Operations consulting.
3. 18% Strategy consulting.
4. 11% HR consulting.
The good news, the “Wisdom industry” is growing at a fast clip. Some sectors, such as the technology area, have grown at a slower rate. You are seeing more technology consulting work occurring off shore.
Many professionals join a consulting firm and spend their whole careers there, they enjoy the variety, complexity and the financial rewards are tremendous, especially if their goal is to become a partner. Consulting exposes you to a number of different corporate environments. The profile of a consultant is one who enjoys a wide range of problem solving, thrives independently & enjoys the unpredictable nature of different types of work environments.
There are a few challenges with this role; first, you tend to follow the problems that are the hottest, and the ones that clients are willing to pay for, which may or may not fit your key skills. Furthermore, there tends to be the expectation of longer hours and more travel which can be challenging on personal relationships & younger families.
If you have a profile that fits, you will thrive; otherwise it may be a short term engagement that opens the door to a new employer. Are you up for the challenge? Reach out and we can help you decide if consulting is the right path for you.
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Sharing wisdom, along the road with you!
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