How to Become a Consultant: 11 Steps to Doing it Right
Article by Meg Prater, HubSpot. Aug 15, 2022
Do you have a well-developed network? Are you self-directed? Do you have an impressive portfolio filled with client success stories? You might be ready to become a consultant, but it can be difficult to know where to start.
Continue reading, or jump ahead to learn more about how to become a consultant.
What is a consultant?
What does a consultant do?
Types of Consultants
Business Consultant Job Outlook
How to Become a Consultant
How much should you charge as a consultant?
How to Find Consulting Clients
What is a consultant?
A consultant is a person who’s an expert in a particular field who gives professional advice to individuals and businesses in their area of expertise, usually on a temporary or contract basis until a particular need has been met.
Companies hire consultants to:
- Get an objective, outsider opinion on processes or systems
- Solve for internal blindspots
- Receive expert guidance on solving a problem or implementing a solution
- Fill a temporary staffing gap in a scalable way
- Get access to expertise that is difficult to source and hire for (such as for a niche technology or other use case)
Because consultants work on a contract basis, there are no set qualifications to be a consultant. It comes down to what the organization needs and how well you can sell your offer.
However, businesses expect consultants to give expert-level advice, and consulting jobs are competitive. This means that the more you can do to excel, the more likely you are to reach your goals.
Consultant education requirements are subjective and flexible. The importance of your education really comes down to the buyer’s perception of value.
Most consultants have a bachelor’s degree. If you’re not sure which degree is best, consider a business degree. This field of study is broad enough to cover many topics.
Other popular degrees for consultants include:
- Public relations
Some consultants add a minor or double major to specialize in a specific industry. Whether you choose healthcare, education, or engineering this can help improve your job prospects.
It’s important to choose a degree that helps you learn core concepts in consulting like:
- Data analysis
- Project management
- Public speaking
- Advanced education is also not required. But an MBA (Master of Business Administration) is helpful for many consulting careers.
MBA programs can help consultants improve their skills in leadership, management, and economics. This can speed up career advancement in consulting.
Like education, you don’t need certifications to become a consultant. At the same time, certification programs can cover hard and soft skills that degree programs may not cover. They also make it easy for potential employers to see your dedication, professional knowledge, and commitment.
This article appeared first at HubSpot on Aug 15, 2022