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Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?

 
#1 Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
28/04/2012 22:25

GT

Hi All,

I have been offered a place on a MSc mgmt consultancy course, with a reputable graduate school in Ireland. I have a BSc Hons in architecture as my primary degree, but unfortunately I only achieved a 2.2.

I do want to get into the world of consultancy, as I think it is a career that would suit me, and one that I would enjoy...but my worry is that even with a 2.1 or 1.1 in this masters, I may struggle to get the job I want because of the 2.2 undergrad degree. I have heard that the Big4 companies will not even let you apply unless you have a 2.1 in your primary degree.

Although I would like to, I am not necessarily looking to work for one of the Big4, and would be happy to consider an in-house consulting role, or indeed a boutique specialist consultancy firm (as long as the role was still dynamic and challenging). Would there be many opportunities out there for someone like myself? I feel my CV is fairly strong (languages, top school results, well-rounded interests) - bar the 2.2 in my undergrad.

What are the forum's thoughts on this? I need to make up my mind quickly so if anyone has some good advice I would really appreciate it.

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#2 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
29/04/2012 11:04

baykus to GT (#1)

I can't think of a more useless course to spend your time & money on. There are no mgmt consulting qualifications that anyone gives a toss about, they're all scams.

What you can do instead is go and get a masters in a useful topic, depending on which direction you want to go - finance, economics, IT, org behaviour etc.

Btw, you have a better chance of getting into Big4 than into internal consulting or many of the boutiques for that matter.

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#3 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
29/04/2012 11:22

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to baykus (#2)

GT - I would echo the views of baykus. I have never heard of a consulting firm going in search of people with these qualifications and most firms I've worked with would probably see it as a sign of desperation to try and get into the industry. Every reputable firm out there puts its new joiners through a rigourous training programme when they start, so any skills you'd learn on such a course would carry little weight as the firms would expect to train you up anyway on everything they consider to be important.

A 2.2 certainly makes it tougher to get into the consulting industry, but the door's not completely shut for you. However the willingness to compromise on a 2.1 or above is in large part a function of how much of a talent shortage there is. Right now graduate recruiting is still very much an employers' rather than a candidates' market, meaning that there's far more demand to secure a graduate job than there is demand to hire new graduates. IF - and it's a big IF - the hiring market had picked up by the time you'd finished a masters (in something worthwhile) then I'd say you'd stand a better chance then of getting in with a 2.2.

The other route to consider would be to draw on your personal network to try and find someone you know who can help you land an internship with a firm you'd like to join. Internships can provide the route to overcome the 2.2 objection, if your performance on the job is such that the firm wants to hire you regardless. Applying for internships without a personal "in" to the firms, you're still likely to hit the 2.2 objection - hence why this would be a matter of finding someone you know who can help to get you seen.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Tony Restell

Founder, http://www.Social-Hire.com and http://www.Top-Consultant.com

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#4 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
29/04/2012 20:17

GT to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#3)

Thanks for the response - really useful to find that out! Not sure what to do now though. I suppose I'll look at a specializing in a particular area via a Masters, but with a BSc architecture I won't be eligible for the most useful masters programmes.

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#5 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
30/04/2012 09:30

irlconsultant to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#3)

I'm in a similar situation as GT, trying to decide wether to accept offer for the MSC Management Consultancy course. What he/she didn't mention is that there is a guaranteed intership in the final semester as well as a compulsory project for a management consultancy firm in the second semester, would the Masters not be worth taking due to these experiences alone? I know for a fact that graduates of the course do get hired by big 4 firms and the likes of Accenture. Thanks in advance for your help.

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#6 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
02/05/2012 15:15

Camster to irlconsultant (#5)

I have an ex-colleague who did her MBA at Warwick. She mentioned something about MC, so I know Warwick does have this MC degree. Try to find out more about what happens after the course...

Tony and baykus both have valid points - consultancies have rigorous programmes to train new hires.

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#7 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
02/05/2012 18:43

Anon66 to Camster (#6)

On the other side of the fence, I have done some recruiting before for a smaller strategy firm. I found the Warwick course impressive. But it was a relatively a low order concern of mine. I primarily looked at:

- Campus leadership/engagement

- Academic record (I'm afraid)

- Work experience

- Interest in consultancy (anyone obviously applying to IBD gets dinged)

- Languages

- Cultural fit

My process is normally to filter out the no-hopers (80+%) on the first two or three metrics and then select between the rest on the next three.

2:2 in architecture is very difficult, even with Masters, at passing the first sift. Nevertheless, you can maximise your chances by excelling in the other areas. You could (eventually) do an MBA but that appears some way off. Another strong steer is to network like crazy and get a friend on the inside.

Hope this helps - apologies if this is very firm-specific.

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#8 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
03/05/2012 12:43

marsday to GT (#1)

GT

until rises in tuition fees made undergraduates seriously consider the ROI on their 3 - 4 years of toil and many more years of debt, one could do a degree in more or less anything a university thought it could sell.

BA in Football Studies anyone?

Just because a degree/certification exists doesnt make it applicable, relevant or worthwhile. And I would question whether there are any strong grad schools in Ireland frankly - certainly not of the calibre and reputation which will actually give you a very strong chance of recouping even a moderate investment.

Any anyway, consultancy isnt actually a job in itself - you dont learn ' consultancy' you learn methodologies to bring other expertise to bear on business issues, and the big challenge (and enjoyment) of an MC career is learning how to acquire the content while delivering that through thinking and structures which are usually hothoused breakthroughs industry side clients cant devote the time or resources to develop. Rather than waste your time and money on this certification go and get some real commercial experience so you can bring something to an MC firm. Your best route may be to go into industry, become an expert on something and move into MC as an experienced hire later in your career.

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#9 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
08/05/2012 13:36

briankg88 to marsday (#8)

Yes I agree to marsday.

Your best route is probably be to go into industry, become an expert on something and move into MC as an experienced profesional.

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#10 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
31/05/2012 08:34

kevin888 to GT (#1)

if you like the consultancy profession than why not you are looking for it

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#11 RE: Should I do a MSc in management consultancy?
25/06/2012 07:58

confianzyscom to GT (#1)

MSc in management Consultancy will not be a challenging and Interested course to you I think you should search any other course than MSC in management consultancy.

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