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Business Planning Consultant: Education and Career Information

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a business planning consultant. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and career information to find out if this is the career for you.

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Business consultants take a knowledgeable yet removed viewpoint in helping to solve business problems. They are typically experienced with considerable knowledge and also have the skills to work with new clients.

Essential Information

Prior to making important decisions, many firms, businesses, organizations and agencies seek guidance from business planning consultants. These professionals provide businesses with valuable information and tips with a focus on producing positive outcomes. While it's possible to get a job as a business planning consultant with only a bachelor's degree, some employers look more favorably upon candidates with a graduate degree.

Required Education Bachelor's, although master's degree is more common
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 14% (for management analysts)
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $81,320 (for management analysts)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Education Requirements

Aspiring business planning consultants can earn a bachelor's degree, but consulting firms typically prefer to hire applicants who possess a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Although there is not a specific degree program that schools offer to become a business planning consultant, there are several relevant fields of study, including business administration, economics, management, finance and marketing. If a student has a specific industry of interest, such as healthcare or law, he or she might want to major or minor in a subject relevant to that field.

While there are many educational career paths from which aspiring business planning consultants can choose, there are some business-related courses that are similar for various programs. Business courses commonly address:

  • Human resource management
  • Management in a global economy
  • Security analysis and portfolio management
  • Financial markets
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Business law

Career Information

Business planning consultants advise clients by providing knowledge and expertise in various business-related areas. They gather and analyze data, communicate with clients to give information and suggestions, create reports, develop business goals and help businesses make decisions to positively affect the outcome of their company. There are consulting firms in the fields of science and technology, distribution and logistics, healthcare, occupational safety, marketing, management and general business.

Job Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for management analysts, which includes business planning consultants, are expected to increase 14% from 2014-2024, which is faster than average. The BLS also stated that management consultants earned a median salary of $81,320 in 2015.

Business consultants typically need a bachelor's degree and experience, but a master's can give practitioners an edge. They usually consult in a certain field to provide greater expertise on a specific topic. Businesses place an increasing amount of value in gaining an outside viewpoint and as a result the job is expected to have high job growth and strong salaries.

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