While it may not be necessary to obtain a graduate degree in order to pursue a career in consulting, applicants who have a master's or Ph.D. may be more desirable to potential employers. In the article below, we will discuss several of the best graduate degree programs for individuals who are interested in becoming consultants by highlighting program details, curriculum, and structure.
Best Types of Graduate Degree Programs for Careers in Consulting
Master's Degree in Project Management
One graduate degree option that may be helpful to individuals seeking careers in consulting is a master's degree in project management. At the graduate level, these programs are most commonly offered as Master of Science degrees and may be housed in a university's Professional Studies department, though other programs may be more focused in specific fields like engineering. These degree programs are designed to equip students with skills in project planning, problem-solving, and human resources, all of which are very helpful in the field of consulting. Some programs may provide students with opportunities to specialize their studies by pursuing a concentration in an area like business management or sustainability. These programs are often available on a full and part-time basis and may be completed in as little as one year, depending on the pace in which students elect to complete the program.
Master of Business Administration
Another commonly pursued graduate degree option for future consultants is a Master of Business Administration. While MBA degrees are designed to prepare students for a wide variety of careers in the business field and elsewhere, some programs have specific consulting concentrations that are designed to prepare students to be successful in the consulting field after graduation. Some programs may even allow for further specialization, depending on what area a student is interested in, such as healthcare or strategy. Students who enroll in MBA programs on a full time basis can typically complete the program in two years, while part-time programs generally allow for greater flexibility in terms of the time frame for completion.
Master's Degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership
A master's degree in organizational behavior and/leadership is another option that could prepare students for a career in consulting. These programs may go by a number of different names, like organizational behavior, development, leadership, or a combination of these fields, depending on their specific focus. In general, these programs typically provide students with insight into how to effectively approach the many challenges that organizations and companies may face. Within the programs, it may be possible for students to further specialize in the area of consulting that they are interested in by taking coursework relevant to that field. A number of these programs are available online, allowing students a great deal of flexibility if they wish to pursue their degree while they continue working.
Admission Standards for Graduate Degree Programs in Consulting
Each of the programs described above may have some different standards for admission, depending on the nature of the program. Therefore, it is advised that each student check with the specific programs they are interested in applying for to see what is specifically required in order to gain admission. Typically, however, the application process for these programs remains the same. Prospective students will be expected to submit undergraduate transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, the GRE or GMAT scores, and a resume.
To summarize, there are a number of degree program options that are particularly well-suited for prospective professional consultants. These programs will provide students with the edge they need when applying to competitive jobs, as they equip students with practical, as well as theoretical knowledge and skills.