What Can You Do With an MBA in Consulting?

What Can You Do With an MBA in Consulting?

Many professionals face challenges when trying to find their way in the consulting industry. An MBA (Master of Business Administration) in consulting helps graduates develop a strong skill set for analyzing businesses, solving problems, and working with clients, which can be a great stepping stone to a successful career. So, what can you do with an MBA in consulting? Let’s find out!

Featured Programs

What Can You Do With an MBA in Consulting?

An MBA in consulting is ideal for individuals looking for a career in business or finance that emphasizes teamwork. Professionals with an MBA with a concentration in consulting are highly sought after by companies, nonprofits, and even governments.

Two women with their notebooks out, facing each other during a one on one meeting

Moreover, high-paying jobs and scope for advancement are readily available to MBA graduates. The average salary for this field is $96,044 per year, which increases with experience, according to PayScale.

Management Consultant

Based on their areas of expertise, these consultants assist organizations in enhancing their public personas, management techniques, and general productivity. Consultants who excel at what they do have solid abilities in project management, strategic planning, and company analysis.

To convey their evaluations of businesses’ procedures, they often need excellent presenting and public speaking skills. As part of their regular work, consultants may be required to present research and advise clients on how to enhance their businesses.

A master’s degree in consulting can increase a management consultant’s annual salary to an average of $96,044. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs in this field will grow by 10% by 2032.

Marketing Manager

Marketing managers collaborate on advertising and merchandise initiatives by using market research. In this role, they track the development of marketing efforts and use that data to inform future moves.

These professionals need to be very organized, have excellent time management abilities, and think strategically about marketing.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a 6% increase in this sector’s employment by 2032, which is 3% higher than the national average. The average annual compensation for a marketing manager is $72,703, according to PayScale.

Project Manager

A project manager is someone who watches over every detail of a company project. These experts maintain meticulous records of every aspect of ongoing collaborative projects, collaborate closely with colleagues, inspire one another, and make sure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.

They need to be able to lead well and manage their time well. In addition, they are responsible for overseeing the project’s finances and other necessary resources.

A project manager’s average annual income is $79,849, according to PayScale. The BLS expects a 6% increase in management job openings by the year 2032.

Man showing data reports to his clients

Business Consultant

Consultants in this field often focus on data analysis, business strategy, and information technology, among other areas of expertise. They are there to help new enterprises get off the ground. Existing businesses that are going through tough times can also benefit from consulting with business experts.

Their end goal is to share their knowledge and show workers how to become more productive. Leadership and communication skills are a must for any business consultant hoping to achieve success.

The yearly average pay of $80,726 is about the same as other MBA jobs.

Strategy Consultant

Consultants specializing in business strategy may help companies with both immediate and future problems by providing research, statistics, and support with logistics. They are responsible for creating plans for management and assisting with the planning and execution of improvements to the day-to-day operations of a company.

In addition to being excellent analysts and problem solvers, many strategy consultants also have solid knowledge of company investment and financial matters. Large and small businesses, as well as other organizations and government agencies, are common employers of these experts.

A strategy consultant’s average annual income is $97,563, according to PayScale.

What is an MBA in Consulting

Most people who get an MBA are already quite good at managing their time, communicating effectively, getting along with others, and solving problems. These programs supplement bachelor’s-level business instruction, allowing graduates to compete more effectively in the employment market. A master’s degree in consulting also raises earning potential.

In the consulting industry, an MBA degree is generally required for well-paying positions such as management consultant, marketing manager, or project manager. The core curriculum of most master’s degree programs in consulting often covers topics such as organizational behavior, financial accounting, marketing management, asset valuation, and business ethics.

Students pursuing a master’s degree in consulting online may be required to finish a final project demonstrating their expertise in course material and competence in their chosen field.

Why should you get an MBA in Consulting

Earning an MBA in consulting can fast-track your career and open doors to top-tier positions. Data from MBAcentral.org indicates that some MBA graduates see returns on investment ranging from 250% to 325%.

MBA courses focus on vital management skills, ethics, and analytics. A specialized MBA in consulting enhances these skills with training in risk management, leadership, and effective communication strategies.

Post-MBA consulting roles offer substantial salaries, averaging between $59,000 and $143,000 annually, according to PayScale. With experience and expertise, MBA graduates have ample opportunities for career growth and higher earnings than those with just a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

White paper with printed text of the word Marketing Strategy written on it, with books, pens and a pot of plant on the table

How does an MBA Help Consultants

An MBA is a master’s degree program that teaches you the ins and outs of running a company from top to bottom. To further prepare for a top-down corporate style, MBA graduates also acquire and develop important soft skills and leadership principles.

Additionally, graduates of MBA programs often find themselves with a wider business network and a more well-rounded view of the corporate sector. If you are thinking about becoming a consultant, these things are bound to help you grow.

Some of the most important takeaways from an MBA program that benefits professionals in consulting include:

  • Project management: It’s one thing to inform an organization of a problem; assisting them in resolving the issue requires expertise. Project management allows experts to counsel customers on company improvement initiatives.
  • Professional network: Gaining clients’ trust is important in consulting, and you can only do it by establishing a solid reputation and expanding your professional network.
  • Negotiation: As a consultant, you may find yourself in a sticky scenario where you need to mediate an interpersonal dispute or something similar. This is why MBA programs equip students with entire modules focused on the art of negotiating.
  • Strategic thinking: You require strategic thinking skills to assist businesses in solving their problems. MBA graduates learn to solve complicated problems, both for themselves and for the companies that hire them.
  • Communication: Earning a master’s degree in business administration will help you become a better communicator and team leader, regardless of your background or experience.
  • Knowledge of disruptive trends: MBA programs will help you learn about current trends in your area of expertise and what to expect in the future.
  • Diverse perspective: MBA students learn to think critically and creatively about challenges from multiple angles, a skill every consultant must possess.

Top 5 MBA Programs for Consulting

Now that you know about what you can do with an MBA in consulting, here are some of the top programs you can choose from if you’re interested in pursuing this degree:

Other Rankings

Career Outlook for MBA degree at Northwestern University

Cost of Degree: $53,024
Expenses: $25,926
Starting Salary: $127,440
Salary after 4 years: $156,075
Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University

  • Average class size: 600-700
  • Percentage of students joining consultancy: 30-35%

Kellogg is one of the best MBA programs for consultants. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management classes typically have a medium size, with 600 to 700 students enrolled. 30-35% of these students are sent over to a consultancy.

In what ways is Kellogg exceptional? Kellogg’s program and culture place a high value on teamwork, collaboration, and communication. As a result of these factors, the school is known for producing students who are excellent team players, which is ideal for consulting.

Furthermore, both a very active club and an active career services program assist students in preparing for the case interview and the consultant interview process.

Dartmouth College

Hanover , NH
Other Rankings

Career Outlook for MBA degree at Dartmouth College

Cost of Degree: $61,056
Expenses: $21,144
Starting Salary: $150,363
Salary after 4 years: $184,149
Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

Tuck School of Business – Dartmouth College

  • Average class size: 280-300
  • Percentage of students joining consultancy: 30-40%

Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business ranks high on our list for several reasons. Despite its small class size, usually under 300 students annually, Tuck excels in curating a close-knit learning environment. This unique focus sets it apart in the business school landscape, drawing attention from prospective consultants.

A significant number of Tuck’s alumni pursue consulting careers, ranging from 30% to 40% of graduates. About one-third of them enter prestigious consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG, showcasing Tuck’s strong connections in the consulting industry.

At Tuck, leadership development is paramount. The program starts grooming first-year students early, providing training just one month into the program. Additionally, they offer in-depth guidance on case studies and interview techniques, often leveraging the expertise of staff members from top consulting firms to aid students in networking and interview preparations.

Table filled with dollar bills, printed papers, and a laptop

Columbia University

New York , NY
Other Rankings

Career Outlook for MBA degree at Columbia University

Cost of Degree: $54,627
Expenses: $19,958
Starting Salary: $157,731
Salary after 4 years: $193,172
Cost Recoup Time: 5 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

Columbia Business School – Columbia University

  • Average class size: 700-800
  • Percentage of students joining consultancy: 35%

Columbia Business School, traditionally known for finance, accommodates a sizable class size of 700 to 800 students annually. Remarkably, around 35% of graduates venture into consulting, with a median base salary similar to HBS or Tuck. The program emphasizes prestigious firms like MBB while nurturing relationships with boutique and finance-focused consulting firms like AlexPartners.

Columbia’s broad range of consulting destinations sets it apart. The school’s reputation for finance remains strong, attracting students with diverse career aspirations. Its strategic focus on both top-tier and specialized consulting firms makes sure graduates have lucrative opportunities in the competitive consulting landscape.

University of Virginia

Charlottesville , VA
Other Rankings

Career Outlook for MBA degree at University of Virginia

Cost of Degree: $21,742
Expenses: $17,790
Starting Salary: $124,498
Salary after 4 years: $153,362
Cost Recoup Time: 4 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

Darden School of Business – University Of Virginia

  • Average class size: 300-350
  • Percentage of students joining consultancy: 28%

Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia stands out for consulting preparation. Despite not ranking in the top ten, it excels in developing key consulting skills. Darden students are highly valued for their discussion abilities, interpersonal skills, and leadership qualities, making them attractive prospects to consulting firms like Bain and McKinsey.

While Darden’s average salary might be lower, its consulting placement rate is still impressive at 28%. The smaller class size fosters a personalized learning environment and strong connections with recruiters. Firms like the Big Four have a significant presence on campus. So students get many opportunities for networking and career growth in consulting.

Its focus on cultivating critical consulting skills and its ties with leading consulting firms make it a compelling choice for those pursuing a career in consulting.

Other Rankings

Career Outlook for MBA degree at University of Chicago

Cost of Degree: $66,492
Expenses: $22,596
Starting Salary: $140,539
Salary after 4 years: $172,117
Cost Recoup Time: 6 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

The Booth School of Business - University of Chicago

  • Average class size: 580-630
  • Percentage of students joining consultancy: 30-35%

The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago is renowned for its economic principles and innovation. While its focus on finance is prominent, around 30%-35% of students venture into consulting, a notable percentage given its median class size of 580 to 630.

Despite a smaller class size, Booth remains a solid choice for consulting aspirants, offering a wealth of opportunities and a strong reputation for producing analytical and innovative thinkers.

Booth’s emphasis on economic theories and analytical skills complements its consulting track. Its quality and intellectual rigor make it a respected institution in the consulting field.

Related Questions

What does a Consultant with an MBA do?

A consultant with an MBA advises businesses on strategy, operations, and management. They analyze data, solve problems, and help companies improve performance, profitability, and decision-making processes.

Is an MBA in Consulting Worth it?

Yes, an MBA degree is in consulting is often worth it due to career acceleration, diverse skill development, and high earning potential. However, individual outcomes depend on factors like program quality and personal career goals.

Which MBA Major Is Best for Consulting?

Consulting professionals would benefit most from an MBA with a focus on management consulting or strategic management. Aspiring consultants also have the option to gain certifications in areas such as entrepreneurship, marketing, or finance.


An MBA in consulting opens doors to a diverse range of career opportunities across industries. From management consulting to strategy roles, the skill set acquired equips graduates with problem-solving abilities, leadership acumen, and strategic thinking. This degree offers a pathway to lucrative positions and the chance to drive impactful business transformations.

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