Strategy Consulting: Top Consulting Firms in 2021

Strategy consulting

Assume you’re an executive at a well-known magazine in the midst of a dilemma. You’re noticing that your website is gaining traction, but your physical copy sales aren’t what they used to be. You must decide on a course of action as soon as possible.
So, how much time, effort, and money should you put into your website? What kinds of online subscription models are there? Also, should you switch from weekly to quarterly releases for your printed copies?
If you were in this situation, you would almost certainly consider hiring a strategy consultant. They’d be in a good position to assist you in answering those questions. In this article, I’ll define strategy consulting, explain why business owners should consider it, and also show you how to get started. We’ll also see the top consulting firms in 2021, as well as the average salary of a strategy consultant.

What is Strategy Consulting?


When businesspeople — typically executives, boards, or management — bring in a third party to provide an outside, expert perspective on their business challenges, this is referred to as strategy consulting. Strategy consultants are typically expected to have extensive industry knowledge and to assess high-level business issues objectively. They take a comprehensive look at specific problems that businesses are facing and offer advice on how to approach them.

In the preceding example, a strategy consultant with expertise in digital transformation could assist the publication in determining how to proceed.

They’d discuss whether the website’s ad revenue would cover the loss of reduced subscriptions. They could collect data on the company’s IT infrastructure to determine if it could handle more web traffic. They could also make an educated guess as to whether people will still be interested in the company’s printed magazines in a few years.


At the very least, they would provide some clarity and provide the company with additional points to consider.

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Why should you hire a Strategy Consultant?


The term “strategic consulting” may raise some eyebrows.

Why do businesses require the services of outside industry experts? Shouldn’t company executives be experts in their own right? Can’t they bring in other employees from within the company to help them deal with these issues in-house?

The answers to all of these questions are mostly a matter of concentration and objectivity.

When you hire a strategy consultant, it is usually for a set period of time. You expect them to devote all of their time, effort, and energy to a specific problem within that time frame.

Strategy Consultants Roles


Strategy consultants have a presence in almost every industry and can provide an unbiased, expert opinion on business issues. They provide fresh, objective perspectives on difficult issues and ensure that businesses consider all options when making major decisions.

In the preceding example, a strategy consultant would be solely concerned with the publication’s transition from print to digital and the implications of that transition. So, that would be impossible for the company’s executives to do. They’d have to manage an entire company. So, they wouldn’t have time to become obsessed with individual topics.

Strategy consultants also provide objectivity that cannot always be expected from employees. Boards, executives, and other managers have vested interests in their companies. Also, these stakes are frequently accompanied by biases and preconceptions that can cloud their judgment on specific issues.

A strategy consultant brings a fresh set of eyes to the table. They are not tethered to the company by personal investment. So, their decision should be clear and impartial. This way, executives can get an unbiased opinion from someone who is not affected by emotion or personal sensitivity.

Read Also: Technology Consultant: Overview of Top 10 Technology Consulting Companies

How to Start a Career in Strategy Consulting

strategy consulting salary

#1. Obtain the appropriate degree(s)

It may go without saying, but you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree — most likely in business administration or a related field — to get into strategy consulting. A bachelor’s degree, on the other hand, is the bare minimum for landing a strategy consulting job. There is no assurance that it will get you there.

Though there is no universal education standard for all consulting firms, graduates with MBAs are frequently preferred. Strategy consulting firms seek mature candidates with a strong understanding of business management, analytical skills, and a proven ability to solve problems.

Throughout your academic career, you should also seek internships, preferably with a consulting firm or in a high-demand industry. This will give you a head start on gaining the experience you’ll need to land a strategy consulting job later on.

Read Also: The Mentee Dilemma.

#2. Get a lot of practice under your belt.

Being a strategy consultant necessitates extensive business and consulting knowledge, and there’s also a lot that goes into it.

You must be able to conduct yourself appropriately in a boardroom. Because you will be working closely with executives, you must be able to communicate professionally and effectively with them.

Strategy consultants must also make difficult decisions regularly. They are paid to do just that. So, if you’re interested in the field, you’ll need the confidence and judgment to ensure that your advice is sound and actionable. You must also be prepared to explain the reasoning behind it at any time.

The majority of people are not born with all of these abilities. They bring with them years of experience. You’ll probably need at least a few years of experience in business and consulting before you can develop them. Also, keep in mind that strategy consultants are frequently experts in specific fields and business subjects.

Executives must have faith in the decisions they make. If you want to make critical decisions for a healthcare company without having worked in the industry, they are unlikely to take you seriously. So, the same can be said for a strategy consultant with no experience in technology implementation attempting to work with a company seeking advice on the subject.

#3. Acquaint yourself with the industry.

Strategy consulting firms are classified into two types. A firm can either specialize in strategy consulting solely (known as a pure-play firm) or offer it as one of several services.

McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company are the three most prominent pure-play firms. Ernst & Young, Deloitte, Accenture, Oliver Wyman, and CapGemini are also among the other firms with well-established or rapidly growing strategy consulting practices.

If you want to work in strategy consulting, you need to be familiar with such names. They could also be good places to start if you want to get your foot in the door.

Read Also: Financial Consultant: Everything you need (+ top skills)

Strategy Consultant Salary

Based on 58 salaries, an entry-level Strategy Consultant with less than one year of experience can expect to make an average total compensation (tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $72,151. Based on 398 salaries, an early career Strategy Consultant with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $83,738.

From 244 salaries, a mid-career Strategy Consultant with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $100,534 per year. So, based on 166 salaries, an experienced Strategy Consultant with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $120,206. Also, employees in their late-career (20 years and up) earn an average total compensation of $131,469.

Top 10 Strategy Consulting Firms 2021

#1. McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company is a management consulting firm that is privately held. Despite a decades-long commitment to confidentiality, it is widely regarded as the most prestigious company of its kind and has achieved near-universal renown.

#2. Boston Consulting Group

According to Forbes, Boston Consulting Group is one of America’s Largest Private Companies, with nearly 21,000 employees spread across 90 offices in more than 50 countries. 64.44 percent of votes cast

#3. Bain & Company

Bain & Company is a global consulting firm that assists the world’s most visionary change-makers in defining the future. So, across 59 offices in 37 countries, the firm collaborates with clients as a single team with a common goal.

#4. Deloitte Consulting LLP .

Deloitte provides audit and assurance, consulting, tax, and risk and financial advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including nearly 90% of the Fortune 500®.

#5. Accenture

Accenture is also a global professional services firm with 482,000 employees in over 120 countries, offers a wide range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations.

#6. PwC Strategy & Advisory

PwC’s (PricewaterhouseCoopers) Advisory practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC (“PwC Advisory Services”), also offers a combination of industry and functional expertise to assist clients in addressing their most interesting and complex business needs.

#7. EY (Ernst & Young) LLP Consulting Practice

EY has been assisting clients in staying on track for over two decades. So, Ernst & Young, the world’s second-largest accounting firm, employs 144,000 people worldwide and provides advisory, assurance, tax, and transaction advisory services.

#8. Oliver Wyman

Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC), a global professional services network with brands and affiliates in over 100 countries, owns Oliver Wyman. Oliver Wyman, a management consulting firm, is the largest component of Oliver Wyman Group.

#9. L.E.K. Consulting

L.E.K. Consulting is a global management consulting firm that helps business leaders achieve practical results with real impact by leveraging deep industry expertise and rigorous analysis.

#10. IBM Global Services

IBM Global Services works hard to improve the operations of its clients’ businesses. IBM’s consulting, systems integration, and applications businesses are all part of this group.

Conclusion

Strategy consulting is a fascinating profession that serves an important purpose. It’s also a method of providing businesses with clarity and assisting them in staying on track. A job in the field isn’t easy to come by, but with the right education, relevant experience, solid problem-solving skills, and sheer hard work, you can set yourself up for success.

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