Management Consultant

Note: Completion of a TAFE SA course does not guarantee an employment outcome. Formal requirements other than educational qualifications (eg licensing, professional registration), may apply to some occupations.

Job Prospects
Openings 5 years to November 2025: > 50,000
Medium weekly earnings: $2067
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We'd all like to work in an organisation that runs without a hitch. But in real world organisations, problems are encountered from time to time. It's on such occasions that a management consultant's expertise might be called upon to assist.
There are over 1,300 management consultants working in South Australia. Employment is largely full-time and most work in the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; Financial and Insurance Services; and Public Administration and Safety. Majority of persons in this occupation are males and most are employed in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Most people employed in this occupation average 42 years of age.

TAFE SA courses that may be relevant for: Management Consultant

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  • Management consultants, who usually have specialist qualifications and experience in certain aspects of management, are called in to assist firms that want to improve the way they do business. Companies are usually looking to improve their efficiency or profitability. Being an outsider, a management consultant can often bring an objectivity that the organisation may not be able to achieve on its own. ''The role of being an advisor to senior decision makers is as old as civilisation itself. And, basically, a management consultant is an advisor,'' says David Palmer, the principal of a local management consultancy firm.

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  • It is advantageous to have completed a degree in a particular discipline, such as business or commerce (marketing is highly recommended for students as their major course of study) and to have gained some practical and managerial experience in the workforce before offering management consultancy services.

    TAFE SA offers courses relevant to this occupation including the Diploma of Business and the Diploma of Leadership and Management. Pathways include the Certificate III and IV in Business and Certificate IV in Leadership and Management.

  • Most management consultants have a basic professional qualification like engineering, accounting, psychology or computing. To be able to offer specialist expertise, you need to have completed a degree course and to have worked in that particular discipline for some years to gain practical experience, according to David. ''Sometimes, the larger management consulting firms will recruit top graduates directly from university and train them.

    Most management consultants, however, have usually worked either in managerial positions or in specialist support areas, before they become professional management consultants themselves,'' says Jennifer. Finding The Work ''Employment prospects for the profession are excellent as there has been significant growth in the occupation, but this comes with its challenges. You have to demonstrate that you have skills that are currently in demand, such as E-commerce skills in addition to sound business skills and a thorough understanding of the industry you work in. Management consultants often work on a contract basis.

  • Identifying where improvements can be made is the job of the management consultant. The key could lie in improving staff morale or in re-engineering operational systems. So it's important that management consultants derive pleasure from spotting problems and finding solutions to them. Both David Palmer and Jennifer Bishop, also the principal of a local management consultant firm, agree that: ''You've got to be excited about solving problems, piecing together puzzles, and applying theory to real life situations.'' It's not all about dealing with problems, however. There might be instances where a very successful company enlists the help of a management consultant to capture new growth areas for that business.

    When a management consultant is appointed, they will look at the organisation's systems, procedures and relationships to assess how individuals and the organisation can operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. To do this, they have to gather information relating to the function of each area within the organisation. This might involve interviewing managers or other staff, looking at any relevant, existing data and then identifying the key problem areas. Finding solutions or improvements, which very often have to be outlined in detailed reports, is also part of their role. In some cases, they may also be required to assist in the implementation of any new systems or procedures that they recommend.

  • Jennifer says the most beneficial personality traits include: ''A desire and aptitude for working with people at all levels of an organisation, a capacity for rapid learning and an ability to sell your ideas and services.'' Good management consultants also need to be attentive listeners and tactful communicators. Some of the typical assignments for management consultants include reviewing an organisation's corporate objectives, improving revenue and profitability and introducing new or better management techniques such as staff incentives.

  • The majority of a management consultant's work is done in an office. When they are required to assess a company's systems, they typically work at that company's premises.

    Further information:

    Institute of Management Consultants
    Phone: 1800 800 719