Are you a natural problem solver? Do you like to think of creative solutions to complex issues? Are you interested in a project-based, dynamic line of work? If so, you may enjoy consulting. Businesses hire consultants to do things like market analysis, client research, trend forecasting, marketing suggestions and give other types of business advice. Consultancy can be a highly lucrative line of work, which is why it is often a highly competitive position. Luckily, EDUopinions have compiled a list of the best business schools for consulting so that you can find the education best suited to you and your goals.
Why Study Consulting?
If you are interested to get into this highly competitive, yet rewarding, line of work then studying a related programme can give you a clear head start. You’ll learn the techniques and frameworks required to conduct this type of work whilst also developing soft skills that will help you succeed. These skills include critical thinking, problem-solving and analytical competencies.
If you are hoping to secure a position within one of the top consultancy firms then having a related business qualification can also help you stand out against the 1,000’s of graduate applications received each year.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CAREER IN CONSULTANCY?
As a consultant, life never stays still. You’ll get constant on-the-job training as you learn about different industries, business models and markets. If you are a commercially-minded individual then this is a role in which you’ll never be bored!
Additionally, the earning potential in consultancy is one of the highest in the world of business. Although, in exchange expect to work hard and often long hours. If you’re interested in travel then some consultancy roles can offer great opportunity to work with businesses in other markets and many consultancy firms will offer secondments to offices in other countries.
EDUopinions’ list of the best business schools for consulting:
INSEAD Business School
With campuses in Singapore, Fontainebleau (just outside Paris) and Abu Dhabi, INSEAD offers students not only an excellent quality of education but also the option to study in three very different parts of the world. Such a multicultural foundation makes for highly-international classrooms, with more than 80 nationalities represented at INSEAD.
INSEAD’s MBA programme is especially well-suited to those hoping to become consultants. The 10-month course allows students to choose from 75 different electives, meaning graduates of INSEAD come away from their studies with expertise in a specific field. This type of education is perfect for future consultants, who will be expected to know the ins and outs of a specific industry. Without a doubt, a degree from ISEAD is a life-changing experience which is part of what makes it one of the best business schools for consulting.
London Business School
The London Business School – LBS is another institution to consider for aspiring consultants. Ranked as the best business school in Europe, with 92% of graduates finding employment within three months of graduation, LBS is truly a launchpad for future success. Their two-year MBA is an incredibly comprehensive programme, with the first year covering a wide range of core business content. The second-year is entirely customisable, with options for different modules, study abroad opportunities and even flexible exit points.
Another advantage of LBS is its location in London, the financial and business capital of Europe and second only to New York globally. Getting your foot in the door with some of the city’s most influential companies could not be easier than with a business school like LBS. For these reasons, it easily ranks among the best business schools for consulting.
Saïd Business School – SBS
Also located in the United Kingdom, Saïd Business School is the business school within the University of Oxford. Benefiting from the wealth of resources and research output from its parent institution, Saïd is unique among business schools in its intensive and individualised pedagogy. Designed for those currently enrolled in business-related master’s degrees, Saïd’s Consulting Development Programme trains students especially for the rigorous interview process of the world’s top consultancy firms. The programme is simultaneously inclusive and competitive, allowing students to work at whatever pace is most productive for them. Students advance from stage to stage after achieving certain benchmarks. On account of its rigour and unique flexibility, it is not hard to see why this programme is one of the best for aspiring consultants.
ESCP Business School
Prestigiously accredited by the French Conférence des Grandes Écoles, ESCP is another one of the best business schools for consulting. With campuses across Europe, ESCP is particularly well-suited to those hoping to work in international business. Their MSc in Digital Project Management & Consulting is a near-perfect programme for aspiring consultants.
During the degree, students study in Berlin and Madrid across three terms, with their final term consisting of an internship and master’s thesis. Graduates of ESCP have great success, with 98% finding work less than three months after graduation and 67% finding work outside their home country. For those interested in a highly international study experience, ESCP is an excellent option for your future career in consulting.
Warwick Business School – WBS
Warwick Business School’s MSc in Business with Consulting is another high-quality degree for those considering a future career in consultancy. The programme consists of three terms, each with compulsory and optional modules to provide students with the basics of consulting as well as space to specialise. Something setting Warwick apart from many other business schools is its emphasis on real-world knowledge. In practice, this means that students make connections with industry experts and consulting practitioners who come to campus and complement their classroom learning.
At the end of the programme, students have the option to write a dissertation or undertake a ‘Business in Practice’ module, in which they develop applied skills for their specific industry of interest. All in all, Warwick is one of the best business schools for consulting, preparing graduates for success wherever their interests lay.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – VU
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – VU offers the Management Consulting Master which is the right place to start in order to become a management consultant. With this programme, you’ll be combining an academic mindset (learning theories and thinking critically) with consulting in practice (gaining real-life experience with businesses in the field).
In addition to Management Consulting courses, you’ll have the opportunity to take electives from the HRM, International Management, Leadership & Change Management or Strategy & Organisation programmes.
University of Bath
The University of Bath School of Management’s MSc in Human Resource Management and Consulting combines general business studies with specialist human resource management knowledge and consulting skills. This 12-month master’s degree combines theory with practical application through organisational challenges. In the second semester, you can customise the course with optional units covering a range of topics from Project Management to Strategies for Sustainability. The final dissertation allows students to demonstrate critical thinking and develop their written skills. The School of Management also provides career development and a host of extracurricular activities designed to enhance the student’s CV. Graduates of this degree have gone on to work in a variety of business and management roles including Consulting, HR and Business Development.
EMLyon Business School
EMLYON Business School offers the MSc in Strategy & Consulting, an 18-month programme addressed to those who want to become Strategic Makers. It develops expertise in strategy consulting and builds students’ career at a strategic level, as managers or as consultants. It requires strong academic knowledge in strategy consulting and the capacity to adapt to a very challenging environment.
Students benefit from a true international exposure thanks to this strategy and consulting course. They develop the skills and reinforce their intercultural abilities to work worldwide in multicultural teams (learning trip in Boston and an academic semester in Shanghai).
EMLYON business school has always worked closely with the business community in order to provide students with quality internship and job offers, as well as privileged contact with companies and top strategy consulting firms.
CBS International Business School – CBS
CBS International Business School is a German business school with campuses in Cologne, Mainz and Potsdam. Benefitting from a network of over 120 partner universities around the world, CBS International offers students the opportunity to study abroad during their programme. For those looking into consultancy, their MSc in Strategic Management and Consulting is an exceptional programme to consider.
Taking place across four semesters with an integrated internship between first and second years, this degree at leaves graduates with a theoretical foundation in business as well as practical experiences, ensuring students’ future employability. Another perk of this programme is its cost; at 5000€, it is considerably less expensive than the others on our list. This, among many other reasons, makes CBS International one of Europe’s best business schools for consulting.
UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
The MSc in Management Consultancy at UCD provides a detailed understanding of the global consulting industry – how it works, its dominant players, key success factors and the management issues that drive it, how and when to use different consulting tools and methodologies, how to write a consulting proposal and other key skills needed to be a successful management consultant. Guest speakers from the consulting industry, including recent course graduates, provide additional insight and expertise.
As part of the course, students work directly with companies, completing Company Clinics with SMEs in Semester 1, and a live consulting project for a client company in Semester 2.
The ideal candidates of this course are graduates in business or economics keen to pursue a career in the highly competitive and increasingly global management consulting industry.
INSEEC Business School
Finally, the last school on our list is INSEEC Business School, a powerhouse business school known for launching young professionals into their dream careers. With campuses in Paris, Bordeaux, Lyon and Chambéry, INSEEC offers an MSc in Consulting & Business Development in each of its four locations. The content of this course focuses on training students on how to support the work of businesses and assess their functioning from an external point of view. In this sense, it is one of the most consulting-relevant programmes on this list, presenting students with solutions to the challenges of consulting before they even begin their careers in earnest.
One thing to note about this programme is that it is only offered in French, but taking on that challenge could very well pay off, as French is an extremely common language in the business world. As such, EDUopinions’ list of the best business schools for consulting would be amiss without INSEEC.
In conclusion, this article has detailed the best business schools and programmes to launch students into successful careers in consulting. All of these institutions offer something unique to aspiring consultants, and it may be difficult to choose between them.
If that is the case, or if you have any other questions about your journey through university and beyond, be sure to read EDUopinions’ other content for more advice! See our article on the ten best business schools in Europe or our article on the top-ranked business programmes based on student reviews.