“I’ve been in technology for years – I want to solve business problems now.” ~ Students
“I don’t want to work in technology – I want to solve business problems.” ~ More Students
I spend at least 50% of my time convincing students of one thing: if you want to be a consultant, ignore technology at your peril. This is especially true when I’m advising students with technical backgrounds, looking to leverage an MBA for a career pivot.
Give the Customers What They Want
If the bulk of the demand is for technology experience and knowledge, that is what candidates should strive to offer. (Need proof? Check out our Featured Jobs section).
I’m not suggesting that you walk away from your career goals; I’m suggesting that there may be a more strategic way of getting there.
If you have technology experience and knowledge, it is a strategic advantage that can be leveraged to break into consulting. Target a firm that offers a broad spectrum of service lines (e.g. strategy and operations, human capital, and technology). Deliver exceptional work — while building critical relationships and learning about other areas of consulting. Then, if you discover other areas of interest, work with the firm’s leadership to make the move. Most firms are keen on keeping top talent and will often do their best to accommodate their consultants’ career goals.
(Note: technology consulting includes everything from strategy to implementation to ongoing maintenance and support – it’s not just coding! Also, today, there is rarely a business problem that can be solved efficiently and effectively without technology. More on that another time).
What Drives Revenues, Drives Headcount and Growth
Not convinced? Consider this: When I started back in 1999, technology consulting was still considered an “outsider” among the MBBs and the Big Fours. Today, technology consulting accounts for a large proportion of the MBB and Big Four revenues across all client industries served.
What does that mean for your career? Where revenue growth exists, so too does a firm’s investment — not only in headcount, but also in professional growth opportunities (e.g. more variety in projects, promotions, learning and professional development). Better chances of landing. Better chances of growth once you land.
I encourage you to take a closer look at the job postings in Featured Jobs — really look at the job descriptions. You should be able to see the strategic importance that’s placed on technology nowadays. I’m betting that you will find that technology consulting offers such a broad spectrum of excellent work that it will become a top career choice, and where you’ll want to stay.