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Young consultants enjoy their work

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London: Younger management consultants are highly motivated and report high levels of job satisfaction, according to a research report published by the MCA (Management Consultancies Association).

But the report, sponsored by Mindbench, also found that work-life balance is the most significant concern amongst young consultants, particularly women. The report, Who wants to be a management consultant? is based on a survey of 320 consultants with less than five years experience of the industry. They all work at MCA member companies.

High levels of job satisfaction

Two out of three young consultants rated their job satisfaction as good or very good and also reported high scores for the interest and diversity of their work and opportunities for advancement.

Alan Leaman, Chief Executive of the MCA, commented: "This generation of management consultants were attracted by the quality and interest of the work that they do. Consulting fits very well with what they are looking for in a career."

Work-life balance

A majority of consultants rated their work-life balance as good or average, and a further 7% said it was very good. This was an improvement on their previous perception of the industry before they joined it.

But these are relatively poor scores compared to other aspects of the consulting role, and the issue is felt particularly keenly by women consultants.

Women are much more likely than their male colleagues to rate their work-life balance as average rather than good. And they are also more likely to want to reduce the time they spend away from home over the next three years of their career.

Only a minority of young consultants (17%) say that they are unlikely to remain in the industry or plan to leave. A further 20% were unsure. Of these, nearly two thirds of women (63%) cited a poor work-life balance as their principal reason for leaving, compared with just 39% of men. Men are much more likely to say that salary is their top reason for leaving.

Alan Leaman commented: "This generation is putting a greater emphasis on work-life balance. Managers of consulting firms, and their clients, will need to respond effectively, particularly in order to retain their most talented female employees."

Other key findings in the research

  • Over half of the young consultants had undertaken an internship — the vast majority are paid.
  • Around a third of young consultants have a post-graduate qualification; the most popular is the MSc.
  • Recruitment is from a wide-range of UK universities. 64 are represented in this survey, although around two-thirds of the consultants went to a Russell Group institution
  • First degree qualifications vary enormously. Business is the most common, followed by economics and engineering. 15% have humanities or arts degrees.

The full report is available from the MCA

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