Best degree for management consulting?

<p>I'm going to USC and I got in to the Marshall school of business. I'd like to get into consulting and wanted to know if a business administration degree was the way to go. If so, which one of the business concentrations would be best that USC offers?</p>

<p>Accounting
Finance & Business Economics
Information and Operations Management
Marketing
Management and Organization
Management Communication
Entrepreneurship</p>

<p>So far I'm thinking the entrepreneurship concentration would be best just because entrepreneurship. What do you think?</p>

<p>Lastly, any tips on how to get into the big name consulting firms? Anything helps, especially personal experience.</p>

<p>Thanks</p>

<p>What's management consulting?</p>

<p>I am asking you first.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What's management consulting?</p>

<p>I am asking you first.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>This made me chuckle. I don't think this guy has any idea what management consulting is, especially given his first thought of entrepreneurship.</p>

<p>^^ lol ....</p>

<p>To do REAL management consulting you should get work experience in the industry you want to spend your life in, then consult people on that industry. To do the administrative type management consulting that entry-level grads often do (making presentations/spreadsheets and then presenting your work to a large company), your choice of college is infinitely more important than your choice of major.</p>

<p>The reason I thought the entrepreneurship track would be nice is because these are the classes you would have to take:</p>

<p>BAEP 451: Management of New Enterprises (Intro to New Ventures)</p>

<p>Introduces students to the basic concepts and skills required to understand the nature of entrepreneurship, recognize opportunity, and assemble the resources to start a new business.</p>

<p>BAEP 452: Cases in Entrepreneurship (Feasibility Analysis)</p>

<p>This is a project course that guides students through the development of a new business concept and the preparation of a feasibility study to analyze the potential for market acceptance of the concept.</p>

<p>BAEP 453: Starting and Growing the New Venture</p>

<p>This course takes the student from a feasible concept to issues related to starting and growing a new venture.</p>

<p>BAEP 454: The Business Plan</p>

<p>This course gives students the opportunity to study the elements of a successful business plan and to put that knowledge to work in creating a comprehensive business plan for a new venture.</p>

<p>BUAD 301: Technical Entrepreneurship</p>

<p>This is a foundations course. During this course we develop a framework to study, analyze and understand the formation and creation of new ventures. We focus exclusively on entrepreneurs and firms that specialize in product innovation as well as organizations that espouse technology as their main source of competitive advantage. This course introduces students with a technical background to the inherent risks, issues and hurdles faced by both independent and corporate entrepreneurs. Major class objectives include learning to identify and evaluate market opportunities, intellectual property issues, evolution of the management team, capital structure, developing and evaluating business models, and management of startups and growth of new ventures.</p>

<p>All of which CAN be applied to management consulting. When trying to get a job with firms such as McKinsey & Co, or Bain & Co. or The Boston Consulting Group, there are case interviews that applicants must go through. And what do you know, there's a class on cases in entrepreneurship! It might not be the exact same thing, but I know it would be some damn good practice. And secondly there's the class on management in entrepreneurship. Again, sure it's not the same thing, but it would be good practice, and something good to refer to during a case interview. The description of the class does say, "Introduces students to the basic concepts and skills required to understand the nature of entrepreneurship, RECOGNIZE OPPORTUNITY, and ASSEMBLE THE RESOURCES to start a new business." The last two skills are required to be successful in any aspect of business, especially when consulting another company. </p>

<p>By the way I'm an intern at an company that assists start ups by helping them gain capital in order for the company to grow and further boost the economy. So I know what entrepreneurship is.</p>

<p>However, I do realize that the management and organization concentration also be helpful with these classes: </p>

<p>MOR 252: The Art of Case Analysis and Presentation (2.0 units)
MOR 461: Design of Effective Organizations (4.0 units)
MOR 462: Management Consulting (4.0 units)
MOR 469: Negotiation and Persuasion (4.0 units)
MOR 470: Global Leadership (4.0 units)
MOR 471: Managing and Developing People (4.0 units)
MOR 472: Power, Politics and Influence (4.0 units)
MOR 492: Global Strategy (4.0 units)
MOR 542: Strategic Issues for Global Business (3.0 units)
MOR 554: Leading Innovation and Change (3.0 units)
MOR 557: Strategy and Organization Consulting (3.0 units)
MOR 559: Strategic Renewal and Transformation (3.0 units)
MOR 561: Strategies in High-Tech Businesses (3.0 units)
MOR 562: Strategic Choice and Valuation Analysis (3.0 units)
MOR 569: Negotiation and Deal-Making (3.0 units)
MOR 571: Leadership and Executive Development (3.0 units)
MOR 572: Leadership and Self-Management (3.0 units)
MOR 579: The Business of Sports Entertainment (3.0 units)
MOR 590: Directed Research (1.0-12.0 units)
Crosslist MOR 592: Field Research in Business (0.5-4.0 units, max 12)
Crosslist MOR 593: Independent Research in Business (0.5-4.0 units, max 12)
Crosslist MOR 595: Internship in Business (0.5-2.0 units, max 9)
Crosslist MOR 596: Research Practicum in Business (0.5-2.0 units, max 8)
MOR 597: Consulting Project in Management and Organization (1.5-5.0 units, max 12)
MOR 601: Seminar in Organizational Behavior (3.0 units)
MOR 603: Seminar in Strategic Management (3.0 units)</p>

<p>I feel like the upside to the entrepreneurship track is that you get a more hands on approach to business through the classes, while the M&O track strictly gets you ready for just that, management and organization. But with entrepreneurship it's looking from the inside out, and with M&O it's looking from the outside in. </p>

<p>Just looking for opinions and insight here. Especially from those who have consulting backgrounds</p>

<p>There is no specific major that fits the discipline of management consulting, except for the "strategic management" concentration / major offered at some schools. Even still, you cannot offer "strategic consultations" unless you actually understand the fundamentals in business and management and also have professional experience from which to offer insightful ideas. Thus, as mentioned before, looking for the perfect major for becoming a consultant is largely irrelevant relative to school caliber / prestige. The reason for this trend is that because entry-level consulting analysts have little professional experience, they must compensate with unquestionable intellectual capabilities. In the Big 3 consulting, they hardly even recruit entry-level candidates, opting for people who have built the element of professional experience.</p>

<p>Interning at a venture capital firm, however, does seem like a good idea for a future in consulting.</p>

<p>If you are interested in Consulting (Bain, BCG, Deloitte, McKinsey) then any of the business majors you have listed would be fine. Finance and Business Economics would be a good one to consider if you enjoy the specific classes needed for that concentration. And all of the major consulting firms hire a lot of undergrads straight out of school. They typically look for people who majored in economics, math, business, engineering - although other majors with some coursework in math, etc. is good too. But they tend to recruit only at the top schools so where you go to school has an impact on whether you get an interview as much as your major, gpa, etc.</p>

<p>If you want to do consulting, you are better off as an engineering major than a business major of any kind (except maybe SCM or really analytical finance/stats). </p>

<p>Your entrepreneurship major that you listed sounds like it is all flash and very little substance. The reality of the matter is that management and entrepreneurship degrees are seen as the "easy" business degrees and are not highly respected.</p>

<p>I want to work in Small Business Consulting after I get some experience. I'm majoring in SCM, using all of my business electives for accounting. I'm also doing my program's equivalent of a minor in Entrepreneurship...it's a certificate that requires 12 hours of coursework and a summer internship placement.</p>

<p>That sounds like a great degree, derek.</p>

<p>
[quote]
If you are interested in Consulting (Bain, BCG, Deloitte, McKinsey) then any of the business majors you have listed would be fine.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Deloitte should not be in that group. They do not compete with the other three. </p>

<p>As far as getting hired at one of the other three, there are four ways to do it out of undergrad. The first (most common) way is to major in business and attend one of their target schools (usually the very top schools, like Wharton, UNC, UVA, etc.). If you attend a non-target school, even if it's a good school (like, say, Notre Dame), you have very, very little chance of being hired unless you're literally a Rhodes Scholar or the daughter of a former US president. </p>

<p>The second option (and the second most common) is to attend a very top school that they visit for MBAs and be a very top student (schools like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Duke, etc). Again, I'm stressing the "very top". The three big firms are very, very selective in who they hire and have no problem turning away 4.0 student body presidents from what most people would consider to be excellent schools.</p>

<p>The third most common option is to major in a non-business field, like engineering, and attend a very top school in that field (MIT, Georgia Tech, Caltech, Berkeley). Again, we're talking very top school with very top credentials (3.7+ GPA, etc). The major firms frequently visit these schools, though they hire less than they would at a Harvard or Wharton. </p>

<p>The final option is to know someone high enough in the consulting firm to get you an interview then to blow away that interview.</p>

<p>Of course you'll here rare exceptions: "I had a friend who went to Southwest Arkansas Technical Community College and had a 2.5 GPA and was hired by Bain" but these are rare exceptions and often there's more to the story than is being reported (that SWATCC student was hired as a secretary or her father is a managing partner).</p>

<p>One thing I'll also mention, even if one of the MBB do hire you out of undergrad, it's not a permanent position. They'll employ you for 2-3 years then you have to leave. If you can get into their target schools (and they'll pull strings if your GMAT or LSAT is reasonable), they'll pay for an MBA or JD then bring you back for a permanent position.</p>

<p>I would rather hire a management consultant with experience than a flashy degree.</p>

<p>I recommend selecting the degree that will get the best work experience, so you can actually get some consulting work.</p>

<p>
[quote]
I would rather hire a management consultant with experience than a flashy degree.</p>

<p>I recommend selecting the degree that will get the best work experience, so you can actually get some consulting work.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Of course, that's easy to say when you have absolutely no experience. The biggest advancement in consulting came in the 1930's when firms moved away from hiring experienced professionals and towards MBAs.</p>

<p>Why not hire experienced professionals? Someone with a large amount of experience in an industry gets mired by exceptions. They understand very granular levels of information about an industry or or a field or a task and have a hard time thinking at a higher level about how to change that process. Someone with less experience is more apt to ask the "so what" or "why" questions that lead to organizational change. So instead of hiring someone with 20 years of experience, you hire very smart people, put them in a role where they have some high level of technical support if there are questions, and you let them fly. Smart people figure things out pretty quick. The big three firms are the big three firms now (rather than just three of the big twenty) because that strategy has worked.</p>

<p>Banjo, mind busting out some links to that information?</p>

<p>I am going out on a limb and saying that Banjo has first hand experience in the field.</p>

<p>If not a business administration degree, then what do you recommend for someone who wants to get into consulting that wouldn't be an "easy" degree? And just curious, what makes a business administration degree "easy"?</p>

<p>As others have mentioned the first criteria to get hired as an undergrad into a top management consulting firm is to go to the top school you can. This is one of a very short list of careers where the school one attends makes a HUGE difference in getting jobs ... top schools look better to clients when presenting potential teams ... and top schools also vet candidates for the consulting firms. As far as picking a major any major that hones the candidates analytical, writing, and presentation skills should be fine ... the consulting firms want people who can take in and process information very quicky, see themes and patterns, and can think and speak on their feet. (PS - Entrapenurship (sp?) is not a major I think of when I think of top management consulting firms ... most work for the big-time firms are with large established firms (who can pay big bucks) ... frankly, one of the biggest challenges is creating change in an old set-in-it's-ways large organization ... sort-of anti-entrapenuralship)</p>

<p>@3togo</p>

<p>Well the entrepreneurship thing is not a major it's a concentration. So I take all the business admin degree course requirements which are: </p>

<p>BUSINESS PREREQUISITES UNITS
ECON 203* Principles of Microeconomics 4
ECON 205* Principles of Macroeconomics 4
MATH 118x** Fundamental Principles of the Calculus (MATH 125 Calculus I may be substituted) 4
MATH 218*** Probability for Business 4
WRIT 140 Writing and Critical Reasoning 4</p>

<p>Business Core
Business majors begin taking the business core program as freshmen and complete it during their junior and senior years. Students are urged to complete most of these courses during the junior year so that they can pursue their concentration and courses in other areas of interest during their senior year.
BUSINESS CORE UNITS
BUAD 250ab Core Concepts of Accounting Information 4-4
BUAD 302 Communication Strategy in Business 4
BUAD 304 Leading Organizations 4
BUAD 306 Business Finance 4
BUAD 307 Marketing Fundamentals 4
BUAD 310 Applied Business Statistics 4
BUAD 311 Operations Management 4
BUAD 350 Macroeconomic Analysis for Business Decisions, or
BUAD 351 Economic Analysis for Business Decisions 4
BUAD 497 Strategic Management 4</p>

<p>Then there's the concentrations:</p>

<p>Areas of Concentration
In addition to the core courses, students are required to concentrate in an area of business. The intent is for students to gain a deeper understanding of a specific field in which they have interest.</p>

<p>But if you still think entrepreneurship as a concentration isn't a good fit what about the management and organization concentration?</p>

<p>Here they are again:</p>

<p>MOR 252: The Art of Case Analysis and Presentation (2.0 units)
MOR 461: Design of Effective Organizations (4.0 units)
MOR 462: Management Consulting (4.0 units)
MOR 469: Negotiation and Persuasion (4.0 units)
MOR 470: Global Leadership (4.0 units)
MOR 471: Managing and Developing People (4.0 units)
MOR 472: Power, Politics and Influence (4.0 units)
MOR 492: Global Strategy (4.0 units)
MOR 542: Strategic Issues for Global Business (3.0 units)
MOR 554: Leading Innovation and Change (3.0 units)
MOR 557: Strategy and Organization Consulting (3.0 units)
MOR 559: Strategic Renewal and Transformation (3.0 units)
MOR 561: Strategies in High-Tech Businesses (3.0 units)
MOR 562: Strategic Choice and Valuation Analysis (3.0 units)
MOR 569: Negotiation and Deal-Making (3.0 units)
MOR 571: Leadership and Executive Development (3.0 units)
MOR 572: Leadership and Self-Management (3.0 units)
MOR 579: The Business of Sports Entertainment (3.0 units)
MOR 590: Directed Research (1.0-12.0 units)
Crosslist MOR 592: Field Research in Business (0.5-4.0 units, max 12)
Crosslist MOR 593: Independent Research in Business (0.5-4.0 units, max 12)
Crosslist MOR 595: Internship in Business (0.5-2.0 units, max 9)
Crosslist MOR 596: Research Practicum in Business (0.5-2.0 units, max 8)
MOR 597: Consulting Project in Management and Organization (1.5-5.0 units, max 12)
MOR 601: Seminar in Organizational Behavior (3.0 units)
MOR 603: Seminar in Strategic Management (3.0 units)</p>