For quite some time, a generalist approach to consulting was the order of the day. With a few of the head honchos in the industry, like McKinsey and KPMG, adopting this traditional approach it only seems fair to wonder if things will stay the same or if any changes are afoot. Is specialist consulting becoming more popular, or will the generalists continue to monopolize the field?
The idea of a consultant who is somewhat of a ‘jack of all trades’ may have been appealing in the past, but the overwhelming growth of the industry over the last few decades has shed light on some interesting changes. Large firms and corporations are leaning towards specialized input more and more. Consulting firms are finding themselves having to make some serious changes to their consulting career models in order to keep up with the technological advancements going on around them.
Consulting firms tend to expect generalist consultants to work on specializing on a particular field within a maximum of three years of joining the firm.
Junior consultants are required to be pro-active in managing their careers. It is up to the individual consultant to guide their career in the direction of their chosen speciality lest they be forced into a position they aren’t passionate about. It is important to take on as many assignments in your preferred field early on in your career to cement yourself as the expert first within your firm and then within the industry at large.