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Digital Technologies Drive MBA Jobs In Consulting Sector

As business scrambles to profit from a barrage of data, MBA talent is being called upon to bulk up the digital service lines of consultancy firms.

Thu Mar 12 2015

BusinessBecause
Disruptive technologies have opened up new streams of revenue for myriad companies and the rapid growth of areas like big data, cloud computing and mobile has been felt by management consultancy firms as much as their clients.

As business scrambles to profit from a barrage of data, talent is being called upon to bulk up the service lines of consultancies like Accenture and BCG.

Consulting recruitment was up by 16% last year, according to statistics from UK-based Management Consultancies Association. Digital has been the engine of this surge.

The flow of business into the tech arms of professional services firms has been gaining pace over the past three years but is now coming to a crescendo.

Harry Gaskell, managing partner of advisory at EY, says the UK economy is being bolstered by a “pent-up demand to invest in and leverage the potential of new technology”.

Technology is now the fasting growing service line, up by 7.7%, according to figures compiled by Source Information Services, which writes specialist research on the consulting market, and in 2013 accounted for a quarter of firms’ income, according to the MCA.

Digital work has been the tide that has lifted consulting firms’ recruitment numbers beyond the growth of areas like financial services – which his grappling with a stringent regulatory environment.

Conrad Chua, head of careers at Cambridge Judge Business School, says: “Clients – they want to know how to use technology to understand big data – even McKinsey is building that capability – and that opens up opportunities for MBA students to work.”

Businesses are investing more in digital technologies and advisors that can map their implementation. This is good news for budding consultants – many of whom now graduate from top-tier business schools.

One of a growing number of teams within the top strategy firms, Accenture Digital now has more than 28,000 employees, and is the industry leader for digital services, according to HfS Research, an analyst group.

Mike Sutcliff, chief executive of Accenture Digital, says the firm was launched to better integrate and further expand capabilities in digital marketing, mobility and data analytics.

He says: “The application of digital technologies has created an entirely new set of opportunities and challenges for our clients.” But he adds that the shift to digital is still in its early stages.

The Accenture group has invested heavily in developing its next generation of leaders, spending $1.5 billion in training and professional development over the past two years.

“It’s an exciting time at Accenture, as we tap the potential of digital to create exceptional learning and career opportunities,” says Ellyn Shook, chief human resources officer.

Accenture is now having to compete with professional services firms for digital talent, as the big four auditors gear up to move further into advisory work, which can be more lucrative.

The big four are investing in in-house consultants to compete with the likes of Bain & Co and McKinsey. Deloitte has been one of the loudest. Its technology team – Deloitte Digital – has expanded quickly, in 2014 amassing more than 400 employees in a year.

Deloitte Digital is pioneering a move into promising tech services such as social media, digital marketing, sales automation and analytics.

In a recent interview with BusinessBecause, Paul Thompson, partner at Deloitte Digital, said: “We believe digital isn’t just going to become another channel – it’s becoming fundamental to the way businesses operate.”

He added that the group is hiring “aggressively”: “We are looking at talent from industry, agencies, other consultancies, graduates [and] business schools.”

It is a similar story at KPMG Digital and Analytics – the fast-growing wing of the big four auditor that will triple in number by the end of 2015, according to Mazhar Hussain, director of the group: “We’re looking for talent in the right markets – and internally.”

Analytics has been one of the most prosperous consulting areas, as companies look to mine revenue and insights from their data. “In some cases it’s that they just don’t understand the impact of the whole range of digital disruptors – from cloud to social media and analytics,” says Paul Connolly, director of the MCA Think Tank.

He adds: “We’re seeing across the industry more appetite for recruiting people with core digital skills… To meet what is seen as a very significant client need.”

Stephan Weidinger, corporate development manager at HEC Paris, says that younger MBA graduates can bring new mind-sets and an understanding of digital contexts into consulting firms.

“Knowledge of digital services will be a must-have requirement for all consulting jobs,” he says.

Beyond the big four and the large strategy houses, there is growth in job opportunity at mid-tier consultancies such as LEK and AT Kearney, and boutiques like Anchura Partners. “There’s going to be opportunities across the range,” says Conrad at Cambridge Judge.  

Student Reviews

HEC Paris

Student

Verified

7/07/2022

On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.

Sarah

Verified

18/03/2022

On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.

Student

Verified

29/10/2021

On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.

Veronique

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.

Ghadi

Verified

11/06/2022

On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.

Student

Verified

27/03/2022

On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.

Lb

Verified

26/03/2022

On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.

Rajarshi

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!

Student

Verified

19/10/2021

On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.

Student

Verified

7/07/2022

On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.

Sarah

Verified

18/03/2022

On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.

Student

Verified

29/10/2021

On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.

Veronique

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.

Ghadi

Verified

11/06/2022

On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.

Student

Verified

27/03/2022

On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.

Lb

Verified

26/03/2022

On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.

Rajarshi

Verified

28/10/2021

Blended

A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!

Student

Verified

19/10/2021

On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.

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