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Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant

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Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2012, 08:31
Hey guys,

I am a little confused and was wondering if anybody could help clear it up.

A little bit of background:

I am a senior in my undergrad studies, and have accepted an offer from a large consulting firm for next year. I will be entering as an analyst, with hopes of being promoted to a consultant in a couple years (typical time according to the firm).

I guess my question is this: I see MBA grad's getting hired at the consultant level with a salary of around 120k to my firm. The firm says that I do not need an MBA to get promoted to consultant etc. I was wondering if anyone knew if internally promoted consultants (analysts to consultant) typically make as much as a consultant hired straight out of their MBA program. Pretty much, can I make that kind of money at the consultant level without an MBA. I ask because this next semester/summer would be prime time for me to study and take the GMAT before I start my busy consulting career, and then apply to schools a couple years from now. I appreciate any perspective you guys could offer.
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Re: Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2012, 09:30
It is better to do MBA. Though, it depends on: in which organization you are working and are you willing to stick to the same forever.

I would share my experience:

I work in a top most Indian IT firm and like most - this is a service based firm.
My role was of a developer when I joined, but for my good work, I got promoted to Business Analyst Role.

For an Analyst Role in IT services, you need an MBA degree. Anyway, I worked hard and better than MBAs for 1 more year. Then contract of my firm and the client got terminated for some reason and I was back to the common pool. To my surprise, even if my Managers knew my job and caliber, they could not push me to another Analyst role again. The reason was- client needed an MBA. And I was back to square one.

This might not happen to you, but it is better to consider all possibilities.
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Re: Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant [#permalink] New post 27 Dec 2012, 09:46
Thanks for your response!

That is interesting, so even though you had the previous experience, they would not put you in that role again? I am curious if this is similar in US firms? When you were working at the analyst position, did you find that your compensation was similar to the compensation that MBA graduates were getting paid at that same position. My concern is: The cost of 1. taking two years off of work for an MBA, losing compensation and possible career progression and 2. students loans and possible relocation. I realize that an MBA is a great degree to have, I am just curious if I can make up for not having an MBA with work experience. That being said, I think that if I was to apply I would be able to get into a top 10 program in a couple of years. Thanks again for your reply.
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Re: Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2013, 11:13
I've had experience at the type of consulting firm you mention, and the short answer is those that got internally promoted to a post-MBA position from undergrad were indeed making less than those hired directly out of b-school (although supposedly it evened out years and years down the road). Even though the bonuses and raises were at the top of the range for those getting internally promoted, hires out of b-school are having multiple firms compete for their talent which drives up their salary offers. Those getting directly promoted were some of the best post-MBA consultants, yet in some sense they were fine with a "below-market" salary, for a multitude of reasons.
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Re: Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant [#permalink] New post 05 Jan 2013, 13:59
Thanks for the reply. That makes sense. I think for most people who decide to stay at a consulting firm and not pursue their MBA their thought process is this: by the time I account for the money saved not going to school and the career progression in the two years I would have been at school, it's possible I'll be making the same amount, and with more work experience.

I took the GMAT in June and got a 690, I think I will spend the next semester studying and take it again before I start my job, with hopes of getting in the 720-730 range. This will allow me to keep my options open and not have to study while working. Thank you guys for your feedback.

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Re: Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2013, 20:16
Well, there are a couple things to think about.

1) There's such a thing as a consulting resume. They're basically powerpoint slides that go in a deck sent out to clients when projects start. Depending on the client and the project, clients will request specific people based on their resume. Like it or not, an MBA makes it more likely they'll pick you. If you get the more important, higher visibility gigs, you'll move up faster.

2) Yeah, you can get promoted without an MBA, but there is a glass ceiling. Every single partner in my firm has an MBA. That's a pretty strong indicator. I'm at the point that I'm not going to get promoted without one, and I already have an MS.
Re: Internally promoted consultant vs. MBA grad consultant   [#permalink] 26 Mar 2013, 20:16
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