It’s not uncommon for certain industries to crossover, especially where there’s complimentary transferable skills. Tech strategy consulting and management consulting are two such industries.
Should you find yourself thinking about a career pivot, or if you’re torn on which industry to enter, the good news is that tech and management consultancies are highly complementary of each other. Quite often, it comes down to personal preference.
For comparison, here’s a few key differences between both roles, which may help when deciding which you’re better aligned with.
First, let’s go back to basics. Tech strategy consulting can range from designing through to developing bespoke technology and implementing it (and its management systems) into organisations. Unlike management consulting, this focuses on how to best use IT to achieve business goals, providing a complete end-to-end strategy.
So what is management consulting then? It can be described as the ways business organise and upgrade their systems and processes for growth. Unlike tech strategy, which focuses purely on digital transformation, management consulting considers wider solutions.
So then, what are the major differences and points to note, let’s find out:
At its core, consulting requires problem solving and strategic thinking, as well as good interpersonal skills in managing client’s expectations. You will need these skills in whatever discipline you pursue.
However, in tech strategy consulting, a digital mindset is a prerequisite, specifically addressing problems and finding solutions in real time. This means having a strong understanding of new and emerging trends, remaining agile, and being able to work in teams. By comparison management consulting can be more siloed.
Noted as one of the most important qualities that millennials look for in a job in 2021, having a work-life balance has never been more important. Being a consultant is a great way to manage your own time and schedules. But, in management consulting roles particularly, you will need to put client’s needs first, which can come at a price.
One of the biggest advantages in tech strategy consulting vs management consulting, is that the tech industry is more receptive to flexible working and, typically being a younger industry, understands the value of a work-life balance more.
One of the benefits of management consulting is that as long as you are performing well, you will progress in your field. In terms of professional development, this tends to centre around shaping business professionals, which requires strong leadership and interpersonal skills.
In the tech world, however, there is greater emphasis on achieving certain quotas and goals, which can make for a demanding environment. However, you may only require a particular bag of skills, which can take the pressure off a little There is also great opportunity for innovation and variety in this role, especially in smaller companies with a flat structure.
Ultimately though, as a consultant, the power lies within you, on where you take your career.
If it’s a priority to have the latest tools, and work for a company that’s forward-thinking, then tech consulting is one to consider. Management consulting, in contrast, can often lend itself to large corporate organisations, which have the tendency to take the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to software and hardware.
In the eternal strategy consulting vs management debate, compensation is highly paid in both roles. The average Management Consultant in Ireland earns around €49,300 annually, compared to slightly less €45,500 as a tech consultant.
With the right qualifications (such as a degree in IT, business development, etc), you can find suitable roles within the industry, even if you’re crossing over from one discipline to another. But competition can be tough, so one of the best ways to get a foot in the door, is through an experienced recruitment agent, who’s likely to have the best connections.
There is no wrong or right path to take when it comes to tech versus management consulting, only the one that is right for you. And, even if you decide to switch at a later date, both industries are highly compatible, making it easy to do so.
Each profession requires its own skills, qualifications and above all, the right personality and approach. Hopefully this overview has provided some guidance and helped you make the decision that is best for you.