Best Majors for Consulting in 2024: Top 15 Majors

Best majors for consulting


If you’re considering a career in management consulting and wonder what the best majors for consulting are, then this article is for you.

 

The competition for management consulting jobs is fierce. Your college degree and major can give you an edge that makes you stand out from the crowd.

 

In this article, we’ll cover the 15 best majors for consulting. For high school and college students, this should help you decide on a major to pick in college. We’ll also cover five important tips in case your major is not directly relevant to consulting.

 

If you’re looking to break into consulting, make sure to check out some of the resources we list at the end of this article to give yourself the best chance of landing multiple consulting offers.

 

Does Your Undergraduate Major Matter for Consulting?

 

Most management consulting firms do not consider your undergraduate major as the only factor that makes or breaks your hiring chances. What firms care most about is your pedigree and your potential to become a great consultant.

 

When hiring, consulting firms take a holistic approach. In addition to your undergraduate major, they’ll look at your grades, test scores, work experiences, extracurricular activities, and interests.

 

Consulting is a very broad and diverse role that requires consultants to be skilled and knowledgeable in many different things. That is why majors that are completely unrelated to consulting may still have a place in consulting. Having different perspectives and a fresh set of eyes inspires creative solutions within a consulting team.

 

Still, some undergraduate majors will teach you skills that are useful for management consulting. Therefore, while your undergraduate major is not the most important hiring factor, it can directly affect how successful you will be during consulting interviews and as a full-time consultant.

 

Ultimately, consulting firms know they are hiring people, not majors or degrees. It all comes down to candidates’ abilities to learn, analyze, and solve problems.

 

What are the Best Degrees or Majors for Consulting?

 

Although most consulting firms don’t require a specific undergraduate major, below is our opinion on the 15 best majors for consulting. These majors will either make it easier for you to get an interview with your consulting resume, better prepare you to pass your consulting case interviews, or give you the foundational knowledge and skills to become a great consultant.

 

1. Business

 

Business majors develop a comprehensive understanding of fundamental business concepts such as marketing, finance, operations, and strategy. This broad knowledge base allows consultants to analyze businesses holistically, identify areas for improvement, and provide strategic recommendations to clients.

 

In addition, business majors acquire quantitative skills in areas such as accounting, finance, and data analysis. Consultants use these quantitative skills to analyze financial statements, conduct market research, and perform data-driven decision making, providing clients with valuable insights and actionable recommendations.

 

Business majors also develop strategic thinking skills, including the ability to analyze competitive landscapes, assess market opportunities, and formulate business strategies. Consultants apply strategic thinking to help clients identify growth opportunities, develop market entry strategies, and achieve their long-term business objectives.

 

Lastly, business majors hone their communication and presentation skills through coursework, presentations, and group discussions. Consultants use these skills to effectively communicate with clients, deliver compelling presentations, and articulate complex ideas in a clear and concise manner, building client trust and confidence.

 

2. Economics

 

Economics majors develop strong analytical skills through coursework in microeconomics, macroeconomics, and econometrics. Consultants use these analytical skills to assess market dynamics, evaluate industry trends, and analyze business performance data, providing clients with valuable insights and recommendations.

 

Additionally, economics majors are trained to apply economic principles and theories to solve real world problems. Consultants leverage this problem solving ability to identify opportunities, address challenges, and develop strategic solutions for clients across various industries and sectors.

 

Lastly, economics majors learn research methods and forecasting techniques that are applicable in consulting engagements. Consultants can conduct market research, analyze consumer behavior, and forecast market trends to help clients make informed decisions and develop effective business strategies.

 

3. Finance

 

Finance is another common undergraduate major for consultants that is closely related to business and economics. Business is all about profits and losses, and a finance degree fits right in.

 

Finance majors are trained to analyze complex financial data, which is a crucial skill in consulting. Consultants often deal with financial statements, market trends, and investment analysis, requiring strong analytical abilities.

 

Additionally, finance majors are knowledgeable in valuation techniques such as discounted cash flow analysis, comparable company analysis, and other methods used to determine the worth of a business or investment opportunity. These skills are useful when advising clients on mergers, acquisitions, or investment strategies.

 

Lastly, consultants often assist clients in identifying and managing financial risks. A solid understanding of financial concepts like portfolio diversification, hedging strategies, and risk assessment models allows finance majors to offer informed advice on mitigating risks and maximizing returns.

 

4. Accounting

 

Accountants are trained to analyze financial data, interpret financial statements, and understand accounting principles. This expertise is essential for consultants who often need to assess the financial health of a company, identify trends, and make recommendations based on financial performance.

 

Cost analysis and budgeting are essential components of consulting engagements, especially in projects involving financial restructuring, cost reduction initiatives, or budget planning. Accountants have the knowledge to analyze cost structures, identify areas for improvement, and develop realistic budgets and forecasts.

 

Lastly, consultants sometimes need to investigate financial irregularities, fraud, or discrepancies within an organization. An accounting major with a focus on forensic accounting provides the expertise needed to uncover discrepancies, analyze financial records, and provide expert testimony if necessary.

 

5. Engineering

 

Engineers are trained to analyze complex systems, identify patterns, and solve problems using quantitative methods. These analytical skills are highly valued in consulting, where consultants often tackle intricate business challenges that require data-driven insights and solutions.

 

Additionally, engineers have technical expertise in various fields such as mechanical, electrical, civil, or software engineering. This knowledge allows them to understand the intricacies of different industries and provide specialized advice to clients in areas such as manufacturing processes, technology implementation, infrastructure projects, or product development.

 

Lastly, engineers often work on projects with defined objectives, budgets, and timelines, requiring strong project management skills. Consulting engagements also follow a project-based approach, and engineers are well-equipped to manage tasks, coordinate teams, and deliver results within specified constraints.

 

6. Computer Science

 

Computer science graduates have a strong foundation in data analysis, programming, and statistical modeling. This expertise is extremely valuable in consulting, where analyzing large datasets, identifying trends, and extracting actionable insights are crucial for making informed business decisions.

 

Additionally, computer science majors are trained to solve complex problems using algorithms, computational thinking, and logical reasoning. This skillset is highly applicable in consulting, where consultants often encounter intricate business challenges that require innovative and data-driven solutions.

 

Lastly, with their understanding of software development, databases, and information systems, computer science graduates are well-equipped to provide technology consulting services. This includes advising clients on software solutions, system architecture, cybersecurity, and digital transformation strategies.

 

7. Mathematics

 

Mathematics majors are trained in advanced mathematical concepts, including calculus, linear algebra, probability theory, and statistics. These skills are essential for conducting quantitative analysis, modeling complex systems, and making data-driven decisions in consulting.

 

In addition, mathematics majors often study optimization theory and operations research, which are highly relevant in consulting engagements focused on process improvement, resource allocation, and supply chain optimization. Consultants use mathematical optimization techniques to maximize efficiency, minimize costs, and enhance organizational effectiveness.

 

Lastly, mathematics has broad applications across various industries, making mathematics majors well-suited for consulting roles in diverse sectors such as finance, technology, healthcare, and government. Consultants with a mathematical background can apply their analytical skills and problem solving abilities to address a wide range of business challenges.

 

8. Political Science

 

Political science majors are trained to analyze government policies, political systems, and public administration. This expertise is valuable in consulting, where consultants often advise clients on navigating regulatory environments, understanding policy implications, and shaping public policy agendas.

 

Additionally, political science majors often study international relations, diplomacy, and global governance. Consultants with expertise in international relations can help multinational clients navigate geopolitical risks, expand into new markets, and forge partnerships with foreign governments and organizations.

 

Lastly, political science majors often hone their communication and persuasion skills through debates, writing assignments, and public speaking opportunities. Consultants use these skills to craft persuasive arguments, influence decision making processes, and effectively communicate recommendations to clients and stakeholders.

 

9. Psychology

 

Psychology majors study human behavior, cognition, and motivation, which is valuable for understanding consumer behavior, employee dynamics, and organizational culture. Consultants can use this knowledge to inform marketing strategies, improve team dynamics, and enhance organizational effectiveness.

 

Additionally, psychology majors learn techniques for conflict resolution, negotiation, and mediation, which are essential skills in consulting. Consultants can use these skills to resolve disputes, facilitate consensus-building, and negotiate agreements between stakeholders.

 

Lastly, psychology majors understand principles of consumer behavior, decision making processes, and market research methods. Consultants can use this expertise to conduct consumer research, develop marketing strategies, and optimize customer experiences.

 

10. Marketing

 

Marketing majors are trained to analyze market trends, consumer behavior, and competitive landscapes. This expertise is valuable in consulting, where consultants often conduct market research, assess market opportunities, and develop marketing strategies for clients.

 

In addition, consultants with a background in marketing can assist clients in developing strategic plans, identifying target markets, and positioning their products or services effectively. Marketing majors understand how to create competitive advantages, differentiate brands, and capitalize on market opportunities.

 

Lastly, marketing majors are knowledgeable about brand development, brand positioning, and brand management strategies. Consultants can help clients build strong brands, enhance brand equity, and develop brand communication strategies to engage customers and stakeholders.

 

11. Operations Management

 

Operations management majors are trained to analyze and improve business processes. This expertise is very valuable in consulting, where consultants often help clients optimize operations, reduce costs, and increase efficiency through process improvement initiatives.

 

Operations management majors understand supply chain dynamics, logistics, and inventory management. Consultants can assist clients in optimizing their supply chains, improving inventory management practices, and enhancing logistics operations to minimize costs and maximize efficiency.

 

They also learn about quality control methods, Six Sigma principles, and total quality management practices. Consultants can help clients implement quality management systems, identify areas for improvement, and reduce defects or errors in production processes.

 

12. Physics

 

Physics majors are trained to approach complex problems analytically and systematically. This skill is useful in consulting, where consultants frequently encounter multifaceted challenges that require innovative solutions and rigorous problem solving methodologies.

 

Physics majors have a strong background in mathematics, statistics, and data analysis. Consultants with a physics background can leverage these quantitative skills to analyze data, build mathematical models, and derive insights to inform decision making processes.

 

Lastly, physics majors are trained to frame problems in a clear and structured way, breaking down complex phenomena into manageable components. This skill is essential in consulting, where consultants need to define project scopes, identify key issues, and develop effective problem solving strategies.

 

13. Public Policy

 

Public policy majors are trained to analyze government policies, regulations, and public programs. This expertise is useful in consulting, where consultants often advise clients on navigating regulatory environments, understanding policy implications, and shaping public policy agendas.

 

Public policy majors understand how government agencies operate, how policies are developed, and how decisions are made. Consultants can assist clients in engaging with government stakeholders, advocating for policy changes, and navigating regulatory processes.

 

Additionally, public policy majors develop research skills, including quantitative and qualitative analysis, literature reviews, and policy briefings. Consultants can conduct policy research, analyze policy options, and provide evidence-based recommendations to clients.

 

14. English

 

English majors are adept at written and verbal communication, critical for conveying complex ideas clearly and persuasively. Consultants often need to communicate with clients, stakeholders, and team members effectively, whether through reports, presentations, or client meetings.

 

English majors are skilled researchers, trained to find, evaluate, and synthesize information from diverse sources. Consultants can leverage these research abilities to gather market data, analyze industry trends, and provide evidence-based recommendations to clients.

 

Lastly, English majors are trained to pay attention to detail, ensuring accuracy and precision in their written work. Consultants can apply this attention to detail to analyze data, review documents, and provide thorough and meticulous analysis for clients.

 

15. Communication

 

Communication majors are trained in verbal and written communication, as well as nonverbal communication techniques. This expertise is crucial in consulting, where consultants need to convey complex ideas, present findings, and facilitate discussions with clients and stakeholders.

 

Consultants with a background in communication excel in building rapport with clients, understanding their needs, and managing client relationships effectively. Communication majors can navigate challenging conversations, address client concerns, and ensure client satisfaction throughout the consulting engagement.

 

Lastly, communication majors often develop strong presentation skills through coursework and public speaking opportunities. Consultants can leverage these skills to deliver compelling presentations, pitch ideas, and communicate recommendations to clients and senior executives with confidence and clarity.

 

What Major Should You Pick for Consulting?

 

If you’re considering a career in consulting, all 15 majors or degrees mentioned above are excellent majors or degrees for consulting. Consulting firms do not consider one major as “the best” over all the others.

 

The major you should pick for consulting depends on your interests, skill sets, and how useful the knowledge or skills developed from the major are for consulting.

 

Your interests

 

Choosing a major for consulting should align with your interests to ensure long-term satisfaction and engagement during school. Determine how interested or passionate you are for each major, whether it's business, economics, or psychology. 

 

If you're enthusiastic about the topics you're studying, you're more likely to excel in your coursework, pursue relevant extracurricular activities, and ultimately thrive in a consulting role that aligns with your interests.

 

Your skill set

 

Assess your existing skill set and identify areas where you excel. Are you analytical and detail-oriented? Do you possess strong communication and interpersonal skills? Are you proficient in data analysis or problem solving? Choose a major that leverages your strengths and allows you to succeed in your classes while further developing these skills as your differentiating strengths.

 

How useful the knowledge or skills developed from the major are

 

Evaluate how applicable the knowledge and skills developed from your chosen major are to the consulting industry. Consider whether the major provides a strong foundation in areas such as analytical thinking, research methodology, data analysis, strategic planning, communication, and industry-specific knowledge.

 

A major that offers relevant coursework, hands-on experience, and opportunities for skill development that is useful in consulting will help you out greatly during the consulting interview process.

 

Tips if Your Major is Not Relevant for Consulting

 

What if you want to be a consultant, but your major is not directly relevant to consulting? The good news is that it is not the end of the world! Consultants come from all different majors and degrees, so know that there is a path for you.

 

Below are five proven tips if your major is not directly relevant to a consulting career.

 

1. Brush up on your math skills

 

While your undergraduate major may not have focused heavily on mathematics, it's essential to sharpen your quantitative skills. Consider taking additional math courses or self-study resources to enhance your proficiency in areas such as algebra, statistics, and data analysis. 

 

Understanding mathematical concepts and being able to apply them to solve problems will be valuable both in the consulting interview process, where you’ll be expected to do case interview math, as well as in consulting engagements.

 

2. Learn the basics of business

 

Even if your undergraduate major is unrelated to business, it's helpful to familiarize yourself with fundamental business concepts. Take advantage of online courses, workshops, or introductory business textbooks to gain knowledge in areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, and management.

 

Understanding business principles will provide context for consulting projects and help you communicate effectively with clients and colleagues from business backgrounds.

 

3. Practice being structured and logical

 

Consulting requires a structured approach to problem solving and decision making. 

 

Practice breaking down complex problems into manageable components, analyzing data systematically, and developing logical arguments to support your recommendations. Familiarize yourself with MECE frameworks.

 

Cultivate your ability to think critically, evaluate alternatives, and draw evidence-based conclusions, demonstrating your capacity for rigorous and analytical thinking in consulting engagements.

 

4. Improve your communication skills

 

Effective communication is essential in consulting, regardless of your undergraduate major. 

 

Work on honing your verbal and written communication skills, including clarity, conciseness, and persuasiveness. Practice delivering presentations, writing reports, and engaging in professional conversations to convey complex ideas clearly and confidently. 

 

Strong communication skills will enable you to articulate your thoughts, build rapport with clients, and collaborate effectively with team members in consulting projects.

 

5. Be enthusiastic about learning new things

 

In the dynamic and ever-evolving field of consulting, a willingness to learn and adapt is essential for success. 

 

Embrace opportunities to expand your knowledge, explore new areas of interest, and acquire new skills relevant to consulting. Stay curious, proactive, and open-minded, seeking out challenges and seeking continuous improvement in your professional development journey. 

 

Demonstrating enthusiasm for learning and growth will not only enhance your capabilities as a consultant but also set you apart as a valuable asset to consulting teams and clients.

 

Recommended Resources for Breaking into Consulting

 

We recommend using the resources below to give yourself the best chance of landing and passing your consulting interviews.

 

For help landing a consulting interview:

 

 

For help passing consulting case interviews:

 

  • Comprehensive Case Interview Course (our #1 recommendation): The only resource you need. Whether you have no business background, rusty math skills, or are short on time, this step-by-step course will transform you into a top 1% caser that lands multiple consulting offers.

 

  • Hacking the Case Interview Book (available on Amazon): Perfect for beginners that are short on time. Transform yourself from a stressed-out case interview newbie to a confident intermediate in under a week. Some readers finish this book in a day and can already tackle tough cases.

 

  • The Ultimate Case Interview Workbook (available on Amazon): Perfect for intermediates struggling with frameworks, case math, or generating business insights. No need to find a case partner – these drills, practice problems, and full-length cases can all be done by yourself.

 

 

For help passing consulting behavioral and fit interviews:

 

  • Behavioral & Fit Interview Course: Be prepared for 98% of behavioral and fit questions in just a few hours. We'll teach you exactly how to draft answers that will impress your interviewer