Consultancy a booming career path in UK, research shows

Thanks to the perfect storm of a persistent skills shortage and a robust contractor community, consultancy has become a brilliant career choice.

Or at least, that’s what Source Global Research says. The specialised industry research company, which just published its 2016 UK consulting market report, points out that consultancy as a career in the UK grew something like nearly four times as fast as the rest of the British economy last year.

Figures like that are startling – almost to the point of incredulity. Yet Source Global says that the British GDP went up by a respectable 2.2 per cent in 2015 – though this was 0.7 percentage points lower than 2014’s growth figures. Meanwhile, consultancy in the UK jumped by a massive 8.2 per cent in 2015. In fact, the sector is so valuable that taken as a whole it’s worth nearly £6.8 billion. Now that, as they say, is shedloads of money.

This is doubtlessly music to the ears of any freelancers or umbrella company contractors that work at consultancy right now or who intend to begin anytime soon. To that end, keep in mind that not every industry is growing at the same rate. In fact, the sub-sector with the most impressive growth was biotech and pharmaceutical consulting, as it came in with a growth rate of 14.6 per cent last year. Yes, it’s not exactly the largest consulting sector out there, but Source Global found it was worth close to £238 billion by December of last year – and let’s be honest here: for what it’s worth, that’s nothing to sneeze at!

There were two other industries that increased by more than 10 per cent in 2015. In addition to biotech and pharma consulting, risk and regulatory consultancy and financial services consulting jumped by 11.7 per cent and 14.3 per cent respectively. On top of that, the former is worth some £507 million… while the financial services bracket is worth a cool £2.2 billion. How’s that for a slice of fried gold?

So in other words, if you’re looking to get into the consultancy game there are worse times than now to jump in with both feet. Make a big splash while you can, win big, and then retire to the Seychelles or something. Just make sure you make your nest egg before the economy collapses completely from the inability to source reliable permanent employees from the skills shortage. Freelancers and umbrella contractors can only do so much to keep this sinking ship afloat after all.

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