Consulting - Energy
Information compiled by the GradSchools.com team - last updated December 2010
Energy consulting firms and consultants offer consulting services and solutions for the energy industry. Consultants who focus on energy could address specific issues such as energy conservation or power quality, or they might work on competitor analysis or marketing strategy. Their customers might include the petroleum industry, utilities and natural gas companies. Examples of energy consulting firms include Hart Energy Consulting, GF Energy and EMC Energy Consulting.
In addition, big management consulting firms such as McKinsey, Deloitte and Boston Consulting Group hire consultants to work on particular industries such as energy. For people with no energy experience, consulting can offer a good entry point into the industry. Consulting firms are often willing to hire smart people and train them on the industry content knowledge. Students with bachelor’s degrees in any type of academic concentration are competitive, though some firms tend to prefer economics or engineering students. Given the complex nature of the energy business, PhDs are unusually welcome and explicitly recruited into energy consulting. Most firms start PhD graduates one or two levels below MBAs, given their lack of work experience.
Sometimes large corporations, including those in the energy industry, have positions for people they title “internal consultants.” An internal consultant at a large utility company might work on a business strategy project for a few months, and then be asked to help with a new market forecasting initiative, followed by providing valuation support for an environmental compliance decision. Similarly, many services firms do advisory work without referring to themselves as consulting firms per se. A prime example of this is oil services firms, which not only provide outsourced equipment supply services, but also consult to oil companies on exploration tactics and data analysis. Working for an oil services firm could feel very similar to working for a consulting firm, depending on the exact nature of your role.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects wage and salary employment in management, scientific and technical consulting services to increase by 78 percent between 2006 and 2016. According to the BLS, consulting is the fastest growing industry in the U.S. economy. The BLS expects that all areas of consulting will show strong growth.
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