I came across your website and was wondering about Strategy vs. Operations consulting. It seems Strategy is more about growing the company whereas Operations is about making the company more efficient. Would you say that Strategy Consulting is harder to get into/ more prestigious than Operations? Are similar skill sets needed in both?

My Reply:

Strategy is harder to get into and more prestigious. The skills for strategy consulting is a super set of those needed for operations. Strategy consultants do work on operations as I do, but not vice versa. Operation consultants, particularly the senior ones, tend to have more functional or industry knowledge. Strategy consultants have more general problem solving skills.

The main client contact for an operational consulting firm is  typically the Vice President of a department like HR, Technology or Finance. The main client contact for a strategy consultant is almost always the CEO, President of a company or division of the company, and occasionally the board of directors.

In terms of the skills overlap, both need great interpersonal skills and strong communication skills. The importance of both can not be underestimated. It seems like these skills would be useful in any job, but they are especially critical in consulting, and the level of skills demonstrated by consultants in both of these areas is often extremely high.