Research and Consulting Jobs

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Are your curious about what research and consulting jobs are available? There are a range of positions available in this field at all levels.

Click on any of the topics in the menu below to learn more about typical responsibilities, necessary skills, general salary information, and other resources.

(Not interested in Research or Consulting jobs? Check out the Career Resources page to browse other interesting job titles and info!)

Why would this field appeal to someone with a humanities / liberal arts degree?

If you obtained a degree in the humanities or liberal arts then chances are excellent then you are no stranger to research. You’ve worked with a variety of sources over the years to work towards a deeper understanding of questions that do not have ready answers. You’ve worked with online databases, scholarly journals, possibly conducted interviews or created questionnaires and almost certainly worked in archives. This section touches on career options that draw on these skills and others that you may have. As with any career change, it will be helpful for you to make connections with others already in that field. See the “Protip” section below for recommendations.

What types of jobs are available in research and consulting (in brief)?

This page focuses on jobs that explicitly require strong research skills, analytical ability, and a knack for communicating these findings fluently to different audiences. Here is a representative sample of job titles from different career stages (see the Responsibilities and Skills sections as well):

  • Fact Finder
  • Research Analyst – a search will bring up different specializations and levels for this. Ex. Senior Research Analyst, Market Research Analyst, Qualitative Research Analyst, etc.
  • Consultant – junior, mid-level, and senior. There are a variety of consultancies ranging from those who advise major corporations all the way to consultancies working with cultural nonprofits. It is worth exploring what options are available in your city.

 

    What does this work involve?

    We listed a few possible job titles in the section above. Responsibilities will vary by position, company, region, and other factors. However, the following fundamental skills will generally apply:

    • Fact Finder

    Gather facts, interview witnesses, and prepare summaries of underlying evidence supporting the client’s claims. Responsibilities may include conducting research, placing calls, and synthesizing findings into a recommendation. 

    • Research Analyst

    Manage and execute research projects to support market research projects and deliver actionable recommendations. Implement and maintain systems of market data. 

    • Consultant

    Consulting positions will vary considerably in scope depending on the industry and company. For example, you could encounter a position for a consultant that is focused on finding a major donor expert whose responsibilities include providing insight and counsel regarding donors. Another position could be focused on overseeing change management to help manage business applications work with clients, create deliverables, and drive clients toward their goals. Others may not have a specific role and will be part of a greater team taking on jobs from client to assist with a variety of business problems: ex. Working with a company to improve their distribution route for a product, strategizing on how to attract more diverse candidates to the company, working with nonprofits to develop a fundraising strategy, developing a more efficient workflow for an organization, and similar projects. Many of the top consultancies factor in training, particularly for new hires with advanced degrees who are starting straight out of grad school.  See the Protip section for more information on companies that seek out candidates with advanced degrees, including humanities graduates. 

    Necessary skills

    Relevant skills will vary by position but may include:

      • Fact Finder

      Ability to conduct research, experience as an interviewer, and comfort placing outbounding phone calls. Must be able to use different technologies (including proprietary databases). Ability to synthesize information and communicate findings into a succinct recommendation. Any experience with human resources or legal training is a plus.

      • Research Analyst

      Must be comfortable working in an entrepreneurial environment. Research skills and experience. Database management. Formulate insights and new methodologies for reporting. Minimum Bachelor’s degree, but often requiring a Master’s degree in a relevant field (Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Design) or comparable experience.

      • Consultant

      Able to work independently

      Intellectually curious with strong research skills

      Communication skills

      Strong analytical skills

      Ability to work with enterprise customers at varying levels of technical and non-technical depth.

      Bachelor’s degree – minimum

      Program management skills

      Salary information

      Salary will vary by position, organization, region, and other factors. Here are a few examples from different job titles and seniority levels according to Glassdoor.com:

      Fact Finder

      National average: $54,735 (range of $33,000 to $91,000)

      Research Analyst

      National average: $66,252 (range of $41,000 to $107,000)

      Consultant

      National average: $90,490 (range of $60,000 to $137,000)

      Protip - which consultancies have application tracks for advanced degree candidates?

      Some of the larger consultancies may have a track for advanced degree candidates (master’s degree and doctoral degree candidates) to transition into this career. Here are a few examples:

      Bain & Company

      They schedule events for advanced degree holders to learn about consulting. The page also goes over different types of roles (including ones beyond traditional consulting such as careers in our Advanced Analytics & Customer Insights, Digital & Innovation and Business Services teams). The main page also includes application information. 

      BCG

      BCG has info pages and a separate application process for Advanced Degree Candidates. Available positions include both consultant intern and full-time consultant.

      EY (Ernst & Young)

      EY also has a track for advanced to degree candidates to apply for consulting positions; however, please note that a humanities degree will be less competitive here than the other consultancies on this list. The focus seems to be more on degrees similar to an MBA, finance, data & analytics, supply chain & operations, business transformation, and healthcare.

      McKinsey & Company

      They have an application track for candidates pursuing advanced degrees. From their site: “If you are pursuing a master’s degree and you earned an undergraduate degree fewer than four years ago, you will be considered for a business analyst position. If you hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least four years of work experience or completed or expect to complete your master’s program four years from the time you received your bachelor’s degree, you will join as an associate.”