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Consultants Find Business Is Better Than The Economy
CNBC.com | September 30, 2011 | 02:52 PM EDT

Nancy Shenker had seven employees at her New York-based marketing and business development practice and says it was on track to gross $1 million before the 2008 recession.

But then customers disappeared, employees were let go, and revenues fell. To save her eight year-old firm, theONswitch , Shenker did what a lot of businesses are doing these days —she turned to an outside consultant.

"My bottom line was bad and I couldn't find the right people to work for me," says the 55 year-old Shenker, who held executive positions at firms such as Citibank and MasterCard before starting her own business.

"I knew I needed someone, and I was led to the consultant I have now," Shenker explains. "He's been great."

As businesses, large and small, try to survive the slowdown in consumer spending, the need for consultants appears to be on the upswing. An estimated $149 billion was spent on consulting firms in the U.S. in 2010, up from $141 billion the previous year.

And the management and business consulting industry is one of the fastest-growing in terms of job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS says employment in the industry should increase by 83 percent over the next decade. Salaries for the industry are among the highest-paying of the groups the BLS tracks.

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