Technology Consulting - Is it worth it?


Hi everyone,

I’ve got a good Masters 2:1 in a technical subject from a top university. I also have good work experience and speak a foreign language fluently.

I am really interested in technology consulting and believe that I am well suited to the job.

My one problem is that I don’t want to live to work. I want to have a job that I can just leave behind at 5/6. I want a life outside of work.

What are people’s experiences within consultancy firms?

Who should I apply to for a good work life balance?

Are my demands realistic?

I have seen other jobs of interest within other industries where I’d be working less but also be getting paid less (more like 25k).

I would appreciate your thoughts.




ignore the typo in title :S *consulting



I’ve just got a job with IBM, haven’t started yet, but I HAVE done a lot of research to do with Consulting.

The main thing you should remember that with ANY consulting (be it IT or otherwise) you will travel. A lot. You’re most likely not going to have a desk and even more likely, you will spend at least 3 days a week at a client. Now most big consulting firms operate all over the UK and some operate even as far as South Africa.

What that means in terms of work life balance is that, even if you finish work at 6/6.30pm, if you’re not working in your home town (London, I assume, judging from the “lower” salary that you quote), you will have to stay in a hotel somewhere. Now, technically speaking that’s not working, but it’s not being “at home” either.

25k isn’t a bad starting salary, that’s what I’ve been offered (yes, it’s smaller than, say, Accenture) but my contract says 37 hour weeks. My friend at Detica started at 25k but with a 46 hour week. Accenture will be more similar to the latter.

Have to go and have supper now, let me know if you want me to elaborate on anything.


ANY consultancy will involve travelling and working till 6/7/8pm+ but you will probably be home at the weekend, i recently had an interview with accenture and everything went well until the last few questions i asked him “how much he has travelled and hw much responsibility he has been given over time” replied that he hadnt spent a single day in the office in his first 3 years (apart from admin/claiming expenses) and after he was given role of project coordinator whereby he had to work even longer hours (doin interviews gave him 1 day off per week i.e. interviewing lol), plus with the strength of the pound foreign companies arent using uk services therefore not alot of foreign travel! I decided i didnt want this sort of job and didnt attend the AC, but not all tech/consulting firms will be this bad i.e. IBM.

Funnily i actually got rejected from Detica today (havent got a clue why)! Look at other like Logica, Fujitsu, csc etc which may be better places to work.


Thanks shlobadov and thegreatdebate for your answers they’ve been helpful.

shlobadov, 25k for 37 hours a week sounds pretty good. I’d take that if it was a reputable company.

thegreatdebate, I wasn’t sure about applying for accenture before but you just persuaded me not. I could not stand being away from family and friends every week day for three years.

I’ve just applied to Detica the other day. They look like a very interesting company to work for.

Thanks again.


Yeh, youd be home in evenings but just quite late cos of the travelling back, another shocking fact was accenture only pay hotels/overnight accomm etc if the client site is 60mils+ away from EC, which i found shocking as if its 50miles from london thts approx,. 2hr journey each way on public transport! ONly plus is pay at accenture which is 31k+5k joining fee yr 1, but personally wasnt worth it.

Check out the list of technology firms from this site, its pretty good.


Bear in mind that Detica is quite an elitist company. I believe that 70%+ of its staff has more than one degree. However, it is a smaller company, so career progression might be a little quicker than in a huge conglomerate like Accenture.

If you want any tips let me know. I’ve done the interview process twice and had an offer this time round, but I preferred IBM for the reasons I stated above.

Good luck!


‘’‘Shlobadov’’’ - I run WikiJob and honestly any info you can provide on any of these interview processes would be incredibly warmly received! If you have the time, an “application to offer” description of your interview process for [[Detica]], [[IBM]], [[Accenture]] or any other firm would be incredible.

If you want to do this, you can pm me your info, create wikis, or just post a new thread on the forum with, e.g. “’‘Detica application to offer’’”.

We are just about to start a new IT/Technology section so info on tech firms is especially relevant :stuck_out_tongue:



Hi Ed,

Yes, I’d be happy to do that - it’s just, at the moment, I’m busy at work and can’t afford to spend a sizeable chunk of time to write a full-on article. I’ll do bits and pieces and let you know how it’s coming along… Where would I add an app. - offer section?

Incidentally, the links you posted above lead to an Access Denied page…


Whenever you get the chance is brilliant. Something on Detica would be absolutely wonderful!


Hi Shlobadov
You mentioned that you just got a job as an IT consultant at IBM. I’ve applied and was invited to an ac but said they had not started their ac’s yet - so i was just wondering how you managed to get the job? Also, it says on the website that grad pay is 27k and you said that they are paying you 25k?

Any important tips you can tell me?




I think that all the places for this year are filled, and if not, the last starting date is 24th November so they don’t have any ACs before that. My application story is long and pretty boring, but I initially applied in February and had the offer in September…

Re 27k, I guess they’ve upped the salary for the next year’s intake. Bastards. :stuck_out_tongue: I could have made good use of that. Unless they chaged the system, you can’t apply for an IT CONSULTANT role, you apply to the Technology sector and they decide? Is that right?


Bloody 'ell, just looked at their site… It’s all changed since I last looked!! Yes, I believe they did raise the salary cap to 27k, and I see you can directly apply to IT consulting, so ignore my earlier comments :smiley:


Im in my final year so i’m applying for a position starting autumn 2009…quick question about the ac - do you have to do an individual presentation? some info on the ac would be grateful



Hi, I did the AC for Business Dynamics, not IT, so I’m afraid I can’t help you with that… I DID have to do a presentation though. 10 mins. Then a 2 hour written exercise; a group exercise; 2 interviews; tests.

That’s during the 2nd round, not the 1st round assessment day.