A report released by the Management Consultancies Association this morning shows that the sector is growing – and growing fast. Last year the management consultancy sector in the UK grow at the fastest rate since 2007 – 8% – to reach £4.8 billion. This growth was reflected in sector recruitment too, with 16% growth across the Association’s member companies.

The vast majority of these new positions were in the digital sector, with a huge 115% growth in digital management consultants in 2013. This resulted in 8,000 new positions in the sector, which were filled through a combination of new recruits and redeployment of existing staff to digital teams. Digital and technology-related services now accounts for a quarter of consulting revenues across the country.

Financial services remains the industry’s cash cow, generating over a third of all income.

The MCA’s Paul Connolly, who authored the report, said:

“Strong growth in Digital and Technology highlights how the consulting industry is central to the emergence of Digital as a major force in the UK economy. Many businesses are facing a range of Digital opportunities, and consultants are providing them with the expert knowledge they need to capitalise on them.

“UK consulting’s performance in 2013 is also an advance indicator for the prospects and health of the wider economy. Businesses are seeking consulting support to develop growth propositions: so consulting is growing by helping others grow.”

Consultancy income from the public sector remains historically low, down around 50% since the beginning of the financial crisis in 2007/8. It recorded a modest recovery of 5% in 2013. Despite this loss, the consultancy sector continues to outperform the wider economy – and the MCA expects to see double-digit growth in 2014.

Photo by Nick Page