The pathfinders

The lowdown
Education consultants’ services span a wide range. For example, they may be asked by a university to prepare a feasibility report on setting up off-campus centres, help craft curricula/policies, or give the low-down on a different education system so it can tailor its student selection procedures accordingly. They also help new institutes/schools to take off, conduct training workshops for teachers, and recruit staff for new campuses. They could work with education services companies, trusts, non-governmental organisations, international foundations/bodies, governments, schools, colleges, and universities, including foreign ones

Clockwork
The average day of an independent education consultant with a SOHO (small office, home office): 
8am: Check mails. Plan the day. Schedule meetings with senior officials of a trust setting up an educational institution. Research for a school project
9.30am: Leave for a meeting with potential clients
1.30pm: Lunch and rest 
3pm: Plan for an international conference being organised by an industry/ trade body in the city 
5.30pm: Interact with foreign clients (university or government officials) through Skype 
8pm: Sign off for the day 

The payoff
If you join an independent consultant’s firm, the entry-level pay would be about Rs. 15,000-Rs. 20,000 per month. An independent consultant can make about Rs. 1 lakh - Rs. 2 lakh a month

Skills/TRAITS
* Above average intelligence and communication skills
* Be agile and resourceful 
* Deep interest in and thorough understanding of your domain 
* Strong knowledge of the market  
* Have the intelligence to comprehend what the problem is and give objective, ethical, achievable and sustainable solution/s that can translate the client’s vision into reality

Getting there
Education consultants can be from a variety of academic and professional backgrounds. A degree in education, economics/management, or other social sciences can help. A higher qualification — a doctorate — will be better. You should have relevant work experience

Institutes and URLs 
You should have at least a master’s degree, which could be in education, psychology or management. Most varsities offer courses in these areas

Pros and cons 
* Dynamic field
* Unorganised sector

To be an education consultant, you have to be interested in education. You have to be a long-term person -- Maria Mathai, director, MM Advisory Services, who advises Canadian institutions and governments (including provincial)

 

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