It seems many non-entry level design research, design strategy, design innovation, and brand related positions that are advertised by the major research, brand, and design firms in NYC, Boston, SF include preferences or requirements for:
â€¢ MBAs, with
â€¢ Management Consulting experience with top firms, and
â€¢ X years of management/leadership experience (4, 6, 8 whatever).
Yet, when it comes to salary range, it seems that these advertised positions are typically paying $90,000, $110,000, or maybe up to $130,000. If a candidate looks for more than that, or expects relocation and/or sign-on bonus in addition, the discussion is over. Nice to meet you. B-bye.
The disconnect for me is this: fresh MBA grads (avg. 4 yrs. previous pro experience) from top 20 schools (i.e. one that an HR person at a design firm would be familiar with and interested in) are STARTING around $120,000-160,000 (total compensation). Then, they need to get or add a few years of management consulting experience to be able to claim management roles. Given the high bonuses possible and the significant raises when one is promoted in consulting at a McKinsey, this preferred or required candidate would then be at least in the $200,000s, possibly MUCH higher. Assuming they were promoted, this would be a sign that they have a shot at the next level and the potential for 7 figures in their future. And don’t forget the network such a person would be developing as they moved up in management consulting - how much is it worth to have friends in increasingly high places and lucrative positions?
So is anyone who really satisfies these preferences or requirements going to be interested in approx. $100,000, smaller bonuses, likely no relocation support, and DRAMATICALLY reduced earnings potential FOREVER? I understand management consulting requires brutal hours and there are lifestyle refugees, but do they really look to the sometimes similarly brutal field of design consulting at half their previous salary (or worse) and limited future upside as a good option? Wouldn’t design HR figure out that any candidate willing to take this drastic cut was a management consultant failure story - a dropout? Are brand and design offices so weak and clueless and starstruck that they are happy to employ the dregs and runaways of management consulting?