Disclaimer: I am not a consultant, and I have never been a consultant. But I do know a handful of consultants, and, at one time, I considered becoming a consultant. A key point missing in the previous posts is this: there are several segments to the consulting business. The article you cited refers to Big Consulting Firms. There are also intermediate and small consulting firms and independent (solo) consultants. The intermediate and small consulting firms and independent consultants are typically narrowly focussed and typically require substantial (often 10 yrs+) work experience; the previous posts are primarily relevant to these segments. The Big Consulting Firms, however, are structured differently. From a simplified perspective, they have two major career tracks. One is specifically designed for consultants straight out of school. The firms run them through a training program to teach the new hires how to operate in the company mode. Remember, you will not be able to operate the way you did in the lab: there are tight time and money constraints. The other is designed for people with a lot of experience and a lot of connections. These are hired into senior positions, with the expectation that they will bring in new clients. If you have many years of industrial experience, but don't have a lot of connections that you can convert into clients, there's really no track for you. As always, there are exceptions, depending on supply and demand. I know two PhD physicists who got hired by Big Consulting Firms straight out of grad school, so it's possible. These firms operate world-wide; fluency in languages other than English is a big plus; as is experience with cultures outside the US. A brand name school on your resume also helps sell you to clients. So if you're really gung-ho about consulting, apply to the Big Consulting Firms; but talk to people in the business to determine whether that life is right for you.