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Top Consulting Firms Including BCG & McKinsey Freeze MBA Starting Salaries

The world’s most prestigious consulting firms including BCG and McKinsey are freezing starting salaries for new MBA hires in 2024

Mon Nov 6 2023

McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are among a number of top consulting firms to freeze US starting salaries for MBA graduates, according to recent reports. 

The freeze, which was first reported by the Financial Times, will affect new hires in 2024. Undergraduates entering the consulting sector will also be affected. 

The news comes as competition for jobs among the most prestigious consultancies increases. This is largely...

ponse to the pandemic and its aftermath, which saw an increase in demand for talent and a dramatic rise in salaries among top firms.  

In 2022, many consultancies raised graduate salaries in response to inflation and competition from employers in other sectors. Among the Big Three firms, base salaries increased by around $15k. 

Speaking with the FT, Namaan Mian, chief operating officer of Management Consulted, a student coaching platform for consulting jobs that also produces an annual in-depth report on salaries across the sector, described the market as the toughest he’d seen in a decade. 

“You’ve got fewer open spots this year and more people applying for those spots because of the flight to safety from investment banking and tech,” he said. 

With inflation still affecting the wider economy, stagnating salaries means the value of a top job in consulting has fallen for business school graduates. 

With salaries for new hires in 2024 remaining the same as this year, MBA grads entering the sector can expect to earn $192,000 at McKinsey and Bain, while pay at BCG is marginally lower at $190,000, according to Management Consulted. 

Total compensation packages for new MBA hires at the Big Three can exceed $250,000 when bonuses are included. 

Other top firms in the industry have also been forced to make changes. Deloitte, one of the Big Four accounting and professional services firms, recently announced a wave of job cuts affecting graduate consulting roles in the UK. Earlier this year, Deloitte also deferred start dates for MBA consulting hires until 2024. 

EY, another Big Four firm and top employer of b-school grads, also announced a wave of job cuts affecting UK staff in August this year.