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Bain, BCG, And 48 More Prestigious Consulting Firms To Work For in 2017

Vault ranked the world's best advisory firms on prestige, pay and satisfaction

Thu Aug 25 2016

BusinessBecause
Management consulting has long been a hit with MBA students. The pay, promotion and prestige that come with an elite firm are alluring.

Vault, the career information site, has released its 2016-17 ranking of the best consulting firms to work for. And the results are not surprising.

Bain & Company and the Boston Consulting Group, among the best-known firms, took the top two spots, rising from no 2 and no 3 last year respectively. McKinsey & Company fell from no 1 to no 3. Although there’s but a whisker between them.

Vault surveyed 17,000 consultants and asked them to rank their firms on a scale of 1 to 10 in categories such as leadership and quality of life. They also rate the prestige of rival firms. Prestige (30%), employee satisfaction (15%) and compensation (15%) are given the greatest weight in the formula.

Bain edged into the top spot by beating all other firms in eight categories including leadership and for its results-driven culture, something Veronica Collins, a Wharton MBA and former case team leader at Bain, describes as “incredibly rewarding”.

“It’s the people that are the differentiating factor,” she says. “There are huge learning opportunities due to the collaborative nature of the firm.”

Bain also came top for employee satisfaction — the firm frequently lands the no 1 spot on national workplace rankings, including Glassdoor’s 2014 list of the Best Places To Work.

Meanwhile, BCG gained ground in 18 out of 21 quality of work categories, including internal mobility and promotion policies. It excelled in compensation — rising from a score of 8.955 last year to 9.432. Stephane Ponce, global consulting lead at INSEAD, the business school, notes that base salaries are high and “as there is a clear career path with growing responsibilities, salaries follow”.

The ranking comes as consultancy firms intensify a battle for the brightest talent using compensation and other perks, according to Sheryle Dirks, associate dean of careers at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, which are critical to both attracting and retaining new hires.  

Meanwhile, although it dropped to third McKinsey excelled in the prestige category. The firm achieved a 9.031 score, up from 9.019 last year and above BCG (8.673) and Bain (8.554). McKinsey also ranked higher than any other consultancy for exit opportunities, plus it notched the highest scores for consultants’ development — international opportunities and client interaction.

McKinsey’s brand name carries significant weight and, on a CV, can be appealing to a diverse range of recruiters, notes Chris Weber, associate careers director at UCLA Anderson School of Management. A few years back, more than 70 past and present CEOs of Fortune 500 companies were McKinsey alumni, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Credit Suisse chief Tidjane Thiam, who are both incidentally MBAs.

While McKinsey may add a wow-factor to your résumé, the firm fell in areas such as work-life balance, hours in the office, travel requirements and overall job satisfaction. Basically, McKinsey’s consultants say they are more over-worked than a year previously.

Outside of the so-called “Big Three”, there were strong performances in Vault’s ranking for the largest four accountancy firms. Deloitte and PwC retained their fourth and fifth spots, respectively. And KPMG, which wasn’t even ranked last year, came in at 13, owing largely to its prestige.

The “Big Four” auditors have pushed deeper into advisory, pitting them against the likes Bain and BCG. Their consulting businesses are growing at about 9% a year, faster than the overall consulting market, according to Source Global Research.

“Deloitte, EY, PwC and KPMG are all experiencing growth,” says Larry Verbiest, associate director for careers at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. As a result, the number of MBA job offers has been on an upward trajectory and he expects that trend to continue.

Also riding high in Vault’s ranking is A.T Kearney, which climbed two places to rank no 7. L.E.K Consulting climbed from no 13 last year to no 8. Oliver Wyman rose from sixth to no 5. And Accenture shot up six spots to no 14.

There’s bad news however for Strategy&, formed from a merger between PwC’s strategy business and Booz & Company. Two years ago, the last time it appeared on Vault’s survey as Booz & Co, it ranked no 5 for prestige. Last year, its first as Strategy&, it fell to no 19. This year, it’s at no 13. 

Student Reviews

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Student

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31/10/2023

On Campus

Supportive atmosphere

The professors at Duke university exhibit exceptional commitment to the success and well-being of their students by ensuring their academic growth and fostering a supportive social atmosphere. Moreover, the entire community is recognized for its amicability and inclusiveness.

Maxwell

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30/03/2023

On Campus

Diversity

The people or the students are without a doubt Duke's greatest asset. While all students are driven to succeed, they are also enthusiastic about a variety of hobbies. You run across a huge lot of diversity. It is the ideal example of a school with well-rounded students and the ideal balance of campus life in a metropolis.

Anabelle

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27/02/2023

On Campus

Happy to school

All I could ever hope for is Duke University. That really epitomizes the "work hard, play hard" philosophy that elite colleges frequently pursue. Even though you'll have a lot of schooling to complete over the week, it's simple to keep focused because all of your friends are putting in similar amounts of effort. Many events taking place on and around campus on the weekends provide a great way to unwind. The combination of demanding academics and traditional college fun strikes the perfect balance.

Monica

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27/02/2023

On Campus

Good schooling

Living, eating, learning, and developing who you want to be as an adult are all fantastic at Duke. I participated in student athletics, and I couldn't have asked for a better interaction with the faculty and other students. I appreciate all of the help I get from the Duke community more than anything. Furthermore, the teachers take the time to get to know you, and the lectures are diverse and demanding (if you do the same). I'd give it a 10 out of 10.

Aline

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26/11/2022

On Campus

Beautiful School, Nice Classes

DU remains one the greatest and best universities that I have ever stepped in. The school is beautiful and neat. The classes are spacious and also very nice. I enjoyed attending my Lectures in those lecture halls. I also loved the Lecturers because of the good work they did. The university also has very good dorms that are given to students on first come first serve basis and they are affordable

Student

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29/06/2022

Blended

Amazing experience

I received my B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Global Health with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. I was able to grow as a student, scientist, and global health advocate with the help of my friends, professors, and other mentors I met along the way. A lot to learn if you look and ask, a great place to learn for those who want to learn.

Student

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29/06/2022

Blended

whirlwind of growth and change

An amazing 2 years, with covid and everything else happening Duke has been a place of growth for me. The courses , classes were one of a kind, online and on campus. But the valuable lessons learned in the classes are irreplicable. The students are amazing here, so much diversity , I had no problem fitting in. The teachers are down right brilliant and so helpful. Don't be afraid to ask them anything. Graduated with my MBA with Duke and now my future awaits.

Student

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29/06/2022

On Campus

One of the best for Business students

Graduated with an MBA. The classes were very insightful and engaging. The staff are very easy to deal with. The teachers and students, are truly amazing people. Grateful to all the people I've met along the way at Duke. I've learnt a great deal that will help me in my future endeavors. The campus itself is a marvel, it is beautiful.

Student

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16/06/2022

On Campus

The university campus is awesome

I graduated with a masters degree in Religious Studies from Duke University. One thing I really liked about the university is its huge campus. It is spread in a large area with a lot of greenery and also have the facilities of reading rooms for single person also. My department building was very well taken care of. The library is immensely populated with books for all your needs. The faculty is very nice to students. The classes are equipped with latest technology to cater the needs of students. The University also provides room rentals for international students. They are very well maintained and priority is given to the International students for a comfortable stay there. There are weekly events conducted by the University as well as Student clubs for the entertainment of students. Anybody can take part in them and show their talents. I enjoyed my degree and I graduated in 2021 and was very happy that I had graduated from a reputed University.

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