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Top 25 Best Consulting Firms To Work For | Vault Ranking 2024

Which are the best consulting firms to work for? Vault ranks the top consulting firms around the world in 2024, including the likes of the Big Three alongside EY-Parthenon and Kearney

Mon Mar 4 2024

It should come as no surprise that a career in consulting goes hand-in-hand with long hours, but you can also expect huge salaries and more than generous bonuses. Many firms within the consulting industry are also driving the transition towards a sustainable business world.

So where can you reap all the benefits of a top consulting career? Which are the best consulting firms to work for? 

Each year, careers platform Vault (Firsthand) surveys thousands of consultants working for reputable firms in the industry. With their insights, Vault compiles a list of the best consulting firms to work for. 

The list is broken down into various factors. According to Vault, over 40% of those aspiring to launch a high-flying career in consulting name workplace culture as the most important factor when rating their employer. Therefore, this is considered second, with firm prestige the primary criteria. The ranking also takes into consideration employee satisfaction, compensation, work-life balance, and level of challenge. 

This year’s ranking sees a surprise as McKinsey & Company—one of the Big Three consulting firms and arguably the most prestigious—does not feature despite ranking third overall last year. The reason for McKinsey’s absence is currently unclear, though Vault notes that firms can choose not to participate in the ranking.

So, which companies rank among Vault's top 25 consulting firms to work for in 2024? 

Best Consulting Firms To Work For: Vault Ranking

25. Epsilon Economics & Epsilon Life Sciences

Epsilon Economics and Life Sciences is the 25th best consulting firm to work for in 2024, according to Vault. The firm specializes in economics and litigation consulting, and also has a specialist life sciences unit. 

Epsilon performs well across several of the Vault rankings, including placing among the top five for satisfaction and relationships with supervisors. Epsilon also ranks among the best consulting firms for LGBTQ+ individuals. 

24. ClearView Healthcare Partners

Just like its moniker, this firm has a crystal-clear vision about what it wants to be known as: a robust consulting firm that provides expert advice within the life sciences field.

The boutique firm ranks seventh among Vault’s best consulting firms for health sciences consulting and ranks among the top 10 for formal training.

Consultants at ClearView can artfully bridge the gap between medical and scientific knowledge and business issues, advising clients on specialist areas such as diagnostics, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.

23. Chartis

A specialist healthcare consultancy working with clients across the healthcare system—including providers, health services organizations, and investors—Chartis is an organization where you consultants can do “truly meaningful work”, according to Vault. 

Insiders at the firm who participated in the survey noted  the firm’s supportive environment and sense of care, which includes respect for work-life balance and flexibility. 

As well as listing Chartis among the top 25 firms to work for, Vault ranks the firm among the top 10 for health and wellness and overall business outlook. 

22. NERA Economic Consulting

Operating across the globe and advising clients including governments, corporations, and top law firms, NERA Economics Consulting is an industry leader when it comes to providing economic advice. The firm houses more than 500 employees, 425 of whom are economists. 

Vault ranks NERA as the second best consulting firm for economics consulting, it’s also among the top 15 ranked firms when it comes to energy and environmental sustainability consulting. 

21. Publicis Sapient

An expert in the digital consulting field, Boston native Publicis Sapient shows no signs of slowing down. Ranking sixth for innovation in the 2024 Vault Rankings, employees at the firm can expect to experience diverse challenges, varied work, and opportunities to work at the forefront of digital transformation.

Clients include companies across financial services, the public sector, media, hospitality, and energy. The firm also ranks among the top 10 consultancies to work for individuals with disabilities and among the best for work satisfaction. 

READ: The Highest Paying Boutique Consulting Firms


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20. Charles River Associates 

Professionals at Charles River Associates provide their clients with economic, financial, and management advice. Clients span the globe and include governments and multinational corporations. 

CRA is a firm that offers opportunities to undertake real world consulting while also employing academic rigor as it regularly publishes studies and reports. According to one employee: “40% of our staff have PhDs. We are committed to academic excellence and bringing that excellence to our clients.”

Ranking as the 20th best consulting firm to work for overall, Vault also lists CRA as the seventh best firm for economics consulting. 

19. Aminad Consulting 

Aminad consulting is a unique boutique consultancy that works with federal agencies in the US. Its speciality is within supply chain and operations consulting, with most of its work being conducted for the Department of Defense. 

One of the smallest firms on this list, size helps Aminad perform exceptionally well across several metrics. Vault ranks it top for firm culture, firm leadership, and overall business outlook. 

Employees at Aminad note the focus on values that drives firm culture. “Aminad is not a place where you stay for a few years and move on. The culture developed by leadership has built a workplace that can be tailored to any employee needs, working habits, etc. There is a reason why Aminad’s employee retention rate is so high,” one employee told Vault. 

18. Cornerstone Research

If you’re looking to work in economic and financial consulting and have an interest in law, US and UK-based Cornerstone Research could be the firm to start your consulting journey.  

As a Cornerstone consultant, you could be involved in commercial litigation and regulatory proceedings while working alongside leading law firms. As testament to the demand for the firm’s expertise, employees can expect generous compensation packages. The firm ranks seventh for compensation according to Vault.

Vault also ranks Cornerstone among the five best consulting firms for economic consulting, as well as an industry leader when it comes to overall business outlook. 

Insiders at the firm note that Cornerstone is both demanding and rewarding as an employer: “The firm values and rewards good work, but it is a high-pressure job in general with high working hour requirements,” one employee told Vault. 

17. The Keystone Group

A consulting firm that offers clients key advice for growth strategy, M&A, operational improvement, and more, is bound to be successful.

The Keystone Group, which houses headquarters in the ‘Windy City’ of Chicago, is a boutique with an ambitious outlook: to make a difference. The relatively small firm has high hopes for the next few years, intending to become a more mid-size firm while upholding the strong company culture.

The firm ranks third for firm culture, which is likely a result of its training opportunities, breadth of roles, focus on flexibility, and supportive network of employees. 

The firm’s drive for a positive environment goes beyond the confines of the office—Keystone funds trips to build homes for those in need and organizes fundraisers for underprivileged children.

One employee describes working with The Keystone Group as: “Advising clients as if their businesses were our own while fostering a culture of growth and fun amongst team members.” 

16. Bates White Economic Consulting

Bates White Economic Consulting is one of a number of firms on this list to specialize in both economic and litigation consulting services. Like Charles River Associates, the firm is highly academic and hires large numbers of PhDs to its staff. 

With a strong reputation, Bates White professionals are highly sought after experts, as such the firm places strong emphasis on hierarchy and it can take time to make it to the top. 

One Bates White insider participating in the survey told Vault: “Bates White has a reputation as a shop with hardworking individuals that have integrity in their analysis, which is not only rigorous, but also unpersuaded by client interference.”

Overall, the firm ranks as the 16th best consulting firm to work for, as well as a top 10 company when it comes to informal training, mentorship, and overall business outlook. 

15. The Cambridge Group, LLC

Coming in at 15th in this ranking of the best consulting firms to work for is boutique strategy consultancy, The Cambridge Group. The firm offers services that include marketing strategy, pricing, and go-to-market activation but employees can also get involved in a variety of projects at the Chicago-based firm.

It ranks among the top 10 firms for interaction with clients, level of challenge, and benefits. 

For those looking to make a foray into a small consulting firm without experiencing long hours and burn-out, employee responses about the Cambridge Group may offer some reassurance.

One employee said: “If you're a curious, open-minded problem solver, you'll enjoy the work we do and the people you'll be working with.”

READ: Consulting Salaries For MBA & Master's Graduates



14. OC&C Strategy Consultants

Staff at this global consulting firm know a thing or two about management of corporations—whether multinational or national. The London-headquartered firm has offices in global locations such as New York, Paris, and Hong Kong, and offers expertise in private equity across investment and acquisition strategy.

The firm’s strategic expertise is gradually becoming more recognized across the globe. It recently added offices in Italy and the Netherlands to its various other global locations. 

OC&C ranks as the best consulting firm to work for when it comes to international opportunities and among the top three for informal training and mentorship as well as business outlook, according to Vault.

In the survey, insiders at the firm offer positive feedback on areas including culture, compensation, and quality of life. One employee described working at the firm as: “Intellectually challenging and rewarding, with interesting people who care about the work and each other.”

13. Analysis Group

Analysis Group specializes in economic and litigation consulting. Operating within a ‘highly academic environment” according to Vault, some of the services that consultants at the firm provide involve quantifying the impact of disease on the economy, or developing corporate strategy. 

Certainly one of the more specialized firms in this list, if your desire is to provide consulting work for top law firms then “there are few outfits in the industry that come close to to taking of their employees as this firm,” according to Vault. 

Within the various consulting rankings, Analysis group ranks sixth for both economic consulting and for benefits, it is also among the top 10 for relationships with supervisors. 

12. L.E.K. Consulting 

Headquartered in Boston, L.E.K. Consulting advises global companies from large private equity firms to startups. The firm also has a pro bono initiative for non-profits and charitable organizations. In 2008, L.E.K. became the first management consulting firm to achieve carbon neutrality in its global operations. 

Vault ranks L.E.K. among the top 10 consulting firms for strategy, energy, and health sciences consulting—all of which contribute to it being one of the best consulting firms to work for.

While the firm attempts to promote work-life balance with out-by-six and summer Friday policies, it is of course not without challenges. However, one employee said: “Consulting hours are long across industry but with L.E.K. you get to sleep in your bed every day and work with equally important clients.”

11. PwC Consulting Solutions/Strategy&

A division of the Big Four professional services firm, PwC Consulting Solutions/Strategy& works with clients to strategize all areas of their business from operations to technology to product and service innovation. Consultants work with a broad range of companies, including multinationals and dynamic small businesses. 

Vault ranks the firm sixth among the most prestigious consulting firms to work for. It’s also among the top 10 for the best consulting firms for both strategy and energy consulting. 

One company insider participating in the Vault survey said: “Being part of Strategy&, you are a part of the bigger PwC and get full support from the broader company, but feel a true sense of belonging and a different culture within Strategy&.”

READ: Consulting Internships: How Much Can You Earn?



10. Roland Berger 

The first European native consulting firm to develop an international presence, Roland Berger operates with the idea that sustainable, economic, environmental, and social change must be addressed on a global scale. In 2008, the firm set up the Roland Berger Foundation to promote human rights and dignity throughout the world. It’s no surprise than that the firm champions diversity. 

Vault notes that the firm is currently experiencing growth above 30% year-on-year, despite many consultancies scaling back recruitment amid economic challenges. 

Vault ranks Roland Berger among the top 10 companies for level of challenge and international opportunities. 

Insiders highlight the firm’s strong growth potential and positive working environment. One employee told Vault: “New employees get a lot of exposure quickly and gain a lot of experience. [It’s a] great place to own your career track. At the same time, new employees are tossed into the deep end of the pool and need to swim quickly. This experience is not for everyone.”

9. Kearney 

Global management consulting firm, Kearney, specializes in strategic operations, strategic transformation, digitization of legacy processes, rapid earning expansion, and M&A. The mid-sized firm works with more than three-quarters of the Fortune Global 500. 

Kearney ensures the strength in its global outlook through its Global Business Policy Council—a board of CEOs and world leaders who meet regularly to discuss economic, social, technological, and political issues. 

Insiders at the firm also highlight diversity as a high priority. One employee taking part in the survey said: “Do you want to really solve client problems and make a tangible impact? This is the firm for you.”

8. The Bridgespan Group

A social sector offshoot of Bain & Company, The Bridgespan Group is dedicated to fighting society’s toughest issues, such as poverty. The firm provides consulting services to non-profits, NGOS, and impact investors. 

The Bridgespan Group performs well when it comes to various factors. Vault ranks it among the five most selective consulting firms, the fourth best consulting firm for women, and a top 10 consultancy for benefits. 

It’s worth noting however, that staff at the firm attempted to form a union in 2023—though it’s not entirely clear what prompted this action. 

Commenting in this year’s survey, one employee told Vault: “[It is a good place for those looking to transition into management consulting without a major hit to work-life balance.”

7. Putnam

Specializing in pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting, Putnam is a highly recession-proof consulting firm, according to Vault. Headquartered in Boston, the firm also has offices in London, France, and Japan, among others. 

Vault says that Putnam employees can expect a thorough on-boarding and training process as well as ample opportunities to secure a promotion. 

Putnam ranks strongly across several factors, with Vault listing the firm among the top three consulting firms to work for LGBTQ+ individuals and those with disabilities, as well as a top firm for innovation. 

One employee said of the firm, “Putnam offers challenging work in one of the most rewarding industries, and provides unparalleled career development opportunities.”

6. EY-Parthenon

EY-Parthenon is the strategy consulting division of Big Four professional services firm, EY. With around 700 offices worldwide, EY-Parthenon consultants advise business leaders across multiple sectors from finance to energy to tech. 

According to Vault, EY-Parthenon has a more boutique organizational culture than one might expect. Employees highlight the inclusive environment, investment in professional growth, and management transparency. 

While the training at the firm is consistent, insiders highlighted to Vault that the firm’s mentorship is particularly strong. One employee said: “Our partners are easy to access and open to mentoring the lower levels. I've had multiple mentors at the Partner level who have invested in my career over the years. This is unheard of at some consulting firms.”

Another employee said: “Every year at EY has shown me that the firm is really behind putting our people first—something that my last two firms only paid lip service to.”

READ: What Does A Management Consultant Do? 


5. Oliver Wyman 

Oliver Wyman is one of the largest consultancies on this list. It houses more than 7,000 staff who work in more than 30 countries, with the headquarters based in New York City. 

The firm has a wide range of practice areas that promise diverse opportunities for staff. Oliver Wyman clients span more than 80% of the world’s top financial institutions, as well as a significant number of Fortune 1000 companies. 

Listed as the fifth best consulting firm to work for, according to Vault, Oliver Wyman is also among the top 10 for both financial and management consulting, as well as the eighth most prestigious consulting firm. 

4. ghSMART

ghSMART consultants specialize in advising private equity investors, CEOs, Boards of Fortune 500 companies, and non-profits. The firm’s major offices are located in the US, the UK, and Germany. 

According to Vault, ghSMART consultants are free to live and work from anywhere, setting their own schedules and client engagements. 

It’s no surprise, then, that employees boast a high-level of work life balance. One told Vault, “We keep the quality of people and engagements from MBB but do it in a sustainable manner with freedom and flexibility.”

Within the 2024 ranking of the best consulting firms, Vault ranks ghSMART fourth overall. The firm also places top for the level of challenge, amount of hours in the office, and compensation on offer to employees. 

Best Consulting Firms To Work For | Top 3

3. Alvarez & Marsal

Alvarez & Marsal is known for end-of-life services for failing companies as well as its M&A practice. The firm can be found in more than 70 locations around the world. 

According to Vault, Alvarez & Marsal is on an upward spiral having thrived throughout the pandemic, with staff working long hours and receiving health compensation as a result.

Staff at the firm highlight Alvarez & Marsal’s flexible approach to working and the decent work-life balance that can be achieved while working there, this has particularly improved since the pandemic.   

Vault ranks Alvarez & Marsal among the top five firms for overall business outlook and compensation. A top 10 ranking for level of challenge also helps it to achieve an overall position of third in this year’s list. 

One insider at the firm told Vault: “The autonomy that employees have is totally different than other firms. Employees are given a high level of independence and leadership trusts employees at all levels to handle client interactions.”

2. Boston Consulting Group

Global Big Three consulting firm Boston Consulting Group works with clients to build sustainable competitive advantage and drive social impact. The firm has offices in more than 50 countries and works across a wide range of industries from education to technology and finance. 

It’s no surprise that Vault credits BCG among the very best when it comes to careers in consulting, with a reputation for outstanding client service and highly prestigious clients. 

Ranking second overall in the 2024 list of the best consulting firms to work for, BCG also ranks second when it comes to firm prestige, as well as the best firms for management and energy consulting. 

Participating in the Vault survey, one BCG employee said: “BCG is a unique opportunity to gain a variety of business experiences in a short timeframe. It is a wonderful career experience for those that enjoy working in teams, moving at a fast pace, and being able to operate at a level above their current position.”

Another added: “As someone who was very hesitant to come to a big firm, I've been very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy working here!”

1. Bain & Company 

Another of the Big Three consulting firms, Bain & Company is often lauded as the best consulting firm to work for with many feeling its the most employee-focused of the MBB.  

Committed to making an impact, for 10 years the firm plans to invest over $1 billion in pro bono services dedicated to tackling crucial challenges in education, racial equality, social justice, economic development, and the environment.

According to Vault, this focus on impact extends to the firm’s employees through a vast amount of family and wellness benefits, as well as industry-renowned training and development programs. 

In 2022, Bain announced an ESG training program alongside top business schools including HEC Paris and MIT Sloan in order to upskill its consultants across the globe and integrate ESG into 100% of client work.

Employee satisfaction is clear. Vault ranks Bain top for benefits, formal training, and informal training and mentorship. 

Reinforcing that impressive performance, one member of staff told Vault: “Bain is an amazing place to work. There are highs and lows with the work, but the people and culture stand out above any other company I know.”

This article was written by Shannon Cook, Charlotte Brook & Matt Kefford