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Top 50 Consulting Firms to Work for in 2021 [Reviewed]

Consulting is one of the most highly sought-after post-MBA careers. Consistently outpacing finance and other evergreen industries at Columbia, Chicago Booth, and MIT Sloan. Moreover, consulting firms continue to hire over 30% of MBA graduates consistently at several M7 and other top business schools.

The big four consulting firms that account for nearly 40% of the industry are PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG. These are followed by McKinsey & Company and the BCG – US strategy giants.

There are several reasons for an MBA graduate’s fascination with consulting careers. Be it the breakneck pace of learning on the job or being surrounded by extremely intelligent and accomplished peers, or the high salaries and bonuses a management consulting career offers. The allure of consulting still pervades throughout and across the business school and MBA world.

But how do employees of these top consulting firms rank their firms? That’s exactly the question which Vault’s annual ranking of the best consulting firms to work for aims to answer.

In this article, we take a deep dive into the rankings and present the Top consulting firms in 2021. Before that take a look at what Consulting firms look for in a candidate:

List of top 50 Consulting Firms in 2021

Here are the top 50 consulting firms to work for in 2021:

  1. Bain & Company
  2. The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
  3. McKinsey & Company
  4. Booz Allen Hamilton
  5. The Parthenon Group
  6. Oliver Wyman
  7. Clearview Healthcare Partners
  8. Deloitte Consulting LLP
  9. “PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC (PwC Advisory Services)”
  10. Putnam Associates
  11. Alvarez & Marsal
  12. The Bridgespan Group
  13. The Keystone Group
  14. ghSMART & Co.
  15. A.T. Kearney
  16. KPMG LLP (Advisory)
  17. The Cambridge Group
  18. Cornerstone Research
  19. Blue Matter Consulting
  20. Roland Berger
  21. Kaiser Associates
  22. Health Advances, LLC
  23. The Brattle Group
  24. GE Healthcare
  25. ScottMadden, Inc.
  26. Eagle Hill Consulting LLC
  27. Insight Sourcing Group
  28. Simon-Kucher & Partners
  29. OC&C Strategy Consultants
  30. DeciBio Consulting
  31. Clarkston Consulting
  32. Bates White Economic Consulting
  33. Mercer LLC
  34. Keystone Group
  35. Trinity Partners, LLC
  36. Pace Harmon
  37. Artisan Healthcare Consulting
  38. Charles River Associates
  39. Kenway Consulting
  40. The Chartis Group
  41. NERA Economic Consulting
  42. LeapPoint
  43. Triangle Insights Group, LLC
  44. Ignyte Group
  45. Applied Value
  46. The Poirier Group
  47. Jabian Consulting
  48. DayBlink Consulting
  49. Insigniam
  50. Syneos Health
Rank 2021Top 50 Consulting firmsChange in Rank
(2021 vs. 2020)
Change in Rank
(2020 vs. 2019)
1Bain & Company2-1
2The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.01
3McKinsey & Company-20
4Booz Allen Hamilton215
5The Parthenon Group20
6Oliver Wyman-10
7Clearview Healthcare Partners611
8Deloitte Consulting LLP-40
9PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC
(PwC Advisory Services)
10Putnam Associates2-6
11Alvarez & Marsal11-2
12The Bridgespan Group3-6
13The Keystone Group63
14ghSMART & Co.63
15A.T. Kearney-62
16KPMG LLP (Advisory)-2-2
17The Cambridge GroupNot ranked
18Cornerstone Research-7NA
19Blue Matter Consulting-11NA
20Roland Berger4-7
21Kaiser Associates25NA
22Health Advances, LLC40
23The Brattle Group5-12
24GE Healthcare-145
25ScottMadden, Inc.6NA
26Eagle Hill Consulting LLC9-6
27Insight Sourcing Group-6-3
28Simon-Kucher & Partners4-2
29OC&C Strategy Consultants20-21
30DeciBio ConsultingNot ranked
31Clarkston Consulting-25
32Bates White Economic ConsultingNot ranked
33Mercer LLCNot ranked
34Keystone Group63
35Trinity Partners, LLC6-8
36Pace Harmon14-2
37Artisan Healthcare ConsultingNot ranked
38Charles River AssociatesNot ranked
39Kenway Consulting62
40The Chartis Group-76
41NERA Economic Consulting-3-1
43Triangle Insights Group, LLCNot ranked
44Ignyte Group-178
45Applied Value-8NA
46The Poirier GroupNot ranked
47Jabian ConsultingNot ranked
48DayBlink Consulting-67
50Syneos HealthNot ranked

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McKinsey, Bain, and BCG the holy trinity of management consulting firms retained the top 3 spots in the 2021 ranking of Best consulting firms to work for in 2021. Bain and McKinsey traded places coming in at 1st and 3rd in this year’s ranking as compared to 2020.

Top Consulting Firms Rank #1- Bain & Company

Bain & Company jumps from #3 to #1 ranking in 202. For Bain & Company, last year’s rankings data includes many promising steps forward. It ranked first among the MBB in 6 categories and displaced McKinsey in 3 of those categories, i.e., Firm Leadership, Formal Training, and Travel Requirements. The result?

Bain & Company ranks at #1 for the 2021 ranking. Out of 21 categories, Bain has gained ranking in 10 categories:

Quality of Work / LifeBain & Company (Ranking 2020)Bain & Company (Ranking 2021)
Level of Challenge43
Exit Opportunities42
Interaction with Clients63
Promotion Policy42
Relationships with Supervisors31
Traveling requirement2015

Top Consulting Firms Rank #2 – BCG

BCG maintains its rank as compared to 2020. Out of the 21 categories, four categories it ranks above McKinsey and Bain:

  • Benefits
  • Compensation
  • Innovation
  • Overall Business outlook

Top Consulting Firms Rank #3 – McKinsey

After holding 1st place for three consecutive years, McKinsey is now ranked at #3 position. We can also see a dip in ranking for the various categories under the quality of work/life. Out of 21 categories, McKinsey has lost ranking from 13 categories, which are presented below:

Quality of Work / LifeMcKinsey
& Company (Ranking 2020)
& Company (Ranking 2021)
Level of Challenge24
Firm Culture512
Firm Leadership36
Hours in office1423
Interaction with Clients35
Internal Mobility23
Overall Business Outlook35
Promotion Policy34
Relationships with Supervisors15
Work-Life Balance1221

Watch this video to know the hiring plans of the Big three Consulting firms:

Comparison between McKinsey, Bain, and BCG

The following table contains detailed quality of work/life rankings on 21 different parameters for the MBB firms i.e. McKinsey, Bain, and BCG:

Quality of Work / LifeBain & Company
(Vault score)
The Boston Consulting
Group, Inc. (Vault score)
& Company (Vault score)
Level of Challenge9.439.359.44
Exit Opportunities9.829.839.81
Firm Culture9.829.539.312
Firm Leadership9.729.739.56
Formal Training9.739.559.54
Hours in office8.1187.9NR823
Informal Training9.819.559.63
Interaction with Clients9.739.669.65
Internal Mobility8.848.768.93
International Opportunities9.169.339.51
Overall Business Outlook9.649.829.65
Promotion Policy9.629.539.34
Relationships with Supervisors9.719.639.55
Travel Requirements9.3159.219NRNR
Work-Life Balance8.9148.7168.521
NR – Not ranked

Consulting Firms – Ranking based on Services 2021

Now that you are aware of the top 50 Consulting firms let’s look into the various services offered by Consulting firms and their ranking. In this article, we rank consulting firms based on the following services:

  • Best Boutique Consulting Firms
  • Top Management and Strategy Consulting Firms
  • Best Healthcare Consulting Firms
  • Most Prestigious Consulting Firms

Best Boutique Consulting Firms

Boutique consulting firms are those that offer a limited number of services to a relatively local client base. These firms are very focused on their consulting services and often serve a limited set of industries. However, there are a few advantages boutique consulting firms offer over larger global firms:

  • Less travel
  • More unique learning opportunities
  • Exposure to high-level consultants

Following are the 2021 rankings of the Top 10 Boutique Consulting Firms:

Companies Name 2021 Rank (2020 Rank)2021 Score (2020 Score)
ghSMART & Co.1 (2)9.522 (9.328)
ClearView Healthcare Partners2 (1)9.439 (9.336)
Putnam Associates3 (4)9.293 (9.305)
The Keystone Group4 (5)9.185 (9.136)
Blue Matter Consulting5 (7)9.155 (9.007)
Kx Advisor6 (NR)9.077 (NR)
Potomac Point Group7 (NR)9.049 (NR)
Eagle Hill Consulting8 (12)8.974 (NA)
The Bridgespan Group9 (13)8.960 (NA)
Health Advances, LLC10 (9)8.945 (8.927)

Top Management and Strategy Consulting Firms

The top 10 Management consulting firms remain intact, with few changes in the ranking. Only three firms saw a shift in Rank:

  • Accenture
  • EY LLP (Ernst & Young)
  • PwC Advisory/Strategy&

Here are the top 10 management consulting firms to work for in 2021:

2021 Rank (2020 rank)Firm Name% of Votes
1 (1)McKinsey & Company68.05%
2 (2)The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.60.67%
3 (3)Bain & Company55.40%
4 (4)Deloitte Consulting LLP29.22%
5 (6)Accenture16.37%
6 (7)EY LLP (Ernst & Young)12.11%
7 (5)PwC Advisory/Strategy&10.33%
8 (8)Booz Allen Hamilton6.03%
9 (9)KPMG4.86%
10 (10)Oliver Wyman4.55%

KPMG was removed from the top 10 strategy consulting firm list in 2021. Instead of that, LEK Consulting has made it to the list.

Here are the top 10 Strategy consulting firms to work for in 2021:

2021 Rank (2020 Rank)Firm Name% of Votes
1 (1)McKinsey & Company77.34%
2 (2)The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.71.39%
3 (3)Bain & Company64.44%
4 (4)Deloitte Consulting LLP17.13%
5 (5)Accenture10.43%
6 (6)PwC Advisory/Strategy&8.04%
7 (8)EY LLP (Ernst & Young)6.18%
8 (7)Oliver Wyman5.16%
9 (NR)L.E.K Consulting3.04%
10 (10)IBM Global Services2.97%

The MBB (i.e., McKinsey, Bain, and BCG) continue to dominate both strategy and management consulting rankings in 2021. They are separated by almost a 50-60 point margin from the rest of the field in strategy consulting.

Best Healthcare Consulting Firms

Two new firms are added to the top 10 healthcare consulting firm list in 2021 – Accenture and IQVIA. PwC (Rank #12) and Huron Consulting Group (Rank #11) are removed from the top 10. Moreover, while McKinsey and BCG retained its top spot, Bain lost its Rank by 1 point (from 4th to 5th Rank).

 Here are the top 10 healthcare consulting firms in 2021:

2021 Rank (2020 Rank)Firm Name% of Votes
1 (1)McKinsey & Company33.49%
2 (2)The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.27.43%
3 (3)Deloitte Consulting LLP19.33%
4 (5)GE Healthcare19.10%
5 (4)Bain & Company16.30%
6 (11)Accenture12.95%
7 (6)ZS12.34%
8 (8)Clearview Healthcare Partners12.20%
9 (10)L.E.K. Consulting10.81%
10 (12)IQVIA (IMS Consulting group)10.62%

Most Prestigious Consulting Firms Rankings

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Want to pursue your career in Consulting? MBA graduates from top business schools get hired by some of these top 50 consulting firms and to get admissions into B-schools like Harvard, Stanford, and Kellogg, you require a good GMAT score. Start your GMAT Preparation by Signing up for our Free Trial and getting access to FREE online GMAT preparation resources. We are the most reviewed GMAT preparation company on GMATClub with more than 2200 reviews.

FAQs – Consulting Firms

What are the “Big Four” management consulting firms?

The four largest management consulting firms in the world are PwC, KPMG, Deloitte, and EY.

What are the Big three management consultancies?

The big three of MBB refer to the largest strategy consulting firms by revenue – McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company.

Is McKinsey better than Bain?

In terms of work/life balance, Bain and BCG are better than McKinsey. Besides, according to the Vault Annual Ranking McKinsey has dropped from #1 position to #3 in the 2021 Ranking.

Do Consulting companies hire MBA graduates?

Yes. Consulting firms continue to hire over 30% of MBA graduates consistently at several M7 and other top business schools.
Learn more about M7 business schools.

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