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Consulting Firms – Top 50 Firms to work for in 2020

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 the 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 2020.

Best Consulting firms in 2020

Here is a brief outline of the article:

50 Top Consulting Firms in 2020

  1. McKinsey & Company
  2. The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
  3. Bain & Company
  4. Deloitte Consulting LLP
  5. Oliver Wyman
  6. Booz Allen Hamilton
  7. The Parthenon Group
  8. PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC (PwC Advisory Services)
  9. A.T. Kearney
  10. GE Healthcare
  11. Accenture
  12. Putnam Associates
  13. Clearview Healthcare Partners
  14.  KPMG LLP (Consulting Practice)
  15. The Bridgespan Group
  16. Strategy&, part of the PwC network
  17. Analysis Group, Inc.
  18. L.E.K. Consulting
  19. Keystone Group
  20. ghSMART & Co.
  21. Insight Sourcing Group
  22. Alvarez & Marsal
  23. Gartner, Inc.
  24. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
  25. Cornerstone Research
  26. Health Advances, LLC
  27. Ignyte Group
  28. The Brattle Group
  29. Clarkston Consulting
  30. Blue Matter
  31. ScottMadden, Inc.
  32. Simon-Kucher & Partners 
  33.  The Chartis Group
  34. ZS Associates
  35. Eagle Hill Consulting LLC
  36. Insigniam
  37. Applied Value
  38. NERA Economic Consulting
  39. StoneTurn
  40. Keystone Strategy
  41.  Trinity Partners, LLC
  42. Cicero Group
  43. DayBlink Consulting
  44. LeapPoint
  45. Kenway Consulting
  46. Kaiser Associates
  47. Innosight
  48.  Aarete
  49. OC&C Strategy Consultants
  50.  Pace Harmon
Consulting Firms  Change in Rank (2020 vs. 2019) Change in Score (2020 vs. 2019)
McKinsey & Company 0 -0.097
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 1 -0.032
Bain & Company -1 -0.097
Deloitte Consulting LLP 0 -0.35
Oliver Wyman 0 0.128
Booz Allen Hamilton 15 0.583
The Parthenon Group 0 0.021
PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC (PwC Advisory Services) 0 -0.039
A.T. Kearney 2 0.032
GE Healthcare 5 0.135
Accenture -1 -0.052
Putnam Associates -6 -0.198
Clearview Healthcare Partners 11 0.336
KPMG LLP (Consulting Practice) -2 -0.166
The Bridgespan Group -6 -0.12
Strategy&, part of the PwC network -3 -0.209
Analysis Group, Inc. 2 0.098
L.E.K. Consulting -4 -0.188
Keystone Group 3 0.098
ghSMART & Co. 3 0.053
Insight Sourcing Group -3 -0.155
Alvarez & Marsal -2 -0.094
Gartner, Inc. 8 0.082
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants -7 -0.274
Cornerstone Research NA NA
Health Advances, LLC 0 -0.13
Ignyte Group 8 0.038
The Brattle Group -12 -0.451
Clarkston Consulting 5 -0.041
Blue Matter NA NA
ScottMadden, Inc. NA NA
Simon-Kucher & Partners -2 -0.103
The Chartis Group 6 0.014
ZS Associates -9 -0.307
Eagle Hill Consulting LLC -6 -0.194
Insigniam NA NA
Applied Value NA NA
NERA Economic Consulting -1 -0.234
StoneTurn NA NA
Keystone Strategy 3 -0.194
Trinity Partners, LLC -8 -0.35
Cicero Group -2 -0.28
DayBlink Consulting 7 -0.179
LeapPoint -17 -0.476
Kenway Consulting 2 -0.25
Kaiser Associates NA NA
Innosight -6 -0.351
Aarete NA NA
OC&C Strategy Consultants -21 -0.574
Pace Harmon -2 -0.292

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McKinsey, Bain, and BCG the holy trinity of management consulting firms retained the top 3 spots in the 2020 ranking of Best consulting firms to work for in 2020. BCG and Bain traded places coming in at 2nd and 3rd in this year’s ranking as compared to 2019.

McKinsey Hold on to the #1 Spot for the 3rd Year

Coming in at 1st place for the third time in 3 years, McKinsey managed a three-peat performance equaling Bain & Company’s 2011-13 run. It also managed a near-perfect score in exit opportunities and gained ground in diversity, informal training, and selectivity parameters.

BCG Scores higher in 11 out of 21 categories over 2019

BCG had a surging year notching higher scores in 11 out of 21 categories over 2019. The biggest score difference was in pay/compensation where it’s score jumped from 9.176 to 9.571. BCG also made progress in the promotion policies category where it scores 0.224 points higher than last year due to increased transparency and support.

Bain ranks 1st amongst MBB peers in 6 categories

For Bain & Company, this 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.

Comparison between McKinsey, Bain, and BCG

McKinsey leads the MBB with the highest scores in 11 out of 21 categories in quality of work/life such as:

  • Level of challenge
  • Diversity
  • Exit Opportunities
  • Hours
  • Internal Mobility
  • International Opportunities & More

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 / Life McKinsey Bain BCG
Level of Challenge 9.595 9.434 9.427
Benefits 9.781 9.551 9.873
Compensation 9.229 9.185 9.571
Diversity 9.667 9.189 9.223
Exit Opportunities 9.921 9.73 9.881
Firm Culture 9.585 9.723 9.575
Firm Leadership 9.672 9.705 9.693
Formal Training 9.707 9.75 9.556
Hours 8.458 8.327 NR
Informal Training 9.746 9.778 9.638
Innovation 9.694 9.023 9.466
Interaction with Clients 9.766 9.597 9.685
Internal Mobility 9.265 8.985 8.82
International Opportunities 9.686 9.277 9.567
Business Outlook 9.754 9.788 9.822
Promotion Policy 9.537 9.489 9.584
Relationships with Supervisors 9.672 9.577 9.562
Satisfaction 9.39 9.307 9.218
Selectivity 9.927 9.791 9.85
Travel Requirements 8.97 8.992 NR
Work-Life Balance 8.847 8.981 8.793

*NR – Not Ranked

Consulting Firms – Ranking based on Services 2020

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:

  1. Best Boutique Consulting Firms
  2. Best Management and Strategy Consulting Firms 
  3. Best Healthcare Consulting Firms 
  4. 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 2020 rankings of the Top 10 Boutique Consulting Firms:

Companies Name  2020 Rank (2019 Rank) 2020 Score (2019 Score) Change in Rank Change in Score
ClearView Healthcare Partners 1 (15) 9.336 (8.784) 14 0.552
ghSMART & Co. 2 (4) 9.328 (9.121) 2 0.207
Insight Sourcing Group 3 (2) 9.327 (9.402) -1 -0.075
Putnam Associates 4 (1) 9.305 (9.612) -3 -0.307
The Keystone Group 5 (7) 9.136 (9.019) 2 0.117
Ignyte Group 6 (8) 9.042 (8.914) 2 0.128
Blue Matter 7 (NR) 9.007 (NA) NA NA
Clarkston Consulting 8 (NR) 8.952 (NA) NA NA
Health Advances, LLC 9 (10) 8.927 (8.89) 1 0.037
DeciBio Consulting 10 (NR) 8.918 (NA) NA NA

Best Management and Strategy Consulting Firms

Best Management and Strategy Consulting firms - 2020

Top 10 management consulting firms to work for in 2020

2020 Rank Firm Name % of Votes
1 McKinsey & Company 68.61%
2 The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 58.71%
3 Bain & Company 54.02%
4 Deloitte Consulting LLP 28.13%
5 PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) 14.66%
6 Accenture 13.47%
7 EY LLP (Ernst & Young) 9.65%
8 Booz Allen Hamilton 5.78%
9 KPMG 5.59%
10 Oliver Wyman 5.04%

Top 10 Strategy consulting firms to work for in 2020

2020 Rank Firm Name % of Votes
1 McKinsey & Company 79.03%
2 The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 71.14%
3 Bain & Company 66.26%
4 Deloitte Consulting LLP 15.23%
5 Accenture 9.57%
6 Strategy& 5.46%
7 Oliver Wyman 4.69%
8 EY LLP (Ernst & Young) 4.47%
9 KPMG 4.10%
10 IBM Global Services 3.61%

The MBB (i.e. McKinsey, Bain, and BCG) continue to dominate both strategy and management consulting rankings in 2020. They are separated by almost a 50-60 point margin from the rest of the field in strategy consulting.

Best Healthcare Consulting Firms

Best Healthcare Consulting firms in 2020

Following is a list of the best healthcare consulting firms according to Vault’s 2020 rankings:

2020 Rank Firm Name % of Votes
1 McKinsey & Company 34.47%
2 The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 25.89%
3 Deloitte Consulting LLP 15.75%
4 Bain & Company 15.66%
5 GE Healthcare 15.62%
6 Huron Consulting Group 12.74%
6 ZS 12.74%
8 Clearview Healthcare Partners 10.82%
9 PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) 10.59%
10 L.E.K. Consulting 10.55%
11 Accenture 9.86%
12 IQVIA 9.41%
13 Kaiser Associates 9.36%
14 Navigant Consulting, Inc. 7.81%
15 The Advisory Board Company 6.71%
16 Oliver Wyman 5.84%
17 Putnam Associates 4.98%
18 Mercer LLC 4.93%
19 EY LLP (Ernst & Young) 4.47%
19 Health Advances, LLC 4.47%

While McKinsey retained its top spot, it lost 3.5% share of votes as compared to last year. Similarly, BCG lost 4 points while coming in 2nd place in 2020.

Most Prestigious Consulting Firms Rankings

Best Consulting firms - Prestige Rankings

The prestige rankings for the Best Consulting Firms to Work for in 2020 have remained largely the same with the top 10 retaining their spots from last year.

Firm Name 2020 Rank (2019 Rank) 2020 Score (2019 Score) Change in Rank Change in Score
McKinsey & Company 1 (1) 8.894 (9.024) 0 -0.13
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. 2 (2) 8.758 (8.746) 0 0.012
Bain & Company 3 (3) 8.6 (8.607) 0 -0.007
Deloitte Consulting LLP 4 (4) 7.121 (6.967) 0 0.154
PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC (PwC Advisory Services) 5 (5) 6.751 (6.543) 0 0.208
Booz Allen Hamilton 6 (6) 6.49 (6.433) 0 0.057
EY (Ernst & Young LLP) Consulting Practice 7 (7) 6.474 (6.345) 0 0.129
Accenture 8 (8) 6.445 (6.273) 0 0.172
KPMG LLP (Consulting Practice) 9 (9) 6.155 (6.043) 0 0.112
Oliver Wyman 10 (10) 6.066 (6.028) 0 0.038
IBM Global Services 11 (13) 5.78 (5.624) 2 0.156
The Parthenon Group 12 (14) 5.756 (5.438) 2 0.318
A.T. Kearney 13 (11) 5.749 (5.863) -2 -0.114
Strategy&, part of the PwC network 14 (12) 5.65 (5.637) -2 0.013
L.E.K. Consulting 15 (15) 5.472 (5.382) 0 0.09
Lockheed Martin Corporation (IT Consulting) 16 (17) 5.19 (4.791) 1 0.399
Gartner, Inc. 17 (16) 4.988 (4.935) -1 0.053
Grant Thornton LLP (Consulting Practice) 18 (23) 4.719 (4.31) 5 0.409
Capgemini 19 (19) 4.712 (4.69) 0 0.022
Mercer LLC 20 (18) 4.695 (4.712) -2 -0.017
Oracle Consulting 21 (22) 4.584 (4.39) 1 0.194
GE Healthcare 22 (20) 4.518 (4.611) -2 -0.093
Northrop Grumman Corporation (IT Consulting) 23 (33) 4.472 (3.966) 10 0.506
SAP Services (IT Consulting) 24 (27) 4.347 (4.139) 3 0.208
Navigant Consulting, Inc. 25 (21) 4.307 (4.411) -4 -0.104
Huron Consulting Group 26 (24) 4.274 (4.273) -2 0.001
Charles River Associates 27 (26) 4.218 (4.141) -1 0.077
Gallup Consulting 28 (34) 4.206 (3.947) 6 0.259
FTI Consulting, Inc. 29 (30) 4.133 (4.031) 1 0.102
ZS Associates 30 (25) 4.124 (4.179) -5 -0.055
Roland Berger Strategy Consultants 31 (29) 4.113 (4.063) -2 0.05
Alvarez & Marsal 32 (31) 4.097 (4.021) -1 0.076
The Bridgespan Group 33 (28) 4.066 (4.126) -5 -0.06
AlixPartners, LLP 34 (36) 4.043 (3.924) 2 0.119
Towers Watson 35 (32) 4.013 (3.995) -3 0.018
Slalom Consulting 36 (38) 4.005 (3.915) 2 0.09
Korn Ferry Hay Group 39 (46) 3.902 (3.559) 7 0.343
Cognizant 40 (43) 3.796 (3.638) 3 0.158
Raytheon Professional Services 41 (NR) 3.742 (NR) NA NA
BAE Systems 42 (NR) 3.717 (NR) NA NA
Kurt Salmon 43 (44) 3.682 (3.619) 1 0.063
The Advisory Board Company 44 (40) 3.628 (3.714) -4 -0.086
NERA Economic Consulting 45 (35) 3.592 (3.931) -10 -0.339
Cornerstone Research 46 (41) 3.524 (3.709) -5 -0.185
The Brattle Group 47 (42) 3.505 (3.644) -5 -0.139
Analysis Group, Inc. 48 (45) 3.494 (3.602) -3 -0.108
Tata Consultancy Services 49 (49) 3.437 (3.401) 0 0.036
Arthur D. Little 50 (NR) 3.398 (NR) NA NA

 

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Vault’s Ranking Methodology

The 2020 edition of the Vault consulting rankings is calculated based on survey responses of over 17,000 consulting firm employees. Survey respondents were asked to rate their own firms on a scale of 1 – 10 on areas such as:

  • Firm Culture
  • Compensation
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Overall Satisfaction

Consultants were also asked to rate the prestige of their peer firms and select the strongest firms in specific practice areas.

To compile the overall rankings a weighted formula with the following weights is used:

  • 30% Prestige
  • 15% Satisfaction
  • 15% Firm Culture
  • 10% Compensation
  • 10% Work/Life Balance
  • 10% Level of Challenge
  • 5% Business Outlook
  • 5% Promotion Policies

21 separate quality of life factors such as compensation, culture, promotion policies, and training are used to compute the rankings of the best consulting firms to work for in 2020. Scores from the peer firm assessments are used to compute the list of the most prestigious consulting firms as well as the top consulting firms according to practice areas. The 15 practice areas for which rankings are calculated to include:

  • Management Consulting
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Energy Consulting
  • Technology, Media and Telecommunications Consulting

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Data source: Vault

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 refers 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 and overall size and reach McKinsey leads Bain. Besides, according to the Vault Annual Ranking McKinsey holds the first spot followed by BCG and Bain.

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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