The Best Business Schools for Landing Top Consulting Jobs

MBB or Bust!

Now, let’s drill into those 2017 employment reports to see which schools are sending the most graduates to McKinsey, BCG, and Bain in particular. At both INSEAD and LBS, the top three consulting firms were also the top three recruiters. At INSEAD, McKinsey snapped up 182 grads, followed by Bain with 107, and BCG with 97. Of the 432-student 2017 graduating class at LBS, McKinsey took 37, BCG took 36, and Bain took 35, together accounting for 26 percent of all hires.

At Kellogg, 104 students headed off to the three leading firms—that’s 35 percent of all graduates hired. Here again, McKinsey took the lead, hiring 40 students. Bain followed, with 28, and BCG brought up the rear, bringing on 26 Kellogg grads.

At Chicago Booth, 19.6 percent of all hires in the Class of 2017 headed off to one of the three, with McKinsey taking 48 graduates alone. And at MIT Sloan, 19.2 percent of grads were MBB-bound, 26 students off to McKinsey, 21 to BCG, and 19 to Bain. And at Columbia, out of 706 students , McKinsey hired 55, BCG hired 36, and Bain took on 27. Not to be overlooked, the MBB accounted for three of the top eight employers at Fuqua, hiring 21 (McKinsey), 14 (BCG), and 10 (Bain) students.

So, in truth the MBB dominate MBA recruiting at the majority of the most elite business schools, both in the United States and elsewhere. Harvard Business School (HBS) does not release specific details about how many students are hired by individual firms. But we know that 23 percent of the 712 graduates of the Class of 2017 who were actively seeking employment upon graduation went into the consulting industry. As widely renowned for its case study teaching methodology as HBS is—and with deep alumni ties to all three MBB firms—you can be sure a healthy number were headed there.

Stanford GSB Sees a Consulting Rebound with 2017 Grads

Like HBS, Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) does not disclose the number of students hired by individual recruiting firms. So, here’s what we do know about the Palo Alto school: Of the most recent graduating class, 20 percent headed into consulting, up from just 14 percent two years earlier. Technology hires, meanwhile, fell 8 percentage points, to just 25 percent. In sharing its 2017 employment statistics, the school called it “a rebalancing of the scales among the three top industries.” The third, of course, is finance, which lured 32 percent of the most recent GSB grads.

The school does disclose salary data for the industry as a whole, specifically that the median base salary for consulting-bound grads was $147,000, with an additional median signing bonus of $25,000. These figures trail HBS by a mere $3,000 and are on par with Chicago Booth and Columbia, which suggest that the prestige consulting firms are also those hiring the lion’s share of GSB grads.

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Keith Bevans, global head of consultant recruiting at Bain, confirms his firm’s predilection for graduates from top programs, adding that he has noted common threads between them. “We hire the same type of person from different cities and countries and schools. They tend to be very smart, very passionate, maniacally focused on making a difference in whatever they are doing,” he says.

“Of course, the largest schools tend to have more people. Harvard Business School, INSEAD—they will always be big schools for us because when you look at the size of the program and the percentage that go into consulting, that’s where the people are,” he adds.

Bevans’ insights all suggest that the above data can indeed help steer you toward the business schools most likely to help you break into the MBB firms. But he also noted that Bain ended up hiring from about 60 different schools when he last looked at the data. “Our hiring is concentrated at the best business schools, but the truth is we are looking for the best talent we can find from all sources,” he says.

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  1. New Consulting Jobs For MBA Graduates | MetroMBA - […] way into prestigious consulting firms for decades, creating what we’ve previously called “a virtuous circle,” where the demand for…

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