What Are The 5 Highest Paying Consulting Firms in the World?

highest paying consulting

“Is this going to be worth it?”

If you are currently or have ever considered earning an MBA degree, it’s likely that you’ve asked yourself this question. Given the burgeoning cost of tuition—especially for top business programs—plus the loss in income and cost of living while pursuing your education, it’s a fair question to ask. Does it make sense to invest this sort of money into your education with no guaranteed result?

Of course, many of the benefits of earning an MBA simply can’t be quantified and boiled down to raw numbers. The new opportunities created through study abroad or case competitions, the expansion of your professional network and chance to connect with industry professionals. All of these considerations can make it difficult to ever truly gain perspective on an MBA degree’s worth.

Thankfully, there are some areas where the numbers still do the talking. In particular: post-graduate salary. This is one of the easiest and simplest ways to see the true value of an MBA. And it’s not just helpful to look at the increase in salary after earning an MBA—it can be just as enlightening to see the difference in post-graduate salary for various MBA concentrations. This data can help you make important choices about what kind of path you’d like to pursue while earning your MBA, and how to make the most out of the time and money spent on your education.

U.S. News & World Report found found that strategy, while one of the least popular MBA concentrations (chosen by just 4.3 percent of business school students), led to some of the highest paying jobs after graduation. Since students concentrating in strategy typically go into jobs at consulting firms following graduation, they are more likely to earn high salaries that can help increase the overall value of their degree—not to mention pay off their student loans much faster.

For students looking to increase the worth of their MBA with a high-paying job in consulting, we’ve rounded up the highest paying firms in the consulting industry. Working towards careers in these top companies will guarantee that the answer to “is this going to be worth it?” will always be “yes!”

The 5 Highest Paying Consulting Firms

Formerly known as Ernst & Young, EY-Parthenon is one of the top paying consulting firms for MBA graduates. The company is headquartered in London, England, with more than 250,000 employees at offices throughout the world. EY is known as one of the “Big Four” accounting firms, joining Deloitte, PwC, and KPMG as the four largest professional services networks in the world. Last year, EY was also named 29th on the “100 Best Companies to Work For” list from Fortune.

According to Business Insider, EY-Parthenon employees with just an undergraduate degree make up to, on average, $110,000 annually, including base salary, signing bonuses, and extra incentives. Management Consulted data found that MBA grads earned an astounding base salary of $170,000 at the company. That figure doesn’t include signing bonuses, relocation expenses, and more.

Founded in 1926 by University of Chicago economics professor James McKinsey, McKinsey & Company has transformed into one of the world’s most iconic consulting empires. The company has opened in more than 120 global cities, employing more than 14,000 consultants—many of which comes from prestigious MBA institutions.

According to Management Consulted data, McKinsey & Company is the second-highest paying consulting firm in the world for MBA grads, with offered base salaries coming in at $152,000. With an added potential performance bonus of $35,000, those figures can rise to $187,500 in just one year.

Strategy& has grown exceedingly since its beginnings as Booz & Company in 1914. One of the top global strategy consulting firms in the country, the company now has 57 offices throughout the world, revenue upwards of $1.3 billion, and 3,000 employees. Nearly a century after their founding, in 2013, the company was acquired by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and officially renamed to Strategy&.

The company comes in third overall among for annual base compensation for MBA grads, at a lofty $152,000. The company also offers one of the most unique and lucrative retirement funding options for consulting employees, with 6 percent of base salary and bonuses matched for its 401k plan.

L.E.K. is technically the youngest company to make the top five, which was founded in the early 1980s by former Bain partners James Lawrence, Iain Evans, and Richard Koch. Headquartered in both Boston and London, L.E.K. is also the smallest company on this list, with around 3,000 employees.

Despite its size and relative newness in comparison to many of the other companies on this list, L.E.K. pays its employees more-than-handsomely, offering a tempting base salary of $150,000 and upwards of $25,000 in performance-based potential incentives.

Bain & Company, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, is a global management consultancy firm providing advice for public, private, and non-profit organizations. Along with the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company is one of the “Big Three” firms. Founded in 1973, Bain & Co. today has more than 8,000 employees throughout the world and an estimated revenue between $3.7 and $4.5 billion.

Bain offers its recently employed MBA grads a starting base salary comes in slightly above aforementioned Deloitte employees, snagging $148,000 per year, which can grow to $185,000 in total compensation.

Honorable Mentions

The Boston Consulting Group, founded in 1963, now has more than 90 offices in 50 countries, advising clients throughout the private, public, and not-profit sectors.

The Massachusetts institution offers its MBA graduates right around the same compensation as Bain & Co, the companies unofficial direct competitor. Base salaries come in around $147,000, but massive (and we mean massive) bonus incentives can bring that total up to $191,100.

Another one of the “Big Four,” Deloitte has witnessed non-stop growth since its founding in 1845. Today, the firm makes more than $38.8 billion USD in revenue with roughly 263,900 employees throughout the world. As of 2016, Deloitte was ranked as the sixth largest privately owned organization in the U.S. The firm’s offerings span across audit, tax, consulting, financial advisory, and enterprise risk services, with offices across the world in cities like Los Angeles, Tokyo, Madrid, Tel Aviv, and many more.

Management Consulted data found that MBA grads at Deloitte reported a base salary slightly smaller than its aforementioned contemporaries, pulling in $140,000 per year. Deloitte separates itself from its competition by offering returning interns a potential to pay for the send year of their MBA education in the form of reimbursement.

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About the Author

Alanna Shaffer

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Atlanta, Houston, and Dallas.

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