2017 Consulting Industry Report – 8 Categories to Consider

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The 2017 Consulting Industry Report compiled by Wall Street Oasis (WSO) provides insight on total average compensation, industry reputation, work/life balance and more.

All statistics featured in the reports are based on approximately 7,400 user submissions within the consulting industry. The report includes data through YTD 2017, with approximately 70% of the submissions coming from the United States.

Main categories are analyzed below with an emphasis on most relevant employers and key takeaways.



Total Average Compensation

Key Observation 1: Total compensation (base & bonus) averages $80,000 for first-year analysts and $111,000 for first-year associates.

The total average compensation, including base salary and bonus, at consulting firms ranges from $80,000 annually for first-year analysts to $111,000 for first-year associates to $538,000 for director/managing director (smaller sample size for this position). These figures represent data from 122 consulting firms.

Interestingly, the consulting industry's percentage of bonus relative to overall compensation is much smaller than in the investment banking, hedge fund and private equity industries.


The top three consulting firms for first-year analyst highest average compensation are:
The top three consulting firms for first-year associate highest average compensation are:
The top three consulting firms for director/managing director highest average compensation are as follows. It is important to note these results are based on a much smaller sample size than the other two positions with respondents from only seven companies.
  • Deloitte at $1,025,200
  • Alvarez & Marsal at $470,200
  • Strategy& at $293,000

Notably, none of the companies in the top three for first-year analyst, first-year associate or vice president made the top three in the other positions. Deloitte shows a significant increase from $71,800 annually as a first-year analyst to $1 million+ as a director/managing director.

Out of 75 consulting firms, employees at Oliver Wyman, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company were most satisfied with their pay compared to similar jobs elsewhere. Both Oliver Wyman and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) made an appearance in a top average compensation category.

The above compensation figures trend lower for first-year analysts than other industries such as investment banking where starting compensation averages $121,000 base and bonus. At a large technology company like Facebook or Uber, software engineers start around $75,000 but are capped at $271,000 as directors.


The exponential increase in comp from analyst to VP. Data up until November 2017.





Interview Statistics - Hardest & Best

Key Observation 2: Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is in the top three firms for both hardest and best interview process.

Member submissions also provided information on the interview process, including the hardest and best experiences. To compile the statistics, each company is given an adjusted score using Bayesian estimates, which takes into account the number of reviews for a particular company with a minimum of two required. The results are representative of 64 consulting firms.

Earning the reputation as having the hardest interview process are McKinsey and Co., Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company. Both Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and McKinsey and Co. reward the difficult process with top compensation at the first-year analyst and first-year associate levels respectively.

The best interview process reviews go to Oliver Wyman, Mercer and Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Both Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Oliver Wyman also provide top compensation at the first-year analyst and first-year associate levels respectively.

Interestingly, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is in the top three for both hardest and best interview process for consulting firms.


Hardest and best interview experiences across hedge funds. Data up until November 2017.




Professional Development Opportunities

Key Observation 3: McKinsey and Co., Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) rank in the top-three in each sub-category.

The professional growth and career opportunities section of the 2017 Consulting Industry Report focuses on three sub-categories. We've highlighted the top 3 out of 75 firms in each sub-category.

Overall Employee Satisfaction
  • McKinsey and Co.
  • Bain & Company
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Professional Growth Opportunities
  • McKinsey and Co.
  • Bain & Company
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Career Advancement Opportunities
  • McKinsey and Co.
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
  • Bain & Company

It's a sweep! The findings show clear leaders in this category with three companies taking all top-three rankings. These firms are often considered the elite management consulting firms and referred to as "MBB", so these results are not surprising. In addition, both McKinsey and Co. and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) show a correlation between professional growth and highest average compensation.




Promotions & Fairness

Key Observation 4: Top performers noted throughout the report were also top performers in this category.

Wall Street Oasis member submissions also highlight opinions on promotions and fairness within the Consulting Industry. Again, we've highlighted the top firms in each sub-category.

Feedback
Best Recognition
  • Bain & Company
  • Oliver Wyman
  • McKinsey and Co.

Most Fair
  • Bain & Company
  • Oliver Wyman
  • McKinsey and Co.

A clear trend is apparent with four consulting firms taking top-three rankings in all sub-categories. These results also correspond closely with those found in the professional growth and development category with the addition of Oliver Wyman making a strong appearance in this category.




Reputation

Key Observation 5: Bain & Company, McKinsey and Co. and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) have earned a proud reputation.

An important measure of a company is what employees say about their workplace outside of work. In this report, reputation is defined by two factors, employee pride and whether employees would recommend the company to others.

Not surprisingly, top performers noted throughout the 2017 Consulting Industry Report were also top performers in this category. McKinsey and Co., Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company earn the top honors for "proudest employees".

Bain & Company, McKinsey and Co. and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) round out the top three for their firms being "recommended" to others by their employees.


The proudest employees at various hedge funds, a potential proxy for reputation. Data up until November 2017.




Senior Management

Key Observation 6: In the consulting industry, there is a strong correlation between senior management rankings and highest average compensation.

The senior management statistics were generated from the following four sub-categories. We've highlighted the top three out of 75 firms in each sub-category.

Best Communication
  • McKinsey and Co.
  • Bain & Company
  • Oliver Wyman
Best Teamwork
  • McKinsey and Co.
  • Bain & Company
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Best Leadership
  • Bain & Company
  • McKinsey and Co.
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Competence
  • Bain & Company
  • McKinsey and Co.
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

From this data, we can infer a strong correlation between how employees view senior management and the company's performance in all other categories, including top compensation for Boston Consulting Group (BCG), McKinsey and Co. and Oliver Wyman, throughout the 2017 Consulting Industry Report.




Lifestyle

Key Observation 7: The consulting industry, unlike others analyzed on WSO, shows a correlation between most average hours worked and highest average compensation.

The 2017 Consulting Industry Report also includes feedback on which firms provide the most satisfying lifestyle as defined by three sub-categories. The top firms in each sub-category are listed below.

Time off
Best Work/Life Balance
Most Average Hours Worked
  • EVA Dimensions (75 hours/week)
  • Teneo (72.5 hours/week)
  • Galt and Company (71.7 hours/week)

Not surprisingly, the top three out of 75 firms in the two "positive" lifestyle categories are top performers throughout the report and do not rank in the top three for most average hours worked.

In comparison, Oliver Wyman ranks 8th at 64.4 hours/week and Accenture ranks 30th at 56.1 hours/week. IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton do not rank in the top 30.

A key takeaway is that the consulting industry shows a correlation between most average hours worked and highest average compensation. This differs from the findings in the investment banking, hedge fund and private equity industry reports.

Consulting industry employees working the most average hours still average 7-9 hours less per week than their counterparts in the investment banking industry.


The hours worked per week, ranked highest to lowest. Important to note that some of these data points have low sample size (smaller HFs) Data up until November 2017.




Additional Points of Interest

Key Observation 8: Gender is not a point of differentiation reported in the data.

In addition to the main categories discussed throughout this article, there are several other points of interest within the 2017 Hedge Fund Industry Report.

  • Geographically, New York generated highest response rate by far, followed by Chicago and London.
  • Level of education also played a role with 58% of the report's 33,400 unique contributors citing a GPA between 3.5-4.0.
  • Even more, graduates of schools in major markets are most represented in the study, with New York University (NYU), University of Pennsylvania and Cornell rounding out the top three.
  • Finally, the report does not account for gender as a distinguishing factor in the data.

The 2017 Consulting Industry Report provides key insights into the industry as well as important information for when analyzing your current employment or determining priorities in your job search.

For more information, including the most current data as reports are continually updated online, please contact Wall Street Oasis at [email protected].




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Nov 20, 2017
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