Economic Consulting vs Tech Consulting: Job, Exit Opps, Salary, etc.

Hey,

Trying to decide between these two industries (received offer in each), and am hoping to find out more information to help make my decision. Economic consulting firm is considered top-tier, whereas the tech consulting is less so.

For context, I come from a pure math/tech background with little/no interest in economics. I am leaning towards tech consulting. However, the prestige/possible exit ops of the economic consulting firm is making me second-guess myself.  Economic consulting offer pays slightly more and better location, but job seems less interesting and tech consulting would allow me to go back into tech (I assume?). To be honest, I don't know what to do in the future. I have considered options ranging from law-school to software related roles, and would like to keep my options open. I only have tech experience and am worried that economic consulting would pigeon-hole me away from more quantitative/programming-oriented careers.

Questions:

Job:

  1. How much 'hardcore' data science is involved in economic consulting? Or is it just standard linear regression? From the interviews, the 'quantitative' work just seemed like linear regression, which loses its novelty, for me, pretty quickly.

  2. How much of the economic consulting job is data collection, processing, and cleaning?

  3. What is the culture like at economic consulting firms - it seems like everyone comes from very similar backgrounds (academic, etc.)? On the hand, tech was significantly more diverse, and less hierarchical.

Exit-opps:

  1. Other than grad school, what are the exit ops for economic consulting? I have seen online a few people do 'data science' roles at tech companies, but am wondering what else is out there.

  2. Which of economic vs tech consulting would be better for lateral into MBB or strategy/risk roles in BB/HF?

  3. Apart from connections, how does economic consulting help entry into law school?

Thank you

Comments (3)

Most Helpful
  • Analyst 1 in Consulting
2mo 

1. Depends on the case. Sometimes you'll just be in Excel, sometimes you'll be doing linear regression, and occasionally you do interesting stuff. For example when I worked in economic consulting I was briefly on a case where we designed a neural network. Some firms like Cornerstone are building out practices that are more focused on modern data science. But tbh I don't think either econ or tech consulting will get very hardcore, and I'd even wager that tech consulting is less technical unless you're like a software engineering or data scientist consultant.

2. A lot - most clients are absolutely shit about organizing their data (this is true for all of consulting)

3. Pretty academic but it doesn't stop people from going wild. At my firm there were several practices / teams notorious for partying. I have good friends that were ex-coworkers. You're right that it can be pretty hierarchical and at the large firms you hit a ceiling without having a grad degree

4. Data science, analytics, strategy, etc. I'm personally in a tech-adjacent role now. Exit opps are honestly quite diverse, just depends on how you sell yourself and how good the job market is

5. For MBB either equal or slight edge to econ consulting, I know several people that switched to MBB and I personally interviewed with two of them recently. For HF it's econ consulting - some of my ex-coworkers have ended up at well-known HFs on the investment team.

6. Very helpful, most if not all of your cases in econ consulting are matters relating to law like a merger approval or a securities litigation. Your managers or testifying experts can write good recommendations too. It's one of the most common grad school exits. Assuming the rest of your profile is good you'll be very competitive for top schools

2mo 
WestCoastChimp4521, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I would strongly recommend against tech consulting (unless maybe... maybe if it's McKinsey or BCG DV). 

Typically you want to be an Engineer, Product Owner/Manager, Architect etc al --- you want to own something in production whether that's finding product market fit or an actual systems operations

If you're at a deloitte style shop for tech consulting then really your just some sort of implementation lead which is really the worst of both worlds; no SME experience; no customer experience.

Just my 2c. Hope that helps.

  • 3
2mo 
randomnumbers234238324353, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Quod est dolore et. Dicta mollitia neque est nobis. Odit commodi voluptas autem eligendi corrupti rerum temporibus. Ut ut delectus perspiciatis omnis.

Start Discussion

Career Advancement Opportunities

January 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • LEK Consulting 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

January 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • Cornerstone Research 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • McKinsey and Co 97.7%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

January 2023 Consulting

  • Bain & Company 99.4%
  • McKinsey and Co 98.9%
  • Boston Consulting Group (BCG) 98.3%
  • Oliver Wyman 97.7%
  • Strategy& 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

January 2023 Consulting

  • Partner (4) $368
  • Principal (25) $277
  • Director/MD (51) $269
  • Vice President (45) $244
  • Engagement Manager (90) $222
  • Manager (145) $168
  • 2nd Year Associate (146) $140
  • 3rd+ Year Associate (103) $130
  • Senior Consultant (310) $129
  • 1st Year Associate (510) $117
  • Consultant (560) $117
  • Engineer (6) $114
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (136) $112
  • NA (12) $109
  • 2nd Year Analyst (301) $100
  • Associate Consultant (157) $97
  • 1st Year Analyst (980) $86
  • Intern/Summer Associate (169) $82
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (477) $67