Deals Strategy vs. Tech Consulting for Career in Tech

Hi WSO,

I'm an undergrad student graduating this year at a top 20ish school studying CS & business. I've always had some interest in consulting but was convinced I'd want to start working in tech until last year. My school is a big target for the Big 4 and ended up doing Tech Consulting at PwC this summer. I applied for and successfully got an offer to transfer into their Deals Strategy practice (seems aligned to Strategy& for talent, comp, etc.). I now have both offers in hand, expiring soon (about a week) so hoping to get your thoughts on:

Pros for Deals Strategy/Cons for Tech Consulting:

  1. I'm really interested in aiming for an M7 business school and getting it sponsored would be a big plus. Since Strategy& sponsors, Deals Strategy should too, but not sure if it'll look like as high pedigree of experience.
  2. Previous posts about Deals Strategy suggest that it's a fast growing group with quality work/clients, competing well for engagements with MBB.
  3. Pay is aligned with all of the Strategy& associates, which seems pretty on par with MBB. Tech consulting is only 7.5K less for base, but would imagine the progression/bonuses are worse.
  4. Quality of work/speed of engagements seems stronger for Deals. Could get stuck with year long, bureaucratic projects in tech consulting

Cons for Deals Strategy/Pros for Tech Consulting

  1. I'm pretty sure that my long term goal is to get to the highest level of the business side of tech I can. Seems like Deals would set up exit ops in finance more than anywhere else, which isn't super interesting to me. I follow some financial news and have found my exposure to finance intriguing so this is less of a short term concern.
  2. Deals role is in Houston (I have a bunch of family there so although I don't like the city much, location is not much a con). It does seem like most of the deal flow is in oil/natural gas, and I'm definitely one of those social cause conscious GenZ'ers. Would love thoughts on how easy transferring to a different industry or lateraling to another firm might be.
  3. Have heard the hours in Deals Strategy can be tough (although travel for Houston office seems less). Work life balance is important to me, but willing to sacrifice a bit for good opportunities.
  4. I'm pretty technical (basic AI and PM experience in addition to standard app dev stuff) so perhaps I could network to get staffed on more interesting tech consulting projects. Was pretty siloed off this summer so hard to gauge how likely that would be,

I'm also applying to MBB (targeting their newer digital roles) and for big tech PM roles. Looks like I could get get some interest for those roles but have to make a decision soon about PwC.

Thanks for reading!

Comments (2)

Sep 10, 2019

AFAIK big 4 tech consulting works on a lot of implementation projects, and a part of that work involves sourcing and working with vendors. It is ultimately a project management job and your CS knowledge may not be utilised.

As for the Deals practice, it depends on which sub-practice you're placed in. You're right that Deals would lead to opportunities in finance mostly, but folks from Corporate Finance, Valuation and Deals Strategy could definitely move in-house to tech firms for corp strat or corp dev work.

If you're looking at MBB exits, PwC tech consulting won't cut it, given that strategy is not part of the work. Would pick Deals in a heartbeat.

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Sep 10, 2019
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