Deloitte Federal S&O vs. PwC Federal Advisory vs. BAH

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As a soon to be college graduate, I was wondering how these three (Deloitte Federal S&O vs. PwC Federal Advisory vs. Booz Allen Hamilton) stack up against one another in terms of prestige, experience, exit opportunities, etc. for someone who is looking to be hired as a first year analyst/associate out of undergrad--and as one who is entering the federal consulting space in the DC area specifically. I know all three have their tradeoffs, but was wondering if I could hear about some first-hand experience of someone who has spent some time with any of the companies--or what you've heard/seen.

In addition, do any of them possibly provide a "better" experience if one is looking to move to attend a top MBA program and possibly move to MBB in the future? Also, in the federal space, what would one say is the most popular graduate school program (MPP, MPA, MBA, etc.), and how common is it for Federal consultants to go to grad school? Is it worth it? Thanks for all the info anyone can provide!

Comments (15)

 
Nov 24, 2014 - 4:04pm

Well, in the past Deloitte S&O has placed well into M7 schools. PwC is not bad by any means, but it's advisory practice is growing, and it seems to have a lot to prove. I can't comment on MBA placement at PwC, since everyone I have met there didn't have an MBA, and it seemed to foster a culture of 'an MBA isn't necessary.' Keep in mind that I maybe know only 15 people in one location. I'd honestly take Deloitte if I wanted to do MBB one day.

 
Dec 2, 2014 - 9:33am

Booz Allen is the largest Federal consulting firm... However, the culture has tanked recently. Pay is less, and benefits have been getting hosed. Your experience really depends on the Principle team you join. It can make or break your experience. Booz Allen's non-compete with Booz & Co. (now Strategy&) ended a couple of years ago, so they have begun rebuilding their commercial market -- except that the majority of work here is technology consulting.

Deloitte Federal S&O comes in at a close second. Compared to the commercial counterparts at Deloitte, Federal does come in at a lower tier, both in pay and exit ops. Keep in mind, that the longer you stay in the public sector side of consulting, the more entrenched you are and the harder it is to lateral to commercial roles. But don't get me wrong, you can still make a ton of money at higher levels on the Federal side.. and the hours are MUCH better than commercial.

PwC Federal Advisory - I have a friend here and he actually loves it. He has had the opportunity to work on commercial engagements as well as his government projects. The majority of his work is still with government, but the commercial and Federal at PwC is not totally segregated, like with Deloitte. Given that their Public Sector practice is relatively small, they tend to go after more strategic projects... unlike Booz Allen and Deloitte who have a lot of long-term staff augmentation projects.

 
Dec 15, 2014 - 9:28pm

bballer4life999:

@infiniti25 Thanks for your detailed explanation. What are example of exit ops. for federal/public sector consulting?

I second this question! Would definitely like to know some exit opps on the federal side. I know most of them would be federally related, but I'm thinking that if you worked on the right project, you could transfer into a commercial job.

 
Dec 15, 2014 - 8:04pm

Great details, thanks a lot for everyone's input on this post! I actually ended up accepting an offer at Deloitte. Deloitte offered me 20% more than PwC, when taking into account the base salary and signing bonus. However, I found PwC and Deloitte's company culture and business professionals equally impressive. Since I found a good personal fit for myself at both companies, and because Deloitte offered me a lot more, I chose Deloitte.

I would highly recommend both companies to any prospective candidates--two awesome companies with bright futures. Both are great places to launch one's career.

I wonder what my M7 chances are coming from the Federal side instead of the Commercial side. I do plan to attend a graduate school in the coming future, and have had a strong undergraduate career with regards to GPA at William & Mary.

 
Dec 29, 2014 - 1:01pm

WMTribe1:

Great details, thanks a lot for everyone's input on this post! I actually ended up accepting an offer at Deloitte. Deloitte offered me 20% more than PwC, when taking into account the base salary and signing bonus. However, I found PwC and Deloitte's company culture and business professionals equally impressive. Since I found a good personal fit for myself at both companies, and because Deloitte offered me a lot more, I chose Deloitte.

I would highly recommend both companies to any prospective candidates--two awesome companies with bright futures. Both are great places to launch one's career.

I wonder what my M7 chances are coming from the Federal side instead of the Commercial side. I do plan to attend a graduate school in the coming future, and have had a strong undergraduate career with regards to GPA at William & Mary.

I must have read passed this post. Congrats on Deloitte. I have a few friends at Deloitte Federal, they like it over there, but the divide between Deloitte Federal and Commercial is strong. My friend's with PwC's Public Sector have had opportunities to support some commercial clients. PwC doesn't segregate the two practices as strongly.

To answer your question about M7 placement from Federal... I had two colleagues go to Booth from Booz Allen after 2 years. Just as I said above, your exit-opps wont be too different from your commercial counterparts, you just may have to work harder to get there.

 
Dec 15, 2014 - 11:01pm

A bit off topic since it's about the post-MBA level, but does anyone know what salary Deloitte brings in Senior Consultants for their federal practice? There is a lot of information out there that corroborates the $135k base for commercial side Senior Consultants coming from business school, but there is a lack of clarity on the federal side.

Many thanks.

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