The Best Consulting Firms to Work For 2017

Published: Aug 23, 2016

 Consulting       Education       Grad School       Job Search       MBA       Salary & Benefits       
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I'm delighted to announce that the 2016-17 Vault Consulting Rankings have landed—and it's all change at the top of the Vault Consulting 50, which is our signature ranking of the best consulting firms to work for in North America.

Without further ado, here's the top 10:

1. Bain & Company
2. The Boston Consulting Group
3. McKinsey & Company
4. Deloitte Consulting LLP
(tie) 5.  Oliver Wyman
(tie) 5. PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services LLC
7. A.T. Kearney
8. L.E.K. Consulting
9. The Bridgespan Group
10. The Brattle Group

Check out the full Vault Consulting 50 here.

This year, we surveyed more than 17,000 practicing consultants worldwide (a record response), which has given us the data to be able to take an incredibly detailed look at the trends driving the industry, and the factors that consultants consider to be most important about life at their firms.

While the Consulting 50 is our signature ranking of the best firms to work for, it’s important to note that our rankings extend far beyond that single measure. Here's a quick overview of the other data you can take a look at.

Individual Best to Work For Categories

Are you the kind of would-be consultant who wants to break down your prospective firm to the individual components, and find out how it scored on everything from work-life balance to promotion opportunities? If so, you might want to check out our individual quality of life categories, which rank firms across 22 separate categories that practicing consultants have indicated are important to them when selecting and working at a firm.

Prestige and Practice Area Rankings

In addition to asking consultants to tell us about life at their own firms, we also ask them for their opinion on the best firms in their industry and practice area. (Note: consultants can't vote for their own firm in these categories.) The responses we get form our rankings of the Most Prestigious Consulting Firms, and the Best Consulting Firms in Each Practice Area. This last category ranks the best firms across 13 separate industry and practice areas, and runs the gamut from the broad fields of Management and Strategy consulting to specialist corners of the industry such as Health Care or Economic consulting.

Boutique Rankings

Because consulting is a vibrant, ever-evolving sector where large firms can be out-maneuvered by smaller startups and specialist firms, we also offer a ranking of the Best Boutique Consulting Firms to work for. Here, you'll find a selection of the best small and specialist firms in the industry, from niche IT services providers to up-and-coming, independently-owned pure strategy shops. If a small, entrepreneurial shop with the ability to control your own destiny is what you're after, this is the list you'll find it on.

In-depth firm profiles

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention that we don't just get quantitative data in our survey—we also get tens of thousands of qualitative responses from consultants, each of which is read by an actual, real live editor (me). While you can read  the raw survey responses yourself—just head on over to the "Employee Reviews" tab on any firm profile—I've done most of the hard work for you, and have selected the best, most representative responses for each participating firm, and condensed them in the "Survey Says" section, along with a "Vault Verdict" that gives a brief overview of where the firm currently stands as an employer.

All told, I believe that the information we offer through our rankings and firm profiles offers an unparalleled insight into one of the most diverse, interesting industries around. Over the days and weeks ahead, I'll be rolling out some in-depth commentary and analysis of some of the qualitative data, including a look at how consultants feel about the strength of their industry and practice areas, and some insight into things like gender, age and experience gaps across different quality of life ratings.

For now, though, I'd like to invite you to just take some time to peruse the rankings, and to check out the firm profiles—there's a lot to explore!

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who had a hand in pulling this together, from the consultants at the firms we surveyed to the incredible team we have here at Vault—this release is only possible because of their efforts, and I couldn't be more proud or excited about the work we've accomplished!

As always, feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or feedback—you can find me on Twitter, or through the email contact form here.