Top 15 Business Schools for a Career in Consulting

By admitStreet Team

Embarking on a career in consulting can be both challenging and rewarding. Choosing the right business school is a crucial step in this journey, as it can significantly impact your employment opportunities and earning potential. 

Moreover, the dynamic nature of consulting roles, coupled with the opportunity to work with top-tier firms like McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Company, makes it a sought-after field.

In this article, we have compiled data on various business schools, focusing on their success in placing graduates in consulting roles, median salaries, and the influence of top consulting firms such as McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Company (MBB). Our methodology emphasizes schools where at least 25% of the class enters consulting, with a strong median salary and notable MBB recruitment.

Parameters Used in Comparison

The data points in the table play a crucial role in evaluating the success and attractiveness of a business school for candidates aspiring to pursue consulting careers. Each data point provides unique insights into the school’s performance and the potential benefits for its graduates:

Percent of Class Joining Consulting:

This metric reflects the school’s overall effectiveness in preparing and connecting students with consulting opportunities.

A higher percentage suggests that the school has a strong consulting network, relevant coursework, and effective career services.

Number of Hires:

The absolute number of hires provides a more concrete measure of a school’s impact on consulting placements.

A larger number indicates a sizable cohort entering the consulting field, reinforcing the school’s reputation and ability to secure consulting opportunities.

Median Salary:

Median salary represents the midpoint of all salaries, giving an idea of the earning potential for graduates in consulting roles.

A higher median salary indicates the school’s success in placing graduates in well-compensated consulting positions.

Median Sign-On Bonus:

The sign-on bonus is a one-time payment, reflecting the immediate financial benefits for graduates entering consulting.

A higher sign-on bonus enhances the overall attractiveness of the consulting career from a financial perspective and signals competitiveness in the job market.

Percent Joining MBB Firms:

MBB firms (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) are considered top-tier consulting employers. The percentage joining MBB firms reflects the school’s standing in the consulting industry.

A higher percentage suggests that the school is a preferred choice for MBB recruiters, indicating strong academic and professional preparation.

Best Business Schools for Consulting

S NoSchool NamePercent Hired in ConsultingNumber Hired in ConsultingConsulting Median SalaryConsulting Median Sign-on BonusMBB JoinersPercent MBB Joiners
1INSEAD40%345$124,000*$31,00027880.58%
2Kellogg School of Management42%235$190,000NA18377.87%
3Chicago Booth School of Business38.60%192$192,000$30,00015379.69%
4MIT Sloan School of Management33.70%151$190,000$30,0007449.01%
5London Business School (LBS)37%190$129,195*NA11560.53%
6Michigan (Ross)44.90%110$190,000$30,0007265.45%
7Yale School of Management44.20%119$190,000$30,000NANA
8Duke Fuqua43%167$190,000NA8349.70%
9Cornell Johnson42%120$190,000NANANA
10NYU Stern41.90%132$188,000$30,0005944.70%
11Dartmouth Tuck46%80$190,000$30,000NANA
12Virginia Darden46%145$190,000NANANA
13Emory Goizueta54%89$175,000NANANA
14Columbia Business School33.60%267$175,000$30,00010840.45%
15UC Berkeley Haas27.60%64$192,000$29,052NANA
*Salaries are not PPP adjusted since these are in non-USD currencies.

1. INSEAD

INSEAD, a globally renowned business school, boasts an impressive 40% placement rate, with 345 graduates hired. The median salary is $124,000, and the sign-on bonus is $31,000. Notably, 80.58% of the Consulting hires joined top consulting firms McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (MBB).

Median Salary looks lower than other US business schools. However, these are not PPP-adjusted numbers since most salaries are in Euros. The PPP adjusted median salary numbers would be above $170,000.

Observations and Inferences:

INSEAD’s high MBB joiner percentage signifies its strong ties with top consulting firms. The robust placement rate, coupled with a substantial sign-on bonus, makes it an attractive choice for those pursuing a consulting career.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

INSEAD stands out not only for its impressive overall consulting placement but also for its ability to attract professionals from diverse backgrounds into the consulting domain. The data provides insights into how former professionals from Corporate Sectors, Financial Services, Management Consulting, and Technology Media and Telecommunications transition into consulting roles post-MBA.

Corporate Sectors:

  • Transition Rate: 57%
  • Among professionals from corporate sectors, INSEAD sees a significant 57% making a successful shift into consulting roles. This suggests that the program effectively equips individuals from varied corporate backgrounds with the skills and knowledge required in the consulting realm.

Financial Services:

  • Transition Rate: 43%
  • INSEAD demonstrates a notable 43% transition rate for individuals with prior experience in financial services. This highlights the school’s strength in preparing candidates from this sector for successful consulting careers.

Management Consulting:

  • Retention Rate: 82%
  • Unsurprisingly, INSEAD excels in retaining professionals with prior management consulting experience, with an impressive 82% continuing in Consulting. This showcases the school’s strong ties with the consulting industry and its ability to enhance the skills of those already familiar with the sector.

Technology Media & Telecommunications:

  • Transition Rate: 46%
  • INSEAD manages to attract a substantial number of individuals from the tech, media, and telecommunications sector, with 46% successfully transitioning into consulting roles. This indicates the program’s adaptability to various industry backgrounds.

2. Kellogg School of Management

Kellogg School of Management boasts a 42% hiring rate, with 235 graduates securing positions. The median salary is an impressive $190,000, and 77.87% of Consulting hires joined MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

Kellogg’s high median salary and a substantial percentage of MBB joiners make it a prime choice for consulting enthusiasts. The competitive placement rate underscores the school’s commitment to preparing students for successful consulting careers.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

There is only one data point that exhibits a noteworthy transition of professionals into consulting post-MBA. A significant 24% of the class had pre-MBA experience in consulting, indicating a foundation in the field before pursuing their graduate education. This figure grows impressively to 42% of the class choosing consulting as their post-MBA career.


3. Chicago Booth School of Business

With a 38.60% hiring rate and 192 graduates securing positions, Booth School of Business offers a median salary of $192,000, coupled with a $30,000 sign-on bonus. A significant 79.69% of Consulting hires joined MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

Booth’s combination of a high median salary and a generous sign-on bonus reflects its commitment to providing lucrative opportunities. The substantial MBB joiner percentage further strengthens its position as a top business school for consulting careers.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

A noteworthy aspect is the transition of professionals into consulting post-MBA. While 23% of the class had pre-MBA experience in consulting, this figure significantly increased to 38.6% after graduation, reflecting Booth’s efficacy in facilitating career shifts.

This goes to show:

  • Strong Career Support: Booth’s career services and alumni network likely play a crucial role in aiding students in transitioning into consulting, emphasizing the significance of robust support systems in business schools.
  • Appealing to Career Changers: The data suggests that Booth is particularly effective in attracting and guiding professionals from diverse backgrounds into the consulting domain, showcasing the school’s adaptability to different career trajectories.

4. MIT Sloan School of Management

MIT Sloan School of Management achieves a 33.70% hiring rate, with 151 graduates placed. The median salary and sign-on bonus are $190,000 and $30,000, respectively. Notably, 49.01% of consulting hires joined MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

While MIT Sloan’s hiring rate is slightly lower, its competitive median salary and MBB joiner percentage still make it an attractive option for those pursuing consulting careers. The school’s focus on quality placements is evident.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

Before joining the MBA program at MIT Sloan, 22% of the class had prior experience in consulting. After graduating from MIT Sloan, the percentage of students entering the consulting field notably increased to 33.7%.

Implications:

  • Diverse Talent Pool: The initial 22% with pre-MBA consulting experience adds diversity to the classroom, fostering a rich learning environment.
  • Successful Transition: The substantial growth to 33.7% post-MBA demonstrates MIT Sloan’s ability to nurture and propel professionals into consulting careers.

5. LBS (London Business School)

LBS secures a 37% hiring rate, with 190 graduates placed. The median salary is $129,195, and 60.53% of consulting hires joined MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

LBS provides a global perspective, and its competitive hiring rate, along with a considerable MBB joiner percentage, makes it an appealing choice for aspiring consultants. The median salary looks lower than in US business Schools. However, the PPP adjusted salary comes out to be $170,636.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

LBS stands out as a hub for career switchers, with 58% of its graduates successfully making the leap to new sectors upon graduation. 

The notable increase from 27% to 37% in graduates pursuing consulting after completing their MBA at LBS speaks to the school’s ability to cultivate skills and knowledge that are highly valued by consulting firms. This growth suggests that LBS not only attracts aspiring consultants but also effectively prepares students for successful careers in the industry.


6. Michigan (Ross)

Michigan’s Ross School records an impressive 44.90% hiring rate, with 110 graduates securing positions in consulting The median salary is $190,000, and 65.45% of Consulting hires joined MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

Michigan Ross stands out with a high hiring rate and a substantial MBB joiner percentage. The competitive median salary further solidifies its position as a top business school for consulting careers. 

Michigan Ross, with a 65.45% MBB (McKinsey, Bain, BCG) joiner rate, positions itself as a strong contender for those aspiring to join prestigious consulting firms. The data indicates that Ross not only helps students enter consulting but also guides them toward elite firms within the industry.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan stands out for its ability to facilitate career transitions, especially in the consulting realm. With 44.90% of graduates securing consulting roles, Ross demonstrates a robust commitment to shaping future consultants. Notably, 23% of the class entered the MBA program with prior consulting experience, and this figure grew significantly to 45% post-graduation.


7. Yale School of Management

Yale SOM achieves a 44.20% hiring rate, with 119 graduates securing positions. The median salary and sign-on bonus are $190,000 and $30,000, respectively, with number of graduates joining MBB firms is unavailable.

Observations and Inferences:

While Yale SOM’s MBB joiner percentage is absent, the competitive median salary and high hiring rate make it an attractive option for those seeking consulting roles. The absence of MBB joiners may suggest a diverse range of consulting opportunities.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

Yale SOM exhibits a remarkable shift in the career choices of its graduates. While 24% of the class had pre-MBA experience in consulting, this figure significantly increased to 44.2% after graduating. This suggests that a substantial portion of Yale SOM alumni successfully pivoted into consulting, showcasing the school’s ability to facilitate career transitions. Yale SOM’s strong alumni network and connections within the consulting industry likely played a crucial role in facilitating this transition. Networking opportunities provided by the school enhanced students’ chances of securing roles in top consulting firms.


8. Duke Fuqua

Duke Fuqua boasts a 43% hiring rate, with 167 graduates securing positions. The median salary is $190,000, with 49.70% of Consulting hires joining MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

Duke Fuqua’s strong MBB joiner percentage and competitive median salary highlight its commitment to preparing students for successful consulting careers. The high hiring rate further enhances its appeal.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

Duke Fuqua stands out not only for its post-MBA consulting placements but also for its role in transforming career trajectories. The data reveals a remarkable shift, with the pre-MBA consulting cohort of 13% expanding to a substantial 43% after graduation. The journey from a 13% pre-MBA consulting background to a post-MBA powerhouse at 43% showcases Duke Fuqua’s commitment to reshaping career trajectories and producing top-tier consulting professionals.

This exemplifies Duke Fuqua’s success in attracting and molding professionals from diverse backgrounds into successful consultants.


9. Cornell Johnson

Cornell Johnson achieves a 42% hiring rate, with 120 graduates securing positions. It also reports a competitive median salary of $190,000, aligning with industry standards and showcasing the school’s commitment to securing lucrative opportunities for its graduates. However,  there are no sign-on bonuses or MBB joiner data.

Observations and Inferences:

Cornell Johnson’s competitive hiring rate makes it a noteworthy option for consulting careers. The absence of specific data on sign-on bonuses and MBB joiners suggests potential variations in consulting paths.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

Cornell Johnson, with a 42% hiring rate, has become a popular choice for MBA graduates aspiring to enter the consulting domain. While the school does not provide data on the pre-MBA industry, it doesn’t diminish its reputation as a reliable pathway to consulting. Many students with diverse professional backgrounds find success in transitioning to consulting roles post-MBA, showcasing the school’s effectiveness in equipping them with the necessary skills.

Cornell Johnson’s success in funneling professionals into consulting is likely bolstered by a robust alumni network that facilitates connections and mentorship opportunities within the consulting industry.


10. NYU Stern

NYU Stern records a 41.90% hiring rate, with 132 graduates securing positions. The median salary is $188,000, and 44.70% of Consulting hires join MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

NYU Stern’s competitive hiring rate, combined with a strong MBB joiner percentage, makes it an attractive choice for consulting enthusiasts. The slightly lower median salary is balanced by the valuable consulting opportunities.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

The school demonstrates a remarkable transition for professionals into consulting post-MBA, with a notable growth from 12% pre-MBA to 41.9% after graduating.

This shift signifies Stern’s effectiveness in preparing and guiding students toward successful consulting careers. Also, being strategically located in New York City, Stern provides students with access to a plethora of consulting opportunities, contributing to the increased percentage of graduates entering the consulting sector.


11. Dartmouth Tuck

Dartmouth Tuck achieves an impressive 46% hiring rate, with 80 graduates securing positions. The median salary and sign-on bonus are $190,000 and $30,000, respectively, The data on the percentage of Consulting hires joining MBB firms is not available.

Observations and Inferences:

Dartmouth Tuck’s high hiring rate and competitive compensation packages position it as a top choice for consulting careers. While the absence of MBB joiners may indicate diverse consulting paths, the overall package remains compelling.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

One of Dartmouth Tuck’s distinguishing features is its ability to facilitate a significant shift of professionals into the consulting realm. The data indicates that the percentage of students with pre-MBA consulting experience grows remarkably from 20% to an impressive 46% after graduation.


12. Virginia Darden

Virginia Darden boasts a 46% hiring rate, with 145 graduates securing positions. The median salary information is available, but there are no sign-on bonuses or MBB joiner data.

Observations and Inferences:

Virginia Darden’s competitive hiring rate suggests strong demand for its graduates in the consulting sector. 

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

Virginia Darden stands out for its significant impact on transitioning professionals into the consulting field post-MBA. The data reveals a remarkable growth from 13% to 46% of the class moving into consulting roles after graduation. This underscores the effectiveness of Darden’s program in equipping students with the skills and networks necessary for a successful transition into the consulting industry.


13. Emory Goizueta

Emory Goizueta stands out with a 54% hiring rate, with 89 graduates securing positions. The median salary is $175,000, with no sign-on bonuses or MBB joiner data available.

Observations and Inferences:

Emory Goizueta’s high hiring rate is a testament to its success in placing graduates in consulting roles. While the absence of specific data on sign-on bonuses and MBB joiners leaves some gaps, the competitive median salary makes it an attractive option.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

Emory Goizueta’s success in facilitating career shifts to consulting is evident in the 54% hiring rate, showcasing its effectiveness in preparing students for roles in this competitive field. While specific data on pre-MBA industries is unavailable, the school’s emphasis on practical skills and networking likely contributes to this transition success.


14. Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School records a 33.60% hiring rate, with 267 graduates securing positions. The median salary is $175,000, and the sign-on bonus is $30,000. Notably, 40.45% of Consulting hires joined MBB firms.

Observations and Inferences:

Columbia’s competitive hiring rate, combined with a substantial MBB joiner percentage, positions it as a strong contender for consulting careers. The generous median salary and sign-on bonus further enhance its appeal.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

Columbia stands out for its ability to facilitate a significant transition into consulting for its MBA graduates. A noteworthy 23% of students entered the program with pre-MBA consulting experience. Post-MBA, this figure grew to an impressive 33.6%. The school’s curriculum, networking opportunities, career services, and location in New York City likely played pivotal roles in this transition, emphasizing the adaptability and relevance of the MBA program to the consulting industry.


15. UC Berkeley Haas

UC Berkeley Haas achieves a 27.60% hiring rate, with 64 graduates securing positions. The median salary is $192,000, with a sign-on bonus of $29,052.

Observations and Inferences:

While UC Berkeley Haas has a slightly lower hiring rate, its competitive compensation package and focus on quality placements make it a viable option for those seeking consulting roles. The lower hiring rate may indicate a more selective process.

Transitioning Professionals into Consulting

The data reveals an increase from 22% pre-MBA Consulting experience to 27.6% post-graduation hires in Consulting. The growth in the percentage of students entering consulting post-MBA reflects the school’s commitment to providing resources, networking opportunities, and relevant coursework to facilitate a smooth transition into consulting roles.

Notable Mentions

IESE

Percent HiredNumber HiredAverage Base SalaryAverage Other Compensation
47%178€108,100€78,300

Inferences and Observations

  • High Consulting Placement: IESE Business School demonstrates a strong commitment to preparing its MBA graduates for the consulting industry, with an impressive 47% of the Class of 2023 securing roles in this sector.
  • Substantial Number of Hires: The sheer number of hires, with 178 graduates entering the consulting field, suggests both a robust demand for IESE graduates in consulting roles and the school’s ability to cultivate a talent pool highly sought after by consulting firms.
  • Competitive Compensation Package: The average base salary of €108,100 and average other compensation of €78,300 position IESE graduates for financial success in the consulting industry. This reflects the school’s dedication to ensuring its graduates are not only well-placed but also financially rewarded.
  • Sector Change: A Strategic Shift: Notably, the data reveals a significant sector change from 31% pre-MBA to 47% post-MBA, indicating a strategic shift towards consulting as a preferred career path after completing the MBA program at IESE.
  • Market Relevance: The increase in the percentage of graduates opting for consulting post-MBA aligns with the current market trends, showcasing IESE’s ability to adapt its curriculum and career services to meet the evolving demands of the consulting industry.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these business schools exhibit varying strengths in preparing graduates for consulting careers. Factors such as hiring rates, median salaries, sign-on bonuses, and MBB joiner percentages offer valuable insights into the opportunities each school provides. Prospective students should consider their career goals, preferences, and the specific strengths of each school to make informed decisions on their path to a successful consulting career.

Leave a comment