Post-MBA Job Placements in Management Consulting, 2020

Summary

Management consulting is a popular post-MBA career field, and MBA applicants like you want to know:

  • Which MBA programs give you the highest chance to break into consulting?
  • Which MBA programs have the strongest recruiting at the top consulting firms, McKinsey, Bain and BCG (MBB)?
  • Which MBA programs have the largest alumni network within consulting?

The employment reports published by MBA programs are a great place to start to learn about the total number of consulting placements or to view lists of “top employers.” However, you’ll also want a breakdown of placement results by firm, or by career changers vs. returning/sponsored students, to understand the full story of each MBA program’s career placement achievements.

Because these metrics are vital to understand how the reputation, network, and historical post-MBA placements of different business schools can help you achieve your career goals, a new kind of employment report is called for—one that breaks down post-MBA consulting data on a granular level. 

For the first time ever, detailed analysis of post-MBA consulting placements is available through Menlo Coaching’s research team. We have analyzed 51,991 student profiles (and counting…) to give you valuable insights about each MBA program’s job placement history in management consulting, with data grouped by:

  • Management consulting firm (split into MBB vs. other)
  • “New” vs. “returning” (sponsored) offers
  • As a total number of students and as a % of the student body (so you can accurately compare larger and smaller MBA programs on an apples-to-apples basis)

And the trends our report reveals may surprise you!

For example, the MBA programs with the best placement in the management consulting industry are not HBS, Stanford and Wharton.

Furthermore, several MBA programs not traditionally seen as frequent feeders to MBB have been rapidly increasing their placements at those firms (by as much as 155% over the last two years).

For more details on how we compiled our data and how you can best use the information in your research into top MBA programs in the US and abroad, see the methodology section.

Unless otherwise stated, all data in the following sections refers to 2020 placements. 

New Placements into MBB

MBA Program# of Students joining MBB for the first timeAs a % of Student BodyAs a % of New Consulting Placements
INSEAD15615.3%76.0%
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business10918.5%68.1%
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management9920.6%70.2%
Harvard Business School9510.2%93.1%
The Wharton School879.6%77.7%
London Business School6213.0%73.8%
Columbia University – Columbia Business School597.8%53.6%
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth5519.0%67.9%
MIT Sloan School of Management5413.4%85.7%
University of Virginia Darden School of Business4513.3%54.2%
Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business399.6%43.8%
Yale School of Management3911.3%61.9%
University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business399.2%39.0%
NYU Stern School of Business328.6%38.6%
Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management238.2%39.7%
University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business196.5%63.3%
UCLA Anderson School of Management195.4%45.2%
Stanford University Graduate School of Business184.6%94.7%
Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business156.3%36.6%
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School102.9%37.0%
The University of Texas at Austin – Red McCombs School of Business62.1%21.4%
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business52.0%25.0%
Rice Business – Jones Graduate School of Business10.9%3.2%
University of Washington – Michael G. Foster School of Business00.0%0.0%

New Placements into MBB: Conclusions

  • INSEAD is the global leader in new post-MBA placements into jobs at MBB.
  • In the US, University of Chicago Booth is #1 and Northwestern Kellogg is #2.  This has been a close race, with a tie between the two schools in 2019, and a Kellogg victory in 2018. (See more detail.)
  • Kellogg, Tuck and Booth are the top three schools by % of the student body being placed into MBB for the first time, far ahead of the competition.
  • HBS and Stanford were #1 and #2 in terms of new MBB placements as a % of all new consulting placements.  MIT Sloan was a strong #3 on this metric, with 86% of all new consulting placements being at MBB specifically, which was higher than Wharton’s 78%.

Total Placements into MBB

MBA Program# of Students joining MBBAs a % of Student BodyAs a % of Consulting Placements
INSEAD26526.05%71.6%
Harvard Business School13714.7%92.6%
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management13127.2%64.5%
The Wharton School12613.9%74.1%
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business12320.9%66.1%
London Business School8918.7%71.8%
Columbia University – Columbia Business School8711.5%54.7%
MIT Sloan School of Management6816.8%79.1%
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth5820.1%65.9%
University of Virginia Darden School of Business4814.2%50.5%
Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business4110.1%38.3%
Yale School of Management4111.9%55.4%
University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business409.5%35.4%
NYU Stern School of Business359.4%38.0%
Stanford University Graduate School of Business338.4%91.7%
University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business279.3%64.3%
Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management238.2%37.7%
UCLA Anderson School of Management195.4%39.6%
Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business156.3%33.3%
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School113.2%35.5%
The University of Texas at Austin – Red McCombs School of Business62.1%18.8%
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business52.0%20.0%
Rice Business – Jones Graduate School of Business10.9%3.1%
University of Washington – Michael G. Foster School of Business00.0%0.0%

Total Placements into MBB: Conclusions

  • INSEAD is the global leader in total post-MBA placements into jobs at MBB.
  • HBS is the #1 US MBA program, followed closely by Kellogg, Wharton, and Booth. The strength of HBS’s overall placement at MBB partly reflects the fact that HBS admits many sponsored MBB consultants. This is a strong performance by Kellogg and Booth considering that their class sizes are around ⅓ smaller than those of HBS and Wharton.
  • Several MBA programs not historically considered to be target schools for MBB have shown incredible growth from 2018 to 2020. (See more detail.)
    • NYU Stern increased by 40%
    • Cornell increased by 155.56%
    • UNC increased by 83.33%

Total Consulting Placements

MBA Program# of Consulting Placements (including sponsored students)As a % of student body# of New Consulting Placements As a % of student body
INSEAD37036.4%20520.2%
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management20342.2%14129.3%
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business18631.6%16027.2%
The Wharton School17018.8%11212.4%
Columbia University – Columbia Business School15921.1%11014.6%
Harvard Business School14815.9%10211.0%
London Business School12426.1%8417.7%
University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business11326.8%10023.7%
Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business10726.2%8921.8%
University of Virginia Darden School of Business9528.1%8324.6%
NYU Stern School of Business9224.6%8322.2%
The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth8830.5%8128.0%
MIT Sloan School of Management8621.3%6315.6%
Yale School of Management7421.4%6318.2%
Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management6121.8%5820.7%
UCLA Anderson School of Management4813.5%4211.8%
Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business4519.0%4117.3%
University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business4214.4%3010.3%
Stanford University Graduate School of Business369.2%194.9%
Rice Business – Jones Graduate School of Business3227.1%3126.3%
The University of Texas at Austin – Red McCombs School of Business3211.1%289.7%
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School319.0%277.9%
Georgetown University McDonough School of Business2510.1%208.1%
University of Washington – Michael G. Foster School of Business97.2%86.4%

Total Consulting Placements: Conclusions

  • INSEAD is the global leader in management consulting job placements for three years running. No other MBA program has a larger network of alumni in the management consulting industry, and no other MBA program sends a larger % of its student body into the consulting industry.
  • In the US, Kellogg and Booth are the #1 and #2 MBA programs by total placement in the management consulting industry, an impressive achievement considering that their class sizes are around ⅓ smaller than those of HBS and Wharton.
  • Tuck holds its own in total consulting placements: despite lower raw totals because of its small class size, it is #2 among top MBA programs for sending the highest percentage of the student body into consulting jobs.

Methodology

For details on our general data gathering methodology, click here.

In this report, we made one exception to the usual methodology and used statistics from INSEAD’s official employment report. We did this because of INSEAD’s two-term structure (September entry and January entry). This meant that at the time we gathered the data for the report, many management consulting job offers for January entry students (who graduate in December) were known already to the students and to INSEAD, and reflected in the employment report, but the jobs had not yet begun and were therefore not reflected in public data sources.

This gives some advantage to INSEAD, because official employment report data are almost always higher than what’s visible in public sources, but this does not change the conclusions. INSEAD had such a large lead that any realistic estimate of the (public source vs. private source) difference, which we analyzed for prior years, would still leave INSEAD as the leader.

We analyzed management consulting job placements for the graduating classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 and calculated two primary metrics:

Total Consulting Placements

This is the number of students whose first full-time post-MBA jobs are in the management consulting industry, and it measures the strength of an MBA program’s network in the industry.

New Consulting Placements

This is the number of students whose first full-time post-MBA jobs are in the management consulting industry, excluding students who returned to their immediate pre-MBA employer.

For example, both of these would count as new consulting placements:

  • A student who worked pre-MBA at Cisco and post-MBA at Deloitte Consulting
  • A student who worked pre-MBA at Roland Berger and post-MBA at McKinsey

This metric measures an MBA program’s ability to place career changers into the consulting industry for the first time, or to help consulting professionals to switch to a new firm.

We measure the metrics in several ways:

  • As a total number of students
  • As a % of the student body
  • As a % of the total consulting placements

For example, if you want to know whether a given MBA program is likely to have alumni within the consulting firms you want to join, the total number of students that MBA program places into consulting is the best predictor.

On the other hand, if you want to know about your chances to break into the consulting industry for the first time, the % of the student body that joins consulting is a good indicator. You wouldn’t expect an MBA program of 300 students to place the same number of people into consulting as an MBA program with 900 students, would you?

And finally, MBB placements as a % of total consulting placements is a way to estimate the quality of an MBA program’s consulting placements. For example, an MBA program like Columbia has many students who choose to recruit into finance rather than consulting. This lowers the MBB placements as an absolute number and as a % of the student body, but should not be taken as a negative sign about Columbia’s consulting career opportunities. By calculating MBB placements out of total consulting placements, we avoid penalizing Columbia for its strong finance recruitment portfolio and its many finance-focused students.

Note on class sizes: where possible, class sizes are derived from employment reports. If employment reports are not available or graduating class sizes are not reported, figures reported at matriculation (in class profiles) are used. 

Appendix: Complete data for select programs & placement categories

Booth, Kellogg: 2018-2020 New Placements into MBB

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New Placements into MBB201820192020
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business8198109
Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management929899

NYU, Cornell, UNC: 2018-2019 Total Placements into MBB

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Total Placements into MBB201820192020
NYU Stern School of Business253835
Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management91623
UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School6411