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Bain, BCG, McKinsey & The Best Consulting Firms To Work For In 2021

Bain, BCG or McKinsey? Find out which Big Three consultancy tops the best consulting firms to work for ranking and explore consultant salaries, diversity, and work-life balance

By  Bethany Garner

Mon Jan 18 2021


With impressive salaries, challenging work, and strong prestige, it’s no wonder that 36% of business school applicants want to go into management consulting when they graduate. 

If you’re one of the many applicants, students, or graduates planning to launch a career in consulting, rankings like the Vault Consulting 50 can help you identify the companies you'll most want to work for. Every year, Vault reveals the 50 best consulting firms to work for, based on anonymous survey answers from more than 17,000 consultants.

Companies are ranked on factors including compensation, diversity, work-life balance, and job satisfaction, and these ratings are compiled into a single rank. In 2021, as in previous years, the big three consulting firms—McKinsey & Company, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), and Bain & Company—have nabbed the top three spots. 

In pole position is Bain & Company, having beaten out 2020’s number one, McKinsey. BCG remains in second place, the same spot it occupied in 2020, while McKinsey comes third.

Here’s a breakdown of the best consulting firms to work for in 2021:

The Big Three Dominate

In 2021, Bain gained the number one spot thanks to its high ratings in selectivity, learning opportunities, and mentorship.

“The firm just cares—about our clients, teams and communities,” said one anonymous employee. Another said they were excited by the challenging problems they solved as a Bain consultant. The firm also ranked highly for its prestige, leadership, and compensation. 

Hot on its heels, BCG was the best consulting firm when it came to salary and benefits, and ranked in third for culture, leadership, and innovation. Consultants at BCG are impressed with the great compensation on offer, as well as the “accelerated learning opportunities and fantastic colleagues,” as one reviewer noted.

Meanwhile, McKinsey was ranked as the most prestigious consulting firm, despite its slide from the top spot. The firm...

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