Deloitte tops rankings for MBA graduate consulting hires

20 September 2019 3 min. read

Deloitte has been revealed as the most wide-spread consulting recruiter of MBA graduates according to Forbes’ biennial business school rankings.  

In an analysis of more than a hundred leading US and international business schools – which assessed the employment circumstances of 17,500 Class of 2014 alumni worldwide – Forbes biennial MBA rankings have seen the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business knock Penn U’s Wharton School from the top perch as the best US domestic MBA programme based on earnings for the five years following graduation.

Booth was assessed to deliver a five-year net salary gain of $94,400 (the cumulative amount the typical alumni would have earned after five years by pursuing an MBA compared to remaining in their pre-MBA career, less fees and opportunity costs and adjusted for other factors), to land ahead of Stanford, Kellogg, Harvard and finally Wharton. Internationally, Switzerland’s IMB ruled the roost in the one-year programme category, with gains of $168,900.

Meanwhile, global professional services firm Deloitte was found to be one of the largest - or most widespread - employers of MBA graduates. While McKinsey & Company, Bain, BCG and Accenture were among the top five biggest hiring firms for Booth (together with Amazon), Deloitte overall featured most commonly among the top-five across schools, behind only Amazon. Although hard numbers weren’t given, the Big Four firm was in the top five of employers for 32 different business schools.

Deloitte tops rankings for MBA graduate consulting hires

This wide-ranging MBA recruitment drive sees Deloitte ahead of McKinsey, which at third spot was in the top five employers from 23 schools (albeit, with the management firm having in the past been notoriously selective around schools) and Boston Consulting Group in fourth (18 schools). The third of the MBB trio, Bain & Company (13), was also outranked by Deloitte’s fellow Big Four firms Ernst & Young and PwC, at 14 top-five’s apiece.

Continuing the trend of rising MBA hires at tech firms – which has seen Amazon climb to number one as a top-five employer from 44 business schools, the employers list was rounded by Microsoft, Accenture, and Dell. While Booth for example saw two thirds of its 2018 Class head into consulting and finance, second-placed Stanford (which in fact had the highest five-year compensation figure) sent one third into the tech industry and under a half to finance/consulting.

Still, half of the graduates of INSEAD, ranked as the second-most financially beneficial international one-year MBA programme, and 42 percent from London Business School – the top-ranked two-year programme for the seventh consecutive study (at a five-year gain of $93,100, despite the higher opportunity costs) – headed directly into management consulting.  Here, "perennial top employers" McKinsey, BCG, and Bain scooped up the majority from both schools.

All up, the Forbes’ analysis confirmed that studying an MBA is a fairly safe route to riches, with graduates of leading business schools earning back their investment on average in around four years (and closer to three for the best one-year international programmes), despite tuition, fees and lost compensation adding up to a potential $350,000. For the top 25 US programmes, earnings increased from $73,000 on average pre-MBA for the 2014 cohort to $193,000 last year.