The top consulting firms in Singapore for graduates

07 May 2020 Consultancy.asia 7 min. read

A survey amongst nearly 20,000 graduates in Singapore has revealed that consulting is one of the most coveted professions in the country. Young professionals have their eye on the usual suspects, such as the Big Four, Accenture and the big three strategy consulting firms – McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company.

An average of 16,000 graduates emerge from more than 30 universities in Singapore each year, most with degrees in fields such as engineering, social sciences, natural sciences, business administration, accountancy or information technology.

Consultancy.asia assessed survey data of more than 20,000 graduates across two cohorts from some of Singapore’s top universities – including National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Management University, among others – to gauge career ambitions among bright young professionals in the country. Consulting emerges as a highly popular destination for most graduates, irrespective of their background.

The results are not entirely out of the ordinary, as strategy and management consulting is among the most sought-after professions across the globe for a variety of reasons. Young professionals who join the consulting industry are exposed to a diverse range of projects and experiences that span a variety of sectors.

The top consulting firms in Singapore for graduates

Given their high recruitment standards, consultancies are often made up of teams with high intellectual capabilities and versatile expertise. Graduates starting their career in these teams have the chance to work under the guise of some of the brightest and most experienced members of the business environment, giving them top notch learning opportunities.

Top strategy and management consultancies are also known to be at the cutting edge of innovation and leadership, with a demonstrated track record of working with some of the largest companies in the world. The reputation of these firms alone is enough to ensure that any young graduate who starts out at one of these firms has a strong foundation for a glittering professional career.

The top consulting firms

Graduates in Singapore appear to be well aware of these benefits, and here, the bigger the better for these young professionals. The Big Four, which includes Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, are the largest consulting firms in the world with glowing reputations across the global business environment. These four also sit at the top of the list for Singaporean graduates.

PwC edges ahead of the rest in terms of popularity among graduates. Since 2018, the firm operates out of a state-of-the-art office in Marina One, which houses 110 partners and more than 3,500 professionals. The firm’s consulting operations stretch across its PwC Advisory vertical, as well as Strategy& – its dedicated strategy consulting firm established after PwC bought Booz & Company.

According to the firm, its aim in Singapore is to drive the transition to digital innovation. “As Singapore continues its digital transformation journey towards becoming a Smart Nation, there is a growing need for society and businesses alike to embrace technology, be open to new ideas and new ways of working,” said Yeoh Oon Jin, Executive Chairman at PwC Singapore.

PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY, Accenture, McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company

Deloitte is also in among the most popular consulting destinations. Deloitte’s office in Singapore acts as the seat of Deloitte Southeast Asia, which is a substantial operation of 340 partners and 8,800 professionals spanning 25 locations across the region. Deloitte Singapore operates under the leadership of CEO Cheung Pui Yuen. Alongside its advisory services, Monitor Deloitte is the firm’s dedicated strategy consultancy, and Deloitte Digital is its digital wing.

KPMG and EY follow as attractive workplaces. Both operate with one office and more than 2,000 professionals each in Singapore, the former with a consolidated KPMG Advisory practices, while the latter has an advisory segment as well as a dedicated strategy consultancy – EY-Parthenon. All members of the Big Four consistently rank in the top 100 employers in Singapore, indicating their overall popularity in the country.

Outside of the Big Four, the destination of choice for Singaporean graduates is consulting and technology giant Accenture. The firm’s Singapore practice operates as a central part of Accenture ASEAN, which stretches across other offices in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand as well. The firm has become an integral part of Singapore’s business environment over three decades of operation in the country across sectors. The consulting firm recently launched an innovation hub in Singapore, focused on developing public safety solutions.

Strategy consulting firms

Then come the big three of the strategy consulting world – McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Bain & Company – also known as the MBB. McKinsey is the most popular of these amongst Singaporean graduates.

The strategic consultancy first launched its Singapore practice in 1998, and has since grown into an operation with more than 250 professionals hailing from 21 national backgrounds. In 2012, McKinsey & Company launched an Innovation Campus in Singapore in collaboration with the country’s Economic Development Board. The campus now operates with eight centres across the country, working with public and private sector clients. Oliver Tonby, Kaushik Das and Diaan-Yi Lin lead the firm’s practice in Singapore, which constitutes a central part of McKinsey Southeast Asia.

The second most popular of the big three is Boston Consulting Group. Having entered the market in 1995, the firm now operates out of a single office in Singapore’s central business district. A team of 170 professionals handle BCG’s Singapore operations, managing projects at the local and regional level.

BCG works with clients across the public and private sectors, with a commitment to driving global competitiveness. “BCG’s work with leading private and public sector organisations in Singapore focuses on growth, transformation and capability building,” said Michael Meyer, who leads the firm’s Singapore practice as Managing Director and Partner.

Bain & Company launched in Singapore as part of a Southeast Asia drive in 1993, alongside launches in Bangkok, Jakarta and Kuala Lampur. The consultancy operates with more than 30 partners in the Singapore office, who work in collaboration with more than 300 professionals across the firm’s Southeast Asia practice.

The firm brings up the rear for the top consulting firms to work with in Singapore for graduates.