Why Work in Management Consulting

Are you considering a transition into consulting from your current job? Maybe your class peers are talking about consulting like it’s the next big thing. Either way, you might be wondering why consulting is considered such a good career by so many people.

In this article, we talk about the four main reasons why working in management consulting at top tier firms like McKinsey, BCG and Bain is often a number one choice for high performers.

Experience in consulting will shape the rest of your career

People often go into consulting for the long term benefits it will bring to their career.

First, they might not know what they want to do yet, so experiencing a broad number of industries in a short space of time as a consultant is a great way to find out what you like and don’t like doing, and what interests you most.

Second, consulting is the perfect accelerator to almost any career. You learn a tonne (more on that in a moment!) and by gaining the ‘resume stamp’ from McKinsey, BCG or Bain, you’re considered to be a top talent and a number of high profile exit opportunities open to you as a result.

Third, working in top tier consulting for a few years is a great re-orientation or pivot for most careers. For example, for people who want to go into industry after graduating from a PhD, consulting can be a little like doing an MBA while getting paid and it’s a strong stepping stone into a broad range of business careers afterwards.

Consulting provides an unparalleled learning opportunity

As a consultant, you experience, in just a small number of years, working in a huge variety of industries and functions on your clients’ most important and complex issues. You also work with some of the brightest minds, and rarely work with the same team twice, so you have the opportunity to learn from many different people with varying skills and expertise.

The training at top consultancies is unparalleled, whether it’s in a workshop setting or on the job. Top firms often have an ‘apprenticeship model’ to learning where managers apprentice their juniors by providing regular feedback and teaching them new skills on the job.

Consulting work is more often than not a high-pressured role where the learning curve is naturally very steep compared to other industries. For a typical high achiever who wants to learn as much and as fast as possible, it’s easy to see why many want to go into consulting.

Consulting work itself is appealing

Consulting firms often talk about the impact they make on their clients, the costs they reduce, the growth they generate, and the operations they transform. As a consultant, you will often do work that will make the front page of the business newspaper or that you’ll notice the next time you shop.

The variety of projects and industries you experience and the complexity of the problems you’re faced with also means you will never get bored. Clients don’t hire consulting firms for work they could solve themselves. In essence, they hire consultants to do their most interesting work—leaving their own staff do the more mundane stuff.

If you are looking for a career that will allow you to make a difference and keep you entertained, you won’t be disappointed by consulting.

Consulting compensation packages are attractive

Salaries are typically very attractive when comparing them to salaries in industry, and grow quickly the longer you stay. It is expected that consultants will make Partner eight to ten years into the job with Partner compensation starting at around $1M.

Although the short-term compensation may not be as high as roles in finance, a career in consulting offers excellent financial prospects in the long run, unparalleled learning, great exit opportunities and really interesting work. This is why consulting has consistently been a top choice for the most gifted individuals in the last 50 years, while other trends have come and gone.  

Interested in joining a top tier consultancy like McKinsey, BCG or Bain? Make sure to check out our Resume Courses to ensure your application is strong enough to land an interview.

  • Get our free prep material

    Free case studies. Free interview videos. Free expert advice.

  • How to Ace McKinsey’s Digital Assessment

    Imagine that you are immersed in a natural environment populated by different kinds of plants and animals. You learn that some animals are quickly succumbing to an unknown illness. You have to stop this epidemic. This is McKinsey’s Digital Assessment: the ground-breaking video game that the firm has introduced to assess candidates’ cognitive abilities. To […]

  • An Example of a Great Consulting Interview

    A great consulting interview is one where candidates not only demonstrate that they have all of the skills needed to become a high performing consultant, but also it’s one that gets the interviewer excited about having the candidate on their team. In this article, we outline the three key aspects of the interview and what […]

  • How to Write a Resume to Land an Interview at the Top Consulting Firms

    In this article, we walk you through the three most important aspects to think about when preparing your resume for McKinsey, BCG, Bain or other top consulting firms. If you want to understand each of these points in more detail, including how to use networking to your advantage and what the application process really looks […]

  • How to Write a Cover Letter to Land an Interview at the Top Consulting Firms

    Are you mind-blanking in your cover letter? Are you wondering if it’s good enough? If so, you’re in the right place! Here we’re going to share the most important aspects of a cover letter for consulting roles at top firms such as McKinsey, BCG and Bain. Cover letters won’t land you an interview, but they […]

  • How to Join McKinsey, Bain or BCG as a Fresh Graduate

    The top strategy consulting firms solve their client’s most complex and challenging problems, so you’d be forgiven for assuming that McKinsey, BCG and Bain only employ tenured people who have been around the block, or to assume that they wouldn’t hire a fresh graduate right out of university. But you’d be wrong! The Top 3 […]

  • Everything You Need to Know About the Recruitment Process for McKinsey, Bain and BCG

    With a typical hire rate of less than 1%, interviews with top consulting firms such as McKinsey, BCG and Bain are some of the most challenging in the world. The selection process is divided into screening and interviews. 1. The application screening Screening is typically based on selecting CVs or resumes that show the most […]

  • What are the Best Parts About Being a Consultant at Bain, BCG or McKinsey

    If you’ve read our article on the Cons to a Life in Consulting, then you may also want to know about the Pros and highlights, too. The good news is that consulting at the Top 3 firms is full of unique benefits you rarely find in other industries. In this article, we cover the top […]

  • The Cons to a Life in Consulting

    While a consulting job at McKinsey, BCG and Bain has numerous benefits, there are of course a few downsides worth preparing for as you enter the world of a top consultancy. Creating a work-life balance can be challenging The client’s success is the top priority for consultancies. The team often does all they can to […]

  • Why Some Consultants Don't Make Partner

    Only a small percentage of consultants who join top consulting firms like McKinsey, BCG and Bain make it to Partner. Based on best estimates, we suspect it’s less than 5% of consultants who make it. However, the majority of consultants aren’t interested in pursuing Partnership and only stay in consulting for 2-3 years to gain […]

  • What It's Like Being an Entry Level Consultant at Bain, BCG and McKinsey

    If you’re comparing consulting with other career options or if you just landed yourself an offer with McKinsey, BCG, Bain or another top firm and are now wondering what being an entry-level consultant is really like then you’re in the right place. In this article, we share what life is like for the newbies on […]