Top 50 Consulting Firms To Work For In 2023

BCG’s New York office at 10 Hudson Yards – overlooking the Hudson River. Photo by Anthony Collins


When you want the right answer, go to the Boston Consulting Group.

That’s how the joke goes in consulting circles. Forget pre-packaged solutions at BCG. This is a creative’s playground. Here, consultants start from the bottom and beginning, digging through the details and discrepancies. In the end, BCG delivers a personalized solution every time out. BCG consultants don’t twist an existing framework to fit a client engagement. They create a new one entirely.

Yes, BCG consultants are often described as “academic.” At the same time, you won’t find them in an Ivory Tower. Their approach has been labeled as “bottom up” – going straight to the grass roots to get to the heart of the matter. Contrary to the academic stereotype, a BCG consultant’s demeanor is considered more “Midwestern” – open, honest, helpful, and comfortable with themselves.

““One thing we hear from clients fairly often is that we are more of a partner in problem-solving, v. coming to an answer without gathering input from the clients that work on it day in and day out,” writes one anonymous BCG consultant surveyed by Vault. “While they may not always like the answers we provide, they can always trust that they have been an equal partner in the process [and] their voice has been heard and considered.”


This year, BCG’s voice was heard loud and clear. The firm ranked 2nd to Bain, displacing McKinsey to make the move extra special. While BCG fell short of Bain & Company in the Vault Consulting 50, it managed to hold its edge over Bain in the all-important Prestige measure (recording an all-time high score in the process).

Overall, BCG notched the consulting industry’s highest scores in Benefits, Firm Leadership, Health and Wellness, and Promotion Policies. The only downside? Just Promotion Policies carried any weight in the Vault Consulting 50 methodology – and 5% at that. Still, BCG isn’t a firm where young consultants can fall through the cracks, notes one survey respondent. Instead, the firm looks to develop and champion its talent.

“BCG is a very inclusive environment that provides opportunities to learn for all stages of development. I found that, when an area for development was identified that could prevent me from getting promoted, BCG ensured I got coaching and lessons to overcome this barrier. I got successfully promoted and have continued to feel supported since.”

Another area where BCG thrived, according to survey takers, was Compensation. In this dimension, BCG ranked 2nd behind ghSMART. One Vault survey respondent described BCG’s compensation package as “world class” – citing an average annual salary increase in the 15-20% range plus “special bonuses” sprinkled throughout the year. It’s not just the pay that BCG consultants rave about. One survey respondent touted the benefits plan as “gold-plated.” The same consultant gave a thumbs up to BCG’s time-saving expense reports – where expenses under $100 don’t require receipts for reports.

Here’s how one consultant laid out BCG’s pay and benefits package: “Best aspects include high base pay with significant bonuses, profit sharing, retirement savings as well as amazing medical coverage with no or minimal copays. In addition to 3 weeks of vacation, have a new policy of offices closed Xmas-NY and a couple extra days that turn 3-day weekends into 4-day weekends throughout the year. Good, regular raises that more than cover cost of living adjustments.”


Along with Compensation – which carries a 10% weight – BCG also ranked 2nd for Innovation and International Opportunities (neither of which carried any weight). The firm also owned the 3rd spot for Overall Business Outlook and Selectivity – with the former being worth a 5% weight. In other words, BCG performed well. Aside from Prestige and Compensation, the firm didn’t reach an elite level in the measures that mattered.

For example, BCG ranked 4th in Satisfaction and 5th in Firm Culture. Combined, these dimensions represented 30% of the Vault Consulting 50 weight. In both cases, Bain & Company scored higher than BCG. Level of Challenge received a 10% weight from Vault – and BCG ranked behind both Bain and McKinsey in this dimension. Worse, BCG placed 18th in Work-Life Balance, another measure worth 10%. While Hours weren’t factored into the ranking, BCG still ranked 24th here.

In other words, BCG has some work to do before it can beat out Bain, particularly in the areas of Firm Culture, Work-Life Balance, and Satisfaction. Overall, the firm produced the highest marks in Benefits (9.807) and Selectivity (9.730), while earning its lowest score in Hours (8.327). That said, the firm has already taken steps to reduce work hours and provide better balance, notes one survey respondent, who describes BCG as a “highly supportive and down to earth culture.”


“Teams openly discuss their individual and team norms, and regularly check in to ensure work remains sustainable and team members are able to balance work with personal commitments. ‘Time for You’ program allows employees to elect to take 2 month Leave of Absence every year for any reason; Weekly report tracks employees who are working long hours to allow the firm to intervene and provide more support where required.”

Among the MBB, BCG also averaged the highest scores for Firm Leadership and Business Outlook. One reason: the firm is on a roll. One survey respondent lauded the firm’s consistent double digit growth – a rate, the consultant says, that tops both Bain and McKinsey. In fact, another BCG consultant observes that the business is growing faster than the firm can hire. Such momentum makes BCG a real threat to topple Bain in the next Vault Consulting 50 ranking.

“BCG is going to absolutely dominate in the next 12 months,” adds another consultant. “We’ve seen unprecedented levels of business growth and have been staffing appropriately to meet demand. The leaders selected are experienced, diverse, loyal, and passionate. We have incredible innovation – for example, check out all of our work in our moonshot projects – Climate and AI.”

Next Page: Why McKinsey & Company Ranked #1

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