There are many consultancies around the world. However, like any other things, not all of them are created equal. Some are particularly more prestigious and more internationally renowned.
Vault.com, the career website, has put together a list. They released a ranking of the best management consulting firms based on a survey to consultants worldwide. Participants were asked to vote for up to three firms in several areas of business focus. But to establish fairness, they could not vote for their own firm.
The practice areas involved defense, economic, energy, financial, health care, IT operations, IT strategy, human resources, management, operations, public sector, retail, and strategy consulting.
Most of the consulting firms in the current list have been included in the previous year’s list, though their rankings have slightly changed. The best management consulting firms of 2013 are:
#1: McKinsey & Company
The American global management consulting firm stays on top as they got 72.73% of the votes. McKinsey & Company, which established in 1926, operates 104 offices in 60 different countries. McKinsey is considered one of the “Big Three” in management consulting services to the Fortune 500 set. The other two are Bain & Company and The Boston Consulting Group.
They are known for their investment on knowledge management system to support their field consultants. McKinsey Knowledge Centre (McKC) provides access to specialized expertise and business information. McKinsey specializes in business information, recruitment, and problem solving for senior management issues.
As of September 2013, this organization receives 225,000 job applications annually. And only about one percent of these are successful. McKinsey is voted No. 1 consulting firm in the world. And for a reason, they probably set the toughest selection criteria. They are known to consistently recruit from elite colleges, professional schools, and graduate schools.
#2: The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
From being third last year, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), climb a notch on the list. The global management consulting firm, which was founded in 1963, scored 59.96% in the survey.
BCG operates 78 offices in 43 different countries. They advise clients in the private, public, and non-profit sectors across the globe. Fortune Magazine ranked them second as well in its 2011 and 2012 lists of the “top 100 best companies to work for”. However, the 2013 rankings by Fortune put them at the fourth spot.
BCG has also been consistently listed in Consulting Magazine’s “Best Firms to Work For” list since 2001.
Like any top-tier firms, BCG’s recruiting process is known to be notoriously demanding. In fact, career review site Glassdoor ranked them as the 3rd most difficult company to have an interview with.
#3: Bain & Company
Moving down by a notch is Bain & Company. The global management firm headquartered in Boston, received 58.40% total score. Since it was founded in 1973, Bain remains to be one of the world’s leading consulting firms. They now have 50 offices in 32 different countries.
The firm is known to provide consulting services to many of the world’s biggest businesses and nonprofit organizations.
In a Financial Times interview, Bain partner Bill Neuenfeldt, disclosed the qualities they are looking for in potential hires, which are “intelligence, integrity, passion and the ambition to make a difference.”
#4: Deloitte Consulting LLP
Also climbing up a notch this year is Deloitte Consulting LLP. Deloitte Consulting, which accumulated 19.20% in the survey, is a globally recognized, professional services organization. It was incorporated in 1996 and operates as a subsidiary of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.
Deloitte consulting specializes in human resources, information technology services, outsourcing, health policy and regulatory reform, and strategy and operations.
They serve clients across different industries such as aviation, consumer products and services, energy, financial services, health care, technology, and even government agencies.
Initially called Andersen Consulting, Accenture plc also moves up a notch this year as it scored 14.09%. This multinational management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, is the world’s largest consulting firm as measured by revenues. They have offices and operations in more than 200 cities in 56 different countries.
When their consultants are not working with companies to improve their performance, they can write reports to be published by the Accenture Institute for High Performance. Many of their published papers appear in international newspapers, like the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and The New York Times.
#6: Booz & Company
Plunging from fourth to sixth is Booz & Company. The global management consulting firm, which was founded in 1914, is one of the oldest consultancies in the world. By the end of the 1950s, the firm was dubbed as “the world’s largest, most prestigious management consulting firm” by the Time Magazine.
Booz & Company has had notable engagements throughout its years, such as the contract system for Hollywood movies, concepts of supply chain management, product life cycle, and the Organizational DNA concept. The National and American football leagues merger, HP-Compaq merger, as well as the redemption of the Chrysler Corporation from bankruptcy, all involved Booz & Company.
#7: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) LLP (Consulting Practice)
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP operates 72 offices across the United States. The company serves 81% of the companies on the Fortune 500. They provide auditing services as well consulting. For the second year in a row, they were recognized by the Association of Management Consulting Firms for “value and excellence in consulting.”
#8: EY (Ernst & Young) LLP Consulting Practice
Ernst & Young LLP is the U.S. member firm of Ernst & Young Global. EY doesn’t really have a “consulting” department. However, they have an “advisory” unit. EY used this term following the $11 billion sale of its original consulting unit to Capgemini in 2000.
#9: KPMG LLP (Consulting Practice)
KPMG LLP advisory services are divided into three distinct groups: management consulting, transactions and restructuring, and risk and compliance. In terms of their management consulting services, they currently have 14 service lines for clients. And some of the recently added ones reflect the changing business priorities in today’s digital age.
#10: IBM Global Business Services
Also included in the top 10 list of 2013’s best management consulting firms is IBM Global Business Services (GBS). The organization has consulting, systems integration and applications businesses groups. They employ more than 100,000 professionals across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.
Want to work for one of those top-tier consultancies? Read our free guide on how to break into the consulting industry. Learn about the essential steps in the application process, and find out how to stand out among other great competitors.