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by Phil Stott | September 08, 2011


Deciding to become a consultant is just one step in the process.  Because the consulting industry is a very diverse industry, it is important to think about what practice area is the right match for your particular skills. Many consultants develop practice specialties, but for those thinking about taking on a career in consulting, Vault’s practice area rankings provide a valuable way to assess potential employers by understanding which firms excel in specific practice areas based on the perspectives of consultants at peer firms.

In order to determine the Consulting Practice Area Rankings, consultants were asked to vote for up to three firms they consider the best in each category. (Consultants were not allowed to vote for their own firms.) These rankings measure perceived prestige in each practice area (as determined by consulting professionals) and not revenue, size or lifestyle. Vault’s rankings indicate the top firms in each area, as well the total percentage of consultants who voted for that firm, offering associates a tool to aid in their career search.

Below is a list of the firms that ranked No. 1 in their respective practice areas along with a glimpse at outsiders’ opinions on these firms.

Vault Consulting 50 RankingsManagement Consulting (Formerly Combined with Strategy as Business Advisory): McKinsey & Company (“The gold standard.”)

Strategy Consulting (Formerly Combined with Management as Business Advisory)McKinsey & Company (“Strategy – Thought Leaders.”)

Economic Consulting:NERA Economic Consulting ("Super smart when it comes to economics.")

Energy Consulting: McKinsey & Company (“Still very much respected for their work.”)

Financial Consulting: Ernst & Young LLP (“Integrity behind work.”)

Public Sector Consulting (New): Booz Allen Hamilton (“Up-and-coming.”)

Human Resources Consulting: Mercer LLC (“Industry experts.”)

Operations Consulting: Accenture (“Great starting point for college graduates; IT focused.”)

Health Care Consulting: McKinsey & Company (“The benchmark.”)

In addition to the top spots, Huron Consulting Group also made their presence felt in their rankings debut, taking the No. 9 spot in Human Resources Consulting and No. 8 in Pharmaceutical Health Care Consulting. 

View the Complete Practice Area Rankings.

Read More:

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A Decade of Dominance for McKinsey & Company in Vault Consulting Prestige Rankings

Announcing the Consulting 2012 Quality of Life Rankings

-- Jon Minners,


Filed Under: Job Search|Networking

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