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by Phil Stott | August 27, 2012


It's that time of year again. The consultants have spoken, and their votes have been tallied: The 2013 Vault Consulting Rankings are here! 

In this year's edition, Bain and Co. emerged as the Best Firm to Work For in our Consulting 50 ranking, while McKinsey held onto its perennial position as our Most Prestigious Firm.

In our Quality of Life rankings, Bain placed first in 12 of the 26 categories, while McKinsey dominated the practice area rankings, taking the number one spot in five out of the nine specific categories.

And in Diversity, Bain also performed strongly, coming top in three of the four categories.

As ever, our results are compiled directly from our annual consulting survey, which is only open to currently practicing consultants. Our Prestige and Practice Areas rankings (more on them in a moment) are compiled by asking consultants to vote for firms other than their own, while our Quality of Life and Diversity rankings are determined by asking consultants to rate their own firms on a variety of factors. And our overall Best to Work For list—the Vault Consulting 50—is compiled using a weighted composite of the factors that are most important to job seekers within the industry. (Read the full methodology here).

With that in mind, it goes almost without saying that we wouldn't be able to compile our rankings without the thousands of responses from professionals at consulting firms across the country. We are truly grateful for the time and effort that all 5,000+ respondents took to tell us about their firm this year. Their insights not only enable us to provide these ranking; they also provide us with invaluable insider information at life within the respective firms—information that becomes the backbone of our profiles of the firms, and that aids countless would-be consultants in weighing their career options and preparing to successfully navigate the recruitment cycle.

Without further ado, then—here are some of the highlights from the rankings.

Best to Work For

Our Top 5 firms for 2013, as determined by practicing consultants: 

  1. Bain & Co.
  2. McKinsey & Co.
  3. The Boston Consulting Group
  4. Booz & Co.
  5. Deloitte Consulting LLP 

Check out the full 2013 Vault Consulting 50


The 5 most prestigious firms in the industry: 

  1. McKinsey & Co.
  2. The Boston Consulting Group
  3. Bain & Co.
  4. Booz & Co.
  5. Deloitte Consulting LLP 

Check out the full prestige list here. 

Quality of Life 

As mentioned above, Bain & Co. took first place in 12 of the quality of life categories: Satisfaction, Firm Culture, Selectivity, Compensation, Formal Training, Informal Training, Promotion Policies, Client Interaction, Relationships with Supervisors, Firm Leadership, Innovation in the Industry, Overall Business Outlook. 

In the remaining categories, the leading firms are as follows: 

Censeo Consulting Group: #1 in Work/Life Balance, Hours in the Office.

Jabian Consulting: #1 in Travel Requirements, Philanthropy Programs

McKinsey & Co.: #1 in Benefits, International Opportunities, Ability to Challenge, Internal Mobility

Triage Consulting Group: #1 in Green Policies 

Check out all the quality of life rankings here.

Practice Area Rankings 

When it comes to industry specialty, McKinsey dominates the rest of the field. The firm placed first in the following five categories: Management Consulting, Strategy Consulting, Energy Consulting, Financial Consulting, Pharmaceutical & Healthcare Consulting. 

Accenture: #1 in Operations Consulting

Booz Allen Hamilton: #1 in Public Sector Consulting

Mercer LLC: #1 in HR Consulting

NERA Economic Consulting: #1 in Economic Consulting 

Check out all the practice area rankings here


Bain was the leading firm when it came to Overall Diversity, Diversity for Minorities, and for Diversity for Individuals with Disabilities. Health Advances took the #1 position for Diversity for Women, while The Chartis Group leads the field for Diversity for LGBT. 

Check out all the diversity rankings here

--Phil Stott, Consulting Industry Editor,



Filed Under: Interviewing|Job Search
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