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by Phil Stott | September 28, 2011


Yesterday, Vault took a deep look into what it is like to work for the top IT Consulting firms in the United States when it released its annual Tech Consulting 25 Rankings.  The new rankings, now only two years old, looked beyond prestige (although that was still a factor) and ranked firms on a variety of factors that job seekers felt were important to them; quality of life factors such as compensation, firm culture, work-life balance, and business outlook, among others. 

Vault Tech Consulting 25 Ranking SealBut prestige still matters.  It is great to work somewhere that allows its employees a little flexibility in their job, but having a name like Goldman Sachs on your resume when you're looking for a job in banking, will do a lot to help land you a job at almost any bank of your choosing.  Well-known names open doors for job seekers and in consulting, no doors open wider than when a hiring manager sees McKinsey & Company on someone's resume.  So, it doesn't really come as much a surprise when just weeks after being named the Most Prestigious Management & Strategy Consulting firm in the nation for an unprecedented 10th straight year, McKinsey & Company also comes out on top as Vault releases its Tech Consulting Prestige Rankings for 2012. 

The Vault Technology Consulting Prestige Rankings provide a comprehensive roadmap of who's who in the tech consulting industry.  From March through August, more than 1,100 consultants of all levels were asked to rate technology consulting firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on prestige. (They were unable to rate their own employers, and were asked to rate only firms with which they were familiar).  And for the 4th straight year, IT consultants named McKinsey as the most prestigious among a group of well-known names in the consulting industry.  Here is a look at the Top 10:

1.    McKinsey & Company

2.    Booz Allen Hamilton         

3.    Deloitte Consulting

4.    IBM Global Services    

5.    Accenture             

6.    Gartner, Inc.          

7.    Oracle Consulting 

8.    Cisco Systems, Inc.          

9.    Lockheed Martin Corporation  

10.  Northrop Grumman Corporation

That doesn't mean everyone thought McKinsey was the best.  Many doubters believed the recent scandal involving Rajat Gupta would tarnish the reputation of the consulting powerhouse.  But that was only a small minority as most survey respondents praised the firm as "innovative," noting that McKinsey & Company only hires smart advisors."  They went further in their compliments, calling the company "the big guns" and labeled them as "the pinnacle" of the industry.  One respondent said it best, summing up the idea of prestige when stating, "once you're in McKinsey, you're set for life." 

The long-term affects of the recent controversy and negative press could still come back to haunt McKinsey and if it does, an assortment of other consulting companies are ready to swoop in and claim the top spot in next year's rankings.  The Top 4 did not change over the last year with Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte and IBM Global Services coming in at No. 2, 3, and 4, respectively.  Consultants outside the firm called Booz Allen Hamilton “old, but proven,” “well regarded,” and a great place to work,” while respondents state that Deloitte employs “very smart guys,” “pays well,” and is moving up.”  IBM Global Services maintained a strong reputation in the industry with consultants outside the firm calling the stalwarts “informational technology experts,” and an “IT consulting powerhouse.”

While the Top 4 remained the same, there were some changes in the Top 10.  Accenture jumped two spots to No. 5, reclaiming the position they held two years ago, knocking Gartner one spot to No. 6 in the process.  Cisco Systems dropped two spots to No. 8 while Oracle Consulting continued its slow ascension up the list to No. 7.  Lockheed Martin Corporation and Northrop Grumman Corporation held on to their spots at No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.

To see all the ups and downs of the Top 25 Technology Consulting Prestige Rankings, click here.


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