Where McKinsey & Co. Find The Most MBAs

by Linda Abraham on


Entrepreneurship is the sexy post-MBA job, but the reality is that less than 5% of grads from top MBA programs start a business at graduation. According to the Graduate Management Admission Council, 34% of all graduate business students seek consulting positions after they earn their degree. My suspicion is that the figure is even higher among full-time MBA candidates.

True, many will work as consultants for a few years, and then down the road start their own business. If you are in that vast mass of MBA wannabes planning or hoping for a job in consulting immediately after you earn your degree, the following ranking is for you. We’ve examined U.S. News’ top MBA programs and the number of grads who have gone into consulting from each one.

Certainly, schools where a high percentage of graduates go into consulting or schools where the absolute numbers of grads going into the industry are high indicates that the program has the recruiting ties, placement track record, and alumni network, as well as the curriculum, to support your consulting goals. The following data tracks the percentage of each class that goes into consulting as a “function”–not an industry–so the numbers may differ somewhat from numbers who go directly into McKinsey, Bain, BCG and other firms (see A New Look At MBA Consultant Factories). The figures include graduates who take corporate jobs in strategic planning or internal consulting so in every case are higher than what the industry numbers would show.


Last year, Yale’s School of Management led the consulting pack, with 30% of its graduating class of MBAs accepting jobs with the likes of McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group. Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business were next, both sending 29% of their Class of 2013 into consulting. They were followed by Duke (also 29%), Michigan and MIT Sloan (both at 27%).

And when you look at the absolute numbers of graduates who took jobs in consulting, Wharton led with 191 of  its 800 grads. Not far behind were Kellogg (180), Harvard Business School (175), Chicago Booth (146), and Michigan (140).

However, the numbers fail to paint the full picture. Dig into the schools’ class profile, placement stats, curriculum, extra-curricular activities and opportunities to determine which schools to apply to. Ultimately you want to apply to programs that will take you where you want to go and that are likely to admit you.

Percentage of Grads Going into Consulting


School Full-Time Graduates # Reporting Consulting Jobs % of Grads
Yale 230 69 30%
Kellogg 627 180 29%
Duke 434 124 29%
Michigan Ross 512 140 27%
MIT Sloan 390 105 27%
CMU Tepper 208 55 26%
Chicago Booth 579 146 25%
Emory 123 31 25%
Dartmouth 266 66 25%
Wharton 800 191 24%
UVA Darden 312 74 24%
Georgetown 248 55 22%
NYU Stern 375 83 22%
USC Marshall 210 45 21%
Texas McCombs 271 56 21%
Harvard 905 175 19%
Notre Dame Mendoza 129 22 17%
UNC Kenan-Flagler 283 48 17%
Cornell 282 47 17%
UC Berkeley Haas 241 40 17%
Indiana Kelley 216 35 16%
Columbia Business School 730 107 15%
Stanford 391 49 13%
UCLA Anderson 369 41 11%

 (See following page for table on number of grads going into consulting by school)

Linda Abraham is president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

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  • Mentor

    First of all, employers as prestigious as McKinsey, Bain, BCG, etc. don’t sacrifice quality over a little money. The only money they save by sending their high performers to INSEAD is the CDO and career related fees. Second, INSEAD sends its graduates all over the world, including the US. So it is not just about international offices of MBB but New York, Palo Alto, Chicago etc. International offices are not to be laughed at either. There are offices such as London, Toronto, Singapore, etc. that house global managing director, lead key practices and arm themselves with top-notch consultants. You’d be better off in international locations above than Minneapolis, Atlanta etc. Third, it is simply laughable when you say most at INSEAD who get offers from MBB are from MBB. Most new hires do not have prior consulting experience. I would also add that INSEAD accepts top undergrad grads like other top schools do so your point about “extraordinary” undergrad education doesn’t make much sense. I will close with a comment that no matter where you go, whether it’s HBS or Kellogg etc., the bottom drops out of the class or suffers in one way or another.

  • HAME25

    insead is struggling financially, and they give sponsoring companies a huge discounts. Just check the prices of many of their executive education courses, and see the huge change within the last two years, they offered over 30 to 40 % discounted rates. I suspect they will do whatever it needs to get the sponsoring students attend their desperate and low quality class.

  • Confused

    Really misleading. You’ve got HBS, CBS and Stanford near the bottom, despite both being top 10 in this.

  • Really Really

    Ugh. Despite the fact that, in gross numbers, it’s a top 5 McKinsey school. Troll…

  • Jimmy

    “Dumbass” !!! expected language from insead. very sad.

  • CGSB

    It is Columbia. irrespective of rankings or any useless publications, still an ivy league and one of the world’s premier universities, Admission rates, yield rates all tell the truth.

  • Loser

    Kellogg is better, despite that it is not even an ivy league and not necessarily one of the world’s premier universities.

    With your logic, Oxford, Cambridge and Yale must be better than Columbia or Kellogg?

  • Dumbass2

    I am not an INSEAD grad, Dumbass*2!

  • Hahaha

    Hame, you are spreading ill-informed and misleading information on financial strength of INSEAD. Surely, it has more than enough to maintain its status quo with what it has. I am sure they would like more money and surely that doesn’t mean they are in financial struggle. For the sponsored students, if what you say is true, the sponsored students would actually bring down the quality. I don’t believe any of the financial struggle or even quality of the class you are yapping at is anywhere near the truth

  • Jimmy

    “Dumbass*2″ !!!! an expected language from insead fans, lovers, supporters. stay there.

  • CGSB

    Columbia is a premier university in many fields, the MBA education is one of them of course. It shaped the modern world of business and financial markets. Oxford, Cambridge, and yale are also a premier universities and at the very top, but not in business education. Princeton does not offer an MBA, yet it is one of the best universities in the world. similar Caltech and ETHZ.. My point is in the MBA game, columbia is a fundamental prestigious player.

  • HAM25

    they actually get excellent sponsored students at discounted rate, and they use their statistics to trap the other 50% of the class. Check their employment numbers, they are desperate.

  • Huh

    All schools accept sponsored students at “discounted” rates. What is your point? And what is this trap all about? Employment numbers look amazing, when I look at INSEAD publishment? Am I confused?

  • NoMore

    I disagree. Columbia used to be a good school for MBA. It is definitely trending down big time and has been.

  • HAM25

    if you are not sponsored student, you will suffer there. 50% of the class are sponsored students that means around 500 students. Look carefully and read every single sentence in the employment report, they say they have received responses from around 700 students, or so. that includes the sponsored students. So, the sponsored students numbers dominate the reports and median and mean salaries and bonuses, because most of them work at MBB, big corporations and banks, their salaries and responses (employed three months after ..etc) all that mislead the prospective student who think the future is bright if he/she join insead. But the truth is that there are around 30 to 40% of the class suffer to find jobs. The career service there is no value at all, they bring cheap part time workers from other outside to work per hour as coach the student, because they do not want to hire full time career team. Unlike other top schools that take care of its students and dedicate many resources for him/her until he/she land the job he want. At insead you are just a number, they trying to divert all the attention of the prospective student to partying, multinationalism, multiculturalism, how funny the program is, etc etc, but the truth is that the most important thing about the MBA itself (career) is missing there. Do you know that career service do not know students personally, but by number, and when you ask they say it is thousands people there we can not pay personal attention. OK, on the alumni side, they are nice and funny but do not expect that support and I can not blame them for an obvious and simple reason, the huge class size do not allow them to help at all, and the french not that good for alumni things and loyalty, remember that INSEAD never received big donation from an alumnus despite being there for nearly 60 years! while some very young american schools revive hundreds of millions.

  • Really Really Really

    Top 5 McKinsey school doesn’t equal top bschool. It may very well be one factor but not a sufficient and necessary requirement.

  • Imaginative

    Where are you pulling your numbers from? I can say that you are creative.

    INSEAD employment report suggests that 94%+ were employed within the 3 months after graduation, which means at least 94% successfully secured employment.

    You sound like either you attended INSEAD but ended up getting no job because of your poor performance or a bitter reject that ended up at a lowly ranked school elsewhere.

  • HAM25

    94% of those who responded to the survey. read carefully. here is what exactly written in the latest report: “Of these 909 graduates actively looking for a job, 855 (94%) reported having received at least one job offer 3 months after graduation, 793 (87%) gave us
    details of their career decision and 597 (66%) reported full salary information” (Page 09). Remember that the class size is 997. And they have full information about salaries (from which the median and mean figures come), It is already know that in a typical insead class 50% are sponsored (and Remember that even with such poor career performance, the school contributed just 51% of securing jobs (ironically including the sponsoring mechanism), the other half secured their jobs by themselves!!! So, the figures that look bright are from the sponsored students and mislead the others. particularly prospective students who look for real value, education, and REAL career services! I DID NOT ATTEND INSEAD, but I am very interesting in MBA and always dig deep to see the real value. PLEASE, do not divert the discussion to personal things keep it professional and respective.

  • Null

    Who cares about McKinsey … they take MBA’s a green horn number crunchers … what fraction of opportunity does McKinsey represent? 0.000000000001%

  • Imaginative

    That to me sounds like a report from any top bschool. What is your point? Of 997 total, 909 looked for jobs and 855 reported having received at least one offer within 3 months after graduation. So what?

  • Internships

    Would it not be at least moderately more relevant to disclose which schools are sending people to which consultancies? Would be interesting to know for HBS, GSB, Booth, Wharton, Columbia et. all. Quality of internships is far more interesting than quantity of internships.

  • Matt W

    I think his point was that it could be only the people that were sponsored that reported salary information. I am not sure I agree with the assertion, but I suppose it is possible. He is trying to say non-sponsored people may be getting job offers, but they are such bad jobs people don’t want to provide salary data.

  • elaine biancone

    Absolutely agree!!!

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