MBA Consultants Happier Than Ever

Philip Stott, Vault Consulting Editor

Philip Stott, Vault consulting editor


In a recent interview with Poets&Quants, Phil Stott, consulting editor at Vault, describes consulting as an “employees’ market.” For MBAs, these are easily the best of times. In the 19 quality of work and life categories that carried over from the 2015 Consulting 50 rankings, average scores from MBAs improved in all but one.

In recent years, firms have invested more in training their consultants. In the past three years, formal training scores from MBA consultants have risen from a 7.805 average to an 8.313 (+.508). A similar improvement occurred in informal training and mentoring, with average scores climbing from 8.173 to 8.677 (+.504). Career progression has also improved for MBAs, as evidenced by scoring jumps in promotion policies (8.410 versus 7.936), exit opportunities (8.655 versus 8.293), and internal mobility (7.915 versus 7.702).

MBAs also reported a greater deal of camaraderie and respect in the workplace. Their ability to challenge increased by .0305, as did their supervisor relationships (+.365) and client interaction (+.291). Not coincidentally, their scores for firm culture (+.362) and overall satisfaction (+.345) rose as well. Despite their scores lagging in compensation, MBAs have experienced an improvement in this area too, going from a 7.819 in 2015 to an 8.209 in 2017.

This year’s North American survey included 2,704 consultants with MBAs who are based in North America. Seventy-three percent were male (with 71% being Caucasian and 15% being Asian). Their data was contrasted against consultants who hadn’t completed post-graduate studies. This sample featured 4,144 consultants, with 60% being male (and 75% being Caucasian and 14% being Asian). The response rate was 30.5% for MBAs and 46.8% for consultants who hadn’t gone to graduate school.

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