ON THE LOWER END OF THE SPECTRUM
Of the total 32 schools examined by P&Q, 12 boasted more than 30% of grads who went into the consulting industry; measured by function, that number inched upward to 15. Some schools lost a good chunk of their percentage from the year before: Notre Dame University’s Mendoza College of Business fell 8.5 points, from 20% to 11.5%; the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management dropped 8 points, from 24% to 16%. Among the gainers, Washington University Olin School of Business was the clear winner, moving up 10 points, from 11% to 21%; Virginia Darden also impressed, going up 8.6 points, from 29.4% to 38%.
Which schools were the least successful in graduating consulting MBAs? That distinction again goes to Michigan State University’s Broad College of Business, which nevertheless went from 7.0% in 2015 to 10.9% in 2016. The Midwest may be experiencing a consulting drought, as several other regional schools landed in the lower end of the spectrum: Mendoza, Carlson, and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business (16.8%).
In the elite ranks, Stanford University Graduate School of Business continues to underperform in consulting, rising 2 points from 14% in 2015 to 16% last year — not surprising considering its location smack dab in the middle of the tech/entrepreneurship hub of Silicon Valley. Probably for similar reasons, UC-Berkeley Haas School of Business saw a precipitous drop of 5.9 points, going from 25.0% to 19.1% in a single year.
SCHOOLS ON THE EXTREME END MAY BE OVERLY DEPENDENT ON A SINGLE INDUSTRY
Of course, there are two ways to look at these numbers. Schools that are on the extreme end of the spectrum are, in all likelihood, too dependent on the industry and lack greater diversity of recruiting across a wide span of industries.
At INSEAD, for example, nine of the school’s major employers last year were all consultants led by the three big global players, McKinsey & Co., Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Co. In fact, those three prestige firms alone scooped up a remarkable 29.8% of the graduates who reported their career choices to INSEAD. Only three firms, all in technology, broke up the consulting party: Amazon, Microsoft and Google, which were among the dozen top employers (see Major Employers Of INSEAD MBAs In 2016).
Perhaps the most telling statistic is that INSEAD is a major net converter of students into consulting. While only 27% of incoming students come from consulting, 46% landed consulting jobs, a net gain of 19 percentage points. That is a switching-career rate that is more than double the next industry, media and tech, which attracted 19% of last year’s class.
A KEY REASON WHY INSEAD’S CONSULTING NUMBERS ARE OFF THE CHART
As is often the case at INSEAD, many of these graduates returned to their firms after picking up their MBA in the 10-month-long program. The McKinsey total, for example, includes 75 new hires and 50 MBAs who returned to the firm. At BCG, 26 of the 67 hires were of former employees, while at Bain 14 of 48 total hires had previously worked for the firm.
On the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with that. The returning employees are reimbursed for their education (an $87,000 plus benefit that is not reported in compensation totals), and the consulting firms only have to give up their employees for 10 short months with far less chance of losing a consultant to another career and industry. In a traditional two-year program, an MBA student would likely do an internship outside consulting with greater opportunity to transition out to something new and walk away from that big tuition-free benefit.