Top 50 Consulting Firms To Work For In 2020

BCG’s new New York office at 10 Hudson Yards – overlooking the Hudson River. Photo by Anthony Collins


While McKinsey was teetering in the 2020 survey, the Boston Consulting Group was surging. Long feted for its custom-tailored, forward-thinking, team-driven approach, BCG knocked the Quality of Life and Work survey out of the park in 2020. Here, BCG earned higher marks in 11 of 21 categories over the year before. The biggest difference? Pay! In this category, BCG’s score jumped from 9.176 to 9.571.

Stephan Maldonado, the senior consulting editor at Vault, points out that the survey’s compensation questions, as a whole, yielded some of the “most overwhelmingly positive” responses he received in 2020. In the end, BCG took it to another level in the past year.

BCG New York office – 315 Park Avenue South

“Qualms with base salary, bonuses, and progression were very minimal,” Maldonado observes. “Recent raises seemed to tip the scales, meeting or exceeding the salary increases that the MBB firms saw earlier this year. Consultants also genuinely appreciate the transparency in BCG’s compensation structure; they understand their compensation and how it compares to their peers (there is also pay equality across salary bands), and that makes a substantial difference. Healthcare coverage also seems to be outstanding; there were slight variances in peoples’ accounts of exactly how much is covered, but generally, it seems as if most, if not everything, is covered by the firm.”


This transparency extended well beyond compensation, adds an anonymous BCG survey respondent. Just look at the firm’s Promotion Policies, which rose by .224 of a point in the past year. “BCG’s promotion process is extremely transparent and equitable, which is a reflection of a culture of transparency and support. The firm practices what it preaches with diversity of thought, gender, and race. Training opportunities are unparalleled, with opportunities for on-demand training, analytics programs, and one-on-one coaching – to name a few. The office is supportive of initiatives outside of casework, with a variety of sports teams. I was even able to start my own group!”

Among the MBB, BCG outperformed its peers in the areas of Benefits, Compensation, Business Outlook, and Promotion Policy. In each of these categories, McKinsey had scored better than BCG during the previous year. At the same time, BCG showed marked improvement in Diversity and Firm Leadership. “BCG values the individual and appreciates diverse perspectives,” adds another survey respondent. “We do not want cookie-cutter consultants, nor do we implement cookie-cutter solutions for our clients. I believe BCG truly cares about the individual—both in who we hire and the work we do. It’s about doing what’s right to drive superior client outcomes.”

Members of the Boston office participate in a “Bridge 2 BCG” workshop for advanced degree candidates

To catch McKinsey, BCG will need to improve in several areas. That starts with McKinsey’s strength: Prestige. In the 2020 survey, BCG’s prestige increased by just .012 of a point – a far cry from improvements produced by blue-ribbon firms like PwC (+.208) and the Parthenon Group (+.318). Unlike McKinsey and Bain, which placed among the Top 25 firms in every Quality of Life and Work category, BCG failed to rank in two categories: Hours and Travel Requirements.


Still, among survey respondents, it would be difficult to find a more energized bunch than BCG. One survey-taker touted the firm’s “open feedback culture” – “You always know where you stand and there are multiple people invested in your success.”

Another credits their peers. “The people I work with are nothing short of incredible. They are talented, passionate, and just an amazing group to be a part of. I come to work every day because of the people there, more than any other aspect of the job.”

This enthusiasm bodes well for the firm’s long-term prospects. “BCG is growing rapidly,” adds another respondent. “We are constantly adding new and exciting clients, building new capabilities, and innovating in ways that other firms could only dream of. The firm’s leadership is rock-solid and I know we will continue this strong trajectory with them at the helm.”

Go to the next page to see why third-place Bain & Company is bullish about their prospects.

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