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by Phil Stott | September 05, 2017


Magician on Stage Movie Still from The Prestige

Prestige is an important component in selecting a consulting firm for both consultants and their clients. It's something of a virtuous cycle: when a firm is well-regarded, it offers peace of mind to those who pay the bills for its services; that helps to attract top-tier clients; which in turn attracts top candidates to the firm who can provide work that clients are satisfied with.

But while it's an important—if intangible—metric for clients, there's an extra layer to the prestige question for consultants: the doors that open in different industries and sectors when you utter the phrase "I worked at [x big firm]."

With that in mind, then, these are the firms that are most likely to open doors for consultants in 2018:

The Most Prestigious Consulting Firms

  1. McKinsey & Co.
  2. The Boston Consulting Group
  3. Bain & Co.
  4. Deloitte
  5. PwC
  6. Booz Allen Hamilton
  7. EY
  8. Accenture
  9. KPMG
  10. A.T. Kearney

Check out the full prestige ranking here.

How the Prestige Ranking Works

This year, almost 9,000 verified, practicing consultants took our survey in North America. As part of the survey process, we asked each of those consultants to rate their competitors on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most prestigious. (Note: consultants cannot rate their own firm for prestige or practice areas). Then, we simply average the scores, from the firm with the highest score (in this case, McKinsey, with an average of 8.954 out of 10) on down.

For those who are interested in specific practice areas, we follow the same methodology, but with a reduced peer group: consultants only rate firms within their own practice areas. I'll be featuring a couple of those specific rankings on this blog in the coming days, but in the meantime, you can find all of the practice area rankings here.