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by Stephan Maldonado | August 20, 2019


We're thrilled to announce the release of our annual ranking of the 50 Best Consulting Firms to Work For in North America. McKinsey is No. 1 for the third year in a row. Boston Consulting Group and Bain—the other two-thirds of the elite MBB consultancies—switch places again, coming in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

While the Big Three continue to lead the pack, this year’s Consulting 50 sees some impressive gains among other big-name firms. Booz Allen Hamilton breaks into the Top 10 at No. 6—a massive leap from last year’s No. 21. A.T. Kearney also enters the Top 10, up to No. 9 from No. 11. Rounding out the Top 10 with a five-spot jump is GE Healthcare Partners.

The Top 10 Consulting Firms in North America, based on Vault’s annual survey, are:

  1. McKinsey & Company
  2. Boston Consulting Group
  3. Bain & Company
  4. Deloitte Consulting LLP
  5. Oliver Wyman
  6. Booz Allen Hamilton
  7. EY-Parthenon
  8. PwC Advisory Services
  9. A.T. Kearney
  10. GE Healthcare Partners


Over the next few weeks, we're going to dive into the 2020 consulting rankings—which comprise our signature Consulting 50, as well as rankings of the Best Boutiques, the Most Prestigious Consulting Firms, the Best Firms by Practice Area, and the Best Firms to Work For in key quality of life factors. However, we wanted to take a minute here to highlight some of the standouts of this year's rankings. 

ClearView is the Top-Ranked Boutique; Major Shifts across Quality of Life Rankings

The 2020 ranking of the Most Prestigious Consulting Firms demonstrates a lot of consistency, compared to last year’s results, within the Top 10 firms—led by McKinsey, BCG, and Bain—holding the same positions as last year. Booz Allen Hamilton also maintains its No. 6 spot for Prestige.

Booz Allen Hamilton’s increase in the Consulting 50 is mostly due to higher internal scores for quality of life, as evidenced by its debut in seven of this year’s Quality of Life rankings. But it is not the only firm whose internal scores improved substantially in the last year. One firm that caught our attention is ClearView Healthcare Partners, which earns the No. 1 spot in this year’s Best Boutique Consulting Firms ranking, jumping from No. 15. The firm also placed in the Top 10 for 20 of our 21 Quality of Life rankings, including No. 2 for Interaction with Clients (from No. 16), No. 3 for Satisfaction (from No. 22), and No. 8 for Diversity (from No. 24).

Oliver Wyman breaks into the Top 10 in five individual Quality of Life rankings (including Exit Opportunities, Internal Mobility, and Promotion Policies). The Chartis Group jumps to No. 9 for Overall Business Outlook (from No. 23) and No. 10 for Firm Leadership (from No. 21). ghSMART claims the No. 1 spot for Employee Satisfaction and leaps to No. 4 for Work/Life Balance—an increase of thirteen spots.

Newcomers Make a Big Splash

We’re excited to see several firms who were new to our survey rank in the Top 50 and some of our other rankings. Blue Matter, a boutique that specializes in the life sciences, debuts at No. 30 on the Vault Consulting 50. It also ranked No. 7 for Best Boutique and No. 4 for both Diversity and Firm Culture. Other newcomers include:

  • Insigniam (No. 36, Vault Consulting 50; No. 6 for Formal Training)
  • Applied Value (No. 37, Vault Consulting 50; No. 2 for International Opportunities)
  • StoneTurn (No. 39, Vault Consulting 50; No. 7 for Work/Life Balance)
  • AArete (No. 48, Vault Consulting 50)

NEW Practice Area Ranking: The Best Consulting Firms for TMT Consulting

This year, we’ve introduced a new practice area ranking for consulting firms that demonstrate leadership and innovation in Technology, Media, and Telecommunications (TMT), one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving sectors in the world. “Operating in the nexus of emerging technologies and disruptive media channels, TMT companies are leading the global community through a digital revolution,” says Stephan Maldonado, Vault’s Consulting Editor. “It’s no exaggeration to say that the consulting firms that advise these companies are changing the future.”

Vault’s Top Five Consulting Firms for TMT Consulting are:

  1. McKinsey & Company
  2. Boston Consulting Group
  3. Accenture
  4. Deloitte Consulting LLP
  5. Bain & Company

About the Vault Consulting Survey

The 2020 Vault Consulting rankings are based on responses from more than 17,000 consulting firm employees surveyed earlier this year, who were asked to rate their own firms on a scale of 1 to 10 based on firm culture, compensation, work/life balance, the outlook for the firm, overall satisfaction, and other key quality of life factors. We also asked consultants to rate the prestige of peer firms and to select the strongest firms in more than a dozen specific practice areas; for the prestige and practice area rankings, consultants were unable to rate or vote for their firms.

The Vault Consulting 50 is based on a combination of internal and external scores: the scores consultants gave their firms on a variety of quality of life factors and the prestige scores from consultants at peer firms. We used a weighted formula to compile the ranking: 30% prestige; 15% satisfaction; 15% firm culture; 10% compensation; 10% work-life balance; 10% level of challenge; 5% business outlook; 5% promotion policies.

From this data, we also produced rankings of the Best Firms to Work For based on 21 separate quality of life factors—including Compensation, Culture, Promotion Policies, and Training. Consultants’ scores of peer firms informed the Most Prestigious Consulting Firms ranking as well as 15 practice area rankings—including Management Consulting, Strategy Consulting, Energy Consulting, and Technology, Media & Telecommunications Consulting.