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  In this article we share the Top 25 business schools to attend if you want to secure a career with McKinsey, BCG or Bain.

Social media means this data is now readily available and so we start this article by reproducing the rankings according to an analysis of LinkedIn profiles.

Rank

Name

Bain

McKinsey

BCG

Total

1

Harvard Business School

255

421

278

954

2

INSEAD

184

460

221

865

3

University of Pennsylvania: Wharton

204

342

246

792

4

Northwestern University: Kellogg

126

260

231

617

5

Columbia Business School

63

241

111

415

6

Stanford University GSB

98

157

88

343

7

MIT Sloan School of Management

70

165

88

323

8

University of Chicago: Booth

63

152

108

323

9

LBS

43

204

76

323

10

HEC School of Management

77

102

129

308

11

University of Michigan: Ross

52

103

76

231

12

Dartmouth College: Tuck

50

70

47

167

13

New York University: Stern

20

85

46

151

14

Duke University: Fuqua

24

60

51

135

15

HAAS UC Berkeley

27

70

26

123

16

IESE Business School

27

48

33

108

17

University of Virginia: Darden

35

38

25

98

18

Esade

27

29

41

97

19

UCLA: Anderson

21

46

20

87

20

University of Texas at Austin: McCombs

20

31

24

75

21

Cornell University: Johnson

24

33

6

63

22

University of North Carolina: Kenan-Flagler

11

27

19

57

23

Yale School of Management

6

25

22

53

24

IMD

11

24

15

50

25

Oxford: Said

7

28

14

49

Which MBA Will Open The Door to McKinsey, BCG and Bain?

It’s one of the cardinal rules of consulting – don’t accept opinions and conjecture if hard data is available that can provide the indisputable answer!

So when approached by a prospective MBA student who wanted to establish which schools would open the door for them to pursue a career at McKinsey, BCG or Bain, we counselled them not to rely on hearsay and opinions but to seek the hard facts. Any careers service worth its salt should be able to provide a breakdown of the employers where its recent graduates have managed to secure employment. Or why not leverage the power of social media and conduct your own custom analysis based on querying of the LinkedIn network?

XiaoXiao Ma went away and did just that – and the results above are the fruition of this work. Similar analyses were also conducted for other strategy firms like my former employer Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. But for the purposes of this article we wanted to just share one definitive league table for the schools you should attend if you want to pursue a career with a top-tier strategy consultancy rather than get bogged down in firm-by-firm detail (feel free to contact XiaoXiao Ma if you’d like to see the full results).

The data table published above shows how many consultants each firm currently employs who have an MBA obtained from each of the leading business schools. In other words, only profiles for those people who have secured a job with McKinsey, BCG or Bain after having studied for their MBA and who are still with that firm. The important caveats are that this methodology excludes data for people who joined these firms post-MBA and have since left; and similarly includes those people who were with McKinsey, BCG or Bain prior to their MBA, were sponsored through an MBA and now have returned to their employer as part of the sponsorship deal (without having to undergo the MBA selection process). On the latter point firms will only sponsor consultants to go to the schools they hold in the highest regard, so this should have no bearing on the rankings. Whilst on the former point, we see no reason why graduates from a particular school would be more likely to quit consulting than any other school, so wouldn’t expect this to have a material impact on the rankings either.

We’re very grateful to XiaoXiao Ma for allowing us to share this work with you – and hope it has answered one of the most often-asked and enduring of questions in the consulting community!

Caveat: Whilst we have given some steer to the research methodology used above, Top-Consultant makes no representations as to the accuracy of the resulting table – not least because it relies on data that is a statistical sample of all consulting employees and so cannot be 100% accurate. Please do undertake your own research before deciding which business school to attend – and crucially check on a school’s recent success rate in securing employment for MBA graduates with your target employers.

Tony Restell, Top-Consultant.com

 
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