Business students in the UK view the management consulting industry as the most attractive pick to start their career, a study by Universum among than 40,000 undergraduate students in the UK shows. Management consulting is seen as especially important to the students’ desire to have an international secure career with a good work- life balance.
For the past 25 years, global talent research company Universum has been executing research into career paths seen as favourite among university students in over 20 countries, including in the UK. The 2015 edition of the UK study surveyed more than 40,000 undergraduate students from 78 universities.
The research of the UK data shows that the management consulting industry is the favourite industry in which business students would like to start their career. In total, 33% of respondents indicated consulting as their favourite segment, which is a fairly small decrease from last year’s 39%. The second most popular sector is banking at 32% (last year at 34%), followed by the media and advertising branch at 26%, which is slightly up from last year’s 25%. The fashion, accessories and luxury goods industry, which is found on fourth place, saw the biggest increase in popularity (from 19% to 22%).
The reasons why management consulting is so popular is generally myriad among students, even if one thing appears clear: in the eyes of up and coming business talent the discipline meets their diverse desires.
The research finds that having a good work/life balance is seen as the number one career goal of students. The consultancy field is known for its hard work, but also for the quality of its secondary employment benefits which offset the hard work and provide an opportunity for balance (for example, unpaid leave, working from home, working arrangements for mothers). The second most important goal is having a stable career and the third having an international career. The top three has been unaltered since 2012.
The study also asked respondents to nominate their favourite potential consulting firm employers, with PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY leading the pack. Other consulting firms high on the wish list for UK students are McKinsey & Company, IBM and the Boston Consulting Group.