25 advisory firms in most popular UK companies for graduates

20 June 2017 Consultancy.uk 5 min. read
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25 advisory and consulting firms have been placed among UK’s top employers for graduates, according to the Guardian UK 300 rankings. Consulting firms, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, IBM and EY, top the professional services sub-category, followed by among others the three large American origin strategy consultancies.

The Guardian UK 300 is the most comprehensive annual survey of student opinion on graduate careers and employers. The results are based on the UK’s largest independent survey of students, powered by international research firm trendence, representing a record-breaking 62,814 undergraduates across all of UK’s universities polled between September 2016 and January 2017.

Retaining top positions again, internet giant Google and public health group Cancer Research UK maintained overall first and second places in the rankings, however the survey not only determines the most popular 300 graduate employers in the UK overall, but also the most popular graduate employers in a range of career sectors, including media and advertising.

In the sub-category focusing exclusively on the consulting industry – an industry estimated to be worth more than $250 billion globally – it was revealed that 54% of students who expressed an interest had related work experience, while a majority of 62% were using LinkedIn to find prospective careers. The hopeful graduates also generally expected to earn an average income of £28,145 per annum.

The most popular consulting firms in UK - Big Four

Best Consulting Firms

Predictably perhaps, the top graduate employers for consulting were dominated by the Big Four, the firms with the highest revenue levels in the global industry. PwC, who host 1,200 new graduate vacancies each year, topped the overall Guardian 300 rankings in 2010. In the latest list, they stand firm in 13th overall while maintaining top spot in the industry specific consulting rankings.

PwC were followed by rivals Deloitte, who have 29 offices across the UK, in 19th, moving up one place from last year. KPMG, who open 1,000 graduate positions per year, came third among professional service firms once more, ranking 22nd, having moved upward by five, themselves. The Big Four failed to complete a clean sweep of the top positions however, with EY, who offer 900 grad positions each year, sitting in 34th spot they lagging behind technology specialists IBM, who climbed into the top 30 this year, to sit at 27th in the overall rankings. With a global staff of 400,000 employees IBM employ an additional 300 UK graduates per year.

Completing the top ten consulting firms, McKinsey & Company, who set no goal for annual graduate intake, saw its ranking climb to 57th this year, while, Accenture, who were also joint runners up for the Times Top 50 Employers for Women earlier this year, were pushed to 59th. Arup, who fell ten places in 2016/17, continued their descent, hitting 62nd this year. On the other hand, boasting offices in London and 81 other locations worldwide Boston Consulting Group improved its position to rank as the ninth highest professional services firm, at 64th , while Atkins also climbed two places to 73rd.

Top Professional Service Groups

Beyond the industry-specific top-ten meanwhile, a number of further firms from the professional services world were also present in the general rankings. Bain & Company, who were recently certified as 100% CarbonNeutral for the sixth year running, maintained a top 100 position at 98th. Strategy advisory firms PA and Mercer were also present, broad management consulting firm PA ranked 121st overall, ascending over 50 places, while HR-focused Mercer fell a further 19 rankings on last year to 293.

Most popular UK companies for graduates - Top Professional Service Groups

Accounting consultancies meanwhile fared poorly, with BDO falling beyond the top 200 to 216th, and Grant Thornton falling 162nd. RSM (formerly Baker Tilly UK) meanwhile tumbled over 100 positions, having been ranked as the tenth most attractive consulting firm to graduates in last year’s outing, falling from 137th to 280th despite offering graduates 382 placements last year.

Large IT consulting firms on the other hand were major beneficiaries of the volatile graduate ratings, with management consulting group Capgemini further upgrading their position to 168th this year. Fujitsu improved to sit 223rd – though CHP Consulting, who rebranded as Alfa shortly after last year’s poll, dropped out of the rankings all together. CGI, who offer 100 graduate jobs including 30 Industrial placement roles per year rank 296th, while Atos, last year’s new additions to the list, who offer 140 graduate jobs per year, climbed to 254th.

Engineering-based firms saw a year of mixed fortunes as graduates ranked some as increasingly desirable workplaces, while others fell rapidly down the chart. Schlumberger continued to slump beyond the top 100, to 146th position, but Mace re-entered the top 200 graduate employers, reaching 169th, while fellow engineering consultants AECOM meanwhile remained in the top century, placing 78th this year. Mott MacDonald, also managed to retain its place in the upper third of the list, ranking 100th.