Management consulting sector top pick for graduates

16 June 2015 3 min. read
More news on

Business students in the Netherlands see the management consultancy field as the best pick to start their career, a study of Bachelor and Master students finds. Management Consulting is seen as especially important to the students’ desire for entrepreneurship, a good work- life balance and to develop their leadership skills.

Every year Universum performs research into the career paths seen as favourite among university students. The global talent research company conducts the study in more than 20 countries, including among others the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. In the 2015 edition of the Dutch study, more than 12,500 master and bachelor students from more than 30 universities were surveyed.

Management Consulting
The research shows that management consulting is the favourite field in which business students would like to start their career. In total 42% of respondents indicated consulting as their favourite segment, which is a small decrease from last year (45%), but still by far the most popular field. As a comparison, the second most popular choice is the fast growing media- and advertising branch at 26% (last year at 10%), followed by the banking sector at 19% (last year 21%). Aspirations to work in the transport- and logistics (8%), retail (11%) and the public sector (11%) are considerably lower.

Top 10 favourite sectors for university students

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 about 55% of the respondents seeks to foster their ‘entrepreneurial’ spirit and to ‘develop creative and innovative concepts’. Since 2012 (then 49%) this desire plays and increasingly important role and is by far the most frequently mentioned by business students.

Furthermore, around 49% of students seeking an industry in which they can ‘have a good work-life balance'. 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, etc). Finally, developing ‘leadership and the capacity to manage people’ was cited as an important career objective by graduates, something seen as important by 35% of students in 2012 and now standing at 47%. Factors that play a smaller role in business students’ career desire include ‘being impartial’ (16%), ‘a safe and stable job’ (25%) and ‘being a functional or technical expert’ (8%).

Career objectives of university students

In 2014 management consultancy was also the favourite field for Dutch university students.

Favourite employers
The study also asked respondents to nominate their favourite potential employers. EY, PwC and KPMG led the pack, but also Big Four rival Deloitte and strategy consulting firms The Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company, Roland Berger, Strategy& and Bain & Company stand high on the wish list for Dutch university students.