43% of INSEAD MBA graduates join management consulting

29 February 2016 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

INSEAD is one of Europe’s key business schools, sitting on top of the FT’s latest MBA school ranking. New data shows that management consulting remains the top destination for MBA graduates from the Paris-based university, with 43% of the 2015 class moving into the industry – up from 41% on the year before. Average salaries for those entering the industry are not the highest however, with financial services paying more in starting bonus, median salary and performance bonus – suggesting that the reputation and allure of management consulting remains strong. 

Last year 1,003 MBAs graduated from INSEAD, one of Europe’s most prestigious businesses schools. Graduates from its MBA programme tend to be in hot demand, with a number of sectors vying to attract graduates to their place of business. According to official figures released by the school, the management consulting sector was by far the destination of choice for graduates, snapping up 43% of all graduates – up from 41% the year before and up nearly 10% the year before that. The financial services industry comes a distant second at 15%, joint with the TMT industry, followed by e-commerce / internet at 12%.

Destination of INSEAD graduates per sector

Interestingly, only 69% of those that were consultants before taking on the MBA returned to consulting following graduation. Although figures are not released on the matter, the hiring (non-consulting) companies typically take over the investment burden consultants face vis a vis their consulting employer, which for INSEAD currently sites between €65,000 to €70,000 in tuition fees alone.

The figures further disclose that McKinsey & Company picked up the most MBAs from the programme last year at 102, followed by the Boston Consulting Group at 72 and Bain & Company at 52. The rest of the around 205 graduates that delved into management consulting were spread across Accenture, A.T. Kearney and Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company), with among others Deloitte and L.E.K. Consulting also picking up a number of freshly minted MBAs.

Stephane Ponce, global consulting lead for INSEAD’s Career Development Centre, remarks that in recent years the share of the Big Four in the recruitment of INSEAD MBA graduates has been on the rise, a trend which in particular has accelerated following their push into the strategy consulting segment: “With the acquisition of Booz & Company by PwC to form Strategy&, the acquisition of Monitor by Deloitte, and of Parthenon by EY, we see that all the traditional accounting firms – KPMG included – are significantly growing their advisory practices.”

McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, Accenture, A.T. Kearney, Strategy&, Deloitte, L.E.K. Consulting

To entice INSEAD MBAs to the management consulting path, which promises a steep learning curve, high impact work, an international work experience in broad fields and great networking at the top of business, median salaries hit 113,600 last year – with a sign on bonus of almost $24,000 and a median performance bonus of $25,000. This is somewhat lower than the next biggest draw, financial services, where median salaries are $114,900 and sign bonuses come in at $31,400. While initial salaries from INSEAD remain relatively impressive, they do fall behind key US schools: Virginia’s Darden School, Berkeley-Haas, Wharton, Stanford and Harvard MBAs working in consulting earned $140,000 average starting salaries in 2015.