When it comes to consulting firms, McKinsey and BCG are two of the most renowned and respected names in the industry. But which one pays more? To answer this question, it is essential to understand the differences between the two firms. McKinsey began developing its own internal knowledge function several years before BCG, and they invest a lot of time preparing consultant candidates for the case study interview. BCG targets the highest levels of the organization, but their approach is not as pervasive as McKinsey's.
Bain brings more ideas to the sales process than McKinsey or BCG, and they are known for their quantitative capacity and willingness to go the extra mile. So, are all MBB firms the same? If a McKinsey member, a Bainee, and a BCGer were all sitting in a bar, who would you want to talk to? At the end of the day, where would you best fit in as a consultant with specific skills, personality, and goals? Both McKinsey and BCG have rigorous interview processes, but McKinsey was a little more generous with retirement assistance, setting aside 7.5% of salary for an employee's $401,000. Business retreats are also common at McKinsey, and many of their offices around the world have a strong culture of welcoming new employees. McKinsey is more explicit about focusing on the highest levels of the organization, while BCG focuses on positioning themselves as customer partners at all levels. McKinsey is also known for their focus on structured problem solving and persuasive communication. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a major wage freeze in the consulting sector, ending the generous wage increases of previous years. BCG researchers used to be more closely linked to local offices (sharing space with consultants), unlike McKinsey's research center model.
McKinsey has a history of being both a subject matter expert and a generalist one, leading consultants from the start to specific practices such as education or digital technology. At McKinsey, employees “are trained to address a problem in a certain way; regardless of the global office you are in or at what level, you can count on the McKinsey style”.