Business Schools






        Bain, BCG, And 7 Other Consulting Firms Desperate For MBAs Who Understand Big Data

        Elite advisory groups love MBAs with business analytics expertise

        Big data is rapidly reshaping business — the $41 billion-by-2018 market is spurred by the surge of large data sets, of analytical tools, and of digital disruptors like Uber and Airbnb.

        But companies are struggling to steer their organizations through the data deluge.

        This is a boon for management consultancy firms, which are seeing a windfall in demand for digital service lines. “A large number of their clients ask for services related to digital transformation, as they want to find a better way to engage with their customers via the digital medium,” says Stephane Ponce, global consulting lead at INSEAD, the world’s top-ranked business school.

        This is good for MBA jobs. Business schoolers have had a decade’s long, and lustrous love affair with consultancies. Martin Kihn, the writer, coined the phrase McHarvard.

        Today, MBAs still adulate consulting. And firms love MBAs too.

        “There are growing opportunities to work in consulting for people interested in digital transformation,” says Zoe McLoughlin, head of consulting at London Business School, who was previously an international recruiting manager at Boston Consulting Group. She says BCG, and McKinsey, have said there are opportunities in digital areas for MBAs.

        Below, BB speaks to six other prestige consulting firms, which are seemingly desperate for MBAs with data analytics expertise.


        Matthew Guest, head of Deloitte’s digital strategy practice in EMEA, has a zest for big data analytics: “Data and analytics have become part of the fabric of how we do business. It’s almost instrumental.”

        He says: “The tools are becoming to us what the office productivity tools — word processing and spreadsheets — were to the previous generation.”

        Data is one factor powering Deloitte’s fast growth, along with technology, digital transformation, and cyber security consulting service lines.

        It posted $12.2 billion in global consulting revenue in 2015, up from $11.4 billion in 2014. And Deloitte hired 15,000 more people. “There’s definitely a demand for more senior people,” Matthew says, including MBAs; Deloitte is a top recruiter at Duke Fuqua, Michigan Ross, and Columbia business schools.


        Mazhar Hussain, from KPMG’s Digital, Analytics & Innovation team, says big data is the currency of the future: “Data is helping us shape and develop digital strategies.” 

        KPMG’s data rush is marked. It established the Centre for Advanced Business Analytics at Imperial College, and struck a deal with McLaren to use its analytics tools. Advisory revenue last year topped $9 billion, up by 9% annually. KPMG added 12,000 to its workforce in 2015.

        “There’s a huge demand [for talent] because the industry [digital] is blowing up,” Mazhar says. KPMG seeks “this new digital native that can help us explore digital as a business opportunity”.

        But there’s also demand for the traditional MBA profile: “There’s a huge need to bring in that expertise.”