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Want to Work at McKinsey & Company? Here Are the Degrees You’ll Need.

Want to Work at McKinsey & Company? Here Are the Degrees You’ll Need.
McKinsey & Company has hundreds of open positions in different areas, including analytics, consulting, design, digital, implementation, research, and transformation services. Image from Unsplash
Rina Diane Caballar profile
Rina Diane Caballar November 20, 2019

Associate principals and partners at McKinsey earn, on average, over $220K per year.

MBA Programs You Should Consider

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Do you thrive in an ever-changing environment? Love thinking creatively and figuring out solutions to challenging problems? Do you envision working for an organization dedicated to sustainability, diversity, and social responsibility?

Top management consulting firm McKinsey & Company is all that and more. In terms of work-life flexibility, McKinsey & Company provides programs such as Take Time, giving consultants the option to take an extra five to 10 weeks off between projects, and Pace, which allows consultants to stay longer in their current role, thus reducing the pressure to move on to their next role.

Other benefits that come with working at the firm include parental leave, support for mothers, a “phase-back” option to help employees transition back to work after maternity leave, continual training opportunities, and coaching and mentoring. The organization is also committed to diversity with its various affinity networks—GLAM for LGBTQ+, Access McKinsey for those living with disabilities, the Black Network, the Hispanic and Latino Network, and Women at McKinsey, among others—to foster community, mentorship, and professional development.

It’s no wonder then that McKinsey & Company ranked first in Vault’s 2019 best consulting firms for diversity, and snagged spots on the 2019 list of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s best places to work for LGBTQ equality and LinkedIn’s top U.S. companies to work for.

Are you interested in pursuing a career at one of the world’s most prestigious management consulting firms? Read on to learn more about the degrees you’ll need to land a job at McKinsey & Company, as well as tips on how to navigate the organization’s hiring process.


A brief case study of McKinsey & Company

In 1926, University of Chicago professor and management accounting expert James O. McKinsey opened his consulting firm. In the nine decades that followed, the organization expanded and became widely known for its expertise in management consulting, establishing the McKinsey Global Institute, an economic think tank, and the McKinsey Knowledge Network of global analysts and international experts. To keep up with the digital age, the firm formed an analytics team, added model factories, and built digital labs.

McKinsey & Company has around 30,000 employees working in 130 cities, including in its headquarters in New York and offices in Brussels, Cairo, Hanoi, Johannesburg, Manila, Nairobi, and Zurich, among other locations. As one of the biggest management consulting firms, McKinsey & Company’s revenue is about $10 billion as of 2019.


“Should I Get A MBA?”

The National Association of Colleges and Employers predicted an average starting salary for 2019 MBA graduates of $84,580—provided those graduates found jobs in computer science, engineering, science, or business. (source)

Students considering an MBA or graduate business degree can choose from varied career paths, including those focused on financial management, data analytics, market research, healthcare management, and operations management. The analytical skills and problem-solving techniques gained from graduate level business degrees are in high demand across business sectors. (source)

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A view of life at McKinsey

McKinsey & Company employees make up teams encompassing a diverse range of functions—such as operations, risk, and strategy—and industries, including consumer packaged goods, healthcare systems and services, and transport and logistics. Based on data from Glassdoor, the firm’s employees are compensated with above-average salaries, especially for senior positions, which is similar to those offered by tech companies like Apple or Netflix.

__Some of the highest-paid roles at the firm include the following, listed by average base pay:__

  • Associate principal: $225,140
  • Associate partner: $220,492
  • Senior engagement manager: $190,030
  • Engagement manager: $177,093
  • Management consultant associate: $168,229
  • Senior associate: $158,353
  • Associate: $152,674
  • Associate consultant: $147,734
  • Consultant: $143,136
  • Management consultant business analyst: $110,403

McKinsey & Company is driven by its values, which include adhering to the highest professional standards, significantly improving clients’ performance, and creating an unrivaled environment for exceptional people.

Want to work at McKinsey? Here are the degrees you’ll need.

Exploring the McKinsey & Company jobs site uncovers hundreds of open positions in different areas, including analytics, consulting, design, digital, implementation, research, and transformation services.

Analytics jobs at McKinsey.

In the analytics space, McKinsey & Company is looking for analysts, analytics experts, analytics specialists, data engineers, and data scientists. You’ll be responsible for helping clients get the most value out of data through your deep knowledge and understanding of the latest analytical techniques.

A degree in math, statistics, economics, econometrics, operations research, or a related quantitative discipline will equip you with the necessary skills for the job.

Consulting jobs at McKinsey.

With consulting at the core of McKinsey & Company, positions are available for associates, business analysts, and consultants. These roles entail acting as an adviser or coach and applying your problem-solving skills and industry expertise to help clients with their complex issues.

Earning an MBA degree or an advanced degree in the field of engineering, science, or technology is essential for success in the role.

Digital jobs at McKinsey.

In the digital arena, the firm has listings for cloud architects, front-end developers, software engineers, technical leads, and technical architects. You’ll be prototyping ideas and implementing and testing solutions using a combination of human-centered design and rapid-development strategies.

To do the job, you’ll need a degree in computer science, information technology, information systems, or a related technical field.

Other ways to get a job at McKinsey & Company

The firm has roles available depending on your academic background. Bachelor’s degree candidates from any major or course of study with excellent academic performance, leadership abilities, and strong problem-solving skills typically join the firm as business analysts, generalist consultants, or practice consultants focused on a specific function or industry. They could also take on tech roles such as data scientists or software engineers.

Meanwhile, associate roles are offered to MBA degree holders, while those who have a law, medical, or non-business master’s degree or a doctorate may be hired as associates, business analysts, or junior associate consultants.

Recently hires go through introductory training within their first two weeks and get additional advanced sessions on client leadership and management as well as a business essentials training program within their first two years. Professionals with more than three years of work experience undergo McKinsey’s experienced-hire workshop within their first nine months.


Set yourself up for success at McKinsey

Because of the varied roles at the firm, McKinsey & Company helps you find the career path that best fits you through its careers quiz. The company also provides videos describing the company’s interview process, as well as practice cases and tests to help you prepare.

In an interview on how to land a job at McKinsey & Company, Kerry Casey, director of Americas recruiting, revealed that the organization is on the hunt for tech skills. “We are seeing tech and digital skills become more prevalent as we grow and expand into new areas, so there’s definitely a focus there,” she said.

But Casey also emphasized the importance of showcasing your analytical skills, especially during the mini case study conducted over the phone and in-person case exercise and interview. “We look for analytical people who want to create positive results for clients,” she said.

(Last Updated on February 26, 2024)

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Tom Meltzer spent over 20 years writing and teaching for The Princeton Review, where he was lead author of the company's popular guide to colleges, before joining Noodle.

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MBA Programs You Should Consider