Pre-MBA analyst compensation skyrockets (Part 1 of 2)

by Jill Jitima
Senior Practice Leader at Charles Aris Inc.

Average Increase in Annual Compensation (screencap from  2016 Strategy Compensation study)

As our 2016 Strategy Compensation study reveals, pre-MBA consultant compensation grew by almost 30 percent from 2014 to 2015.

That’s a big number! What’s driving this increase? Quite simply, this is all about supply and demand.

Let’s start with supply: What makes the supply side unique is that these individuals are not only limited in number, but consulting firms are trying to hold on to them tightly.

Last year was a record year for all major consulting firms. Pre-MBA consultants offer a large return on investment and are incredibly productive. Consulting firms can provide a substantial raise and still pay them significantly less than their post-MBA counterparts.

Most of the top consulting firms are sold out, so they are doing everything they can to retain people. With the consulting firms so busy, they cannot afford to be understaffed.

For the same reasons that consulting firms are taking great measures to retain analysts, corporations and other firms are also aggressively recruiting this same talent. Corporations, private equity firms and start-ups are going to great lengths to do so.

At Charles Aris Inc., we are seeing the marketplace results of consulting firms opting to increase compensation to retain pre-MBA consultants. Analyst candidates are able to pick and choose the offers they will consider, and will often have multiple offers on the table when looking to make a change. Corporate leaders who wish to hire these candidates are increasing their budgets for these positions and are making significantly stronger offers than in years past.

Stay tuned for Part 2: How to land a pre-MBA analyst in a competitive market!