BCG is one of the top consulting firms in the globe, along with McKinsey and Bain. Similar to other consulting firms, BCG has a clear path for incoming associates and consultants to make the journey to partner. The clear career hierarchy is one (of many, many) reasons graduates look to work at BCG. Specifically, graduates can see a continued and quick career trajectory, especially as compared to an industry job where the career trajectory may be more ambiguous and / or there may be less opportunities every year to move up the ladder.
This article will share more about the BCG levels (or the BCG hierarchy) and the impact of the BCG hierarchy on BCG’s culture.
What are the BCG Levels or Hierarchy?
While BCG is considered a meritocracy, there is a clearly defined career path in which consultants go through. Specifically, consultants will move through the following levels:
Generalist and specialist consultant route:
Associate (pre-MBA role)
- Years of experience: 0-3 years
- Description of role: Individual contributor role where you will own specific components of a project, e.g., analyzing client’s data to see drivers of revenue or cost trends; conducting expert interviews to understand market landscape
Consultant (post-MBA role):
- Years of experience: 3-5 years
- Description of role: Individual contributor role; develop specific content “platform” and knowledge base; own larger or more difficult workstreams; collaborate with clients
- All-in salary: ~$200-215K (see more here)
- Years of experience: 5-7 years
- Description of role: People leader role; lead team of consultants and analysts to successfully deliver a project; serve as daily point person for senior clients
- All-in salary: ~$270-300K (see more here)
- Years of experience: 7-9 years
- Description of role: Develop trust-based relationships with clients; support business development and sales; create knowledge documents on a specific content platform
- All-in salary: ~$350-400K (see more here)
Partner and Managing Director Partner:
- Years of experience: 9+ years
- Description of role: Own trust-based relationships with senior level clients; lead business development and sales activities; serve as a thought leader on a specific content platform
- All-in salary: Not disclosed; however, partners can anecdotally make millions of dollars
- Description: Individual contributor role; focus on one specific domain
Project Leader and Associate Director
- Description: Team leader role (e.g., lead product teams; create workplans; support relationships with senior clients)
Partner, Associate Director, Director
- Description: Subject matter expert known internally and externally as a thought leader within a specific practice area
Data Scientists and Senior Data Scientists
- Description: Individual contributor role; develop analytical solutions for clients, leveraging statistical programs and other analytics solutions
Lead and Associate Director Data Scientists
- Description: Team leader role; collaborate with BCG partners on how data science can drive companies’ growth; support BCG GAMMA’s strategy
IT Consultant and Senior IT Consultant
- Description: Support information technology projects, starting with more process management type roles and moving to QC’ing and leadership
Manager and Senior Manager
- Description: Team leader role; support overall project strategy and implementation; build client relationships
Associate Director and Managing Director
- Description: Sell projects and own client relationships
For more information on consulting roles by salary, see our Consulting Salaries Report here.
For more information on the BCG levels / the BCG hierarchy, please click here.
What is the Typical BCG Career Path?
Similar to other consulting firms, the typical BCG career path is relatively regimented. Specifically, you need to go through each of the roles as you make your way up the career ladder. While you will not skip steps, the time at each step may vary depending on your performance, as you can see from the difference in length of time for each step.
How Does the BCG Hierarchy Affect BCG Culture?
You may be asking yourself – how does the BCG hierarchy affect BCG culture, especially given BCG is known for having a flat structure. Well, BCG does have a flat structure, in that each employee is encouraged to contribute to problem solving and pitching ideas to the group. Each consultant, regardless of level, is encouraged to speak up, especially given the junior level consultants are often the closest to the details.
However, if there is a debate around the ultimate direction of the recommendation or in the materials that get shared with a client, the most senior consultant will make the final decision, given that consultant is ultimately accountable for the client deliverable.
Therefore, the BCG levels & hierarchy moves up from an individual contributor to a people leader role. As you progress up the BCG hierarchy, you get more responsibilities, e.g., leading a broader team; owning the client relationship; directing the solution. One of the benefits of working at BCG (or a larger consulting firm) is that you get to have a very clearly defined career path. To move up the BCG career path, the first step is to get in the door. To prep with an ex-MBB consultant for a BCG interview, please click here.
- BCG Firm Profile
- Management Consultant Salary Report
- Consulting Resume: Complete Guide
- Case Interview: Complete Prep Guide