McKinsey, Bain Delay Start Dates for New MBAs

Consulting firms McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company delayed start dates for some master of business administration (MBA) graduates until 2024, The Wall Street Journal reported.
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Bennett Leckrone is a news writer for BestColleges. Before joining BestColleges, Leckrone reported on state politics with the nonprofit news outlet Maryland Matters as a Report for America fellow. He previously interned for The Chronicle of Higher Ed...
Published on April 18, 2023
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  • The Wall Street Journal reported that major consulting firms McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company are pushing back start dates for MBA hires.
  • The delayed starts come amid economic uncertainty and consulting layoffs.
  • High-power consulting firms often hire recent MBA graduates from top business schools.
  • Many MBA programs are refocusing their curriculum toward tech and data, BestColleges previously reported.

Master of business administration (MBA) graduates hired at the consulting firms McKinsey & Company and Bain & Company are seeing their start dates delayed amid economic uncertainty, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Bain offered employees thousands of dollars to work at nonprofits, learn a new language, and even go on safaris to delay their start until April of next year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Some recent MBA graduates hired at McKinsey don't have start dates as the company is laying off employees, according to the report. However, McKinsey's director of talent attraction for the Americas told The Wall Street Journal that MBA hires who will start full time in 2023 would learn their start dates within 24 hours, and others will learn that they will start early next year.

Major tech companies and consulting firms alike have laid off workers in recent months over rising interest rates, inflation concerns, and other economic factors, USA Today previously reported.

A McKinsey spokesperson told USA Today in February that the firm was redesigning the way our non-client-serving teams operate for the first time in more than a decade, so that these teams can effectively support and scale with our firm.

McKinsey isn't the only consulting firm facing layoffs. Ernst & Young announced plans to lay off 3,000 of the company's U.S. employees Monday, according to Reuters. And the professional services company Accenture announced plans in March to cut 19,000 jobs over economic concerns, Fortune reported.

High power management consulting firms often recruit MBA holders from top business schools, although the degree is not a requirement to enter the field of consulting, BestColleges previously reported. Management consultants are among the highest-paid business professionals.

Some MBA programs have aimed to take advantage of recent tech layoffs: The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School is offering up to $30,000 for recently laid-off tech workers to pursue their MBA, BestColleges previously reported.

Other programs are embracing tech as interest in artificial intelligence (AI) surges among prospective MBA students. Tulane University recently announced a revamped MBA curriculum with a focus on data-driven decision-making and experiential learning.