Get Active in Our Amazing Community of Over 454,000 Peers!

Schedule mock interviews on the Meeting Board, join the latest community discussions in our Consulting Q&A and find like-minded Case Partners to connect and practice with!

Generalist or Digital?

Bain Bain Vector BCG BCG Technology advantage BCG McKinsey and Bain Boston Consulting Group Digital McKinsey McKinsey McKinsey Digital
New answer on Jul 31, 2023
9 Answers
1.2 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Apr 06, 2023

Hi,

Given the current climate and the increasing number of digital projects MBB firms are doing, would it make sense to join BCG TDA/Bain Vector/ McKinsey Digital rather than becoming a generalist? What are the differences in career track, international opportunities, team, general reputation and so on?

 

Thanks in advance!

Overview of answers

Upvotes
  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best answer
Hagen
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 06, 2023
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I think this is an interesting question that may be relevant for many people. I would be happy to share my thoughts on it:

  • First of all, I would highly advise you not to make such important career decisions solely based on current trends in strategy consulting. Instead, I would highly advise you to opt for the option that better aligns with your professional (and maybe even personal) mid- to long-term goals. In order to make an informed decision, I would advise you to do the following:
    • Weigh the different criteria that are meaningful to you independently of the current options (e.g., capabilities, international exposure, (sub-)culture). After that, score the two options based on your criteria and their weighting, resulting in two scores. This way, you have covered the left-brain perspective.
    • Critically assess your initial reaction to the outcome of the scores. For instance, if you feel the urge to tweak the numbers, this is a solid indicator that you do not want this decision to become reality. This way, you have covered the right-brain perspective.
    • By doing so, you will be able to integrate both parts of the brain into the decision-making, guaranteeing a higher chance that you will still be happy with it years later.
  • Moreover, while the digital track obviously has a narrower scope regarding projects, both career tracks are very similar, even if depending on the region, country, and strategy consulting company you apply to.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on how to address your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

Was this answer helpful?
Francesco
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 07, 2023
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.500+) | 1.500+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ interviewoffers.com) | Ex BCG | 10Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

1) Given the current climate and the increasing number of digital projects MBB firms are doing, would it make sense to join BCG TDA/Bain Vector/ McKinsey Digital rather than becoming a generalist? 

I would target a career in digital if that’s interesting to you, not just based on the probability to join MBB. If you like the digital space, you can by all means apply there.

2) What are the differences in career track, international opportunities, team, general reputation and so on?

I would expect most factors to depend on the firm and geography, so the best way to know that for your target office would be to network with consultants working there. In any case, I would use as the main criterion whether or not you would enjoy the digital focus.

Good luck!

Francesco

Was this answer helpful?
Ian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 11, 2023
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

It would make sense to do the thing that GENUINELY INTERESTS YOU.

Please don't do the thing that you think everyone wants you to do and that you think gives you the best odds. If you like Digital, then amazing go for it! If you don't, then you're going to hate it and quit after 2 months.

Please don't lose the forest for the trees here…apply to the roles/jobs that you genuinely find interesting (and that your profile fits and you would be good at)

Was this answer helpful?
Andreas
Expert
replied on Apr 06, 2023
McKinsey EM | Top MBB Coach | >70% Success Rate | Free Introductory Calls

Hi there,

I would advise you to base that decision primarily on what your profile is and what your career goals are - and less so on the current economic climate. 

Cheers,

Andreas

Was this answer helpful?
Rushabh
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 06, 2023
Limited Availability | BCG Expert | Middle East Expert | 100+ Mocks Delivered | IESE & NYU MBA | Ex-KPMG Dxb Consultant

Hi,

If you have the right profile and would enjoy to specialize in that domain, then I think it might be worth applying to the digital practice since that seems to be an in-demand practice area.

Best,

Rushabh

Was this answer helpful?
Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 10, 2023
Ex McKinsey EM & interviewer (5 yrs) USA & UK| Coached / interviewed 300 +|Free 15 min intro| Stanford MBA|Non-trad

Generally you can do digital cases if you're a generalist, but it's much harder to get on generalist cases if you're in digital. If you have a real love of doing digital projects then it makes sense to go for a digital route, if not then I would personally go for generalist as it'll give you more varied work. 

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?
Pedro
Expert
replied on Apr 06, 2023
Bain | Roland Berger | EY-Parthenon | Mentoring Approach | 30% off first 10 sessions in May| Market Sizing | DARDEN MBA

This really goes down to whether you want to be a digital specialist and focus on that field or just wanting to be a busines specialist.

Both options are fine and MBB are great for any of them

Was this answer helpful?
Cristian
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Jul 31, 2023
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there,

At the end of the day, it all has to do with where you see yourself in 10 years from now. 

If joining one of them brings you closer to that vision, then it's the right thing to do. 

Best,
Cristian

Was this answer helpful?
Sophia
Expert
replied on Apr 28, 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| 6+ years of coaching

Hello,

I would recommend you answer this question for yourself based on your interests, expertise, and where you want your career to go. Both generalist and digital tracks are prestigious and competitive. Your experience and exit opportunities will depend more on what you personally make of each role, in my opinion. 

Was this answer helpful?
Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

CoachingPlus Expert
Premium + Coaching Expert
Content Creator
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years
509
Meetings
17,003
Q&A Upvotes
93
Awards
5.0
429 Reviews
How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or fellow student?
0 = Not likely
10 = Very likely
You are a true consultant! Thank you for consulting us on how to make PrepLounge even better!