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Public Sector Consulting in Germany

Anonymous A

Dear all,

I am particularly interested in a role in strategy consulting in Germany with public sector clients. What I hear is a bit of a twofold dilemma: On the one hand you have the big MMB companies who do these interesting projects however it takes long (>2 years) until you can specialize on such an area. On the other hand there are smaller quite specialized companies (e.g. NERA, Frontier Econ, Strategy&, Accenture Strategy,PWC) where you can do these projects right from the start but these projects would be more low level so rather with an operations or implementation/ IT focus. Is there a soultion to the tradeoff: Big/ Prestigious but do what they tell you vs. Small/Specialized but choose your focus from the beginning? Any advice on that would be great. Thanks in advance.

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Francesco replied on 03/20/2017
#1 Expert for coaching sessions (1800+) | Ex BCG | 900+ reviews with 100% recommendation rate

Hi Anonymous,

I agree with Chris that the categorization you did actually includes different type of companies; while NERA and Frontier Economics do economic consulting (more Microeconomic analysis, Competition policy and Econometrics), Strategy&, Accenture Strategy and PWC do strategy consulting (more similar to MBB, often based more on implementation though). A first decision therefore should be on which kind of consulting you would like to do, that is, whether economic or strategy consulting – they are both great path, but pretty different, and in economic consulting you are likely to find a glass ceiling without a PhD.

Once you have decided which path to take, in case you decide to go for strategy consulting, you would then have to choose whether to go for more niche firms specialized in public sector, or more prestigious, where you may never specialize at all in public sector. One way to meet both the criteria would be to change geography and focus on the Middle East: there, a good amount of the MBB projects are related to public sector as well.

Finally, you should consider in the choice that your preferences may change in the future, and you may decide to switch to something different from the public sector. In this case, MBB would definitely be the option that could keep more doors open.



Currently non-active expert replied on 03/13/2017


First, I can't completely follow your categorization of firms (e.g. I wouldn't say Strategy&, PWC advisory are specialized on public sector).

Anyway, it's true that McK, BCG, Bain do limited work in the public sector in Germany (and most other countries). In addition, within these companies there's quite a bit of competition to get onto public sector projects. So it will be hard to specialize - very hard actually if you want to stay longer at such a firm.

It is however a great carreer path to move from MMB to the public sector (if your willing to take a pay cut, that is). I know people doing this right now, and some notable MMB alumni have done great in public services.

Hope that helps!


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