You mentioned only extrinsic factors, which, although important, do not cover everything. Let's think for a moment about what type of intrinsic motivators we have at consulting:
- Work itself - where else you can do such a challenging work, where no single day is the same? Working in the industry becomes boring, which can't be said about consulting.
- Colleagues - you will be working with smartest people on the planet, who are, at the same time, due to the nature of the business, colleagial and friendly, unlike what you would face at some IB.
- Growth - due to the 2 previous factors, and due to facing different people and different cultures, you are growing faster as an individual and as a professional.
- Advancement - fast career progression due to up-or-out approach helps you stay focused.
- Achievement - you will be impacting development of multi-billion companies, governments and entire businesses. Although you won't normally receive any credit for that outside of your firm, it can still be pleasurable to open a newspaper in the morning and read about a successful deal, where you played your part.
Considering that intrinsic motivators are more powerful, if we can believe the famous HBR article ( https://hbr.org/2003/01/one-more-time-how-do-you-motivate-employees ), it's no wonder that MC is an attractive career.