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How hard is it to get a Big Four job when you graduate?

Very hard indeed.

A recent article in The Time exploring the Big Four (and KPMG, especially) revealed that PwC had an acceptance rate in 2022 of approximately 2.5%, based on the 304,000 applications it received to its 7,500 roles (including 2,000 entry level ones).

That rate that isn’t quite as competitive as Goldman Sachs’ 1.5% or Blackstone’s 0.6%, but still damn tight – and tougher in fact than both Harvard and Oxford university’s acceptance rates (3.2% and 14%, respectively).

Parsing exact application numbers for the Big Four is very difficult – they are rather secretive about it all (not surprisingly, given that they’re private companies). We can estimate that based on job openings for students, Deloitte’s acceptance rate is around 3.7% (which makes sense, considering it’s also the biggest of the Big Four), based on 2,500 entry level job openings and 250,000 total applicants (which includes applicants to non-entry level roles).

EY and PwC are harder to estimate. EY is the second biggest of the Big Four in terms of headcount, which lends credence to this claim in 2019 that their acceptance rate was approximately 3.5%, based on 69,000 global hires from 2,000,000 global applicants.

KPMG, it is believed, had 50,000 internship applications in the United States alone for 3,900 roles, which suggests that 8% of applicants received an offer. This might be related to the fact that KPMG has a smaller consulting arm (consulting being harder to get into than accounting) than the other Big Four.

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Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Contact: Zeno.Toulon@efinancialcareers.com in the first instance.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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