Attention FAE Customers:
Please be aware that NASBA credits are awarded based on whether the events are webcast or in-person, as well as on the number of CPE credits.
Please check the event registration page to see if NASBA credits are being awarded for the programs you select.

Want to save this page for later?

Most Popular Content

With Start Dates Deferred, Consulting Recruits Try to Fill Unexpected Gap Year

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Aug 18, 2023

GettyImages-93466101 Delayed

The definition of “gap year” has changed for many college graduates this year, as it has become an involuntary hiatus, The Wall Street Journal reported

With the consulting industry facing slowdowns in business, firms—including Deloitte, KPMG, Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey—are delaying the start dates of some of their recruits until 2024. Some are even paying their new graduate hires thousands of dollars during their unexpected gap year. Many prospective consultants are trying to figure out what to do in the absence of the full-time jobs many expected to start.

Many have adapted by moving in with family and looking for part-time work or internships. Some have already signed leases in some of the country’s most expensive cities.

Steven Jiang, who graduated college in May, planned to move to New York to start his new job at KPMG in the fall. In the spring, KPMG told him that he would not start until December. In July, he was told that his start date would not be until June 2024. Meanwhile, many of his friends started their new jobs this summer.

“If I start in June 2024, I’m essentially a year behind them in promotions and work experience,” he told the Journal.

Living with his parents in Richmond, Va., Jiang planned to use part of the $10,000 stipend he received from KPMG to travel in Europe. He said that he was open to part-time positions in hospitality and may try to monetize content on TikTok and YouTube. 

KPMG said about two-thirds of the consulting campus hires it recruited over the past academic year will now start in 2024. Roughly half of them will not start until April or later, Deloitte, which has also deferred starting dates for some consulting recruits to early 2024, is paying affected graduates $2,000 or more a month meanwhile, and offers an interim option of serving with AmeriCorps through a partnership between the firm and agency. Bain has also offered stipends to new graduates with 2024 start dates. 

Some graduates worry that a delayed start date means that the offer will ultimately be rescinded, though that’s unlikely, Zeynep Tolon, a career coach for Carnegie Mellon University master’s students, told the Journal. Firms including Deloitte, PwC and KPMG told the Journal that they are committed to honoring offers.

Consulting recruits seeking interim work during their gap time need not tell prospective employers that they just want a short-term job, Sarah Johnston, a Durham, N.C.-based job-search strategist, told the Journal.

“The job could be delayed even more, or you could actually really end up liking the position,” she said.