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Big Four Firms Are Among the Most Popular Employers For College Grads

The Big Four rank just behind Amazon in an analysis of companies that have hired the most college graduates since 2019.

Despite there being firsthand horror stories online from accountants who have been chewed up and spit out by the Big Four meat grinder, those professional services firms are still a desirable place to work for recent college graduates, according to a new employer ranking from the website OnlineU.

The website analyzed employment data from more than 550,000 graduates who earned their degrees from 2019 through 2021 to find out where they worked one year after finishing their degree.

The top employers in OnlineU’s ranking “represent some of the biggest beneficiaries and quick adapters to changes to our daily lives like the shift to remote work during COVID-19, posting lots of open jobs despite the pandemic. The top 25 companies listed here hired over 10 percent of bachelor’s graduates who earned their degrees in the last three years.”

Amazon hired the most recent college graduates (1.31 percent), according to OnlineU, but the mega-online marketplace was followed by the Big Four firms: Deloitte (0.93 percent), EY (0.84 percent), KPMG (0.63 percent), and PwC (0.57 percent).

“The Big Four (Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC) held strong in hiring, building on at least a decade of being some of the largest employers for bachelor’s graduates,” OnlineU said. “Accounting and consulting firms did suffer during COVID with a continuation of the slowed average revenue growth seen pre-pandemic. At the four largest U.S. accounting firms, however, that still resulted in billions of dollars in revenue in 2020. By the end of 2021, all four had grown revenue above pre-pandemic levels, with Deloitte breaking $50 billion in global revenue for the first time.”

Deloitte was the top employer for economics majors, while EY was the top employer for both management information systems majors and accounting majors, according to OnlineU.