London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ranks as the best university for landing a role at a Big Four Accounting Firm (PwC, Deloitte, EY and KPMG) according to a new analysis of LinkedIn data.
As undergraduates return for their final year of university this September, many will have their mind set on a career with some of the UK’s largest and most reputable graduate employers.
However, as places for these graduate roles become more competitive, many will be wondering how their university stacks up in terms of career prospects.
Online trading platform and broker CMC Markets, analysed LinkedIn data for the Big Four Accounting Firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY) and KPMG, to see where their current employees most commonly attended university.
The analysis looked at the UK’s top 60 universities, including all 24 that are members of the Russell Group, to see which universities have the most graduates working for a Big Four Accounting Firm. The figures were also calculated as a proportion of each university’s enrolment size, based on student enrolment for the 2020/21 academic year according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
1. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
5,776 graduates (42.9% of enrolment size)
LSE ranks as the best university in the UK to attend if you want to pursue a career at the Big Four, with a total of 5,776 university graduates currently employed across these firms. When accounting for the number of students enrolled in a typical academic year at LSE, this works out at 42.9% of the total enrolment size. Despite LSE’s modest population of just 13,455 students, it ranks top for each of the four firms, with the most alumni in current roles at PwC (1,494), Deloitte (1,798), EY (1,477) and KPMG (1,007).
2. University of Cambridge
3,401 graduates (15.4% of enrolment size)
The University of Cambridge offers the second-best chance of securing a role at the Big Four, with 3,401 graduates currently employed across the four firms. Cambridge ranked highly for all four firms, most notably having the second most alumni for both Deloitte and EY behind LSE. The percentage of graduates working for a Big Four firm works out at 15.4% of the total enrolment size at the university – which is 22,155 students. University of Cambridge alumni are split as follows across the four firms: PwC (893), Deloitte (1,057), EY (844) and KPMG (607).
3. Oxford Brookes University
2,355 graduates (13.2% of enrolment size)
Oxford Brookes University places third, with 2,355 graduates employed in roles across the four firms. When considering the total number of alumni across the Big Four, Oxford Brookes ranks a respectable 12th in the list, however when accounting for the university population size of 17,795 students, it ranks as the third best university for Big Four employment outcomes. Oxford Brookes alumni are split as follows; PwC (563), Deloitte (559), EY (809) and KPMG (424).
4. Durham University
2,702 graduates (13.1% of enrolment size)
Durham University places fourth, with 2,702 graduates employed in roles across the four firms. Despite having a greater number of graduates overall in roles at the Big Four than Oxford Brookes University, when accounting for Durham University’s larger population of 20,645 students, this works out at 13.1% of the enrolment size of the university. Durham’s graduates are split as follows; PwC (754), Deloitte (794), EY (588) and KPMG (566).
5. University of Lancaster
1,732 graduates (9.9% of enrolment size)
The University of Lancaster places fifth, with 1,732 graduates employed in roles across the Big Four firms – equivalent to 9.9% of its total student population of 17,470. Of the four companies, Lancaster sees more of its graduates in roles at EY according to LinkedIn, with 497 alumni working for the company.
6. University of Warwick
PWC employees: 761
Deloitte employees: 810
EY employees: 614
KPMG employees: 527
7. University of Oxford
PWC employees: 661
Deloitte employees: 856
EY employees: 546
KPMG employees: 504
8. Queen’s University Belfast
PWC employees: 1,149
Deloitte employees: 488
EY employees: 416
KPMG employees: 286
9. University of Bath
PWC employees: 480
Deloitte employees: 500
EY employees: 406
KPMG employees: 322
10. Heriot-Watt University
PWC employees: 255
Deloitte employees: 273
EY employees: 270
KPMG employees: 193