South African students favour Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG for IT consulting

14 February 2018 6 min. read
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Having obtained responses from nearly 2,000 graduates who have been successful in their job search, the South African Graduate Employers Association (SAGEA) has declared Accenture as the most desirable employer in South Africa in the domain of IT consulting.  Big Four professional services firms Deloitte and KPMG followed closely. 

The Graduate Employer Awards (GEA) for 2017 have been distributed, marking the eighth edition of the initiative, which was established to recognise the best employers in South Africa. The rankings are derived from responses to a Candidate Insights Survey, which is conducted annually by the SAGEA.

Survey responses were gathered online from 1,960 candidates about the top employers associated with 24 sectors, without any pre-determined options to select from. One of the sectors included, and one which is gaining relevance by the day in the South African economy, is that of IT consulting.

The wave of technological advancement that has swept across the international community has been particularly disruptive for the South African economy. The country’s Fintech landscape, for instance, is due to grow by a staggering 71% over the next few years, which will significantly alter the financial sector.

Add to this the increasingly restrictive regulatory framework around digital data gathering, and one can grasp the dire need that businesses will increasingly have for IT consulting firms. Of the firms of this nature active in South Africa, strategy consultancy Accenture emerged as the most desirable firm to work for in the country.

Top 3 IT consulting firms

Accenture has been active in South Africa for over a decade, under the leadership of William Mzimba since 2006. Over the last two years, the firm has attained a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of over 22%, placing it in the top 10 priority markets for Accenture’s global operations.

The spike in growth over the last two years can be attributed to a ramping up of operations in the country, as the country has boosted its investment into training and recruitment in the region. Last year, the firm established the latest of its Liquid Studios in Johannesburg in order to facilitate innovation in the digital sphere. The firm has a strong ethos grounded in innovation, which contributes to its popularity as an employer.

South African students favour Accenture, Deloitte and KPMG for IT consulting

Following Accenture in the list of top IT consulting employers was Big Four firm Deloitte, renowned particularly for its expertise in cyber-security across the world. The firm’s South Africa outfit operates under the broader umbrella of Deloitte Africa, after the national outlets across the continent were combined in 2013, led by Chief Executive Lwazi Bam.

Through its Deloitte School of Analytics segment, the firm works with a number of clients across the country on the application of the latest in technology to conduct comprehensive data analysis. In order to boost its delivery systems in South Africa, Deloitte signed a strategic partnership with Worley Parsons last year, creating joint service offerings.

In third place on the list was fellow Big Four firm KPMG. The firm’s South African state of affairs are currently bittersweet. On the one hand, the firm is due to shift its headquarters in the country into an R220 million property on the sea front in Umhlanga later this year, signifying a major upgrade in operations.

On the other hand, KPMG has been in the same boat as management consultancy McKinsey & Company, fighting off allegations concerning its involvement in the Gupta scandal last year, which has damaged business and reputations all around. Nevertheless, the firm will be an attractive destination for graduates, as a complete restructuring of the South Africa outfit has created an environment of excitement and anticipation.

KPMG is now led in the country by Nhlamu Dlomu as Chief Executive, with her executive team of eight others, including two other women. The firm recently added two high profile executives in the form of Wiseman Nkulhu and Ansie Ramalho, who’s wealth of experience will be an especially attractive proposition for new graduates.

GEAs were also awarded in 23 other segments, including that of management consulting, where Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, and the Boston Consulting Group bagged the top 3 spots.