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9 Real Pros And Cons Of Working At Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is one of the most prestigious and largest corporations in the world, so working there can come with lots of kudos and perks. But in reality, what are the pros and cons of working at Ernst and Young?

On the plus side, working at Ernst and Young offers opportunities for rapid career advancement, and the chance to work on global projects with a talented high-quality team. On the downside, working life can be stressful and highly pressured.

In this post, I’ll give insights into:

  • The 9 biggest pros of working at Ernst and Young
  • The 9 largest cons of working there
Ernst & Young offices

9 Pros Of Working At Ernst & Young

1. Strong Reputation

You get maximum kudos for working at Ernst and Young!

It’s a company that’s built up its strong reputation over the best part of a century and a half. (Source)

They are leading global players in the accountancy and consulting space, and work with many of the Fortune 500 companies.

A job with Ernst and Young guarantees you will be working with some of the most powerful and largest firms on the planet.

Pretty much everyone’s heard of them, even those working in different sectors, and so it’s a definite attention grabber at parties!

Ernst and Young work with some of the following corporations:

Coca ColaDrink
Hewlett PackardTechnology
General MotorsAutomotive
21st Century FoxFilm


2. Corporate Social Responsibility

All of the Big 4 project similar values, but place a different emphasis on what is a priority for them.

For Ernst and Young, corporate social responsibility is a huge deal. What is this?

Well, corporate social responsibility is when a corporation focuses on:

  • Environmental sustainability
  • Community service
  • Diversity and inclusion

If these are values that are high on your list, then you will be proud to work for EY. It makes sense if your personal values and those of your corporation are in alignment.

3. Talent And Network

I’m a massive consultants forum nerd, and I spend a lot of time on there!

One of the things I always hear about is that many employees from the Big 4 value the networking possibilities of working at the big firms as the number one bonus of working there.

This is massively the case at EY. They employ a rich pool of talented and highly driven individuals.

These are people who often have a sense of mission and purpose. Many EY employees go forth to become entrepreneurs or form their own boutique consultancies or accountancy firms.

They are exciting people to be around and are motivating and inspiring.

EY looks to recruit only those that:

  • Are highly motivated
  • Switched on
  • Engaged
  • Talented

4. See The World!

Travel is a big deal when you’re working for EY.

In fairness, this could be either a major pro or an epic con, and it just depends on how you look at it.

EY operates in over 150 countries around the globe, and in over 700 office locations. (Source)

Much of the work will also be done on-site at the locations of clients.

Employees often spend anywhere from a few days a month to more than half their time out on the road. It kinda depends on your role and the clients you are working for.

However, it’s fair enough to say that a lot of travel will be involved.

If you love the idea of glamorous business-style travel, then working at EY is a dream ticked.

Remember, this is not really leisure-based travel. There will not be much chance of sightseeing or visiting the local nightlife.

Travel will mostly be:

  • Highly structured in terms of time
  • You’ll be basically living out of a suitcase
  • Be prepared to travel, work, and return without any kind of break

5. Comprehensive Benefits Package – Particularly As You Move Up The Ladder

This topic generates a lot of debate, with voices on either side.

In general, it’s definitely true that some smaller firms will have more competitive salaries than the Big 4 for those beginning their career.

However, as you move up the ladder at EY, the benefits packages and compensation is seemingly endless!

The salaries of partners, for example, put you well into the top 1% of employees in the United States. (Source)

EY offers a comprehensive benefits package, which includes:

  • Health insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Flexible time off
  • Partners are often paid in excess of $1,000,000 (Source)

6. Project Based

I hear from a lot of employees, that the project-based nature of the work is a big draw. Why is this?

Well, working on projects really lets you ‘get your teeth into something.’

It can allow you to:

  • Get fully engaged in a task
  • Learn multiple skills in each project
  • Meet and work with people at a deeper level
  • Keep your working life fresh, because you shift between projects

7. Opportunities For Growth And Advancement

Because EY is such a massive corporation, the opportunities for rapid advancement are high. This is one of the biggest draws of working with the company.

Employees are able to:

  • Move rapidly up the ladder (based on results of course
  • Potentially move between branches or even countries
  • Sometimes move into a different sector in the same company

There are many varied career paths available at EY.

8. Building A Better Working World

Here’s another of EY’s maxims, that you will hear often when associated with their company. Their ‘purpose’ is to build a ‘better working world.’

In EYs words, that means that they want to ‘help digital pioneers fight data piracy; guide governments through cash-flow crises; unlock new medical treatments with data analytics; and pursue high-quality audits to build trust in financial markets and business. In other words, working with entrepreneurs, companies, and entire countries to solve their most pressing challenges.‘ (Source)

EY is proud to work with many corporations with a strong sense of entrepreneurialism.

EY - better working world
EY is focused on building a ‘better working world’, helping innovative modern companies navigate the current climate

9. 83% Of Employees Say It Is A Great Place To Work

There’s a great website called

They run anonymous polls on how good it is to work at different corporations. The results for EY are one of the highest I’ve seen. 83% of employees polled said it is a great place to work.

That is in contrast to the US average of 57% happiness of employees with their employer.

Cons of working at Ernst & Young

1. Long Hours

Let’s start with kind of an obvious one. This is no cakewalk!

Working at EY demands long hours, and a grueling work schedule, so be prepared to put the hours in!

Employees at EY report that they often:

  • Long hours
  • Weekends
  • Some holidays

2. Limited Control Over Assignments

You often may have little say on being assigned to a new project.

EY will assign its employees based on:

  • Their skills
  • Their availability
  • Their past record

You will often have little say in it. Be prepared to go where they send you!

3. Meticulous Level Of Detail

I’ve heard this from a few people who have worked at EY.

When you work with a client, be prepared to write meticulous reports. And I mean really meticulous – like ten different appendices kind of meticulous.

If you’re into detail, then this is all good. But just be prepared that there is a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork that you’ll be spending your time on.

4. High-Pressure Work Environment

EY has a high-pressure work environment. This is probably no shock to anyone!

Every decision you make can have a large-scale impact, so the job can come with a lot of stress. How you manage that stress, and whether you thrive on it or not, will have a large bearing on whether the job will be for you or not.

5. Limited Work-Life Balance

Although all of the Big 4 like to convey the impression that they value work-life balance, the reality is often unfortunately in stark contrast to this.

Work can be intellectually and emotionally engrossing. That can mean you have more limited capacity for energy in your outer-work life.

This can potentially mean less time and energy for:

  • Hobbies
  • Family
  • Friends

6. Competition For Promotions And Recognition

It’s pretty dog eat dog at EY!

Everyone’s looking to advance in some way, whether that’s up the ladder, or just learning skills for future endeavors.

Only about 4% of employees will go on to be Partners at EY, so the odds are against you. And it’s a long road to get to that point.

However much you enjoy working with your colleagues, just know that everyone is in a kind of fight for the top.

7. Bureaucracy And Slow-Decision Making

With any large corporation, there tends to come a greater level of bureaucracy. This seems to be the case at EY according to reports by employees.

Also, they have a complex organizational structure. This can mean that decisions just take quite a bit longer to happen.

8. High-Performance Expectations

High standards are the name of the game when working for EY!

All the Big 4 are naturally hyper-focused on quality, and so you have to bring your a-game every single day.

This of course channels into the competitive work environment.

9. Extensive Travel

This is very much a double-edged sword, so I thought I’d make it a pro and a con.

It basically depends if you like traveling a lot and living out of a suitcase.

If you do then woop! Working at EY is for you.

For those not so travel-happy, however, just understand that travel can be a significant part of the role. You will likely be traveling to:

  • Meet with clients at their locality
  • Assess the business systems and processes of clients at their location
  • Attend training events
  • Audit businesses

Travel will likely be anywhere in the following range:

  • Several days per month
  • One trip every couple of weeks
  • Several days from each week out of the office


  • Will Bennett

    Will Bennett is a Cambridge graduate. He worked as a Consultant and Senior Consultant at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in London. Will is the Founder of The Cambridge Consultant.