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Ernst & Young Acceptance Rate – Stats Revealed

It’s probably no surprise to you that as one of the “Big Four” firms, Ernst & Young (EY) attracts a multitude of talented professionals. Not everyone can fulfill their dream of working at the firm due to its competitive acceptance rate. But just how competitive is it?

After thorough research, I’ve learned that the average acceptance rate at Ernst & Young is 3.5 %, which means of every 200 applicants, it only hires 7 people. However,  the firm hired around 35% more graduates and apprentices than last year through the Student Programs.

In this article, I’ll reveal:

  • The Ernst and Young acceptance rate stats in full
  • The factors that might influence these percentages
Corporate skyline in Houston, Texas

Ernst & Young Acceptance Rate

Ernst & Young rebranded to EY, is a consultancy and accounting firm that offers tax, technology, audit, consulting, business and security risk, and human capital services worldwide. (Source)

EY is ranked 3rd among the Big 4 accounting firms, but it sets itself apart with high and more rigorous selection criteria than the others. 

The acceptance rate for EY is estimated to be approximately 3.5 %, which means of every 400 applicants, only 14 professionals get hired every year.

This rate can vary depending on the location and specific position you choose to apply. (Source)

The impressive yet selective hiring criteria show the firm commitment to building an exceptional workforce that excels in their respective roles. 

Here’s the list of total applicants and EY global hires from 2016 to 2022:

YearTotal ApplicantsTotal Hires
2020Over 2,000,00080,000
2021Over 2,000,000298,965
2022Over 2,000,000160,000

In 2023, Ernst & Young is on track to hire about 220,000 professionals in 12 months to shrug off the economic turmoil. (Source)

Ernst & Young Acceptance Rate Through Student Programs

Ernst & Young demonstrates its unwavering commitment to fostering and nurturing young talent through Student Programs.

This is particularly prominent in the UK.

The consulting company welcomed 1,473 students, comprising 1,269 graduates and 204 apprentices, into its UK business.

The acceptance rate was remarkably 35% more than last year when the firm hired only 1088 graduates and apprentices. (Source)

I also learned that among the new students, EY hired 41%  women and 45% professionals from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The EY students cohort shows its dedication to promoting diversity and inclusivity as nearly 40 % of the recruits were based in the regional offices, including:

  • Leeds
  • Birmingham
  • Manchester
  • Reading
  • Edinburgh

This reflects the ongoing efforts of Ernst & Young to strengthen its presence in various regions. 

Apart from hiring young graduates and apprentices into its ranks, the company went above and beyond by providing work experience, summer internships, and industrial placements to over 470 successful individuals. 

The Ernest & Young UK Chair, Hywel Ball, said: “These are record numbers for EY as we continue to invest in young talent to support our growth across the UK. We’re continuing to see strong levels of client demand and continued investment across the firm, which is why we’ve increased our student intake year on year, over the last three years, and hired more than 3,600 students.

Corporate skyscrapers with blue sky behind them

Factors Affecting the Acceptance Rate At Ernst & Young

A few factors result in more acceptance of qualified candidates in EY that may include: 

  • Superb academic performance
  • Years of Work experience
  • Confident Interview skills
  • Logical and reasoning abilities 
  • Exceptional case study and problem-solving attitude

Recruitment Process At Ernst & Young 

The recruitment process at EY is a stringent and comprehensive procedure. It aligns with the company’s commitment to hiring top talent and maintaining a diverse workforce.

As you can guess, it is the recruitment process that plays a pivotal role in determining the firm’s acceptance rate. (Source

Below I will explain the step-by-step recruitment process at EY to help you understand what to expect while applying to the firm:

1. Application Submission

It is pretty straightforward to start the ball rolling.

To apply for EY, you can opt of one of two methods to get your CV or resume to the recruiting team:

1. Online Website

The window for hiring young graduate students is between October and November each year.

At this time, expect to see all the available job openings on the Careers page on the EY website. You can apply with an online submission.

The actual application process is pretty straightforward. Just visit the website, find the position, click its link, and submit your CV and transcripts. Simples.

2. University/College Events and Job Fairs

EY is pretty prolific in arranging job fairs and events.

There are good ones at ITU, DTU, and CBS.

You can approach their team, introduce yourself and submit your CV at the same time.

2. First Interview

Now for the nerve-wracking bit.

EY will review your application, and (hopefully) you may receive an invite from the recruitment team to attend the first round of interviews.

These are normally done as video calls.

This step usually involves testing the following features:

  • Your English proficiency
  • Your communication skills
  • Logical and numerical skills

3. Seconds Round Of Interview

If you make it this far, the second round of interviews is a face-to-face meeting. EY will invite to meet a team member, often a manager.

In this round, the hiring team will ask you questions about:

  • Your education
  • Your experiences
  • Your skills
  • Future goals
  • Other capabilities
  • Any special skills/knowledge that set you apart

You will then be assigned a case study. This will be based on the service line you’ve applied for, and is used to gauge your skills.

The manager will be checking several things, such as how you rationalize, and how you defend the case under the time limit.

4. Final Interview

Approximately two weeks after the second assessment, Ernst and Young may invite you back for a final interview.

If you get this far, then you are doing well!

This stage usually includes pretty standard questions, such as:

  • Why you want to join the firm
  • What skills you will offer

But they will also involve more complex questions as well such as:

  • How you’ll handle specific projects
  • How you would carry out tasks

5. Job Offer

If you pass through all of the above rounds, the EY team will reflect on your overall results. They will get feedback from all employees that have met you during the process.

If you are one of the lucky ones to be selected for a role, EY will normally contact you within a few weeks of the last interview.

You’ll be given a few days to accept or reject the proposal and sign the contract.

Getting through each round of the above process is challenging, and there will be a drop-off at each stage.

Candidates that are selected will show all-round proficiency in all areas, and be among the coveted 3.5%


  • 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.