MBA Jobs with the Best Work Life Balance

“Hard work never killed anybody, but why take a chance?”

-Edgar Bergen
 
MBAs take this chance every day, and sometimes even into the midnight hours. The crème de la crème of the business world are trained to be the big boss with the fanciest chair. And while they are usually showered with the fat paychecks, sometimes the only joy in their life seems to come from their monthly account updates.

Prof. Robin Fretwell Wilson, of Washington & Lee University, conducted a study (on 100,000 professionals from a survey by NSF) to find the social impact, of top jobs, on women workers. 66.4% of women MBAs, in the study, were married as compared to 85.9% men. 33.6% women MBAs were unmarried as compared to 14.1% men. And the most distressing was the number of divorces, with twice as many women with failed marriages as compared to men – 12.1% women vs 5% men.

Work-life balance is a vanishing concept in MBA careers along with all its reincarnations – work-life integration, work-life harmony…or intentional sick days. Work-life balance seems to be rooted in the desire to be able to create a meaningful, and joyful, engagement between the personal and the professional roles, paraphrasing Jae Ellard, founder of Simple Intentions.

But do all MBA careers act as toddlers, craving for 100% attention? Can someone, interested in the profession, seek an occasional time-out for a glass of wine? Are there MBA specializations, and their respective job titles, existing in the business universe that are more forgiving than the others? Perhaps at the cost of, say, a few bucks here and there?

Read How many hours per week will you work after an MBA?

In this article, we will explore the various MBA majors (List of MBA Specializations), and their respective roles (Types of jobs after MBA and Jobs you can get with a business administration degree), in saving your joys.
 

Post-MBA careers with the best work life balance

Work Life balance for MBA jobs in Marketing, Finance, Technology, Operations, Human Resources

 

Marketing

MBA, with a specialization in Marketing, are sought after for their compelling role in sustaining, and growing, a business. These sales gurus are responsible for creating a market and increasing the profit of a company.That involves feedback from customers, assigning budgets for production by following sales data, develop plans to increase market share, and generally all things related to taking the business to the customers. They are also responsible for hiring and training sales staff. A very simplistic summary of a job that makes or breaks the existence of a company. Naturally, such highly regarded crucial positions are also quite demanding.

Salary: ~$120,000 per year in 2016 (BLS.gov)

Work week: The work environment, for these majors, is lined with deadlines. Quite naturally so, most sales managers, and marketing specialists, end up working long hours. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 40% of advertising, promotions and marketing managers work much more than 40 hours per week. Not to mention sometimes over the weekends, or even late nights owing to the mostly global nature of the job.

Stress level: A study by Workfront, on 500 industry professionals, has shown that 1 out of 4 marketers suffer a dangerous level of stress. In the study, 12% were stressed to the max with 13% overly stressed. The rest were in various lower shades with only 3% reporting none at all.

Unemployment rate: 2.7% (US News) indicating a pretty high demand in the profession.
 

Job prospects 2014 to 2024 (BLS.gov)
Job Title % growth
Sales Manager 5% from 376,300 in 2014
Marketing Managers 9% from 194,300 in 2014
Advertising and promotions manager 5% from 31,000 in 2014

Read Best MBA Programs in Marketing
 

Finance

By definition money matters are stress inducing. In the case of Finance majors, in MBA, it is even more so when the amount is orders of magnitude larger than an average Joe’s daily concerns. It is the most popular MBA major, with considerably large monetary rewards on joining an organization as an investment banker, hedge fund manager, financial analyst, credit analyst, financial manager and anything related to preparing financial statements, monitoring company budget, analyzing market trends, managing financial investment portfolios, buying and selling stocks and so on. Besides being reserved for MBA graduates with a head for numbers, it is also a source of much headache when it comes to managing a career in finance and having even an ounce of a personal life. Here are some study reports.

Salary: $195,000 – $200,000 in investment banking

Work week: A TransparentMBA study conducted an extensive research with the following results. Investment Bankers clock in a 55+ hour work week, with some of them often hitting a whopping 80+ hour week, making their job portfolio scream for a savior. Hedge fund, venture capital, private equity, insurance, real estate et al also have a pretty tight grip on their MBA grabs, with work weeks ranging between 45 – nearly 60 hours.

Stress level: Investment bankers are prone to high level of stress induced depression, especially in the first few years of employment. Beyond the fourth year, they suffer from a lack of sleep, depression, with many reporting allergies, substance abuse, digestive issues and arthritis (Study by USC Marshall’s Prof. Alexandra Michel). In comparison, accounting, analytics, and consulting are relatively low stress, while trading is brutal owing to its on-the-spot demanding nature.

Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (US News)
 

Job prospects 2014 to 2024 (BLS.gov)
Job Title % growth
Securities, commodities, and financial services 10% from 341,500 in 2014
Financial Managers 7% from 555,900 in 2014
Accountants and auditors 11% from 1,332,700 in 2014
Financial Analysts 12% from 277,600 in 2014

Read – Careers in Finance, Investment Banking, Venture Capital, Consulting and Private Equity
Here’s a grim side to a career in Investment Banking – The dark side of Investment Banking
 

Operations

These MBA graduates form the backbone of manufacturing, or service, industry managing supply chain, logistics, inventory, sales and production. These graduates are trained with analytical skills to make decisions based on product life cycle, materials, and supplies, ensuring that the cost of production, and quality of product, are optimized. They oversee the relationship between business and suppliers, and it is their job to design improvements to business logistics. In layman terms, they know the business from start to finish and are equipped to make decisions to improve its functioning at all stages. Job titles include supply chain manager, logistics manager, project and operations manager.

Salary: Up to $120,000 (Payscale). Median pay $78,000

Work week: An average of about 42 hours per week (Rutgers.edu)

Stress level: According to an Ohio State University Career Patterns in Logistics and Supply Chain Management study, in 2012, 79% of the 663 respondents among the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, said they were very happy with their job. They reported a bit of a balancing act needed to keep personal life alive and well, with 50.6% feeling the brunt, 25.9% feeling an equal mix of personal and professional involvement, while the rest feeling no drama at all.

Unemployment rate: 3.0% (US News). Though slightly higher than the rest, well qualified operations MBAs seem to have no shortage of demand.
 

Job prospects 2014 to 2024 (BLS.gov)
Job Title % growth
Logisticians 2% from 130,400 in 2014

Read

 

Technology- Information Systems

Tech companies require their management to be familiar with technology to be able to handle the ever evolving industry. These MBA majors are able to combine their business acumen with their technological training to become very effective leaders responsible for making strategic decisions towards an over all development. The job titles, in this major, include business analyst, IT manager, product manager, computer and systems manager, and so on.

Salary: ~$50,00 – $100,000+

Work week: Most jobs require more than 40 hours per week, with E-commerce eating up 53, technology-software at 47 and the rest basically keeping them busy with their full week schedules.

Stress level: A relatively low stress job, as compared to the MBA finance counterparts, the responsibilities take on stress credits as their roles move on from analyst positions to project management. Business Systems Analysts, for instance report a very high job satisfaction. (Payscale)

Unemployment rate: 2.4% (US News)
 

Job prospects 2014 to 2024 (BLS.gov)
Job Title % growth
Computer and Information Systems Managers 15% from 348,500 in 2014

Read

 

Human Resources

These MBA professionals deal with acquiring, recruiting, and managing, one of the most important resources in any organization – its employees. Besides bringing in the right talent, they are also responsible for their training, job assignment, assessment, promotions and their well being in their place of employment.

Salary: $100,000+ for HR Managers (BLS.gov)

Work week: 1 in 3 work more than 40 hours per week.

Stress level: The flag bearers of stress management, in an organization, HR managers are sometimes faced with stressful working periods, themselves. However, their work schedules are not as exacting in nature as finance, or consulting, positions are.

Unemployment rate: 2.7% (US News)
 

Job prospects 2014 to 2024 (BLS.gov)
Job Title % growth
Human Resources Managers 9% from 122,500 in 2014

Read Careers in Human Resources
 
Besides the list of specializations above, Entrepreneurship, Consulting, Healthcare, etc have their share of low to high stress-level jobs. Entrepreneurship, for instance, goes through phases of high stress depending on the stage, the business is in, and the capacity of the business itself. In all, every reputed MBA program produces highly qualified graduates who are in demand and quite indispensable. This creates competitive, often tedious, work routines that can become highly toxic to ones’ well being, especially when their work-life balance becomes imbalanced. Persistent sleep deprivation, long hours, and stress, can act in very detrimental ways. A burn out is a common occurrence in these professions, often leading to career changes. Some even choose to leave their high flying corporate jobs for starting their own venture.

For further reading,

To say that all MBA careers are deadly, is clearly incorrect. Every company conducts business with their own set of principles, with more and more becoming aware of the downfall of slaving their employees. They are now implementing policies to create a healthy work environment to reduce attrition of their talent. Morgan Stanley is offering month long sabbaticals, JP Morgan Chase has begun the famous “Pencils Down” initiative to improve work life balance, encouraging young bakers to take every weekend off! Unless of course, if there is a “live deal” – keeping fingers crossed.

In all, there is now more awareness to improve lives than to suck out the last remaining ounce of joy among MBA graduates.

So here’s to hoping that business, and business lives, improve together.

Hallelujah!

Sources: 1,2,3


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6 Comments

  1. Kuldip Bhattachrya says:

    I am a Mechanical Engineer currently working in a project site as Mechanical Engineer. I have completed my B. Tech in 2013. Afterwards, I joined this field having 3.6 years experience. My financial background is not at all strong. But, I have a dream to have an MBA degree and rise up my position from site level to Managerial Level. I can go anywhere for MBA (India or abroad). But, I have to get my minimum financial requirements while pursuing MBA. Can I get this type of opportunity?

  2. Abhirup Dasgupta says:

    Hi

    Dear Sameer, this is Abhirup. I have completed my PGDBM in Marketing & having a handful 5 years experience in Sales & Distribution domain. I worked in Construction industry as well as in FMCG sector. but working for this 5 good years there has been an increment in my salary side. But professionally I feel that my career growth is moving very slow or in other words it is stagnant as there is no change I found in my skill set as if it feels only changing organisations for a handful amount of salary. My age is 31 & recently I’m developed interest towards switching my career in SAP industry. So as per my domain knowledge I’m planning to take up SAP certification in Sales & Distribution module. But I have a fear or worry inside me that since venturing altogether in a new industry will count me as a fresher (in SAP) & I have to start from scratch. Moreover, the salary that SAP industry will provide a fresher is way less than the amount that I’m drawing currently.

    Kindly, suggest me since I’m going through a two way dilemma of what to choose. But sincerely, from deep down my heart I want to peruse my career in SAP & make a career shift from a regular sales job.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Abhirup Dasgupta

  3. Gandhar Kumbhojkar says:

    Hi Sameer,

    I am Gandhar Kumbhojkar. I am mechanical engineering graduate from Pune and also worked for 4 years in leading MNC, that includes 1 year abroad experience. After returning back, I joined my family business of sheet metal manufacturing. I am nw working here for almost 1.5 years handling almost major responsibilities… After working for almost 1.5 years, somehow I am not able to connect with this due to less exposure. So I am looking for MBA of year.
    Ultimately, I want to start my own venture. Before starting this, I would like to explore some business management. Will 1 year MBA course be helpful to fulfill this? Also which colleges would be useful?
    P.S – I have already started working my GMAT preparation.

    Your valuable guidance will definitely help me to move ahead.

    Thanks.

  4. Bernard Andrades says:

    Hello Sameer,

    I would like to know that what is today’s asking – MBA (MIS) or CS for a student with BE – IT . Which country is better for CS vis to vis Indian training ground and future job prospects.

    Thank you ,

  5. Priti says:

    Hi

    I have done B.E(Electrical) & is having work experience of 9 years in the core electrical field but in sales & BD. Applying for Canadian PR. Will i get the opportunities in the same field there or i need to either go for MBA/higher studies from there further.

    Regards.

  6. Sameer Kamat says:

    @Kuldip: Going abroad for studies is a serious commitment of time, money and effort. If you think you aren’t ready in any of those 3 areas, it’s best not to take the risk.
    Having said that, many international applicants finance their MBA using partial or full-scholarships. Here are some stories: https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/tag/mba-scholarships/

    @Abhirup: Switching into a new and unrelated career would mean that you possibly be offered a lower salary. However, if you target the right role, the impact may not be substantial. For instance, instead of getting into SAP technical side, if you use your Sales & Distribution to get into a functional role, you will not be treated as a fresher.

    @Gandhar: Sure, it can help. Here are some one year MBA options in the world. https://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2014/11/28/one-year-mba-in-india/

    @Bernard: If you want to continue on the technical side, an MS would be helpful. USA offers good opportunities for tech grads.

    @Priti: I don’t know ahout career opportunities for PR. However, MBA grads in Canada don’t have an issue with work permit. So you can explore all relevant jobs.

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