Boston College Graduate Reveals Best MBA Careers for Work-Life Balance

Jill Huggett, a graduate of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, rose through the ranks of Fidelity Investments, eventually becoming vice president; the time-intensive nature of the position, however, gave her pause.

“I got moved into a division that did not provide flexibility,” Huggett, mother of two, recently explained to U.S. News & World Report. Her hour-long commute and 45 to 50 hour workweek interfered with the time she spent parenting her children, motivating Huggett to launch her own business, Bridgepath Career Advisors, in 2011. She now has control over her schedule and makes a salary that’s comparable to what she made at Fidelity Investments.

A recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that people across a variety of fields worked an average of 7.7 hours per day in 2012. But according to the Graduate Management Admission Council, that average inches up to 9 hours a day for MBA graduates.

So what are the elements that determine the amount of time MBA graduates spend tethered to a desk?

“There are four main factors that are going to go into being able to get a job that pays well and yet gives you work-life balance,” says Huggett, who is a résumé consultant for the Harvard Business School alumni network in addition to her position at Bridgepath Career Advisors, “Those factors are based on the industry you’re going into, the level of the role you’re looking at, geographic location and then also what business school you came out of.”

For MBA graduates, the jobs that offer the best combination of flexible hours and a lucrative paycheck are sales, consulting and marketing. But don’t let these factors outweigh others such as benefits, office culture, and of course, interest.

“Pick something that you’re going to enjoy,” Huggett says, “Even if it pays well and has flexibility, if you don’t like it, you’re not going to last very long.”


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