ARE STRESS AND SATISFACTION MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE?
Want a job that leaves you fulfilled when (or if) you go home? Try Business Finance. When asked “How satisfied are you in your job,” 89% answered with either “Extremely Satisfied” or “Fairly Satisfied” (with the other options being “A Little Satisfied”, “Dissatisfied”, and “I Hate My Job”). Among the 25 concentrations shared with P&Q, 17 answered with a 70% satisfaction score or above. Surprisingly, quant disciplines yielded the highest scores, with Management Information Systems, Financial Management, and Information Technology coming in at a 76%-79% satisfaction rate. The worst score? That belonged to Economics – “the dismal science” – at 58%.
Stress also had a lower impact than might be expected. When asked “How stressful is your job or work environment,” most MBAs answered positively with answers like “My Job Is Relaxing”, “Not Stressful”, or “A Little Stressful.” For example, just 30% of MBAs from Strategy Management answered with “Extremely Stressful” or “Fairly Stressful.” For Strategy – the highest paid concentration – that number was 35% (Talk about the best of both worlds). In fact, just three concentrations – Business Finance, Real Estate, and Financial Management – reported stress levels above 50%.
While satisfaction was high and stress low among MBAs, meaning was a mixed bag. In an era where impact and purpose are the defining concepts on business school campuses, MBAs were content…but hardly enthusiastic. In their PayScale survey, MBAs were asked, “Does your work make the world a better place?” The options, of course, ranged from “Very Much So” and “Yes” to “A Little” and “My Job May Make the World a Worse Place.” MBAs from just four concentrations – Financial Management, Information Systems, Real Estate, and Marketing Management – responded positively at a rate of 60% of better. Otherwise, the responses bottlenecked between 49%-59% – hardly a vote of confidence in their future prospects.
Ironically, the lowest level of meaning came in Strategic Management, which also carried the lowest level of stress. By the same token, Financial Management produced high levels of meaning, satisfaction and stress.
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