Average Working Week by Business School Tier

Three years ago, TransparentCareer (now part of the Relish network) reported that during the first post-graduation year, the average weekly hours for business students is approximately 54.

This number, however, fluctuates depending on the industry and/or company. For example, 60-hour work weeks are the norm in Consulting, with the giant McKinsey & Company averaging 75 hours per week for business students who have been at the firm for one-five years. On the other hand, MBAs hired by Intel—a well-known name in Technology— averaged 43 hours per week.

(More details about the average work week in consulting firms can be found here, in our blog post outlining the top ten consulting firms according to our MBA data. More details about the average weekly hours at different employers across various industries can be found here, in our blog comparing weekly hours across Tech, Consulting, and Investment Banking. )

But the question we were interested in investigating is if there is a noticeable difference in the weekly hours of business students who hail from different schools.  Using the school tiers we created from aggregating business school rankings, as seen here, we looked at the weekly hours of business students in the first few years after graduation versus school tier.

Hours worked by MBAs versus tier of their business school. Asterisks are used to indicate outliers, defined by weekly hours that fall below  25th Percentile – 1.5*Interquartile Range or above 75th Percentile + 1.5*Interquartile Range. As seen above, the median weekly hours gradually decreases with increasing tier. Only full-time data points were included (listed as 30 hours or greater).

Table of summary statistics (measures of center and spread) for weekly hours split on School Tier.

Based on the differing mean and median weekly hours between tiers, we conclude that there is a difference in hours worked based on which tier alumni belong to (Welch’s test, p < .001). We also find that there is a general trend of higher weekly hours for business students from higher-ranked schools (top tier schools). 

Additionally, we looked at if this trend replicated in certain popular industries. We limited the school tiers to the top seven in order to retain a large enough sample size in each tier group. 

While Consulting mimics the trend in the overall data of decreasing weekly hours with decreasing tiers, Manufacturing, Retail, and Pharma, Medical Devices, & Biotech have fluctuations. Consumer Products and Hospitals, Medicine, & Healthcare Services follows a slightly different pattern of having decreasing weekly hours, and a peak in a certain tier (Tier 6 for Consumer Products and Tier 5 for Hospitals, Medicine, & Healthcare Services) followed by another decreasing slope.

Ultimately, this trend of higher hours being associated with alumni from higher-ranking institutions can be explained by a variety of factors, such as the companies or industries commonly worked at for each school tier or the positions of the students from each tier. Regardless, it is clear that the majority of MBAs generally work long hours in the roles they are hired in post-degree completion.

Are you interested in learning more about post-MBA work life? Continue checking out the RelishCareers Blog, where we will continue posting information about employers and work culture.  Candidates can also sign up for an account through RelishCareers and registrants will be informed of all upcoming blog posts through email. 

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