"There are people who will shy away from that to get that consistent paycheck," Huggett says. "It's a big risk, and that's why the reward is higher."
To secure a sales job, business school students should try to develop expertise in a certain subject and take classes in sales and marketing, Huggett suggests.
Consulting: There are two kinds of consultants, says Edward Shugrue, director of corporate relations at the Mason School of Business at The College of William and Mary. Some are in the public sector and often work for the federal government, while others work in the commercial sector.
"The commercial side would be paid more. The revenue that they generate for a company is more," he says. Both types of consulting jobs can still provide a desirable lifestyle.
"I see them making clearly in the mid-80s to the upper 90s," Huggett says.
Consultants typically work eight-hour days, except when there's a client's project on the line that requires 10. They often spend days working from their client's site, however, and may not get a chance to catch up on email from their employer until after business hours.
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The key to forging a strong career in consulting is taking on pro-bono consulting jobs while in business school, interning as a consultant and narrowing your focus of interest, Huggett says.
"Really you just need to develop an expertise," she says. That expertise could be in finance, marketing or another core area.
Marketing: A career in marketing can easily provide graduates with a manageable work day and a good salary, Shugrue says.
An employee may work for eight or nine hours a day, and even longer during critical times. The relatively lighter workload can come with an $80,000-$90,000 salary, depending on a graduate's work experience, he says.
Focusing on market research or marketing strategy classes while in business school could lead to these jobs, Huggett says.
Experts agree that salary and hours aren't the only things students should weigh as they plan their careers. If a graduate takes a job at a global finance company, work during a 50-hour or more week may require 3 a.m. phone calls with clients abroad.
"You're going to be communicating with people around the world," Shugrue says.
There are also benefits, office culture and other nuances to consider. B-school graduates are urged to research the roles or companies they want to work for before making a decision.
"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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