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You’ll find around 60 schools with business programs in Washington. Programs vary from finance to international management. Degrees range from associate to doctorate. Many scholarships are available with residence requirements. For example, if you graduated from certain high schools in Washington, you may be eligible for the Nellie Martin Carman Scholarship.
Business Degree Programs in Washington
Listed below are all of the colleges and universities in Washington that offer business degree programs. If you want to narrow it down a bit more, you can browse our listings of specific types of business degree programs in Washington:
Marketing degree programs in Washington >
State of Washington's Marketing Industry
Steady as she goes! Once the final excesses of the housing crisis have been cleared up, Washington's economy is on track to grow at a moderate pace. As ever, the tech sector is expected to be the engine that drives the state forward.
Home to eight Fortune 500 players - including Costco Wholesale, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Paccar and, of course, Starbucks - Washington has always been a hotspot for marketers. Look for smaller companies dealing with innovative and green technologies to make gains, post-recession.
Industry watchers may also want to keep an eye on some of the names on Inc.'s Top 5000 list of America's fastest growing private companies. Simplicity Consulting, which provides outsourced marketing services to Amazon and Microsoft, ranked #1025 on the list in 2012 and recorded a 309% growth from 2008-2011.
Job Prospects for Washington Marketing Graduates
Market research analysts should feel fairly confident about their prospects - Washington's State Employment Security Department is predicting jobs in that profession to increase 27% from 2008-2018. Growth statistics for PR specialists and marketing managers are also in the double digits.
Graduates might aim for employment in the big advertising agencies with a presence in Seattle, such as Hacker Group, Wunderman and Publicis, or look for a job in Washington's booming aerospace sector. In this highly competitive environment, marketers with cutting-edge digital skills are especially prized.
If you do manage to land one of those positions as a market research analyst, you are likely to be well-compensated for your efforts. In 2011, the annual median salary for Washington analysts was $74,700 - over $14,000 more than the national median, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Washington Schools for Marketing
Aspiring marketers can choose from 30 accredited marketing schools in Washington. For starters, you might consider:
1. The University of Washington (UW) (http://www.foster.washington.edu/academic/departments/mib/Pages/marketing-internationalbusiness.aspx)
UW's Department of Marketing and International Business is located in the Foster School of Business, on its main Seattle campus. The school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and was ranked #35 among "Best Business Schools" by U.S News & World Report in 2012.
UW students have the option of a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a focus on marketing, an MBA, or a doctorate in Marketing.
2. Washington State University (WSU) (http://www.business.wsu.edu/academics/Marketing/Pages/index.aspx)
WSU offers a four-year undergraduate degree in marketing, an MBA, and a doctorate in business administration with a concentration in marketing. The main campus is in the small city of Pullman, close to the border with Idaho.
Though the business school did not make the U.S. News & World Report rankings, it has also been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Professional Marketing Organizations in Washington
Seattle is the epicenter of many marketing organizations, but there are also plenty of active marketers further east in the state. All of them do their best to host regular networking events and alert professionals to new educational opportunities.
- AAF Spokane (http://www.aafspokane.com/): Spokane Chapter of the American Advertising Federation
- Ad Club Seattle (http://www.adclubseattle.com/): Western Washington Chapter of the American Advertising Federation
- NWIAG (http://www.nwiag.com/education-events/): Northwest Internet Advertising Group
- PSAMA (http://www.psama.org/): Puget Sound Chapter of the American Marketing Association
- YAF (http://www.yakimaadfed.com/): Central Washington Chapter of the American Advertising Federation
The major multinational corporations that have made the Seattle area synonymous with technological innovation in software, aerospace, and e-commerce, all started with a revolutionary idea, an entrepreneurial spirit and a little capital.
Many of these corporations have become household names and consistently rank at the top of the Fortune 500 list of most profitable companies in the word (2014):
- CostCo Wholesale in Issaquah - $112.64 billion in revenue
- Starbucks in Seattle - $14.89 billion in revenue
- Microsoft in Redmond - $24.52 billion revenue
- Amazon in Seattle - $29.33 billion revenue
- Nintendo of America in Redmond - $5,548.601 million revenue
- Weyerhaeuser International in Federal Way – $7,403 million revenue
- Nordstrom in Seattle – $4,043 million revenue
As home to global corporate leaders in industries that include everything from timber products to technology, Washington’s esteemed business schools offer highly specialized and innovative undergraduate and MBA programs in IT management, marketing, e-commerce and entrepreneurship, along with established legacy programs in business administration, accounting and HR management.
As an incubator for brilliant new start-ups and home to established corporate powerhouses, Washington is consistently counted among the top paying states in the nation for CEOs and other executive leaders. As of 2014, the US Department of Labor showed the average annual salary for CEOs in the state to be $197,450.
The US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics also published salary ranges (median to 90th percentile average) for other key corporate positions in Washington (2014):
- Marketing Managers: $136,770 - $165,280
- Financial Managers: $112,460 - $177,900
- Human Resource Managers: $114,830 - $171,450
- Sales Managers: $118,740 – 186,800
- Operations Managers: $118,810 – 146,020
- Economists: $84,580 - 114,930
- Accountants and Auditors: $72,950 - $113,960
Small Businesses are a Big Deal in Washington State
Small businesses in Washington—like the one Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegl founded in 1987—have the potential to turn into worldwide global leaders. In 1987, after earning his bachelor’s degree, Howard Schultz became the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company. This small business went from a start-up with a single storefront on Western Avenue catering to Seattle residents looking for a good cup of coffee, to having 21,000 thousand locations worldwide and a net income of more than $1 billion in 2012.
The Small Business Administration (SBA)’s latest report found that in 2010, small businesses accounted for 98.1 percent of all employers in Washington, employing 53.7 percent of the state’s private-sector labor force. Washington State’s 546,885 small businesses employed 1.2 million workers as of 2010 according to the SBA.
That year, Washington’s leading industries for small businesses included:
- Health care and social assistance – 370 firms
- Retail trade – 303 firms
- Accommodation and food services – 223 firms
- Manufacturing – 220 firms
- Professional, scientific, and technical services – 160 firms
- Construction – 141 firms
The Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington offers a range of Master of Business Administration (MBA) options. The traditional MBA is offered on campus; it begins with the Professional Integrated Management Experience (PRIME), during which candidates prepare for their first year of study through receiving personal coaching, setting up a personal study plan and connecting with the career services staff. Year one is focused on fundamental business concepts and year two is built around your specific career goals. The school also offers several additional MBA programs for working professionals. The evening MBA makes it possible to acquire the benefits of the traditional full-time MBA while continuing to work; the Technology Management MBA is designed for technology professionals seeking to add business management skills to their credentials; the Executive MBA is designed for mature students with significant management experience. In addition, the University of Washington offers a Global Executive MBA, a full-time 12-month accelerated program for executives seeking an international management career.
Washington State University offers a well-regarded online MBA that is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and that earns top ratings from The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. This program educates students in the impact of business on society and the environment, preparing them to be responsible leaders and to contribute to the business world. It's designed to be completed in less than two years, but you can stretch it out to learn at your own pace. Concentrations are offered in marketing, finance or international business. In addition to the innovative online program, the school also offers traditional on-campus MBA programs. Candidates in any of these programs can participate in the annual study abroad trip.
You can earn an MBA from the Albers School of Business & Economics on either a full-time or part-time basis. The Professional MBA can be completed in one and a half to two years by full-time students and in up to three years by part-time students. Under certain circumstances, some of the fundamental business classes can be waived, allowing you to complete your degree in a shorter amount of time. You can customize your course of study with electives in specializations including accounting, entrepreneurship, leadership formation, business valuation and sustainability. The school also offers a 12-month Bridge MBA for individuals with non-business undergraduate degrees, as well as two specialized Executive MBAs for mid-level and upper-level managers. The Leadership Executive MBA provides a dual focus of executive leadership and social responsibility; the Health Leadership Executive MBA will help you as you pursue a career in one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.
The Gonzaga Graduate School of Business offers several MBA options. The full-time MBA is a 33 credit hour program, one third of which focuses on your area of concentration; you can choose electives in finance, marketing, entrepreneurship or general business. In addition to the traditional MBA, the school offers an MBA with a focus on healthcare management and a joint MBA and Juris Doctor program in conjunction with the university's law school. One of Gonzaga's more innovative programs is the MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship. Candidates must be a member of a federally-recognized American Indian Tribe or must work at a tribal college or for a native-owned business. This program prepares executives to lead sustainable businesses on American Indian reservations.