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With nearly 40 schools with business programs to choose from, you’ll find a variety of majors, concentrations and degrees ranging from associate to master’s. Doctoral study is limited. Students looking for help paying for school may want to look into the UNCF Verizon Foundation Scholarship program.
Business Degree Programs in West Virginia
Listed below are all of the colleges and universities in West Virginia 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 West Virginia:
Marketing degree programs in West Virginia >
State of West Virginia's Marketing Industry
West Virginia has always been coal country, and strong demand for black gold supported the state's economy through the recession. The discovery of shale gas and new drilling technologies has been a boon, but the energy sector is notoriously volatile. In 2012, Forbes ranked West Virginia #48 in growth prospects.
In addition to coal and gas, marketers ply their trade in the Mountain State's tourism, biotech, chemical and aerospace sectors. West Virginia is home to one of the highest concentrations of chemical manufacturers in the world; as of 2013, nearly 25% of its international exports are chemicals and polymers, according to the state Department of Commerce.
There are no Fortune 500 companies in West Virginia, but many industry giants - including Dow, DuPont, Bayer and PPG - have a presence in the state. The renewable energy sector has potential (especially in wind), though opportunities are still largely untapped.
Job Prospects for West Virginia Marketing Graduates
West Virginia is not a place where you go to be surrounded by fellow marketers. Along with states like Montana and Louisiana, West Virginia has one of the lowest concentrations of marketing managers in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2011. Annual mean wages are some of the lowest in the country.
Overall, there will be openings, but not many. From 2010-2020, Workforce West Virginia is predicting positive job growth for marketing managers (8.4%), PR specialists (11.8%) and market research analysts (28.4%). These numbers look good on paper but are still significantly below national averages.
Graduates can look for industry jobs, or try the state's advertising agencies - The Arnold Agency, Charles Ryan Associates and BlaineTurner Advertising are some of the largest. As of 2012, Forbes reports that West Virginia has the lowest college attainment rate in the country (17% of the population), so educational qualifications will be welcome.
West Virginia Schools for Marketing
There are eight accredited marketing schools in West Virginia. If you're just starting your search, here are two of the biggest:
1. West Virginia University (WVU) (http://www.be.wvu.edu/index.htm)
The College of Business and Economics at WVU, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing, an MBA, an online MBA and a doctorate in business administration with a concentration in marketing.
WVU has one of the best reputations in the state. The college was ranked among the top 100 undergraduate business schools by Bloomberg BusinessWeek in 2013. Its online MBA was ranked #29 by U.S. News & World Report in the same year.
2. Marshall University (http://muwww-new.marshall.edu/cob/)
Students at Marshall's College of Business, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, can opt for a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing or an MBA. Its part-time MBA was ranked #162 by U.S. News & World Report in 2013.
Internships, study-abroad programs and graduate assistantships are all available. Marshall has a strong stake in R&D - its Marshall Institute of Interdisciplinary Research (MIIR) initiative was established to develop new, patentable scientific products which will benefit the region's economy in years to come.
Professional Marketing Organizations in West Virginia
You have to look pretty hard to find a marketing organization in West Virginia. The AAF has a presence here, but AMA and SMPS chapters are notably absent. Industry-based groups may also be able to supply you with networking opportunities.
With small businesses making up 95.7 percent of all employers in West Virginia as of 2013, aspiring business professionals pursuing undergraduate or master’s degree in business often strive to join start-ups or establish small businesses of their own.
In 2012, the Small Business Association (SBA) found that West Virginia was home to 116,559 small businesses, which employed a total of 297,588 workers. This comes out to more than half of the state’s entire workforce.
In 2013, West Virginia’s gross state product increased by 5.1 percent, as compared to the overall 2.2 percent for the U.S. gross domestic product. This is due, in part, to the state’s vibrant community of small businesses.
In fact, between 2010 and 2013, West Virginia’s fastest growing companies in terms of revenue were all small businesses comprised of fewer than 100 employees. These were companies in the technology, professional services, and retail industries that included:
- Allegheny Science & Technology in Bridgeport – 1,723 percent revenue growth
- KeyLogic Services in Morgantown – 417 percent revenue growth
- Mid-Atlantic ProTel in Matinsburg – 64 percent revenue growth
- STS International in Berkeley Springs – 50 percent revenue growth
Along with revenue growth, the SBA found that 10,527 new jobs were created by small businesses in 2012 alone.
West Virginia’s Business School Graduates in Action
Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, marketing, accounting human resources or finance will prepare you to engage in West Virginia’s small business culture—creating, managing, and developing a successful small business that is on the cutting-edge of market trends.
For example, after earning her B.S. in Accounting from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her Master of Business Administration from West Virginia University, West Virginia’s own Arria Hines started her first small business, Windows by Arria.
This small business grew, and as she engaged in further education focused on project management, she moved into the role of Director of Programs with technology company Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), overseeing $120 million in annual revenue.
She then got involved in the start-up, Allegheny Science & Technology, which was one of America’s fastest-growing small businesses as of 2014. She became the president and CEO of Allegheny Science, taking it from a two-person company to having over 75 employees and 12 federal government contracts. The small business grew from having a revenue of $385,203 in 2010 to having a revenue of $7 million in 2013.
Clearly, in West Virginia, small firms do not mean small business. In 2012, a total of 1,119 West Virginia companies exported goods and services internationally, and 76.9 percent of those were small firms. International trade through the state’s small firms generated more than a third of the state’s total export value that year.
MBA students who specialize in areas such as management, accounting, marking, finance, and international management, are trained to enter specialized corporate positions as human resource managers, sales managers, operations managers, financial controllers and much more.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics found the salary ranges for top corporate positions in 2014, which included:
- Chief Executives - $122,640 - $163,530
- Marketing Managers - $95,540 - $166,710
- Sales Manager – $93,880 - $161,950
- Financial Managers - $85,410 - $142,740
- Human Resource Managers - $82,900 - $127,860
- Operations Managers - $82,630 - $146,310
Marshall University offers an MBA that places a premium on real-world experience. The school offers a rigorous course of study that starts with the fundamentals and quickly puts you in challenging situations to apply classroom theory. The degree, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), is designed for working professionals; evening classes are offered in Huntington, Charleston and Beckley to make it easier for students to balance work and study. The school also offers an executive MBA program for experienced professionals that combines the coursework of the general MBA with an international study experience. Students move through this 36-week program as a cohort, taking Saturday classes in five- to six-week blocks.
The MBA from the College of Business and Economics at West Virginia University (WVU) is a globally-focused degree, both in content and in terms of the students who take part in this program: over 40 percent are international students. The curriculum includes a required international study trip; teamwork is also an important component, as you how to learn how to function as a contributing member and as a leader. This program is designed to give you general business skills; however you can add an additional semester of classes to earn your MBA with an emphasis in finance. In addition to the traditional MBA, the school offers an Executive MBA in two formats: an evening program and an online program. If you opt for the online course of study, you will need to come to campus for four three- to four-day residences designed to add a more experiential component to distance learning. WVU also offers several dual degrees programs that couple an MBA with a Master of Science in finance, sports management or human resources and industrial relations. All of this school's MBA programs are AACSB accredited.
West Virginia Wesleyan offers a traditional MBA, an online MBA and a five-year program that results in both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. Each of these options follows a similar curriculum that emphasizes leadership, analysis, behavioral science and ethics. While you will take classes in the basics of accounting, finance, management and marketing, the emphasis is on a cross-functional approach to business. You can earn a generalized degree, create a custom concentration or chose a concentration in health care administration, non-profit management, human resource management or labor and law.
Leadership skills that apply in organizations of all sizes, from commercial multinational companies to small nonprofits, are a key component of the Wheeling MBA program's philosophy. Classes are taught in the evenings on a schedule that allows you to study full time or take one class a semester and pursue your degree at a slower pace. The school also offers summer classes so that you can compress the time it takes to complete your studies. The curriculum begins with foundation courses that can be waived in some circumstances, followed by 10 core courses that cover key management functions. You can then round out your course of study with electives that support your career goals.
The University of Charleston MBA portfolio offers three options. The flagship program is the Master of Business Administration and Leadership. As the name implies, this full-time, 16-month program focuses on leadership. You will be immersed in a program that blends learning in the classroom with opportunities to practice what you learn in a professional setting with corporate, government and nonprofit partners such as BB&T Bank, Triana Energy, Charleston Area Medical Center and NGK Spark Plugs. You will also complete a summer practicum, living and working abroad. The Executive MBA is designed for professionals who are working full time, with classes every other Friday night and every other Saturday. Executive MBA students follow a leadership-oriented curriculum similar to the one pursued by students in the full-time MBA program, following a streamlined 14-month schedule and taking part in a 10-day international practicum to observe business in another country. In addition, the University of Charleston offers an Executive MBA with a concentration in pharmaceutical and healthcare management, as well as an executive program for active members of the National Guard.