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If you’re interested in pursuing an education in business in Mississippi, you’ll find over 30 schools to choose from. A wide variety of majors and degrees are offered, including several doctorates. Many scholarships have been established by businesses to help minority students pursue a business education. For example T-Mobile and the United Negro College Fund have teamed up to provide scholarships to students seeking a four-year degree in business.
Business Degree Programs in Mississippi
Listed below are all of the colleges and universities in Mississippi 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 Mississippi:
Marketing degree programs in Mississippi >
State of Mississippi's Marketing Industry
Mississippi's economy is making a slow recovery after the recession, but it's being outpaced by the rest of the country. The scientific, professional and technical services sector has been underperforming, and by 2012 its job count was almost 5% below the 2007 business cycle peak.
Having said that, it's not all bad news. The government sector provides some stability and manufacturing is returning. The state's cheap labor costs, which are 10% below the national average, are a potential boon for entrepreneurial businesses.
Nevertheless, Mississippi's marketing industry faces an uphill battle. There are no Fortune 500 companies in the Magnolia State and only nine businesses made it onto Inc.'s Top 5000 list of America's fastest growing private companies in 2012, none of which were advertising or marketing agencies.
Job Prospects for Mississippi Marketing Graduates
In spite of that news, job prospects for Mississippi marketing graduates in the next few years look surprisingly good. From 2008-2018, the state's Department of Employment Security has forecast openings for market research analysts (+25%), advertising and promotions managers (+6%), PR specialists (+22%) and marketing managers (+19%) to grow.
Granted, the marketing industry is small to begin with - along with its neighbors, Alabama and Louisiana, Mississippi has one of the lowest concentrations of marketing managers in the country - but it's encouraging news for job seekers. In line with the state's low cost of living, median salaries are far below national averages.
In addition to big Jackson ad agencies like Maris, West & Baker, Inc., recent graduates might want to look into government-related positions. Revenues at Mav6, an aerospace and defense technology contractor, grew 1,556% from 2008-2011.
Mississippi Schools for Marketing
There are 18 accredited marketing schools in Mississippi, with Mississippi State University leading the pack. Here's how it stacks up against Ole Miss:
1. Mississippi State University (MSU) (http://business.msstate.edu/programs/marketing/)
Students at MSU's College of Business can opt for a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in marketing, an MBA (on-campus or online) or a doctorate in marketing. The college is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, and scholarships are available.
The college's Center for Family Enterprise Research is ranked #1 in the country in small business research and its Small Business Development Center was created to assist owners and entrepreneurs.
2. University of Mississippi (UM or "Ole Miss") (http://www.olemissbusiness.com/marketing/programs.html)
For undergraduates, the School of Business Administration at Ole Miss offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing alone or in marketing together with corporate relations. Graduates can choose to pursue an MBA (on-campus or online) or a doctorate in business administration.
The business school produces the magazine Business First, and has partnered with Mississippi Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) to provide help to the state's business community. It is fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Professional Marketing Organizations in Mississippi
Whether you're searching for networking and education opportunities, or would just like to meet up with a couple of like-minded marketers, you'll find Mississippi marketing organizations that can help.
- AAF Jackson (http://aafjackson.org/): Jackson chapter of the American Advertising Federation
- AAF Mississippi Delta (http://www.aafmsdelta.com/): Mississippi Delta chapter of the American Advertising Federation
- AAF Mississippi Gulf Coast (http://www.mgcaf.org/): Gulf Coast chapter of the American Advertising Federation
Bachelor's degree programs in business administration and specialized MBAs in management, international business, finance, and more provide the educational foundation for many of Mississippi's top business professionals.
According to the Federal Small Business Association (SBA), 43,066 Mississippi-based small businesses employed some 430,315 workers in the state as of 2014. Marketing analysts, accountants, HR specialists, financial controllers and sales managers are just some of the business professionals that help to drive these small businesses, which are found in a variety of sectors.
The following industries make up the majority of Mississippi’s small business employers (small business firm employers are defined as having between 1-499 employees):
- Retail trade - 7,084 small employer firms
- Other services (except public administration) - 5,994 small employer firms
- Health care and social assistance - 4,745 small employer firms
- Professional, scientific, and technical services - 4,197 small employer firms
- Construction - 3,853 small employer firms
- Accommodation and food services - 3,601 small employer firms
- Finance and insurance - 2,093 small employer firms
- Wholesale trade - 1,997 small employer firms
Mississippi entrepreneurs are employing skills in marketing, finance, and export coordination to put a number of small businesses on the map – both nationally and globally. Eleven Mississippi-based companies were ranked among Inc.com’s 5,000 fastest growing companies in 2015. Shown below is the rate of growth over the three-year period preceding 2015 along with the companies’ revenue as of 2015:
- R.J. Allen & Associates in Oxford - 446% growth in FY 2013-2014 to $25.7 million in revenue
- Desai Hotel Group in Jackson – 351% growth to $5.4 million in revenue
- ChiroHealthUSA in Jackson - 277% growth to $5.4 million in revenue
- Next Step Innovation in Clinton – 184% growth to $10.9 million in revenue
- eSoftware Solutions in Jackson - 150% growth to $3.3 million in revenue
Mississippi’s Largest Companies and the Professionals that Run Them
While many business school graduates thrive in Mississippi’s small business sphere, many more work for Mississippi’s largest companies. According to the Mississippi State College of Business, the following companies are Mississippi’s top employers:
- Nissan North America Inc. in Canton - 6,300 employees
- Rpm Pizza LLC in Gulfport - 3,500 employees
- Ashley Furniture Homestore in Ecru - 3,000 employees
- Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians in Choctaw - 2,500 employees
- Tyson Foods Inc. in Carthage - 2,500 employees
- Howard Industries Inc. in Laurel - 2,000 employees
- Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance in Ridgeland - 1,900 employees
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS), the following business careers are some of the highest paying in Mississippi (shown here are average annual salaries as of May 2014):
- Chief executives, $124,730
- General and operations managers, $94,270
- Marketing managers, $91,840
- Sales managers, $87,400
- Training and development managers, $87,090
- Financial managers, $86,990
- Purchasing managers, $84,140
The Mississippi State full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) is a fast-paced, on-campus experience that takes just a year to complete. The curriculum provides a foundation in accounting, economics, finance, marketing, statistics and management and information systems; it then allows you to round out your studies with electives in your area of specialization and end with a capstone project that gives you the opportunity to apply your learning in a real world situation. The school has also invested in creating a respected online MBA option that covers the same subject matter as the full-time program and gives you flexibility in completing the 30 hours required to graduate. You can study when you want and where you want, pursuing the degree at your own pace. Both the online and on-campus options are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Ole Miss offers two MBA program options. The immersive Campus MBA Program emphasizes teamwork, professional development and business skills. Since classes are scheduled in the evening, you have the option of completing the program in 12 months or pursuing your degree over a longer period of time through part-time study. The school's other MBA option, the Professional MBA, is offered as an online course of study designed for busy working adults who can't put their life on hold to earn a degree. The classes in this program are available on demand to fit your schedule, and are taught by many of the same faculty that teach on campus. Both programs are accredited by the AACSB.
The Professional MBA Program is designed for working professionals who want to reach the next level in their careers. This 33 hour program will give you a global perspective and leadership skills across a number of core business concepts. Students typically take two courses each semester, attending classes just one night per week; however you have the option of earning the degree in a year of full-time study or through two years of part-time study. In addition to the on-campus classes, you use technology for off-campus assignments and some interactive exercises. You'll also have the opportunity to gain international experience through optional overseas study trips.
The MBA program at Millsaps College is divided into three levels of courses that can be completed in a year of full-time study by students who can waive all foundation courses. However, all classes are offered at night so that you can pursue the degree part time if you need to work during the day. The first level of courses, the foundation classes, include 18 hours that cover accounting, economics, operations, marketing, finance and general management. The second level of courses span a core curriculum that focuses on leadership, financial performance, data analysis, competitive strategies and navigating a complex world, while the last level consists of 12 hours of elective courses in your area of specialization. The school offers international study opportunities in London, Paris, Munich and Florence, as well as on the satellite campus in Mexico.
The School of Business at Alcorn offers an MBA program that is built around a philosophy of a diverse and globally interdependent business world that requires you to have exceptional analytic and communication skills. The program starts with 24 hours of business foundation courses. If you have an undergraduate degree in business, many or all of these course requirements may be waived, putting you directly into the core curriculum. When you have completed the 21 hours of core courses, your studies will concentrate on electives that support your career goals. Throughout the program, you will have access to Graduate Business Student Services for help in finding internships and a full-time job upon graduation.