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North Dakota offers business students almost 20 schools to choose from. Specializations and concentrations include global business, financial planning, accounting, emergency management, and more. Associate and bachelor’s degrees are plentiful as are master’s degrees. A handful of doctoral programs are also available. Many scholarships are available, some with residence requirements. For example, North Dakota residents may be eligible for the Anna B. Spangler Memorial Scholarship.
Business Degree Programs in North Dakota
Listed below are all of the colleges and universities in North Dakota 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 North Dakota:
Marketing degree programs in North Dakota >
State of North Dakota's Marketing Industry
North Dakota's energy boom has become the stuff of legend. Development of the Bakken oil shale fields in the west of the state has led to explosive short- and long-term job growth. Technology and service sectors have sprung up to accommodate oil and natural gas businesses. In 2012, it topped Forbes's list of "The 10 States That Will Boom Over the Next 5 Years.
What does this mean for the marketing industry? More work, certainly, but it also pays to remember that North Dakota is still a small state (under 700,000 people in 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau). Agriculture and energy dominate its industries and even the biggest marketing firms make less than $10 million in annual sales.
North Dakota's government is busy offering tax incentives to encourage new business, which may prompt demand for marketers. In 2012, eight firms in the state made it onto Inc.'s Top 5000 list of America's fastest-growing private companies. The highest fliers were Pedigree Technologies and Evolution1.
Job Prospects for North Dakota Marketing Graduates
With general employment skyrocketing, job prospects for North Dakota marketing graduates look good. From 2008-2018, the state's Workforce Intelligence Network is projecting jobs for market research analysts will grow by 32%, PR specialists by 21% and marketing managers by 19%.
Thanks to a lower cost of living, salaries are modest. In 2011, the annual median salary for a North Dakota marketing manager was $84,100; for a market research analyst it was $46,300, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you're interested in an agency position, Fargo and Bismarck are the centers of most marketing activity. Top agencies by sales volume include Flint Communications, Odney Advertising Agency and Results Unlimited. From 2008-2011, the up-and-comer Sundog reported a revenue gain of $8.7 million.
North Dakota Schools for Marketing
There are only six accredited marketing schools in North Dakota - not surprising considering the population. Here are two to compare:
1. North Dakota State University (NDSU) (http://www.ndsu.edu/business/)
Students at NDSU's College of Business, accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, can pursue a Bachelor of Science with a major in marketing or an MBA. There is no doctoral program in business or marketing. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked its part-time MBA #193 in the nation.
To help students prepare for global leadership, the college has developed a Center for Global Initiatives and a variety of study-abroad programs. Graduates can also participate in real-world business management experiences through the college's Small Business Institute.
2. University of North Dakota (UND) (http://business.und.edu)
Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, UND's College of Business and Public Administration offers a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in marketing and a more general MBA (on-campus or online). Its part-time MBA hit #220 on the U.S. News & World Report Rankings in 2013.
Undergraduates are encouraged to apply for regular cooperative education and internship experiences (a minimum GPA is required). Like NDSU, the college also provides study-abroad programs in a variety of countries, including China.
Professional Marketing Organizations in North Dakota
There aren't many professional marketing organizations in Dakota territory, but marketers shouldn't despair. The American Advertising Federation has a presence in North Dakota and often advertises networking events and continuing education opportunities.
Even as one of the least populated states in the country, North Dakota proves unequivocally that a large population is not a perquisite for big business and industry to be successful. North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the entire country at 2.8 percent, well below the national average. This is in part due to the oil boom that is responsible for the largest share of the state’s $62.7 billion GSP in 2014 following the discovery of the Parshall Oil Field of the Bakken Shale Oil Formation in 2006 and the innovative development of technology capable of recovering this oil.
As the movement to seek independence from volatile oil suppliers like Venezuela and the Middle East grows, North Dakota has continued to step up production. Behind it all are graduates of North Dakota’s top business schools, who have used what they learned through undergraduate and specialized MBA programs in logistics and supply chain management, human resources, marketing and accounting to take advantage of one of the biggest opportunities in oil and gas exploration and mining the nation has ever seen.
Oil dominates the northwestern region of the state, but agriculture forms the economic foundation of many of North Dakota’s largest cities, with Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot, and Bismarck playing host to processing plants for grain, meat, and dairy products. Tourism comes in behind oil and agriculture as the third highest source of income in North Dakota.
Small Businesses are Also Benefiting from the North Dakota Oil Boom
The oil boom has helped to inject life into what was already a stable economy. As a result, there is plenty of opportunity for business school graduates to exercise their skills and to grow in a variety of industries that are evolving in response to the oil boom.
Three fifths of North Dakota’s private workforce is employed with small businesses, accounting for 194,249 workers in total according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Small businesses operating on the local level are able to shine, with private sector employment in the state growing 5.8 percent between 2014 and 2015, significantly higher than the national average of 2.3 percent for this same period.
77.6 percent of all small businesses opened in North Dakota have stayed open, and business bankruptcies have declined over the past four years according to the SBA. The strength of this small business economy is built on several industries including:
- Health Care and Social Assistance - 57,772 workers
- Retail Trade - 47,415 workers
- Accommodation and Food Services - 34,708 workers
- Manufacturing - 23,866 workers
You can earn your Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the nationally-ranked University of North Dakota at the Grand Forks campus or from anywhere in the world through the school's well-regarded distance learning option. The online program was rated a "best buy" as online students pay in-state tuition regardless of where they earn the degree. This 33- to 34-credit-hour course of study is completed in two or more years through "live" classes held on campus one evening a week. Online or on campus, this program focuses on planning, organizing, operating and controlling a business, and prepares you for leadership positions in private and public organizations of all sizes. In addition to a general MBA, the school offers concentrations in accounting and international business. Each of these programs is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The majority of MBA candidates at North Dakota State University are working professionals and the program is designed to support them as they juggle their studies with work. This MBA program focuses on developing analytical skills, as well as an understanding of the functional areas of business administration and a broad view of the way organizations work. Core classes in accounting, economics, management, marketing, information systems and finance are offered in the evenings year round, complemented by study abroad opportunities and electives offered during the day, in the evening and in the summer. The degree is fully accredited by the AACSB.
At the University of Mary, you can pursue your MBA via one of three formats: You can study on campus at the Gary Tharaldson School of Business, through the online courses or through a blended approach that combines on-campus and distance learning. The program is offered on a quicker schedule so that you can earn your degree in as few as 18 months. On-campus classes meet once a week in the evening so that you don't have to interrupt your career, and online classes can be accessed on your own schedule. All three options allow you to choose an area of focus: accountancy, executive business administration, energy management, health care, human resource management or management. In addition, the University of Mary offers an Executive MBA for senior decision makers with an established track record in business. This hands-on program focuses on the practical skills that senior managers need.