Business Schools in Pennsylvania

You have your pick of over 160 schools with business programs in Pennsylvania available both on-campus and online. Whether you’re in the market for an undergraduate degree in business administration, want to focus your education in an area like finance, marketing, international business, or human resources, or if you’re a mid-career professional vying for a promotion and want to earn an MBA to help you get there, you’ll find a program to support your goals.

Advice from an Experienced Professional

Below, we interview Dean Charles Whiteman, Smeal College of Business Dean at Penn State University. In this interview, Dean Whiteman discusses the importance of building a strong personal brand along with how big data and teams are changing the business world.

Marketing Degree Programs in Pennsylvania

State of Pennsylvania’s Marketing Industry

Having weathered the recession with grit and determination, Pennsylvania’s economy is growing at a respectable pace. This mid-Atlantic workhorse has the sixth largest economy in the nation, according to Greyhill Advisors, and plays host to 23 Fortune 500 companies – prime employers for those in the marketing industry.

Gas shale discoveries have prompted a boom in the energy sector, but the state has many other economic drivers. Pittsburgh has become a hub of healthcare, high tech and biotechnology, while Philadelphia is the home of giants like Comcast, Sunoco, Aramark and H.J. Heinz, just to name a few. Marketers are also hard at work in the state’s $39.1 billion tourism market (2011 figures from the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau).

There are over 1,000 advertising agencies in the state, many in the big cities. MJ Brunner, in Pittsburgh, is top in sales volume, but it has plenty of competition. Twelve advertising and marketing firms made it onto Inc.’s Top 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in 2012.

Job Prospects for Pennsylvania Marketing Graduates

It’s a mixed bag for Pennsylvania marketing graduates. On the plus side, marketing managers are some of the highest-paid in the country, with a median annual income of $123,800 in 2011. The state also has the fourth-largest number of U.S. workers on the brink of retirement and a churning amount of economic activity.

On the minus side, according to Forbes in 2012, Pennsylvania is projected to have the country’s slowest population growth through 2016, stats for marketing jobs are below national averages and the Tax Foundation ranks it last in its analysis of state tax costs on business.

From 2010-2020, Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry is predicting that management jobs will grow by 4.7%, PR specialists by 10.6% and market research analysts by 29.5%. Compare this last statistic with a projected national trend of 41% growth in the same time period, according the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). It’s good, but not golden.

Pennsylvania Schools for Marketing

The Keystone State is renowned for its universities, and Pennsylvania has 64 accredited marketing schools. The top two are:

1. University of Pennsylvania (Penn) (https://marketing.wharton.upenn.edu)

Penn’s Wharton School is one of the top business schools in the country. Both the U.S. News & World Report and Bloomberg BusinessWeek perennially rank it #3 in the country. Undergraduates can pursue majors in either marketing, marketing and operations management, or marketing and communication. Graduates can pursue the MBA or doctorate.

Wharton has the largest business school faculty, and one of the most published, in the nation. It also funds twenty research centers and initiatives, regular publications (Knowledge@Wharton) and a dizzying number of business events.

2. Carnegie Mellon University (http://tepper.cmu.edu/prospective-students/phd/program/business-technologies)

Ranked #18 in “Best Business Schools” by U.S. News & World Report in 2013 (#7 for its undergraduate business degree), the university’s Tepper School of Business offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing, an MBA and a doctorate in marketing.

Tepper has eight graduate business centers and organizes regular conferences at its Center for Marketing Technology and Information. The school also has more Nobel Laureate faculty members than any other business school in the world.

Professional Marketing Organizations in Pennsylvania

There’s no shortage of excellent marketing organizations in Pennsylvania, especially in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. All of them can supply you with networking opportunities and useful resources.

Business Degree Programs in Pennsylvania

As the second-largest producer of natural gas and electricity in the U.S., Pennsylvania drives down the cost of energy and creates countless new opportunities for manufacturing businesses. Between 2015 and 2025, the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development expects new energy project installations to generate $17.7 billion in investment in the state.

This new investment will add to the 5,917 employers already established in the energy sector as of 2015. Established companies responsible for this tremendous investment include East Penn Manufacturing, Tyco Electronics, Exelon Generation, PECO Energy Power, and more.

Business professionals in the state’s top industry—the energy industry—tend to earn higher wages than business professionals in other industries. For instance, while Pennsylvania’s median income for general and operations managers in all industries was $117,580 in 2014, the median income for these managers in the energy industry was $125,206 according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development.

Needless to say, many aspiring business professionals are looking to obtain corporate positions with some of Pennsylvania’s biggest energy manufacturers. To keep up with the increasing demand in the energy industry, business schools in Pennsylvania have developed highly specialized bachelor’s and MBA programs in environmental and risk management, energy management, and global environmental leadership.

Aside from the energy industry, Pennsylvania is a global hub for other key industries, such as technology, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, tourism, life sciences, film, and aviation.

The Fortune 500 Companies that Call Pennsylvania Home

In fact, the state is home to some of the top Fortune 500 companies in the nation in the life sciences industry, such as AmerisourceBergen in Chesterbrook. AmerisourceBergen is one of the largest global pharmaceutical distribution companies, and in 2014, it brought in $119,569 million in revenue.

Other Fortune 500 companies that were headquartered in Pennsylvania in 2014 included:

  • Comcast in Philadelphia – $68,775 million revenue
  • Rite Aid in Camp Hill – $25,526 million revenue
  • United States Steel in Pittsburgh – $17,507 million revenue
  • PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh $16,281 million revenue
  • H.J. Heinz in Pittsburgh – $10,922 million revenue
  • PPG Industries in Pittsburgh – $15,607 million revenue

These multinational corporations in Pennsylvania look to hire business professionals with the advanced expertise that comes with earning a bachelor’s degree and advancing to an MBA.

When business school students develop specializations in areas such as finance, management, marketing, and accounting, they develop an edge in Pennsylvania’s job market, allowing them to compete for top salaried positions.

For instance, the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) published the median income for some of Pennsylvania’s top business occupations, including (2014):

  • Chief Executives – $189,550
  • General and Operations Managers – $117,580
  • Advertising and Promotions Managers – $144,420
  • Marketing Managers – $155,810
  • Sales Managers – $130,860
  • Human Resource Managers – $129,070

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School was the first collegiate business school in the world when it opened its doors in the 1880s. Its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program has consistently ranked in the top 10 in the nation. Four years ago the program was revamped to offer greater flexibility and a wider array of electives and majors: you can choose from 18 majors and over 200 electives within the business school or other schools in the university. The program is hands on, allowing students to learn by leading. One of the innovations of this program is the Lauder Program which integrates an MBA focused in international business with a Master of Arts in international studies from the School of Arts & Sciences. Students also have the option to pursue an MBA in conjunction with a Juris Doctor or a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology, or an MBA in Healthcare Management.

Saint Joseph’s University

This private Jesuit university’s Erivan K. Haub School of Business’s Professional MBA program gives you the flexibility to continue working as you add to your skills and gain new knowledge. The program is offered at the Philadelphia and Collegeville locations in the evening or fully online for study at your own pace on your own schedule. Students can opt for a general MBA, as well as concentrations in accounting, business intelligence, finance, health and medical services administration, international business, international marketing, managing human capital, marketing and family business and entrepreneurship. Both the on-campus and online programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and have been recognized for excellence by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review.

Carnegie Mellon University

The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon ranks among the top 20 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report and Businessweek. It is also one of the most accessible top-level programs: in addition to the traditional two-year, on-campus program (which includes a summer internship between year one and year two), the school offers a “FlexTime MBA” that allows you to pursue your degree and hold down a job at the same time. Or, if you can’t get to campus, the FlexMBA online program brings the school’s rigorous curriculum to distance learners. You can earn the same degree online as you could on campus, through a program designed to foster teamwork across countries and cultures.

Pennsylvania State University

The Smeal College of Business at Penn State is a top-ranked business school with one of the largest alumni networks in the world. The traditional MBA program emphasizes teamwork, applied learning and professionalism, all within a global context. Degree candidates work on a live consulting project through the Applied Professional Experience program (APEX). You have a choice of concentrations in strategic leadership, finance, business to business marketing, supply chain management and innovation and entrepreneurship. Forbes calculates that your Smeal MBA will pay for itself within 3.2 years. Recruiting is one of the school’s core strengths, with 86 percent of graduates receiving job offers within three months of graduation.

Temple University

Temple’s Fox School of Business offers a Global MBA that promises deep immersion in global business. The program is a traditional full-time, two-year curriculum taught on campus in Philadelphia. The same program has been packaged as the Fox Online MBA, with on-demand, mobile-friendly courses, taught by the same faculty that teaches the on-campus program. It’s formatted in four-week classes that can be taken one at a time. You can earn your degree online in 20 months or move at a slower pace. The school also offers a Professional Part-Time MBA that you can earn by taking evening and weekend classes. Fox’s Executive MBA takes the international business focus a step further. This program is designed for seasoned managers with strong quantitative skills and takes 16 months to complete. In addition to the Executive MBA classes offered on the Malvern campus, Temple has partnered with institutions in Singapore, Columbia, Japan and France to bring this MBA to a truly international audience.