Business Schools in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has nearly 60 schools with business programs, so students should be able to find a program that suits their needs. Majors are varied and programs range from the undergraduate level to executive MBAs and even doctorate degree programs in business.
Marketing Degree Programs in Wisconsin
State of Wisconsin’s Marketing Industry
Wisconsin’s economy traditionally rests on the strength of its manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare industries. The recession hit the manufacturing, trade and transportation sectors hard and the state is still recovering. Experts in the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in 2012 predicted that the economy will grow to 2016, but more slowly than the rest of the nation.
The Badger State is reportedly also a tough place to do business – in the 2013 Forbes’s “Best States for Business” list, it ranked 42nd in the nation for growth prospects. While nearby Indiana has turned its hand to modern manufacturing (e.g., medical devices), Wisconsin is still saddled with traditional sectors (e.g., paper and heavy machinery). When these struggle, so does the marketing industry.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is doing its best to turn the state around. It’s offering tax incentives and low-cost loans to manufacturers and investing in “new economy” areas like biotechnology, aerospace, healthcare and water technology. If these stimuli work, marketers may have more to do.
Job Prospects for Wisconsin Marketing Graduates
Wisconsin marketing graduates shouldn’t expect miracles. The state’s employment growth is forecast to be the second lowest in the U.S. through 2016, according to Forbes in 2012.
Future openings for marketers fall below national averages, but are mostly in positive territory. From 2008-2018, the state’s Department of Workforce Development predicts jobs for PR specialists will increase by 14%, marketing managers by 4% and market research analysts by 17%.
If Fortune 500 names like Northwestern Mutual, Kohl’s and Harley-Davidson aren’t hiring, recent graduates might want to take a look at Inc.’s annual Top 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies. In 2012, many of the WI names on this list – Dynamic Recycling, Quincy Bioscience, RevolutionEHR – were geared towards the 21st century economy.
These new companies may be eager for your brains. Outside of Madison and Milwaukee, only around 26% of the population hold a bachelor’s degree or better – putting the state in 25th place.
Wisconsin Schools for Marketing
There are 39 accredited marketing schools in Wisconsin, many of them in Madison and Milwaukee. Here are two to compare:
1. University of Wisconsin – Madison (UW) (http://bus.wisc.edu/knowledge-expertise/academic-departments/marketing)
UW’s School of Business generally gets high marks – it was ranked #25 in “Best Business Schools” by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, and the undergraduate program is ranked among the top 10 in the U.S. The MBA program is ranked #4 in the world by the Financial Times.
The Department of Marketing offers a Bachelor of Business Administration (with a study-abroad option), three MBA options – marketing research, brand and product management, and supply chain management – and a doctorate. Each MBA specialty is supported by a specific Knowledge Center.
2. Marquette University (http://business.marquette.edu/departments/marketing)
Marquette is a private Jesuit university in Milwaukee. Students at the College of Business Administration can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major or minor in marketing or an MBA accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Marketing majors are invited to take part in full-semester internships with accounting firms and organizations. All business students have the opportunity to participate in a formal mentoring program.
Professional Marketing Organizations in Wisconsin
Marketers in America’s Dairyland are an energetic bunch, and there are plenty of marketing organizations in the Madison and Milwaukee areas. In addition to organizing social events, they often post job openings and continuing education opportunities.
- AAF Madison (http://www.aafmadison.org/): Madison Chapter of the American Advertising Federation
- Ad 2 Madison (http://www.ad2madison.org/): Madison Branch of Ad 2 National (for young professionals) and Affiliate of the American Advertising Federation
- Ad 2 Milwaukee (http://www.ad2milwaukee.org/): Milwaukee Branch of Ad 2 National (for young professionals) and Affiliate of the American Advertising Federation
- AMA Madison (http://www.amamadison.org/): Madison Chapter of the American Marketing Association
- AMA Milwaukee (http://amamilwaukee.org/): Milwaukee Chapter of the American Marketing Association
- AMA Northeast Wisconsin (http://www.amanew.org/): Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the American Marketing Association
- BMA Milwaukee (http://www.bma-milwaukee.org/): Business Marketing Association in Milwaukee
- MIMA (http://www.milwaukeeima.org/): Milwaukee Interactive Marketing Association
- SMPS Wisconsin (http://www.smpswisconsin.org/site/): Society for Marketing Professional Services in Wisconsin
Business Degree Programs in Wisconsin
In 2014, 42.3% of Wisconsin’s private sector employees worked for businesses that had less than 50 employers in Wisconsin, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics (www.bls.gov). Because of this, aspiring business professionals in Wisconsin pursuing a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration, marketing, finance, accounting, human resources or other key areas often aim to specialize their education as they prepare to launch the next big startup.
In fact, the top fastest-growing companies in Wisconsin in terms of revenue as of 2015 were all small businesses in industries such as computer software, social media, and business services (Inc.com Top 500 list):
- Vantage Point in Kenosha – 1,352% growth to $27.3 million in revenue
- Wellbe in Madison – 1,201% growth to $2.2 million in revenue
- Evoke Brand Strategies – 1,183% growth to $2.1 million in revenue
Although these businesses are small (employing fewer than 500 employees), they don’t think small. Business professionals that earn their MBA in international management, international finance, or international marketing serve in vital roles as managers and directors in Wisconsin’s small firms, where they reach out to gain access to international markets.
How Earning a Business Degree Could Impact Pay and Job Prospects
While specializing your MBA in areas such as entrepreneurship and innovation will prepare you to create a small business, specializing in areas such as finance, marketing, information systems management, international management, and human resources will prepare you to fill vital roles in sales management, accounting, financial analysis, human resource management, international marketing and more.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics published the median to high range of earnings for a variety of corporate positions in Wisconsin in 2014:
- Sales Managers – $112,790 – $183,000
- General and Operations Managers – $104,270 – $130,840
- Chief Executives – $160,670 – $166,000
- Financial Managers – $111,000 – $182,970
- Human Resource Managers – $98,730 – $147,220
- Marketing Managers – $110,950 – $173,150
The full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the University of Wisconsin is built on a philosophy of applied learning. Classroom theories are tied to practical business challenges; students interact with industry partners, a network of involved alumni and field experts in projects and challenges with real-world impact. For example, some candidates are involved in a student-managed investment fund with a portfolio topping $62 million, while others take part in a real estate investment program. The Wisconsin MBA is offered with 10 career specializations that combine the core curriculum with in-depth field expertise. This MBA program can also be completed through evening classes. The Executive MBA Program offers working professionals on an upper management track the ability to earn their degree while balancing a demanding work schedule. Graduates of all of these programs enjoy placement services with recruiters from top-tier firms for a fast start on your road to success.
The MBA program at Cardinal Stritch blends classes in business theory with active learning opportunities. Case studies combined with minimal lectures allow degree candidates to learn by doing and to acquire skills relevant in any industry; it’s beneficial for professionals in all sorts of businesses, including non-profits and in public and private companies. The degree is offered with a general management approach or with a concentration in health care management or global business. The degree is offered on campus as a traditional two-year program, as well as online. Distance learners follow the same curriculum and earn an identical degree as traditional students, and online classes are taught by the same faculty that teach on campus.
The Mount Mary MBA is an intensive 36 hour degree program that focuses on leadership in a global environment. The program is designed for candidates who balance full-time jobs with their studies. Courses are offered in manageable eight-week terms with classes scheduled one night a week. Small class sizes and three-hour class session contribute to an intensive intellectual experience. The program is completed in an average of two and a half years; however, students taking more than one class each term can significantly reduce the duration of their studies. Although Mount Mary University is a women’s school, this program is open to both men and women.
The Edgewood MBA is tailored for working professionals. You have the option of pursuing your degree in person via evening classes or as a distance learner. The online program is taught by the same faculty as the on-campus program, and they will hold you to the same standards of performance. Both online and on campus, class size will be small and you must actively participate. Courses are offered in a mix of eight-week and traditional semester formats, allowing you to pursue your degree at your own pace.
Marquette’s MBA is one of the more rigorous programs in the country. Through classes designed for working professionals, students benefit from learning with a diverse group of colleagues from a variety of industries and backgrounds. Preparing candidates to excel in a complex and diverse world is a cornerstone of the program. While some of this course of study involves traditional classroom instruction, applied learning provides real-world experience in addressing business challenges. Classes are held on weekends and in the evenings in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Kohler. This part-time program is completed in an average of three to three and a half years. The Executive MBA option is targeted toward established managers; it is offered via a blend of Saturday on-campus classes and online coursework and can be completed in 17 months. Both programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).