According to Iowa.gov's Iowa Data Center, there were more than 80,800 operating businesses in Iowa in 2013. The biggest industries operating in the state include manufacturing, finance and insurance, government, real estate, health care, and social assistance. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that approximately 1,512,740 Iowans were in the workforce as of May 2014. On average, these workers earned an in-state annual mean wage of $41,120.
With that amount of local economic activity, it's no wonder so many students have chosen to pursue higher education at Iowa business schools. The programs they offer aim to prepare students for a number of careers across nearly every industry, all while teaching them the financial principles that keep businesses both operable and profitable.
But before you decide to pursue a business degree, you need to learn more about the different types of degrees that are available.
Business Degree Programs in Iowa
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) lists 54 Iowa schools that offer business degrees. Which type of degree you need depends on the type of career you wish to pursue.
For example, the BLS reports that a bachelor's degree in business or a related field is usually a requirement to find work as a budget analyst. Meanwhile, financial analysts can get hired into entry level positions with a bachelor's degree in business or a related field, but are often required to have a master's degree in business administration for advanced positions.
The BLS also reports many employers prefer to hire management analysts who have a master's degree in business administration, as opposed to those who just have a Bachelor's degree.
Fortunately, Iowa business schools offer a variety of options that can help you meet your educational goals. The following table shows the business schools in IA that awarded the most business degrees during the 2012-2013 school year:
|School||Location||Number of Bachelor's Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013||Number of Master's Degrees Awarded in 2012-2013|
|Kaplan University-Davenport Campus||Davenport||1,299||776|
|Iowa State University||Ames||831||97|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City||830||376|
|Upper Iowa University||Fayette||651||133|
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, College Navigator, 2012-2013 data
Career Opportunities for Business Graduates in Iowa
Students who graduate from Iowa business schools have the opportunity to earn excellent wages after they graduate. The BLS reports the following annual median wages for business careers in Iowa in 2014:
- Cost Estimators: $54,660
- Management Analysts: $71,960
- Training and Development Specialists: $50,360
- Budget Analysts: $67,870
- Credit Analysts: $61,430
- Financial Analysts: $70,850
Meanwhile, in-state job prospects look strong for many of these professions as well. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts employment for financial analysts in Iowa will increase 17.5 percent from 2012 to 2022. Jobs for budget analysts are expected to see 11.5 percent growth in the same timeframe, while openings for management analysts in the state are expected to surge 23.9 percent.
Beyond the basic jobs for professionals with a business degree, there are several specialties one can pursue. The BLS lists these specialties as some of the most popular:
- Portfolio managers supervise a team of financial analysts and oversee corporate investment portfolios
- Fund managers manage and oversee hedge funds, mutual funds and other financial instruments
- Risk analysts evaluate businesses financial and investment strategies to ensure a health balance of risk and rewards
- Business operations specialists analyze business decisions and operations to ensure efficiency and functionality
Should you Pursue a Business Degree in Iowa?
Iowa business schools can put prospective students on the right path toward a degree that can help you get started in a number of industries. However, it's crucial to explore all of the educational opportunities available in order to find the right fit. If you don't know where to start, the NCES offers this list of four-year, public business schools in IA that offer bachelor's degrees:
- Iowa State University
- University of Iowa
- University of Northern Iowa
Whether you want to pursue an associate degree in business, a bachelor's degree in business, or a master's degree in business administration, Iowa business schools got you covered. Just remember to keep looking until you find a business school offering the degree you want at a price you can afford.
Budget Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/budget-analysts.htm#tab-1
College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=IA&p=52&l=93&ct=1&ic=1
Financial Analysts, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/financial-analysts.htm#tab-1
"Iowa," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 2013 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ia.htm#13-0000
"Iowa Quick Facts," State Data Center, http://www.iowadatacenter.org/quickfacts
IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/datacenter/Ranking.aspx?hfSelectedIds=31130|13|1|52|7
"Long Term Occupational Projections," Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
"Management Analysts," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm#tab-1