More than 290 Fortune 500 companies have a presence in Oklahoma and four Fortune 500 companies have headquarters in the state. Known for its energy, oil production and mining industries, it's an attractive location for leaders in those markets, including Oneok (Tulsa), Chesapeake Energy (Oklahoma City), Devon Energy (Oklahoma City) and Williams (Tulsa). Those four Fortune 500 companies employ more than 6,000 individuals across the state.
In 2014, Oklahoma attracted more than $4 billion in new business investments across a range of industries and market sectors, including manufacturing, defense services, accounting and financial services, construction, oil and gas and more, according to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Indeed, the business culture in Oklahoma is driving growth, evidenced by the fact that three companies in the state made Inc's list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country: Saratoga Roofing and Construction (#207), Mariposa MedSpa (#259) and Swaim Logistics (#272).
With an ever-diversifying and expanding economy, Oklahoma offers business majors an opportunity to pursue a variety of career paths, from accounting to hospitality management, marketing to financial services.
Online Business Degree Programs in Oklahoma
Depending on their professional goals, prospective business school students in Oklahoma may select from a spectrum of business majors and areas of study, including both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Because of the sheer scope of business education, students can choose to concentrate in several tracks, such as marketing, finance and accounting.
Associate's Degree: An associate degree in business can be a solid foundation for students seeking entry-level positions across different industries. These programs generally offer students the opportunity to learn about foundational business areas like economics, business law, marketing, information technology and more.
Bachelor's Degree: The bachelor's degree in business is typically offered in one of two formats, a Bachelor's of Science in Business (B.S.) or a Bachelor's of Business Administration (B.B.A.). These programs traditionally focus on introducing students to the underlying concepts and principle of business and offer them an opportunity to develop and apply critical thinking, decision making and problem solving skills to real-world business experiences.
Universities may also allow students to further customize their education, selecting from an array of business specializations to focus their studies, including the following:
- Project management
- Business administration
- Human resources
- Small business management
Master of Business Administration (MBA): A professional degree, the Master of Business Administration (MBA) is designed to develop and enhance the leadership and decision making skills of leaders and management professionals across business disciplines. An MBA can usually be completed through two years of full-time study, but some universities may also offer accelerated one-year or Executive MBA options for students. Curriculum varies by program, but core courses may revolve around fundamental business areas like marketing and finance, organizational management, business operations, strategy and more.
Nearly 100 technical institutes, community colleges, and universities conferred more than 8,000 business degrees to students in 2013, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)**. Of those degrees granted, the most popular areas of study included the following:
- Business administration, management and operations: 3,563 degrees
- Accounting: 1,034 degrees
- Human resources management: 811 degrees
- Marketing: 623 degrees
- Business (general): 458 degrees
At the award level, bachelor's degrees were the most common (4,166 degrees), followed by associate (1,670) and master's degrees (1,662).
Below is a list of the universities that awarded the most business degrees in Oklahoma in 2013:
|Rank||Institution||Degrees Conferred 2013|
|1||University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus||1,252|
|2||Oklahoma State University-Main Campus||1,191|
|3||University of Central Oklahoma||735|
|4||Tulsa Community College||631|
|5||Southern Nazarene University||309|
|6||Northeastern State University||288|
|7||University of Tulsa||234|
|8||Oklahoma Christian University||199|
|10||Oklahoma City University||186|
**NCES does not report data for online degrees, instead includes them in an aggregate total of degrees conferred.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics, 2013
Career opportunities for Business Graduates in Oklahoma
As mentioned above, graduates of business school programs in Oklahoma can pursue multiple career avenues, from marketing to accounting. Below is a snapshot of business-related careers in Oklahoma, including the number of jobs and the average salaries for each position in 2013:
|Occupation||Total Employed||Average Salary 2013|
|Business and Financial Operations Occupations||64,170||$58,570|
|Accountants and Auditors||14,960||$60,780|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||2,250||$57,690|
|Human Resources Managers||1,360||$79,970|
According to the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, overall employment growth in the state is projected to reach 10 percent between 2012 and 2022. Many business-related occupations are actually projected to outpace the state average during that time. Using the table above as an example list of occupations, below are business jobs expected to grow by more than 10 percent in Oklahoma between 2012 and 2022:
|Occupation||Job Growth 2012-2022|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||27.3%|
|Accountants and Auditors||13.8%|
|Human Resources Managers||10.8%|
Source: Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
"Oklahoma, Occupational and Wage Estimates," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ok.htm
"Projections Central, Oklahoma," Projections Central State Occupational Projections, January 2015, Projectionscentral.com
National Center for Education Statistics, January 2015, http://nces.ed.gov/
"Business and Market Data," Oklahoma Department of Commerce, January 19, 2015, http://okcommerce.gov/data-and-research/business-and-market-data/
"The 2012 Inc. 5000," Inc., 2012, http://www.inc.com/inc5000/list/2012/state/ok/
"2012-2022 Occupational Projections Chart Book," Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Economic Research and Analysis Division, July 2014, http://www.ok.gov/oesc_web/documents/lmioutlk12.pdf