Which Western state has a growing economy and affordable business schools? If you answered Washington, you're right.
Located in the northwest corner of the country, Washington business schools are working to prepare students to step out of the classroom and into jobs in one of the nation's top business environments. Washington ranked 10th on the list of best states for business in 2015, according to Forbes. It was second only to Utah in terms of growth prospects, a metric that could indicate plenty of potential work for business professionals in the years to come.
As the economy grows, firms are likely to be looking for qualified individuals to serve as managers, marketers and executives. Washington business programs can help prepare students at both the undergraduate and graduate level to gain the skills needed for these jobs. What's more, many Washington business colleges have put their degrees online, making it easy for those with busy schedules to study at their convenience.
Online Business Programs in Washington
Students can choose from a number of Washington business colleges although the most well-known one may be the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. The school offers a range of programs from undergraduate certificates to MBAs and Ph.Ds. In 2015, U.S. News ranked it as a top school in terms of getting the 'best bang for the buck.'
While Foster School of Business caters to on-campus students, other Washington business colleges do offer their programs online. For example, the Carson College of Business at Washington State University has an online bachelor's degree in hospitality business management as well as an online MBA and online executive MBA.
Although not for everyone, online degree programs make it convenient for working adults or those with families to complete their education. Many Washington business programs allow students to log-in at any time of the day to complete class assignments. This feature makes it possible for those who can't commit to an on-campus class schedule to still earn their degree. The only caveat is that online students must be highly motivated and self-disciplined since there is little outside accountability to finish classwork.
What is the Business Career Outlook in Washington?
When it comes to selecting where to study, business students are undoubtedly interested in knowing what their job prospects are like after graduation. Fortunately, the news appears good for those in Washington State.
The state's positive business climate means jobs for graduates of Washington business schools may be expected to grow in the coming years. Indeed, the government estimates the percentage growth for many occupations will be in the double digits.
The following chart looks at some of the common positions held by business professionals in the state.
|Position||Employment in Alabama (2014)||Average Salary in Alabama (2014)||Expected Job Growth Statewide (2012-2022)|
|Personal Financial Advisers||3,800||$120,670||21.9%|
|Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists||14,640||$78,580||24.8%|
|Human Resources Specialists||11,900||$68,130||18.8%|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014)
Actual incomes may vary depending on the region of the state in which a person works. For example, here are 2014 chief executive salaries broken down by metropolitan areas.
- Seattle - $221,900
- Spokane -- $190,000
- Olympia -- $146,870
- Yakima - $127,340
Business Specializations in Washington
From bachelor's degrees in business to MBAs, students will find Washington business programs offer plenty of opportunity to specialize. Common concentrations include the following options:
- Business administration
- Management and leadership
- Sports management
In addition to concentrations in specific areas, some schools may offer the opportunity to earn dual or joint degrees. These programs may result in students graduating with both a MBA and another advanced degree such as a law degree or a master's degree in accounting.
After graduation, students can demonstrate mastery in a certain subset of business by pursuing a voluntary professional certification from an industry group. These designations include that of Certified Financial Planner, Accredited Tax Advisor and Retirement Income Specialist among many others. Each designation is governed by rules set forth by the credentialing organization and has its own education and experience requirements.
However, before business students can think about specializing, they need to select which school to attend. The Washington business programs listed below are a few of the options currently open to the state's students. Request information from those that interest you to learn more about how to get ready for business careers in the state of Washington.
- Long-term projections, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
- Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Labor, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_wa.htm
- Chart: Average Debt and Starting Salary for Business School Graduates, Briana Boyington, U.S. News & World Report, June 4, 2015, http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/2015/06/04/chart-average-debt-and-starting-salary-for-business-school-graduates
- Washington, Best States for Business, Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/places/wa/
- WSU Online Degrees and Certificates, https://online.wsu.edu/grad/Default.aspx