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Business Schools in Arizona

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Finding business programs in Arizona is easy with nearly 50 schools to choose from. Majors and specializations are varied, and degrees run the gamut from associate’s and bachelor’s in business administration to MBAs and doctorate degrees in everything from HR and international business to accounting and financial analysis.

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Marketing Degree Programs in Arizona

State of Arizona’s Marketing Industry

Arizona’s economy went south with the housing bust, but it is back on the road to recovery. Its real GDP has expanded faster than the nation’s over the past decade, real estate prices – after a resounding crash – are stabilizing, and employers are hiring again.

Traditional industry strengths lie in construction, durable manufacturing, retail and – you guessed it – real estate. There is still plenty of diversity, however. In 2012, there were six Fortune 500 companies in the land of the Grand Canyon. They included Avnet (a business-to-business technology distributor), Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, and U.S. Airways.

With new businesses appearing all the time (there were 98 Arizona names on Inc.’s Top 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies in 2012), the marketing firms should be fairly busy. Some already are – Blue Global, a product development company, recorded a 1,676% growth from 2008 to 2011.

Job Prospects for Arizona Marketing Graduates

Job prospects for Arizona marketing graduates are projected to be good, if not explosive. For the period 2008-2018, the state’s Department of Economic Security is predicting that employment for market research analysts will grow by 16% (200 openings) and that opportunities for PR specialists will increase by 14% (150 openings).

Management opportunities may be more competitive – jobs for marketing managers are only expected to rise by 6% (90 openings) – but this sure beats recession numbers.

In addition to the industries already mentioned, recent graduates might want to investigate options in the healthcare, technology and clean energy sectors. Arizona is the home of some well-known names in these areas, including GoDaddy.com and GlobalMed.

Arizona Schools for Marketing

There are 20 accredited marketing schools in Arizona, eight in Phoenix alone. For starters, here are two to compare:

1. University of Arizona (http://marketing.eller.arizona.edu/about/)

The Department of Marketing at UA’s Eller College of Management offers both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in marketing and also a doctorate in marketing, and contributes core and elective courses to the MBA program. Eller was ranked #57 in “Best Business Schools” by U.S. News & World Report in 2013.

To connect with businesses, the marketing department hosts an annual “Thinking Forward Conference,” a day-long gathering on marketing leadership and innovation, as well as an expert-led sales summit and a research symposium.

2. Arizona State University (ASU) (http://wpcarey.asu.edu/marketing-degrees)

Give it up for ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. Ranked #30 by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, it is known as one of the largest business schools in the country. ASU has developed a Bachelor of Science, an MBA and a doctorate – all with a focus in marketing. Graduate students can also opt for an online MBA.

The department has garnered other accolades, as well. In 2010, the marketing specialization in the W. P. Carey MBA program was ranked #4 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Professional Marketing Organizations in Arizona

Professionals in the Sunset State will find a wide variety of marketing organizations, especially in Tucson and Phoenix. In addition to social events, many provide continuing education opportunities.

Business Degree Programs in Arizona

Arizona’s business schools turn out qualified graduates that become tomorrow’s business leaders, serving as HR managers, marketing managers, controllers, executive leaders and more with some of the state’s best-known companies. Arizona MBA graduates in fields like finance, marketing, leadership, and sales rank nationally compared with their counterparts throughout the country, contributing to a Gross State Product of $288.9 billion in 2015.

After making his mark in business as the founder and chairman of Discount Tire, Arizona’s own Bruce Halle has made numerous contributions to local charities throughout the state. Among these contributions was an endowment for a university center for family justice in Phoenix and donations to the Arizona Kidney Foundation, the Scottsdale Symphony, and the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, among others. Halle ranks as the 83rd richest person in the nation on the Forbes 400 list for 2015.

With the right combination of hard work and formal business training, you also have the potential to do well for yourself while making important contributions to your home state.

Graduates of Arizona Business Schools in Action

2015 statistics published by the US Department of Labor, BLS (www.bls.gov) show that Arizona ranks nationally when it comes to the following business leadership professions:

  • Natural Sciences Managers – Flagstaff has the sixth-highest concentration of these professionals of all metro areas in the nation
  • Property, Real Estate, and Community Association Managers – the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area has the seventh-highest number of these professionals of all metro areas in the nation
  • Sales Managers – the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area has the eighth-highest number of these professionals of all metro areas in the nation, while rural Southeast Arizona has the fifth-highest concentration of these professionals of all non-metro areas in the nation
  • General and Operations Managers – the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale area has the 10th-highest number of these professionals of all metro areas in the nation

Arizona’s skilled and educated business professionals have led the following companies to rank on the 2015 Fortune 500 list:

  • Avnet – headquartered in Phoenix, this tech and IT company reported $546 million in profits and a valuation of $6.07 billion
  • Freeport-McMoRan – headquartered in Phoenix, this mining company reported a valuation of $19.71 billion
  • Republic Services – based in Phoenix, this waste management company reported $548 million in profits and a valuation of $14.32 billion
  • PetSmart – based in Phoenix, this retail pet store reported $426 million in profits
  • Insight Enterprises – headquartered in Tempe, this IT company reported $76 million in profits and a valuation of $1.13 billion
  • Northern Tier Energy – based in Tempe, this energy company reported $242 million in profits and a valuation of $2.35 billion

These Fortune 500 companies model the state’s wider industries, ranked here by total payroll in 2014 using numbers provided by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA):

  • Mining, including oil extraction – $983 million
  • Retail trade – $9.86 billion
  • Finance and insurance – $9.79 billion
  • Durable goods manufacturing – $9.63 billion
  • Wholesale trade – $6.86 billion
  • Construction – $6.40 billion
  • Transportation and warehousing – $3.82 billion
  • Non-durable goods – $1.50 billion
  • Utilities – $1.23 billion

Arizona is home to some of the top-ranked Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs in the country, as well as to recognized leaders in distance learning.

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird is an acknowledged leader in turning out highly-recruited MBA graduates seeking international careers. As they say on their website, “all we do, all we are is global.” This program kicks off with a foundation course in Phoenix, which gives you a chance to meet classmates and faculty in person. Throughout your course of study, you will travel abroad with your classmates and will graduate together in person. You can pursue your degree from any country or time zone and will be immersed in a multi-cultural experience from the beginning. For those who wish to study both domestic and international business, Thunderbird also offers an innovative online dual degree program that pairs their Master of Science in global business with an MBA from the University of Indiana. In addition to the online degree program, the school offers a part-time Executive MBA, a traditional on-campus MBA and a post-MBA program. In keeping with their international focus, Thunderbird requires proficiency in a second language in order to graduate.

Arizona State University

The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State offers several online and traditional options for earning your MBA: You can earn your MBA full time or part time through an immersive on-campus program, or pursue the degree online. The school has also developed an offshoot in Shanghai for those who want to earn an Executive MBA in one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. The online program is designed to be taken one course at a time, creating an in-depth focus on each topic. Classes are highly interactive and a cohort model allows students to network with a group of peers throughout their course of study. The online curriculum is delivered by the same faculty that teaches the on-campus program and all degree programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Interview with ASU

Below, we interview Ruthie Pyles, Director of Admission and Recruitment for the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. In the interview, Ms. Pyles discusses the admission requirements and program ranking of ASU’s online Master of Business Administration degree program, as well as her advice on how to be successful in an online MBA program.

Grand Canyon University

This private Christian university’s Ken Blanchard College of Business has built its curricula on the theories and experience of one of the country’s best-known business consultants: Ken Blanchard, the author of a number of best-selling books, including “The One Minute Manager.” Leadership and entrepreneurial skills are emphasized. The school offers a number of flexible MBA options, allowing you to choose from a traditional on-campus experience, evening classes or online learning; you can also select a concentration in general management, accounting, finance, health systems management, leadership, marketing or strategic human resource management. The Ken Blanchard College of Business also offers an Executive MBA program and a dual degree program that combines an MBA with a Master of Science in leadership.

Northcentral University

Though Northcentral University’s MBA programs are offered online, distance learning doesn’t mean a “remote” experience. Northcentral’s key teaching philosophy is a model that pairs each student with one of their faculty members, 100 percent of whom are PhDs. Personalized learning is a hallmark of their program and you have the ability to customize your degree with 16 areas of concentration. The program is designed to be completed within two years.

University of Arizona

U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona in the top 100 business schools. While the school does not offer an online option, you can choose between a traditional MBA, a part-time evening MBA for working students that spaces classes over a longer period of time or a 16-month intensive Executive MBA for individuals with significant work experience who are seeking positions in leadership. All three programs are accredited by the AACSB. Eller is also home to the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, which brings additional perspectives and resources to your MBA experience.