Business Schools in North Carolina
In North Carolina you’ll find more than 110 schools offering online and campus-based programs at the associate’s and bachelor’s level for new business students and MBAs for those looking to change careers or advance in specialized areas like sports management, accounting, international business, and a lot more.
Advice from an Experienced Business Professional
Below, we interview Cecelia Thompson, Director of Projects for synerG, which is an organization for young professionals in North Carolina. Ms. Thompson talks about the benefits of being involved with business organizations, how strong communication skills can help students stand out, and even more tips for students making the transition into their careers, and the power of writing.
Marketing Degree Programs in North Carolina
State of North Carolina’s Marketing Industry
North Carolina is a state with a lot going for it. Its new manufacturing base is stabilizing, labor costs are 19% below the national average and the economy is growing again. That may be why more people are relocating to North Carolina than to any other state in the U.S.
Many marketing migrants are heading for the Research Triangle, located between Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. Here you can find famous technology, financial and life science firms (e.g., IBM, Cisco, Credit Suisse, First Boston, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, etc.), as well as world-class universities and medical centers.
In addition to the Triangle, the existing marketing industry has its hands full with North Carolina’s fourteen Fortune 500 giants. The list includes financial goliaths like Bank of America and BB&T; Nucor, the largest steel producer in the country; Duke Energy; and the retail giant Lowe’s.
Job Prospects for North Carolina Marketing Graduates
Statistics are promising for North Carolina marketing graduates. From 2008-2018, the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina is forecasting growth in jobs for marketing managers (11%), PR specialists (21%) and market research analysts (23%).
If you do find a foothold in the Tar Heel State, you’ll discover that median annual marketing salaries match U.S. averages. And you should be fairly content. Thanks to friendly folks, a moderate climate and great schools, Durham and Chapel Hill often appear on national lists of “Best Places to Live.
Agency hopefuls can try contacting high-grossing firms – such as Hawkeye Communication or McKinney – or researching quick movers on Inc.’s Top 5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies. From 2008-2011, Front Row Motorsports had a revenue gain of 427% and doubled its employee numbers.
North Carolina Schools for Marketing
There are 35 accredited marketing schools in North Carolina, plus the powerful Duke. Here’s how Duke stacks up against UNC:
1. Duke University (http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/marketing/)
Duke’s Fuqua School of Business is undoubtedly the premier business school in the state. U.S. News & World Report ranked it #12 in “Best Business Schools” in 2013 and #3 in Marketing. Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranked its full-time MBA program at #6.
Duke does not offer a specific undergraduate degree in marketing, but it does have an economics program. Graduates might choose to pursue an MBA (daytime or weekend) or a doctorate in marketing.
2. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (UNC) (http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/programs)
Though it sometimes plays second fiddle to Duke, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has an excellent reputation. It was only seven places behind Duke in the U.S. News & World Report rankings (#19) and its undergraduate business program is consistently rated among the top ten in the nation.
UNC students can opt for a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, an MBA or a doctorate with a concentration in marketing. The curriculum places a strong emphasis on real-life learning and offers hands-on global experiences across its programs.
Professional Marketing Organizations in North Carolina
Planning a move to the land of the sky? Check out some of North Carolina’s marketing organizations before you pack. In return for membership, many of these chapters and clubs offer plenty of networking opportunities.
- AAF Chapters (http://www.aaf.org/): List of four North Carolina chapters of the American Advertising Federation
- Charlotte AMA (http://www.charlotteama.com/): Charlotte chapter of the American Marketing Association
- CDMA (https://www.charlottedma.com/): Charlotte Direct Marketing Association
- SMPS Charlotte (http://smpscharlotte.org/): Society for Marketing Professional Services in Charlotte
- SMPS Research Triangle (http://smpstriangle.org/): Society for Marketing Professional Services in North Carolina’s Research Triangle
- Triangle AMA (http://www.triangleama.org/): Research Triangle chapter of the American Marketing Association
Business Degree Programs in North Carolina
Most U.S. states have seen their economies diversify in response to new technology and social change, and North Carolina is no exception. Research facilities in Chapel Hill are responsible for technological advancement that has attracted major manufacturers in the high-tech, electrical component and chemical industries. However, North Carolina is unique in that some of its longest lasting profit engines have been around for centuries. This diverse landscape creates real opportunities for business school graduates that hold an undergraduate degree or specialized MBA in entrepreneurship or e-commerce applicable to emerging industries as well as those who have focused their studies in more conventional areas of business like HR management and accounting.
North Carolina leads the nation in the production of tobacco, growing 40 percent of all of the tobacco that comes out of the U.S., holding this position since its earliest days as a colony. There is a growing trend to diversify the kinds of crops produced in the state, but that has done little to slow North Carolina’s big 4 tobacco companies: Lorillard, Brown and Williamson, Philip Morris, and Reynolds American Inc.
Charlotte, North Carolina also holds the distinction of being one of the most important banking centers in the entire country, creating opportunities for professionals who have studied banking and finance. North Carolina was one of the first states to allow banks to open multiple branches within its borders allowing small towns that could not raise the funds to open their own lending institutions to host a bank that served businesses and residents alike.
Charlotte-based North Carolina National Bank (NCNB) grew quickly as a result. In the 1980s, NCNB began buying small banks in Florida and North Carolina as a means of growing itself. In 1998, it merged with NationsBank, the largest bank merger in history at the time, to create the Charlotte-based Bank of America, turning Charlotte into the banking center of the southern U.S.
These historic revenue streams for the state are still dominant forces today. Tobacco and Banking made up nearly 40 percent of the state’s $399.4 billion GSP (Gross State Product) in 2014.
Small Businesses Create Big Opportunities in North Carolina
Unemployment in North Carolina sits at just above 6.5 percent as of January 2017. This is in partly due to a fast growing economy and the state’s rising GSP. This is thanks in part to an extremely successful private sector made up largely of small businesses that employ nearly 40 percent of the working population in the state according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Small businesses make up half of that. The largest industries for small businesses in North Carolina are:
- Health Care and Social Assistance-250,437 employed
- Accommodation and food services- 206,636 employed
- Manufacturing- 151,867 employed
- Retail Trade- 150,056 employed
- Construction-136,762 employed
These are also the largest private sector employers for larger firms as well, collectively employing nearly 2 million state residents and supporting corporate leadership positions for marketing directors, HR managers, accountants and executive leaders among others.
Duke’s Fuqua School of Business has consistently earned top-10 rankings, not only for its traditional full-time Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, but also for its Cross Continent MBA and Global Executive MBA. These programs combine cutting-edge distance learning with five residencies in three continents, designed to enable students to build global business competence. Both programs accommodate working students and seasoned executives looking for a world-class program that doesn’t require interrupting their careers. The school’s Weekend Executive MBA general management curriculum also makes use of a combination of on-campus residences and distance learning. In addition, the school offers a number of on-campus dual degree options that combine an MBA with a Doctor of Medicine, Master of Environmental Management, Master of Forestry or Master of Public Policy.
Innovation is a core part of the Kenan-Flagler Master of Business Administration (MBA) portfolio. The MBA@UNC program puts their award-winning MBA program within reach for anyone in the world through an on-demand, self-paced curriculum that is as rigorous as any you can find. Online students learn from the same world-class faculty that teach the school’s on-campus programs and become part of a global network of experts. The program does require several in-person immersion weekends. Another innovation is the range of formats through which their MBA for Executives may be earned. This degree program is offered in evening and weekend formats, but also via OneMBA, a global curriculum offered by five partner universities on four continents. All programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
The Wake Forest Full-time MBA is a hands-on, learn-by-doing program. The program takes an entrepreneurial philosophy and applies it to active learning and teamwork exercises in consulting, finance, marketing and operations management. In addition to concentrations in consulting/general management, entrepreneurship, finance, marketing and operations management, students have the option to pursue an independently-designed concentration. The school also offers an evening MBA program in Winston-Salem, as well as both evening and Saturday programs in Charlotte, with a strategic global focus for managers on a leadership track that brings the MBA curriculum to working professionals.
East Carolina University’s College of Business offers what has been consistently ranked as a “best buy” MBA. The program is AACSB accredited, and has been since 1967. It is offered on campus as well as online; students have the flexibility to combine the two formats as well. The MBA program covers the theoretical and practical aspects of economics, marketing, accounting, finance, strategy, operations management, information technology management and supply chain management. You can set your own pace on campus and online, taking just one class a semester or as many as five. Depending on your qualifications, you can earn your degree with as few as 30 hours. You can also pursue more than one area of specialization, taking up to 60 hours. In addition, the school offers a dual degree program that combines an MBA with a Doctor of Medicine.
This small, private university offers both on-campus and online classes to give you flexibility in pursuing your MBA. You can set your own pace and finish in as few as two years or stretch it out as you balance study with work. The degree program offers several concentrations: corporate responsibility and sustainability, human resources management, leadership, non-profit management and international studies, with study abroad opportunities. The courses make use of group study, lectures and case studies to address real-world management challenges.