Approximately 7.3 million residents live in Seattle and other cities along the west coast of the state like Tacoma, Everett and Bellevue. Other popular cities include Spokane to the east and Vancouver in the southwest.Two of the state’s largest colleges are the University of Washington in Seattle and Washington State University in Pullman. UW and WSU both offer blended and/or online Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs for students who would like to earn an advanced business degree in an online format. Washington is a diverse center of culture and business, offering an immersive educational experience for any online MBA student. Cost of tuition has decreased for students; between 2015 and 2017, the cost of attending a college dropped by 15% to 20% for students statewide.
Consider an Online MBA in Washington
According to a recent ranking published by U.S. News & World Report Washington ranks fifth among the ‘Best States for Higher Education’. The state also placed in the top 25 for two- and four-year graduation rates, educational attainment level among state residents, and low educational debt for graduates.
MBA Concentrations for Students in Washington
MBA students have a handful of concentrations they can choose for their degree. Those pursuing an online MBA through Washington State University can earn specializations in marketing, finance, hospitality business management, or international business; a general MBA degree is also available.
Information technology has become popular specialization for MBA recipients in Washington with companies like Amazon and Microsoft headquartered locally. The city of Seattle is also a strategic hub for international business with Japan, China, Australia, and other countries in Asia and the South Pacific. For this reason, MBA students who earn specializations in international business a good fit for finding employment in Washington state.
Washington MBA Graduates Economy, Job, and Career Outlooks
Washington was named as a top state for business nationwide in 2017, by CNB. The survey cited the state’s above-average economic growth of 3.7%, as well as Washington’s high concentration of employees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. The state also took the top spot in a 2017 ranking of the ‘Best State Economies‘ published by WalletHub. This poll cited Washington’s strength in three important areas: economic activity, economic health, and innovation potential.
Since 2009, ‘health care and social assistance’ has been the state’s top industry, which mirrors a national trend; over 25 other states have this in common.
Washington’s industrial landscape has changed over the past 25 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘manufacturing’ was the top industry in Washington from 1990 to 2001 — largely due to the presence of Boeing, which moved its headquarters to Chicago in 2001. From 2002 to 2008, ‘retail trade’ was the state’s top industry; the rise of tech companies like Microsoft and Amazon created this trend. Since 2009, ‘health care and social assistance’ has been the state’s best industry, which mirrors a national trend; over 25 states share this honor. The increase of health care and social assistance is due mostly to two issues: the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and the aging baby boomer population, which accounts for over 23% of the U.S. population.
Around 5.2 million Washington citizens live in Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue and other cities in Western Washington. This makes up over 70% of the state’s population. The western part of Washington is also home to most of the state’s biggest employers. Because of this, Western Washington is considered the best region of the state for new MBA graduates to start careers.
The data below lists the five largest companies in Washington by number of employees.
Top Employers in Washington
|Company||Industry||Headquarters City||# of Employees|
Salary is a major factor for MBA holders, particularly in expensive areas like Western Washington. The following content looks at salary projections for MBA recipients in Washington.
MBA Careers in Washington:
Computer and Information Systems Managers
IT managers coordinate their companies tech-based operations. According to the BLS, Washington has the fourth-highest concentration of IT managers in the United States; out of every 1,000 employees, 3.84 are employed in the IT field.
Architectural and Engineering Managers
Architectural and Engineering Managers plan and coordinate various architectural and engineering projects on behalf of their company; many have experience in business and engineering. Opportunities in this field are particularly common in two of Washington’s major metropolitan areas: Vancouver and the Kennewick-Richland area of Southeast Washington.
Compensation and Benefits Managers
In this human resources career employees oversee the processes of providing wages, health insurance, retirement funds and other forms of compensation to employees. The Seattle area has the 8th highest concentration of compensation and benefits managers in the U.S.
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers
PR and fundraising managers are marketing-oriented employees who strive to create a positive public image of their organization and its products and services. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett is one of the top areas in the U.S. for jobs in this career; over 1,450 work in that metro area, and their median salary is over $117,000.
Also known as management consultants, in this field you work with top executives to set organizational goals related to profit, productivity, efficiency, and employee satisfaction. Nearly 13,000 management analysts are employed in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett metro area, where the median salary is above $110,000.
Online MBA Programs in Washington
As Washington’s economy grows, so too will the need for enterprising, business-savvy employees who can effectively contribute to an organization. The list below covers popular Washington online MBA programs.
How to Select an Online MBA Program in Washington
There are many significant considerations to make before deciding on an online MBA program in Washington – these include factors explained above like cost, specialization, and concentrations. The following list is made up of some necessary steps to follow during the MBA program research process (in any state).
COMPARE STUDENT OUTCOME DETAILS
Student outcomes incorporate graduation rate, retention rate, the average debt student will take on, and overall student achievement with their degree program. Student outcomes do not ensure you will be pleased with a particular program but can help pinpoint a school’s pros and cons.
CONSIDER EXPECTED COSTS OF YOUR PROGRAMS
Practically every college or university posts tuition costs online. Additionally, you should research other college-related expenses like housing accommodations and meal plans (if you plan to study on-campus), official fees, and IT fees (for online students). You should also look into grants, scholarships, and financial aid that can offset some of the expenses.
CHECK THAT CLASSES WILL FIT INTO YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE
Scheduling is crucial for students with other significant commitments, such as childcare or full-time jobs. Many online programs are self-paced; students in these classes are free to complete coursework on their own schedule. Synchronous programs (on the other hand) demand weekly online meetings with teachers and other students.
PARTNERSHIPS WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES
A large number of online MBA programs will include internships and capstone requirements ― and in many cases, students can obtain on-the-job training with real-world office experience. Look into the school’s industry partnerships, particularly regarding the field you plan to enter after receiving your MBA.
TALK TO CURRENT STUDENTS AND RECENT ALUMNI
You should reach out to the alumni office at each school you are weighing and ask to be connected with previous students. These individuals can be great sources of information about education costs, life on (or off) campus, local tips, and other fundamental details for aspiring MBA students.