Business degrees
Getting a business degree is one of the ways to stay ahead of the game. Source: Minnesota State University

What do H&M CEO Helena Helmersson, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and first woman COO of Starbucks Rosalind Brewer have in common? While the obvious answer would be that they’re women C-suite leaders of some of the most recognisable brands in the world today, they’re also MBA graduates who are making a difference.

In a world where 90% of startups fail, their success stands out. Their triumphs in championing sustainability, social responsibility and circular business models — at times, all at once — stand out even more. Ask graduates and many would attribute their meteoric careers to their respective business degrees.

The consensus is that a business degree, especially an MBA or MS in Finance, is no ordinary degree — it is transformative. More than just upskilling or reskilling, it’s a degree that empowers students to step up to the defining issues of this generation. These leaders are bringing emissions down, adding inclusivity to their hiring practices, spearheading use of recycled materials, reducing pollution, implementing anti-bias training, adding more plant-based options to their menu, and so forth. 

As you explore key management disciplines, including economics, finance, leadership, marketing, people skills, project management and strategy, you’re not just absorbing theories. With teamwork opportunities, networking events and capstone projects, you’re sharpening your skill sets — soft and hard — improving in several facets at the same time. 

The best business programmes offer just the right balance of the above, personalised to your needs and aspirations to become a sustainable business leader of tomorrow. Here’s our selection of the top four in the US today: 

Minnesota State University: Moorhead College of Business, Analytics and Communication

Business Degrees

Learning at Moorhead is engaging, experiential and adventurous. Source: Minnesota State University

Combine a clever use of technology, a faculty where half are from abroad, experiential learning, and interaction with industry. What do you get? A stellar qualification from Minnesota State University Moorhead’s College of Business, Analytics and Communication

This AACSB-accredited institution — part of only 5% of business schools worldwide to hold this prestige — has one mission: to provide students with the opportunity to discover their passions, the rigour to develop intellectually and the versatility to shape a changing world.

Whether you’re preparing to change careers, get promoted or lead, programmes and certificates here are a smart investment. 

Take, for example, the Four Plus One Master of Business Administration (MBA) Programme and Four Plus One Accounting & Finance Programme. For the former, the GMAT requirement is waived with a 3.6 GPA in graduate courses.

Both extension programmes provide a direct pathway from a business bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree. Then, to a variety of fulfilling careers at some of the top companies in the region and beyond. MSUM MBA graduates are now leading a variety of businesses and companies such as General Mills, Ottertail Power, Border States, Target, Best Buy, US Bancorp, Xcel Energy, Hormel Foods, Microsoft, Sanford Health, Noridian Healthcare Solutions and Wal-Mart, as well as a variety of nonprofit and educational institutions.

Part of this success can be traced to the college’s unique selection of learning opportunities outside of the classroom. This includes its international award-winning Collegiate DECA team, Beta Gamma Sigma international honour society and Dragon Business Crawl (visiting area businesses and interacting with leaders, managers and owners), among others. Accounting students can take part in the Bloomberg Terminal Certification, Dragon Investment Fund, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Research Challenge, or even go on a business trip to China, and so forth.

Accounting major Leticia Esteves Rodovalho from Brazil credits the many opportunities at MSUM for helping her improve her communication and leadership skills. “I’m a much more extroverted person,” she shares. “I had so many opportunities to do different things that I’ve never seen myself doing before even my major.” To learn more about this university with grit, humility and heart, click here.

California State University, Fullerton: College of Business and Economics

Business Degrees

California State University is home to 41,408 students from 72 nations. Source: California State University

If you want an innovative and high-impact educational and co-curricular experience, then California State University, Fullerton is the place to be. Ranked fourth in the Top Public Schools list and fifth on the Most Innovative Schools list by US News and World Report, CSUF holds its reputation high and academic standards even higher. 

Home to 41,408 students from 72 nations, the university creates, innovates, and builds new knowledge to change tomorrow’s world for the better. The College of Business and Economics at CSUF is known for the best business practices, technology, award-winning research, functional applications and real-world experience. Students get to choose from bachelor’s or master’s programmes in Accounting; Economics; Finance; Information Systems and Decision Sciences; Management; and Marketing

Once students arrive on campus, they will experience the full force of opportunities, support and resources CSUF is known for. They can collaborate with faculty members who lead dynamic and groundbreaking research within their respective disciplines. They can earn real-world experience at the college’s Centres of Excellence which partner with companies, from micro-enterprise entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 CEOs, serving as a bridge between college and a successful career. There are numerous opportunities for research, fellowships and internships and for connecting with industry players in almost any field. 

“Both graduate and undergraduate students gain extraordinary exposure to cutting-edge investigation, and students often have the opportunity to publish their own work and establish a reputation within their fields,” says dean Morteza Rahmatian. “CSUF’s College of Business and Economics, with our hands-on, innovative and globally focused curriculum and programmes, is truly the very best learning laboratory for future business leaders.”

Fordham University: Gabelli School of Business

Business degrees

Fordham academics are boosted by its ecosystem of innovation. Source: Fordham University

Wisdom, experience, morality, critical thinking, creative problem-solving — these define Fordham University graduates. The school has one mission: to foster the intellectual, moral and religious development of its students and prepare them for leadership in a global society. This is achieved through their rigorous curriculum, dedicated faculty members and multinational society.

Fordham academics are boosted by its ecosystem of innovation. At the Gabelli School of Business, students choose from undergraduate or postgraduate programmes that develop leaders poised to create opportunity in any environment. Students can choose from one of the following undergraduate majors including Accounting Information Systems; Applied Accounting and Finance; Business Administration (paired with a primary concentration); Finance; Information Systems;Marketing; and more. For graduates who want to take it up a notch, the school offers a full-time, executive and professional MBA with STEM concentrations

Gabelli offers its diverse and entrepreneurial students daily access to influential industry leaders. That’s not all. Students are provided with leadership training and problem-solving skills that they take with them as they graduate to the working world. 

Florida International University: College of Business

Business Degrees

The university’s College of Business prepares students to lead in a rapidly changing world. Source: Florida International University

Committed to educating and developing leaders of tomorrow, Florida International University is an urban, multi-campus and public research university. Designated as a top-tier research institution, FIU offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, both on campus and fully online.

The university’s College of Business — among the 5% of elite business schools worldwide accredited by the AACSB International — prepares students to lead in a rapidly changing world. Students are offered a comprehensive curriculum that builds the foundation necessary for success in any field while offering insight into specialised areas of expertise. 

Some of the undergraduate courses offered include Bachelor of Accounting; Bachelor of Business Administration; Honors in International Business Programme; Undergraduate Dual Degree Programme; and Online Bachelor of Business Administration. Graduates who want to pursue their master’s degree can choose from a variety of flexible master’s programmes — all of which are catered for students who want to work while studying. 

The research done by faculty members influences business practices in every sector. Informed in real-time by the global business environment, professors at FIU teach a transformative and ever-evolving curriculum that develops leaders poised to create opportunity in any industry.

“Our students, who routinely take the top prizes in prestigious national competitions, are now actively recruited by all Fortune 500 companies,” says dean William G. Hardin III. “In addition, we are consistently ranked in the Top 10 by US News and World Report for our undergraduate international business programme, most recently at No. 2. We are ranked No. 3 by US News among the top international MBA programmes, and our real estate faculty members are ranked No. 1 in the world for research productivity.”

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International