Business at Idaho State University: A private school education for a public-school price

Business at Idaho State University: A private school education for a public-school price
Image courtesy of Idaho State University

“You must remain focused on your journey to greatness.” – Les Brown

First established in 1901, Idaho State University (ISU) is a Carnegie-classified research institution that attracts talented students from all four corners of the globe. Providing 13,000 scholars with access to more than 250 cutting-edge programs, ISU promises exceptional academics and an unforgettable location, with a main campus in Pocatello – known as a gateway to the Northwest – and stunning campus settings in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls – a nature-lovers haven sitting just a short drive from some of America’s best-loved recreation hotspots.

In 1978, ISU’s College of Business became the first business-focused school in the state to receive accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The provision of world-class academics delivered by leading industry professionals soon carved ISU’s name on the global business education stage, and the College became renowned for supplying a private school education for a public-school price; a figurehead of the U.S. business discipline that harbors exceptional worth.

With intimate class sizes and a warm campus vibe, ISU business students are guaranteed a rich and personalized experience where they take center stage. A unique Professional Development Program strives to create a career-ready culture, where students become adept in interview techniques, as well as résumé preparation, business etiquette, and general professionalism. On top of this, the Program seeks to place students in valuable Career Path Internship (CPI) positions, ensuring they become accustomed to their chosen professional route long before they graduate.

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So, what exactly is on offer in Business at Idaho State?


Separately accredited by the AACSB, accounting at ISU stands in the top 10 schools in the nation for pass rates on the CPA exam. With a national average starting salary of US$51,475 and an average job market growth of 13 percent a year, prospects for ISU accounting students look increasingly bright. With former students finding employment with various business heavyweights, like Deloitte, KPMG, Eide Bailly, Kernutt Stokes, Cooper Norman, Moss Adams, and many more, the real-world applicability of ISU’s accounting programs are both clear and undeniable. The College also hosts various industry events throughout the year, giving students the chance to meet, network and impress major accounting firms from the Northwest and beyond.


With an average of just eight students in each class, ISU’s economics applicants are guaranteed individual classroom attention from leaders of the field. It offers three degree options in Economic Theory, Applied Economics, and Law and Economics (for pre-law students), meaning there’s something to suit any economic-minded student. Graduates have gone on to work for companies and institutes such as INL, Santa Fe University of Art and Design, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Bannock County, and the University of Utah. An average graduate starting salary of US$71,255 a year and an annual job growth of 14 percent, qualified students of this field look forward to so much.

Idaho State University

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A finance-based degree represents the ideal route to a career in Commercial Banking, Investments, Stockbroking, Financial Planning, Entrepreneurship, and beyond. Students here benefit from plenty of real-world learning projects, including the CSBS Community Bank Case Study Competition – where they work alongside local banks to investigate the impact of community banking systems within the local economy – and the D.A. Davidson Investment Fund – where D.A. Davidson & Co. provides a US$50,000 stock portfolio for student teams to manage.  As one of the most in-demand professions around the globe, with an average starting salary of US$52,788 a year, a degree in finance from ISU is more than a sound investment.


Specializing in Business and Health Informatics, graduates of this far-reaching discipline can expect to earn around US$67,420 a year upon graduation. These reputed programs are built around their real-world application, with all students completing the course feeling confident and work-ready. The Bengal Solutions Applied Informatics Team was recently launched to help ISU informatics students with complex, specialized projects relating to software and web design. In addition to this, students can join the Association for Information Systems, collaborate with peers to research network and internet security systems, and regularly interact with professional guest speakers from the informatics field.


ISU emphasizes three areas of management: Entrepreneurship, Human Resource Management, and Operations Management. A comprehensive class in Collaborative Research and Writing allows students to collaborate with students from other majors to write and publish an academic text on the history of influential local companies. On top of this, students get the chance to pursue a Small Business Consultation, working alongside a Senior Consultant in the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) on complex, real-world consultation issues, allowing them to apply knowledge learned and gain relevant practical experience long before they graduate.

Idaho State University

Image courtesy of Idaho State University


As a topic that promises an average starting salary of around US$49,400 a year, and a path that holds clear career opportunities among the most diverse, marketing at ISU is ideal for any business-savvy potential. Former students have found success with companies like Ferguson, Enterprise, Mountain America, and ISU Credit Union, showing that the College’s marketing graduates are both valued and sought-after. Built upon real-world product selling and intensive market research into local business, ISU’s marketing graduates enter the working world at the top of their professional game.

All things considered, it’s no wonder that 90 percent of ISU’s College of Business graduates have already found meaningful employment upon graduation, and that their average starting salary stands at US$45,500 per year for both full- and part-time jobs. So, if you’re after an elite, private school education for a public-school price, no place will serve you better than the College of Business at Idaho State.

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